Birth control pills are still the most common choice of contraception among American women but side effects from those medications often cause women to make other contraceptive choices. One popular alternative is the NuvaRing, a flexible device inserted into the vagina monthly. Over a million women have chosen this device but it also comes with serious health problems.
There are currently over 1,000 NuvaRing lawsuits filed by women who have suffered dangerous side effects, most commonly blood clotting, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms from their use of the contraceptive, according to claims made in their legal actions.
One of the most recent suits was filed by a Mississippi woman who claims that after she started using a NuvaRing, she suffered a deep vein thrombosis in September of 2010. Named as defendants in the lawsuit are pharmaceutical giant Merck, Inc., and Organon Pharmaceuticals.
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2001, the NuvaRing was widely marketed as a safe and convenient alternative to oral contraceptives. The Mississippi woman’s lawsuit claims that the NuvaRing has inherent dangerous side effects of its own and that the manufacturers did not provide adequate warning of these dangers to consumers and government regulators.
The lawsuit, as do most others, also claims that the manufacturers did not perform adequate testing of the product, particularly involving etonogestra, a synthetic progestin that is used to make the NuvaRing effective in preventing pregnancies. Read more on the NuvaRing Lawsuits
It is the mixture of hormones that are released within a woman’s body while using a NuvaRing that puts women at an increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, blood clotting, pulmonary embolisms and other life-threatening conditions, according to these allegations.
Lawyers for NuvaRing victims are claiming that the manufacturers knew about these dangers, put profits ahead of consumer safety and failed to reveal this information to the FDA, according to allegations in the lawsuits.
There also have been links between the NuvaRing and these dangerous side effects reported in independent studies that have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the British Medical Journal.
Some of the statistics are startling. A Danish study found that there is a 90 percent higher risk of women suffering blood clots from vaginal rings than oral contraceptives. Another published study found that women who use NuvaRings or other combined hormonal devices are up to three times more likely to suffer heart attacks or strokes compared to women using other types of hormonal birth control.
The first of what are called bellwether trials are expected to begin in May 2013 in a huge class of NuvaRing lawsuits consolidated before a federal judge. These cases will be the predecessors of many more suits to follow and will allow NuvaRing lawyers to test their cases against the defense offered by the device’s manufacturers.