Vaginal ring

The contraceptive ring, or vaginal ring, is an alternative to contraceptive pills. You can use a vaginal ring for three weeks at a time.

Vaginal ring

What is a vaginal ring?

A contraceptive ring or vaginal ring is a flexible plastic ring containing the sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone. The ring is around 5.5 cm in diameter and works in the same way as a normal oral contraceptive pill. The advantage of the vaginal ring is that you don't have to remember to take a contraceptive pill every day.

There is one type of vaginal ring on the market in Norway; it is called Nuvaring.

How is the vaginal ring used?

The vaginal ring is placed in the vagina. You insert and remove the ring yourself. When inserting the ring, squeeze it gently and insert it into the vagina. The ring stays in the vagina continuously for three weeks. After three weeks, remove the ring and the following week do not use a vaginal ring. After two or three days without a ring, you will get a bleed. Exactly one week after removing the previous ring, insert a new ring.

It is usually unproblematic to have intercourse and to use tampons at the same time as using a vaginal ring. If you still want to remove the ring during intercourse, it can be removed for a short period of up to three hours and put in a glass of cold water, for example.

It is very important that the ring is not out of the vagina for more than three hours in the course of 24 hours. If this happens, you may no longer be protected from pregnancy.

Postponing menstruation

If you wish to postpone menstruation, you can insert a new ring after three weeks, without the regular weekly pause between two rings. If you do this for several months, you will eventually experience a bleed. Then you should take out the ring and wait for 4-7 days before inserting a new ring.

Side effects

The most frequently reported side effects are:

  • headache
  • vaginal infections
  • discharge

If you have an increased risk of developing blood clots you should not use a vaginal ring.

Contact your doctor or hospital immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain or swelling in one leg or arm. These may be signs of a blood clot in one of the veins of the leg or arm (deep vein thrombosis).
  • Sudden breathing difficulties and severe chest pains. These may be signs of blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism).
  • Difficulty lifting, smiling or talking These may be signs of stroke.

What happens if the vaginal ring is out for too long?

If the vaginal ring has been out of the vagina for less than three hours, it can be rinsed in lukewarm water and put back in place.
If the ring has been out for longer, it is a good idea to contact your doctor or healthcare professional who can advise you on how to proceed.

Olafia Clinic

Centre for counselling, examination and treatment of sexually transmitted infections at Oslo University Hospital. 

Sex og samfunn

Centre for youth sexuality. Sex og samfunn is a service for people under the age of 25 which provides guidance and prescriptions for contraception as well as the opportunity to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The public information channel for young people. 

The contraception guide in several languages

Overview of all contraceptives, available in Norwegian, English, Urdu, Polish, Somali, Arabic and Tigrinya.


Information about sex and cohabitation in Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Norwegian, Polish, Somali, Tigrinya and Turkish, aimed at immigrants and others with short periods of residence.

Content provided by Direktoratet for medisinske produkter (DMP)

Direktoratet for medisinske produkter (DMP) . Vaginal ring. [Internet]. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate of Health; updated Tuesday, September 21, 2021 [retrieved Thursday, June 20, 2024]. Available from:

Last updated Tuesday, September 21, 2021