NuvaRing birth control is a small, flexible vaginal ring that prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones. Unfortunately, the hormones in NuvaRing have been linked to a significantly higher risk of blood clots and stroke than many other contraceptives. Many NuvaRing lawsuits have been filed on behalf of women who suffered this severe, life-threatening side effect.
UPDATE: Study Finds Increased Risk of NuvaRing Stroke
June 14, 2012 — A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has linked vaginal rings to a 2.5-fold increased risk of stroke compared to women who do not use hormonal birth control. The researchers warned:
“Our data suggest a relatively high risk of thrombotic stroke with the use of a vaginal ring.”
What is the problem with NuvaRing?
NuvaRing (ethinyl estradiol / etonogestrel) is a hormonal contraceptive that contains a combination of estrogen and progestin. The problem with NuvaRing is that it contains a “third-generation” progestin called etonogestrel, which has been linked to higher rates of blood clots than “second-generation” progestins like levonorgestrel.
Researchers have estimated that NuvaRing is associated with a doubled risk of blood clots compared to older contraceptives. Numerically, about 8 women per 10,000 who use NuvaRing in one year are expected to develop a blood clot.
Although the risk of blood clots is relatively small, blood clot are a severe side effect that can be deadly. Many lawsuits have been filed by women who were unaware of the increased risk associated with NuvaRing. Several other contraceptives are equally effective at preventing pregnancy but have a much lower risk of blood clots and stroke.
NuvaRing is associated with thrombotic strokes, which occur when a blood clot forms in a narrow artery in the brain. The arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain. When a blood clot blocks an artery, brain tissue is starved of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain tissues can be permanently damaged.
Serious complications of a stroke depend on the part of the brain that was damaged. These may include:
- Loss of muscle coordination or movement
- Speech problems
- Difficulty swallowing
- Memory loss
- Cognitive problems
- Emotional problems, changes in behavior
- Pain, numbness, tingling sensations
- Need for assistive care
The risk of a NuvaRing stroke is highest in women who smoke cigarettes and/or are over 35 years old. However, even women with no risk factors or history of blood clots have suffered from a stroke while using NuvaRing.
NuvaRing Stroke Lawsuits
If you or your loved one was injured by NuvaRing, you are not alone — Merck & Co. is already facing about 1,200 NuvaRing lawsuits at both the state and federal level. Nearly 200 NuvaRing lawsuits have been filed in state court in New Jersey. More than 1,000 additional NuvaRing lawsuits have been centralized in a federal court in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Many of these lawsuits were filed on behalf of women who suffered from a stroke after using NuvaRing.