• Birth control: Ring

    The ring prevents pregnancy by transferring hormones into your body through the surface of the vagina. This method uses a 28-day cycle. A ring is inserted and left in the vagina for 3 weeks (21 days). The ring is removed after 21 days and your period should start during this ring-free week.

  • Start options

    There are three options for starting the Ring:

    • First day start. Place your ring on the first day of your period.
    • Sunday start. Place your ring on the Sunday immediately following the first day of your period (for example, if your period starts on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, place your ring that Sunday. If your period starts on Sunday, place your ring that same day.
    • Quick Start. Place your ring in the provider's office during your appointment or when you pick it up from the pharmacy. Never place your ring if there is a possibility that you could be pregnant. Insert ring as directed; you may or may not be bleeding.

    Remove the ring three weeks after insertion on the same day of the week it was inserted, about the same time of day. Remove the ring by hooking the ring with your index finger and pulling it out.

    After a one-week ring-free break, insert a new ring on the same day of the week it was inserted in the last cycle. For example, when the ring is inserted at 10 p.m. on Sunday it should be removed on the Sunday 3 weeks later at 10 p.m. Do not leave the ring out longer than 7 days. It is a good idea to check ring placement every day to be sure it has not slipped out.

  • When back-up contraception may be needed

    Abstain from intercourse or use an additional method of birth control such as a male condom if you have intercourse during the first 7 days of this cycle.

    • Back-up contraception such as a male condom may be needed if you are on certain medications such as antibiotics or anti-seizure medications.
    • If your ring is ever out for 3 or more hours, abstain from intercourse or use back-up contraception for 7 consecutive days.