The Vaginal Ring

Straight to the Facts: The Ring

  • 1% failure rate if used as directed

    • 9% failure rate with typical use

  • Flexible plastic ring inserted into the vagina

  • Works by preventing ovulation and making it hard for sperm to reach your eggs


  • Most women have few side effects

  • Can help with heavy or painful periods and PMS

  • Smoking while using the Ring can increase the risk of stroke

How effective is the ring?


The ring is very effective. If used correctly, the ring has a failure rate of about 1%. However, with typical use, the failure rate is about 9%. While using the ring, certain medicines and supplements may make it less effective. These include:

  •  Rifampin - antibiotic (other antibiotics do not make the ring less effective)

  •  Griseofulvin - antifungal (other antifungals do not make the rings effective)

  •  Certain HIV medications

  •  Certain anti-seizure medications

  •  St. John's Wort

Ask your health care provider for advice and use a backup method of birth control like condoms until your doctor says otherwise.

The vaginal ring is a flexible piece of plastic that you insert into your vagina once a month. It has two hormones, estrogen and progestin, and works by both preventing ovulation and thickening the mucus on your cervix. You can not get pregnant if your eggs are not released and the ring will prevent this. Thicker mucus also prevents sperm from reaching your eggs if they do get released. The ring is left in place for 3 weeks and removed for 1 week. The week when it is out, you will have your period. You will need to put a new ring in after your period.


In order for you ring to work correctly, you will need to remember to change it on the correct days. It is best to set a reminder for yourself on your phone or on your calendar.

male condoms.jpg

The Implant will not
protect you from STIs. To prevent STIs, use a barrier method like a condom every time you have sex.

Need Birth Control?
Call us for an appointment today.

What about side effects?


Many women use the ring with no side effects while others experience side effects for the first two or three months. These usually get less intense or go away completely with time. But, if they do not go away or get worse, let your doctor know. You may need a different type of birth control. You might get spotting between your periods, sore breasts, nausea, or headaches. Your level of interest in sex may also change and you might gain some weight. Although it's rare, it's also possible for you to develop blood clots while using the ring which can cause very serious health complications and will require a trip to the hospital. It's important for you to check in with your doctor from time to time so they can make sure you are healthy!

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