Last updated:

November 4, 2022


 min read

Everything you need to know about the birth control ring

Is the birth control ring safe to use? Is it the right contraceptive for me? Get all your contraception-related queries resolved by our expert doctors today!

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Written by
Malvika Rathi

Confused about picking birth control for yourself? Wondering if there are better alternatives to your existing method? Well, we’ve got you covered. To make the right pick, you need to know about the various birth control methods in depth, which you can do here

Among the different contraceptive methods available (like condoms, birth control pills, IUDs, rings, and patches), if the birth control ring catches your attention, this blog is for you! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know before deciding on a birth control ring.

How does the ring work?

The birth control ring is a hormonal contraceptive. It works by increasing the natural hormone levels in a woman. Each ring contains a dose of progestin and oestrogen; this combination helps prevent conception as higher levels of oestrogen hinder ovulation. Plus, as progestin levels rise, cervical mucus thickens, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus in the first place.

Is the birth control ring effective? 

The birth control ring is typically effective. However, if you are not using it correctly, it might not be completely effective for you. People who do not change their rings as scheduled run a higher risk of getting pregnant. Some people can also have trouble getting the ring to stay in place. If you experience any difficulties with a birth control ring, you might want to use additional physical contraception, such as condoms, for a week to ensure the ring is working properly.

Is it safe to use the birth control ring?

The ring is a perfectly safe method of birth control for most people. The majority of people using the ring report no negative effects at all, and those who do often describe them as mild and quickly subsiding. 

However, some of you might experience medical problems due to the ring's oestrogen content. Opting for a birth control method without oestrogen is especially advised for people who smoke and/or are over 35. Additionally, there is some evidence that oestrogen reduces breast milk production. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, you might want to steer clear of the ring.

Besides these, if you have any underlying medical conditions affecting your choice of contraceptive, it is advised to consult a doctor before adopting a birth control method. Schedule a quick call with welcoming doctors from Rocket Health to get all your questions answered today! 

What side effects does the ring have? 

Some common (but infrequent) symptoms of using the birth control ring include: 

  • Nausea 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Reduced libido 
  • Vaginal discomfort (especially if your ring is not placed properly) 
  • Tenderness of breasts 
  • Weight gain 
  • Mood swings 
  • Headache

How to use the birth control ring?

The birth control ring is really simple to use and does not need any upkeep. But it is important to maintain good hand hygiene while handling the ring. 

Gently press the ring with your fingers before inserting it into your vagina. You shouldn't be able to feel it as you move around if you insert it correctly. 

However, if the ring bothers you during your regular activities or while having penetrative sex, keep readjusting the ring until you find a comfortable placement. 

Finally, menstrual cups, pads, and tampons can all be used while wearing the ring. Even though some people use the ring to skip their period, they might still face some spotting.

When to start using a new ring?

Your birth control timeline depends on if you want to have your period. If you want to continue menstruating while wearing the ring, remove it after 21, 28, or 35 days of non-stop use and wait seven days before replacing it. You ought to have your period within those seven days. To be on schedule, put your new ring on precisely 7 days after removing the old one.

Want to skip your periods entirely? Just take the ring out and replace it every 3 to 4 weeks. Replace the ring right away to ensure that your body receives the continuous hormone supply required to prevent conception. 

Is the birth control ring right for me?

The ease of use and simplicity of the ring makes it a universal favourite. 

If you are clumsy about time management, rings can really save the day! Unlike the pill, the birth control ring does not require your attention every day. All you have to do is take some time after several weeks to change the ring, and you are good to go! 

The ring is also great for those who experience especially painful periods, just like some other hormonal birth control methods. Over time, regular use of the ring helps lessen PMS-related discomfort and heavy bleeding. The ring can also be used by women who want to stop their periods completely.

Doctors have noted that the ring can help lessen the intensity of acne breakouts, especially in younger women, similar to birth control tablets.

Another advantage of the ring is that you can become pregnant soon after you quit wearing it. Women who quit using the birth control ring can start getting pregnant within two months or sooner. In contrast, the long-term users of the birth control injection may need to wait nearly a year before they can conceive. 

The ring's possible drawback is that it has to be replaced regularly to remain effective. More long-term birth control choices, such as the birth control injection, implant, or IUD, may be more effective if you are unsure about diligently and timely replacing the ring.

Talk to our expert online gynaecologists today if you're still on the fence about the birth control ring! They can answer all your questions and help you plan the next steps of your birth control journey.