Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Vaginal Ring

The vaginal ring is a flexible hormonal birth control ring that is inserted into the vagina (like a tampon) once a month. The ring releases a continuous dose of hormones for three weeks while it is in the vagina.
It is inserted within the first 5 days of your period and stays in for 3 weeks in a row. The 4th week is ring-free, allowing you to get your period. Like a tampon, the ring stays in your vagina where you can’t feel it and it can’t get lost in your body.
The ring is a very effective method of birth control.
Available through the Sexual Health Clinic for $10. Prices are subject to change without notice. Please call ahead for up-to-date prices. Contact your local health unit office for information about payment options. Condoms are available at not charge.  
How it works
  • It prevents the ovary from releasing an egg (you don’t ovulate).
  • It thickens the cervical mucus making it difficult for sperm to reach the egg.
  • It changes the lining of the uterus making implantation difficult


  • Simple, convenient and effective.
  • You don’t have to remember every day.
  • Can regulate and lighten periods.
  • Can help with PMS and cramps.
How to insert the ring
Step 1: Wash your hands & remove the ring from the package.
Step 2: Hold the ring between your thumb and index finger. Press the sides together and insert the ring into the vagina.
How to remove the ring
Step 1: Hook your index finger under the rim of the ring and pull it out.
Step 2: Place the used ring in the foil package it came in and dispose of it.
If the ring is removed  
The ring rarely falls out. If it does, rinse it off and reinsert it. If you need to remove the ring, place it in the package it came in until you are ready to reinsert it.
If removed for less than 3 hours you will still be protected from pregnancy.
If removed for more than 3 hours you may not be protected from pregnancy. Reinsert it as soon as you remember. You will need to keep the ring inserted for 7 consecutive days and use condoms during this time if you have sex. Consider the emergency contraceptive pill if you do have sex without a condom or if the condom breaks.
Hormonal birth control and STIs
The vaginal ring protects against pregnancy, not STIs or HIV/AIDS. It is best to always use a condom when having sex even if you are using birth control. Free condoms are available through the Northwestern Health Unit.