THE CONTRACEPTIVE RING
The ring can slip or accidentally come out of your vagina during sexual intercourse, bowel movements, or when removing a tampon. If the ring falls out, it should be rinsed off and replaced as soon as possible. If it has been out for less than three hours, you should still be protected against pregnancy. If it has been out for more than 3 hours, a back-up method of contraception, such as condoms, is needed for the next seven days. The ring must stay in for at least 7 more days after being out for longer than 3 hours; this may mean that you wear it for more than 21 days in total that month. Following this, a one-week ring-free interval can occur and the next ring inserted.
It is important to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to make sure you are not pregnant before start with the vaginal ring. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider for more details and read the patient information leaflet for basic directions on how to start using the vaginal ring.
No. Rest assured that once inserted in the vagina, there is no risk of the vaginal ring being pushed too far up or getting lost. There have been some reports of women accidentally inserting the vaginal ring into their bladder. If you are experiencing pain during or after insertion and you cannot find your contraceptive ring in your vagina, consult your healthcare provider right away.
The ring may break, which can cause the ring to lose its shape. If the ring stays in your vagina, this should not lower the effectiveness at preventing pregnancy. If the vaginal ring breaks and slips out of your vagina, throw the broken ring in the trash and insert a new vaginal ring.
During intercourse, some partners may feel the contraceptive ring in the vagina. However, some may don’t like it while others doesn’t find this to be a problem.
No. The vaginal ring is made of polyethylene vinyl acetate and therefore non-biodegradable so it will not dissolve. It releases a low dose of hormones into your body over the course of 3 weeks. After that time, you need to remove it, take a week off, and insert a new one 7 days after removal.
If you leave the contraceptive ring in your vagina for up to 4 weeks (28 days) you will still be getting pregnancy protection. Remove your old vaginal ring for 1 week (7 days) and insert a new one 1 week (7 days) later.
If you leave the contraceptive ring in your vagina longer than 4 weeks (28 days), remove the ring immediately, check to make sure you are not pregnant and insert a new ring and use a back-up method of contraception for the next 7 days. You may have irregular bleeding, or no period that month. You must use another contraceptive method, such as condoms, until the new vaginal ring has been used for 7 days in a row.
No. As with other hormonal contraceptive methods, The vaginal ring does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) or other sexually transmitted infections.
Use of tampons will not reduce the contraceptive efficacy of the contraceptive ring. Insert the ring before inserting a tampon. You should pay particular attention when removing a tampon to be sure that the ring is not accidentally pulled out. If this should occur, simply rinse the ring in water and immediately reinsert it.
Insert the ring as soon as you remember and use a back-up contraceptive method for 7 days. If you have unprotected sex after the ring has been out for more than one week, consider using emergency contraception. You should not have more than 7 days without wearing a ring this puts you at risk of getting pregnant. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider if you are unsure.
Store vaginal ring at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) for up to 4 months after you receive it. Throw the ring away if the expiration date on the label has passed. Do not store the vaginal ring above 86°F (30°C) and avoid direct sunlight.
When used as directed, the vaginal ring has been shown to be highly effective, just like the pill. Your chance of getting pregnant depends on how well you follow the directions for using the vaginal ring. The better you follow the directions, the less chance you have of getting pregnant.
Dispose the vaginal ring by placing the used ring in the reclosable foil pouch and properly dispose of it in a waste. Do not throw it in the toilet.
When you use the vaginal ring you may have bleeding and spotting between periods. The menstrual bleeding may vary from slight staining between menstrual periods to breakthrough bleeding, which is a flow much like a regular period. It occurs most often during the first few months of usage, but may also occur after you have been using the vaginal ring or some time. Such bleeding may be temporary and usually does not indicate any serious problems. It is important to continue using the ring on schedule. If the irregular bleeding or spotting is heavy or lasts for more than a few days, you should consult your doctor or healthcare provider.