Vaginal ring vs Combined pill

Need help choosing? Speak to a doctor
Vaginal ring

£From £0.41/day

Combined pill

£From £0.16/day

Overview

Rated 3.7

46 reviews

Every 3 weeks

Frequency

91% - 99+%

Effectiveness

Increased

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 2.8

2410 reviews

Daily

Frequency

91% - 99+%

Effectiveness

Increased

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Vaginal ring ingredients

Main hormones in Vaginal ring

progestogen

oestrogen


Combined pill ingredients

Main hormones in Combined pill

progestogen

oestrogen

What Lowdown reviewers say

Benefits: What this contraceptive can help with

Acne or bad skin

Heavy periods

PMS and PMDD

PCOS symptoms

Period pain

Acne or bad skin

Heavy periods

PMS and PMDD

PCOS symptoms

Period pain

Try it now

£From £0.41/day

Try it now

£From £0.16/day

Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Vaginal ring reviews

46 reviews

Used for 3 - 6 mo
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  5 days ago

  •  Still using

Love the Nuvaring. Hardly have to think about changing it. I can get the odd bit of breakthrough bleeding if I don't take my 7 day break. Overall, I'm a big fan!

Read more

Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
33 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  18th Nov 23

  •  Still using

Things started out really well. No side effects and I didn't take ring breaks so no periods. My skin got less greasy so I got fewer spots, and I had 3 months blissfully free of painful period diarrhoea. Sadly after 3 months I started to get breakthrough bleeding every day and minor versions of my old period symptoms like back pain, cramps, and digestive upsets started to flare up. I tried removing my ring but that just made it worse and within 4 hours I was having a bad time on the loo and put a new ring in just to make it stop. The new ring helped, but now I feel kind of trapped having a constant mini period all the time with no alternative since the only pill that worked for me in the past has been discontinued, and progesterone only contraceptives have never agreed with me, so nothing else seems as convenient as the ring. All in all, bit of a mixed bag.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  7th Oct 23

  •  Still using

Switched to the vaginal ring after using the pill. When first trying it I could feel some pressure in my lower abdomen but this feeling passed after 1 day and havent had it again since using it. The first 2 periods I had were shorter but heavier than usual but after each period (basically the break week) each period got lighter and my 3rd period was lighter than my usual. Apart from that no other side effects - the above ones I experienced I would say linked to my body adjusting to a new contraception (similar to the pill where they tell you the first 3 months you may experience some side effects). I dont feel as moody as when I was on the pill and the great thing is I dont need to remember to take something everyday so the peace of mind is an additional benefit.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  5 days ago

  •  Still using

Love the Nuvaring. Hardly have to think about changing it. I can get the odd bit of breakthrough bleeding if I don't take my 7 day break. Overall, I'm a big fan!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
33 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  18th Nov 23

  •  Still using

Things started out really well. No side effects and I didn't take ring breaks so no periods. My skin got less greasy so I got fewer spots, and I had 3 months blissfully free of painful period diarrhoea. Sadly after 3 months I started to get breakthrough bleeding every day and minor versions of my old period symptoms like back pain, cramps, and digestive upsets started to flare up. I tried removing my ring but that just made it worse and within 4 hours I was having a bad time on the loo and put a new ring in just to make it stop. The new ring helped, but now I feel kind of trapped having a constant mini period all the time with no alternative since the only pill that worked for me in the past has been discontinued, and progesterone only contraceptives have never agreed with me, so nothing else seems as convenient as the ring. All in all, bit of a mixed bag.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  7th Oct 23

  •  Still using

Switched to the vaginal ring after using the pill. When first trying it I could feel some pressure in my lower abdomen but this feeling passed after 1 day and havent had it again since using it. The first 2 periods I had were shorter but heavier than usual but after each period (basically the break week) each period got lighter and my 3rd period was lighter than my usual. Apart from that no other side effects - the above ones I experienced I would say linked to my body adjusting to a new contraception (similar to the pill where they tell you the first 3 months you may experience some side effects). I dont feel as moody as when I was on the pill and the great thing is I dont need to remember to take something everyday so the peace of mind is an additional benefit.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments


Combined pill reviews

2410 reviews

Used for 3 - 6 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  today

  •  Still using

I've been on Yacella for 4 months now. I got switched to Yacella due to issues with acne. I can say it cleared up my acne and made my skin look lovely and bright. However, the changes to my hormones really weren't worth it. Yacella has made me incredibly paranoid. I developed anxiety so bad that it effected my day to day life and my relationships. It also made me incredibly depressed, which also had a huge impact on my wellbeing. Due to the impact it has had on my mental health, I decided to stop taking it. It may work for some but losing my sanity for the sake of good skin was not worth it at all!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
32 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I swapped onto Lucette after I started having spotting on Yasmin. I thought it would be an easy switch as they are the same but it was not. I started having awful low moods and suffering from cystic acne for the first time in my life. I stopped after 6 weeks. I have since found out that they use different binders in yasmin and lucette and that is what likely caused my issues.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
20 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days ago

  •  Stopped using

switched from levest bcos of skin, didn’t really help my skin at all i think i experienced more breakouts on it than when i was on levest, made my boobs bigger but also i feel like it made my cellulite worse?? also was bloated a lot. sex drive went down like crazy


