Vaginal ring vs Implant

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Vaginal ring

£From £0.41/day

Implant

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Overview

Rated 3.7

47 reviews

Every 3 weeks

Frequency

91% - 99+%

Effectiveness

Increased

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 2.8

580 reviews

Every 3 years

Frequency

Over 99%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Vaginal ring ingredients

Main hormones in Vaginal ring

progestogen

oestrogen


Implant ingredients

Main hormones in Implant

progestogen

What Lowdown reviewers say

57% no impact on mood

53% lighter periods

47% lost sex drive

66% no impact

39% no impact on skin

Cycle return

53% in 1 month

38% somewhat negative

45% irregular periods

50% lost sex drive

41% gained weight

59% no impact on skin

Cycle return

30% in 1 month

Benefits: What this contraceptive can help with

Acne or bad skin

Heavy periods

PMS and PMDD

PCOS symptoms

Period pain

Heavy periods

Ovulation pain

Period pain

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£From £0.41/day

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Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Vaginal ring reviews

47 reviews

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

NuvaRing  

I really loved using the ring, compared to the pill the side effects were minimal and absolutely no bother in remembering it. Unfortunately my doctor just made me come off it as my blood pressure has steadily gone up over 3 years of using it. I did experience loss of sex drive, and vaginal dryness which led to thrush infections. But no changes in mood or skin!

Read more

Decreased sex drive

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Vaginal ring  
Used for 3 - 6 mo
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  15th May 24

NuvaRing  

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

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

SyreniRing  

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.


Improved skin

0 helpful

0 comments

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

NuvaRing  

I really loved using the ring, compared to the pill the side effects were minimal and absolutely no bother in remembering it. Unfortunately my doctor just made me come off it as my blood pressure has steadily gone up over 3 years of using it. I did experience loss of sex drive, and vaginal dryness which led to thrush infections. But no changes in mood or skin!


Decreased sex drive

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Vaginal ring  
Used for 3 - 6 mo
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  15th May 24

NuvaRing  

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

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

SyreniRing  

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.


Improved skin

0 helpful

0 comments


Implant reviews

580 reviews

Implant  
Used for 8+ yr
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 weeks ago

Nexplanon implant  

I had 3 implants over 9 years. On the surface I thought I had minimal side effects, with the exception on loss of periods (approx. 2 per year). However I decided to take a break having spent a decade on continuous hormonal birth control. I now realise that there where several effects on my mood. Mostly flat lining of my emotions, I never felt things intensely and left me a bit closed off. My libido was very suppressed and took 3/4 months to come back, in line with my periods returning semi- regularly. I also no longer feel constantly bloated or have regular stomach aches. However I didn't get pregnant or experience bad side effects, so I can't say it was a wholly 'negative' experience. I won't however go back to hormonal birth control anytime soon!


Somewhat negative mood

2 more effects

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 5 - 8 yr
27 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

Nexplanon implant  

I had the implant fitted as I wanted reliable contraception that I didn't need to think about constantly. I had some slight spotting for a couple of months after getting it fitted, but apart from that, the first three years were all fine. When I came to have it changed, the nurse could not locate the implant, so it couldn't be removed during my appointment. I then had to wait six moths to see a specialist at the 'deep implant clinic' who was able to find it and remove it, few, however this whole experience was pretty worrying during those few months. I was not going to have a new one put into my arm but during this appointment I suddenly changed my mind and decided to have another one put in. This second implant I had for two years, then after my 6 year relationship broke down, I recently had it removed a couple of months ago to see how I felt not being on hormonal contraception. Amazing is the answer.


Somewhat negative mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
24 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  15th Jun 24

Nexplanon implant  

For two years I had good and bad experiences with the Implant. I would definitely say the negative side effects definitely fall under mental health (depression and mood swings), sometimes I would get nausea to the point of wanting to vomit everywhere, migraines, lower back pain. My libido is below low levels. I think I lost myself over this 2 years, I don't feel like the same person mentally. However, this is the best contraception in terms of insertion and daily practicality. I wanted to start having contraception but I didn't want the pill (because I am very forgetful), I didn't want the diaphragm (too complicated) but this one was just perfect and painless procedure. Also, my body changed a little bit over the years but it was because I started being careless with my eating habits, so it is easy for your weight to change with the implant. And in terms of hair and skin, for me it didn't change much, I would get a pimple every now and then but it would go away by itself. If it wasn't for the mental health for sure I wouldn't take it out.


Very negative mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 8+ yr
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 weeks ago

Nexplanon implant  

I had 3 implants over 9 years. On the surface I thought I had minimal side effects, with the exception on loss of periods (approx. 2 per year). However I decided to take a break having spent a decade on continuous hormonal birth control. I now realise that there where several effects on my mood. Mostly flat lining of my emotions, I never felt things intensely and left me a bit closed off. My libido was very suppressed and took 3/4 months to come back, in line with my periods returning semi- regularly. I also no longer feel constantly bloated or have regular stomach aches. However I didn't get pregnant or experience bad side effects, so I can't say it was a wholly 'negative' experience. I won't however go back to hormonal birth control anytime soon!


