The ring is inserted into the vagina between day 1 and day 5 of a menstrual period. It is worn inside the vagina for 3 weeks, then removed for 1 week and replaced with a new ring. The ring can remain in place during intercourse, or it can be removed for up to 3 hours at a time without reducing its contraceptive effectiveness (Long, 2002).

In using the patch, a woman chooses a specific day of the week after a menstrual period starts and identifies that day as "patch change day.” She replaces the old patch with a new patch on that same day each week for 3 weeks, followed by a patch-free 7-day interval. The patch can be placed on the buttock, abdomen, upper outer arm, or upper torso.