January 14, 2014 — Vanity Fair has published an article asking why a NuvaRing recall has not yet been issued, despite studies linking it to a 56% increased risk of blood clots compared to some birth control pills.
The authors cited the case of Erika Langhart, a 24 year-old who died on Thanksgiving in 2011 after suffering a double pulmonary embolism (blood clots in both of her lungs). She used NuvaRing for four years.
They also described the case of Megan Henry, an athlete whose career was nearly ended after she suffered dozens of blood clots in her lungs.
The problem with NuvaRing is that it contains a new type of hormone called etonogestrel (progestin) in combination with ethinyl estradiol (estrogen). Although all hormonal birth control pills slightly increase a woman’s risk of blood clots, newer-generation progestins have been linked to higher risks.
In December 2011, the mother of Erkia Langart, testified before the FDA against the use of NuvaRing and other new contraceptives:
“Why are these third- and fourth-generation contraceptives prescribed to young women when they are known to have risks and there are safer, second-generation contraceptives out there? We believe that our daughter would still be alive had the third-generation contraception not been prescribed to her.”
The manufacturers of NuvaRing are now facing at least 1,500 lawsuits involving blood clots, heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism. NuvaRing lawsuits were consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in Missouri in August 2008.