NuvaRing, also known as a “vaginal ring,” has been associated with an increased risk of blood clots and heart attacks. These severe, life-threatening side effects can cause permanent disability or even death. Hundreds of women who have suffered from a NuvaRing heart attack have recently filed lawsuits against the device manufacturer for failing to adequately warn about the risk.
What is the problem with NuvaRing?
NuvaRing is a hormonal contraceptive that a woman inserts into her vagina once a month to prevent pregnancy. The device consists of a 2-inch, flexible ring that slowly releases two hormones: estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and progestin (etonogestrel).
Unfortunately, the progestin in NuvaRing is associated with at least a doubled risk of blood clots compared to older progestins. Many women were unaware of the increased risk when they decided to use NuvaRing to prevent pregnancy.
Studies of NuvaRing and Blood Clots
In May 2012, researchers from Denmark investigated the risk of blood clots associated with hormonal birth control. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, involved 1.6 million women who used hormonal contraceptives between 2001 and 2010.
According to the lead researcher on the study:
“The vaginal ring confers at least a sixfold increased risk of venous thrombosis … a risk which is about twice the risk among women using second-generation pills with levonorgestrel.”
NuvaRing Heart Attacks
Hormonal contraceptives, including NuvaRing, are associated with a 2- to 6-fold increased risk of heart attacks, also known as “myocardial infarctions.” This condition occurs when a blood clot blocks the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. Without oxygen, heart cells begin to die. The heart muscle can be permanently damaged and may fail to circulate blood to the body.
Symptoms of a heart attack may include:
- Chest pain
- Fainting, light-headedness, dizziness
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea, vomiting
- Heart palpitations or irregular heart rhythm
- Shortness of breath
Among women who use NuvaRing or other hormonal contraceptives, the risk of a heart attack is highest for women who use are over 35 years old and smoke cigarettes.
NuvaRing Heart Attack Lawsuits
Merck & Co, the company that currently manufactures NuvaRing, is facing more than 1,200 lawsuits filed by women who suffered severe injuries, including many Texas NuvaRing lawsuits. Serious injuries linked to NuvaRing include:
- Heart attack
- Blood clots
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Pulmonary embolisms
- Venous thrombosis
- Organ damage
- Permanent disability
The majority of the litigation is centralized in a federal court located in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The first trials are scheduled to begin in 2013, although a settlement could be reached at any time. If you were injured by NuvaRing, you have a limited amount of time to seek justice by filing a lawsuit.