NuvaRing birth control has been associated with an increased risk of blood clots, pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke, and death. More than 1,000 NuvaRing lawsuits have already been filed against the manufacturer of this device, and the litigation continues to grow as more women come forward to report their injuries. Many of these women allege that Merck & Co. did not fully warn them about the risk of severe, life-threatening NuvaRing side effects.
UPDATE: NuvaRing Black Box Warning Updated
August 6, 2014 — The “Black Box” warning information for NuvaRing has been updated in Canada and the United States to warn that it should not be used by women over 35 who smoke cigarettes or have certain medical conditions. Click here to read more.
June 4, 2014 — The family of 24 year-old girl who died of a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) have vowed to continue fighting for stronger warning labels on NuvaRing, after rejecting a $100 million settlement. Click here to read more.
February 10, 2014 — Merck offers $100 million to settle about 3,800 lawsuits involving NuvaRing. Click here to read more.
January 14, 2014 — Vanity Fair asks why the FDA has not recalled NuvaRing despite studies linking it to a 56% increased risk of blood clots. Click here to read more.
August 13, 2013 — Approximately 1,500 NuvaRing lawsuits have been filed against Merck involving heart attacks, strokes, and blood clot injuries. Click here to read more.
March 30, 2013 — The first federal NuvaRing lawsuit trials have been postponed until October 21, 2013. Click here to read more.
January 22, 2013 — A woman from Oklahoma has filed a NuvaRing lawsuit after suffering a bilateral pulmonary embolism (blood clots in both of her lungs). Click here to read more.
January 14, 2013 — The first NuvaRing trials have been postponed from May until July 2013. Click here to read more.
October 1, 2012 — There are 186 NuvaRing lawsuits filed in a “mass tort” litigation in New Jersey, and new lawsuits continue to be filed. More than 1,000 additional NuvaRing lawsuits are pending in federal U.S. District Court in Missouri. Click here to read more.
June 14, 2012 — The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study linking vaginal rings to a 2.5-fold increased risk of strokes due to blood clots. Click here to read more.
May 15, 2012 — A study published in the British Medical Journal links NuvaRing to a 6.5-fold increased risk of blood clots. Click here to read more.
What is NuvaRing?
NuvaRing, also known as a “vaginal ring,” is a type of hormonal birth control that is used to prevent pregnancy. The device is a small, flexible ring that a woman inserts in her vagina once per month and leaves in place for three weeks.
NuvaRing works by releasing the same hormones as a birth control pill (progestin and estrogen). The specific type of estrogen in NuvaRing is ethinyl estradiol and the progestin is etonogestrel. Etonogestrel is a “third-generation” progestin, which is newer than “second-generation” progestins such as levonorgestrel.
What is the problem with NuvaRing?
According to the side effect information for NuvaRing, one of the most serious problems with NuvaRing is:
“The risk of getting blood clots may be greater with the type of progestin in NuvaRing than with some other progestins in certain low-dose birth control pills.”
NuvaRing contains contains a hormone called etonogestrel, which has been linked to a doubled risk of blood clots compared to other contraceptives containing older hormones like levonorgestrel. This increased risk corresponds to one or two extra cases per 10,000 women who use NuvaRing per year, compared to women who use levonorgestrel. The risk of blood clots is even higher (about 8 extra cases) when NuvaRing is compared to women who do not use any contraceptives.
Studies of NuvaRing and Blood Clots
In May 2012, the British Medical Journal published this study, which linked NuvaRing to a 6.5-fold increased risk of blood clots compared to women who do not use hormonal birth control. This is also double the risk of blood clots compared to women who use birth control containing hormones like levonorgestrel. The increased risk corresponds with about 8 extra cases of blood clots per 10,000 women who use NuvaRing per year.
In June 2012, the New England Journal of Medicine published this study, which associated NuvaRing with a 2.5-fold increased risk of stroke due to a blood clot. The researchers warned:
“Our data suggest a relatively high risk of thrombotic stroke with the use of a vaginal ring.”
Many lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer of NuvaRing, Merck & Co., alleging that the advertisements for NuvaRing did not adequately warn about the extra risk of blood clots.
Thousans of NuvaRing lawsuits are currently pending in the federal U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri before Judge Rodney Sippel. About 200 lawsuits have also been filed in New Jersey State Court. These are not part of a NuvaRing class action — they are individual claims. All of these lawsuits have been filed by women who suffered from injuries including blood clots, pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or sudden death.
NuvaRing Side Effects
- Blood clots
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
- Heart attack
- Venous thrombosis or thromboembolism
- Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH)
- Pseudotumor Cerebri (PTC)