In 2001, the FDA approved a new birth control device, NuvaRing. By 2007, complications started to arise from the use of NuvaRing when a 32-year old woman died from complications associated with deep vein thrombosis. She died from a pulmonary thromboemboli. Other complications arising from the use of NuvaRing include severe blood clotting, which can also lead to amputation of the legs. NuvaRing produces two types of hormones and is designed to prevent production of mature eggs. The NuvaRing is a ring which is inserted into and makes contact with the vagina. Common side effects were breast tenderness, loss of appetite, weight loss or gain, headaches, nausea, anxiety, dizziness, bloating and vaginal bleeding during menstruation. Other women who have used NuvaRing have reported allergic reactions, loss of menstruation, breast discharge and/or lumps, migraines, numbness and/or swelling of limbs, shortness of breath, sudden vomiting, dark urine and coughing up blood.
As of December of 2013, thousands of people had filed lawsuits against NuvaRing as a result of complications suffered from use of the devise. Although birth control has been known to increase the risk of blood clots, some studies have shown that newer forms of birth control such as the birth control patch, the ring and Yaz, increase the risk even more. In 2012, the British Medical Journal published a study showing the risk of blood clots was 6.5 times greater with NuvaRing than with contraceptives which did not contain hormones. A 2011 study from Kaiser Permanente and Medicaid reported that NuvaRing carried a 56 percent higher risk of blood clots when compared to older hormonal birth control pills. Unfortunately those results were released prior to the adjustment of the results to look at only new birth control users, which can be important in order to evaluate only the results from NuvaRing use, rather than any prior birth control side effects. Once adjusted, there was no conclusive evidence of an increased risk of blood clots with use of NuvaRing. The study warned there was a lot of statistical variability in the study. Still, even with the number of deaths that have taken place after use of NuvaRing, it is still being offered as a “safe and effective” birth control option for women.
If you or a loved one has suffered complications from the use of NuvaRing, please contact an attorney who is experienced in mass tort litigation for an evaluation of your case.