Somewhat negative mood

2 more effects

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 5 - 8 yr
27 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

Nexplanon implant  

I had the implant fitted as I wanted reliable contraception that I didn't need to think about constantly. I had some slight spotting for a couple of months after getting it fitted, but apart from that, the first three years were all fine. When I came to have it changed, the nurse could not locate the implant, so it couldn't be removed during my appointment. I then had to wait six moths to see a specialist at the 'deep implant clinic' who was able to find it and remove it, few, however this whole experience was pretty worrying during those few months. I was not going to have a new one put into my arm but during this appointment I suddenly changed my mind and decided to have another one put in. This second implant I had for two years, then after my 6 year relationship broke down, I recently had it removed a couple of months ago to see how I felt not being on hormonal contraception. Amazing is the answer.


Somewhat negative mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
24 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  15th Jun 24

Nexplanon implant  

For two years I had good and bad experiences with the Implant. I would definitely say the negative side effects definitely fall under mental health (depression and mood swings), sometimes I would get nausea to the point of wanting to vomit everywhere, migraines, lower back pain. My libido is below low levels. I think I lost myself over this 2 years, I don't feel like the same person mentally. However, this is the best contraception in terms of insertion and daily practicality. I wanted to start having contraception but I didn't want the pill (because I am very forgetful), I didn't want the diaphragm (too complicated) but this one was just perfect and painless procedure. Also, my body changed a little bit over the years but it was because I started being careless with my eating habits, so it is easy for your weight to change with the implant. And in terms of hair and skin, for me it didn't change much, I would get a pimple every now and then but it would go away by itself. If it wasn't for the mental health for sure I wouldn't take it out.


Very negative mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 3 - 6 mo
36 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  27th May 24

Nexplanon implant  

Getting it put in: was a little more involved and bigger than I expected. It was fine, little gross but I couldn't feel it and just avoided looking. They numb the arm area, and slowly insert it. It feels like the they're slowly inserting the pointy side of one of those old school card sized mail openers. It was fine. You can do it. Was much more appealing to me than pill or any vaginal coil. Experience 0-3 months: irregular bleeding, spotting, almost constantly for the first three months. Not heavy at all, very light but irregular. No cramps and before I had these a lot! Experience 3-7 months: no period, no spotting, no cramps. It's amazing and I'm so happy with it. My hair has been shedding more but I have a lot of very thick Asian hair so unsure if related. I've had increased appetite, but again this could be due to other factors in life. No other side effects. I'm very pleasantly surprised. I expected a pretty difficult journey with this one, but it's the best contraceptive I've used so far.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 3 - 6 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  20th May 24

Nexplanon implant  

I was originally on the Evra patch, but I got the implant as I was moving from the UK to NZ - where the patch is not available and id have to pay out of pocket for any other kind of pill. My experience was awful. I had constant, nonstop breakthrough bleeding, anxiety, stress, depression, suicidal ideation and no libido. I was very sensitive to stress and pollen so would come home from work and be absolutely drained, stuck in bed with an awful headache. I was bloated all the time and gained weight as I was bingeing to help deal with the stress of moving and my side effects from the implant - I suffer from an eating disorder… I was a mess. Not a great mix when you move to the other side of the world with your boyfriend. I do deal with real bad dryness around ovulation when I’m not on any contraception - so the patch and implant did help with that - but of course bleeding for 4 months straight did not help anything else. My doctor was very worried about my iron levels… Everything got so bad with my moods and the physical side effects, my boyfriend was like “you need to sort this out and have it remove or think about moving home…” I had it removed in November 2022. Currently not on any contraception but thinking about Yaz or Yasmin. Although not subsidised here in New Zealand, everything else available that is subsidised has a high androgenic strength. Not impressed, however i had a very good experience with Yasmin back in 2017, so maybe it’s best I eat up the £75 charge for 6 months worth? Can’t wait to move back home so I have access to free contraception lol.


Very negative mood

3 more effects

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
34 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  20th May 24

Nexplanon implant  

Persistent thrush immediately after getting it fitted, also VERY low mood when period is due and generally more emotional.


Somewhat negative mood

2 more effects

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 3 - 6 mo
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  20th May 24

Nexplanon implant  

I love the implant. My doctor refused to renew my combination pill due to high blood pressure, and at first I was really disappointed and angry because I had been really happy with that method and I was afraid that a new method would give me side effects. After five months, however, I haven’t had any unwanted side effects whatsoever. The only change for me is that I don’t get periods, but it’s actually a bonus. During the first five months I’ve had a tiny bit of spotting maybe twice and it only lasted a day if that. I know everyone is different but I would highly recommend the implant!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 3 - 5 yr
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  14th May 24

Nexplanon implant  

It was good for the first implant but then when my second one was fitted I bled for almost a whole year and became very exhausted


Somewhat positive mood

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  14th May 24

Nexplanon implant  

I really enjoyed the implant for the first 12 months, however after this I started to spot more and more and for longer periods. These were also accompanied with increased fatigue and pain. The breakout bleeding than got progressively worse until the end of the 3 year period. Otherwise little to no symptoms which was made the increasing spotting so much more annoying!


Somewhat positive mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 12 - 18 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  7th May 24

Nexplanon implant  

It was my first time on contraception, I was afraid to forget the pill and had the feeling that the implant had less hormones in it. My mood was very fluctuating for the first 4-6 months but then settled. My period was much lighter at the beginning and not painful for the first few months, then actually got irregular after 7-8 months (only a few days, then nothing for 2 weeks, then 3 weeks long period...) The insertion of the implant was very easy and not too painful, been able to feel it since the beginning.


Somewhat negative mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Contraceptive alternatives and comparisons

Compare the Vaginal ring with other contraceptives

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