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  today

  •  Still using

I've been on Yacella for 4 months now. I got switched to Yacella due to issues with acne. I can say it cleared up my acne and made my skin look lovely and bright. However, the changes to my hormones really weren't worth it. Yacella has made me incredibly paranoid. I developed anxiety so bad that it effected my day to day life and my relationships. It also made me incredibly depressed, which also had a huge impact on my wellbeing. Due to the impact it has had on my mental health, I decided to stop taking it. It may work for some but losing my sanity for the sake of good skin was not worth it at all!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
32 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I swapped onto Lucette after I started having spotting on Yasmin. I thought it would be an easy switch as they are the same but it was not. I started having awful low moods and suffering from cystic acne for the first time in my life. I stopped after 6 weeks. I have since found out that they use different binders in yasmin and lucette and that is what likely caused my issues.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
20 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days ago

  •  Stopped using

switched from levest bcos of skin, didn’t really help my skin at all i think i experienced more breakouts on it than when i was on levest, made my boobs bigger but also i feel like it made my cellulite worse?? also was bloated a lot. sex drive went down like crazy


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
23 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days ago

  •  Still using

I went on this a few years ago to stop my cycle because I suffer from severe PMS symptoms/PMDD. I remained on it for a year and experienced no side effects. I came off of it because I wanted to attempt to solve my problems naturally and holistically. Unfortunately my mental health became worse and I decided to go back on it. I have now been taking it for a week and am experiencing some mild side effects this time, but hopefully they will settle down.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days ago

  •  Still using

This definitely helped me with my PMS symptoms. No significant changes to my weight. I had more sensitive skin / allergic reactions during my time on it but not necessarily due to the pill. My mood was pretty similar to when I was off the pill.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
26 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Still using

I had the copper coil inserted 2 months ago and have had a very positive experience since. I was on the combined pill for two years which resulted in mood swings and a very low libido. I put off getting the copper coil as I had heard horror stories about the pain that could come with it, but I wish I'd done it sooner! The insertion pain lasted no more than ten seconds and was very much manageable. After that I had maybe 2-3 days of some cramping which I took painkiller for. Overall, I would recommend other women to not be put off by the bad experiences of others. Mine was a highly positive one and everyone has different experiences.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
22 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Stopped using

Initially when I started using microlite i didn't have any side effects and it regulated my previously irregular and long cycle. After about 8 months of use, I started having mental health symptoms and periods which lasted up to 3 weeks. I was v anxious and things which previously made me happy, seeing my friends, hobbies, sport etc didn't make me happy anymore. The doctor told me the dose of hormones was too weak to "override" my natural hormones and that that's why I was bleeding so much. She switched me to ovreena which was much better and all my symptoms subsided.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
21 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 week ago

  •  Still using

Overall, i have had very limited side effects on this pill though i have noticed increased mood swings.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

I switched to this brand of pill after getting quite bad mood side effects on the previous pills I had tried (microgynon, yasmin) as I'd heard it was better for that sort of thing. It definitely was a lot better than the previous pills I had tried (they made me extremely depressed, constantly crying and not being able to deal with stress) but since making the decision to stop the pill a month and a half ago I have realised it was definitely still affecting my mood a bit. I feel a lot more bubbly, confident and more in tune with my emotions off the pill. I found it dulled my emotions a bit - I rarely cried even when I needed to - whereas now I feel like my emotions are normal. The main reason for coming off the pill though (as my mood was something I was okay with) was my sex drive. The pill almost completely killed it. Since coming off the pill this has changed dramatically and is what I'm most happy about. I would say Eloine is still a good pill to try and it has done me well for the past 2 and a half years. If you've struggled with low mood or other mood symptoms on previous pills and are very keen to be on contraception I would definitely recommend it.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
21 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

I was put on this pill as I struggled with irregular bleeding on the mini pill. I hadn't had a migraine in over a year. However, after the first month on this contraception I started having migraine with aura, headaches and migranes without the aura. I had a lot of headaches in a month and on my 5th month (last month) I had 5 migraines with aura in the space of 10 days. I had no other negative side effects on this pill so it was very disheartening to have to come off and be put back on the mini pill. When I came off, I had a 10 day migraine without aura!! Interestingly, I was on this pill from the summer of to the end of 2022. I had no negative side effects (only 1 migraine with aura a month but that was the norm at the time) on it until the last 2 months of 2022 where I would experience debilitating cramps mid pack at the same day every day for 4 days and the next month I had the same experiences but started bleeding this time. During my check ups I would confirm with the nurse that I could take this pill continuously and they would say yes. However, after speaking to a doctor you cannot take this pill continuously. You must have a break as it is triphasic (3 different concentrations of hormones).


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Contraceptive alternatives and comparisons

Compare the Vaginal ring with other contraceptives

Order online

Order online now

Use our online prescription in under 5 mins

  • No GP appointment needed

  • Free standard delivery

Speak to a doctor

Not sure yet? Speak to a doctor

Schedule an appointment now

87% of women are happier with their contraceptive choice after speaking with one of The Lowdown's doctors

The Lowdown

Women's health, reviewed.

Get the best women’s health info in your inbox

You are signing up to receive The Lowdown's latest findings and news in women's health. Your data will be used in accordance with our Privacy & Cookie policy

Built by doctors and experts

Our tools are made by medical professionals for your peace of mind

Pharmacy services provided by Phlo Technologies Ltd. GPhC reg number: 9011171

When you click on some links on this site, we may get a small affiliate commission