NuvaRing is a birth control method that uses a hormone-emitting plastic ring inserted vaginally on a monthly basis. Though it is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, it may cause serious side effects including blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks. A number of people have filed NuvaRing lawsuits due to the serious injuries and complications caused by the medical device. The plaintiffs claim that the manufacturer of NuvaRing failed to warn the public about the risks of using the ring.

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Why Are There NuvaRing Lawsuits?

There have been many injuries associated with the NuvaRing and many believe that the manufacturers were aware of these possible risks but failed to inform the public. Lawyers allege that NuvaRing had a higher risk of causing cardiovascular problems than the pill due to the synthetic material used to make NuvaRings. 

Why Are Plaintiffs Filing NuvaRing Lawsuits?

It’s been reported that women using the NuvaRing experienced extreme adverse reactions including:

  • Strokes 
  • Heart attacks
  • Blood clots
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Death

Additionally, lawyers and plaintiffs are claiming that there was a failure to warn the public and the medical community of known and potential dangers of the drug, breach of warranty, negligence, consumer fraud, and common law fraud. 

Are There NuvaRing Lawsuit Settlements?

In February 2014, NuvaRing manufacturer Meck & Co. agreed to pay $100 million in settlement to resolve all lawsuits and claims that were not yet filed. The settlement was filed in June 2014 and by November 2022 litigation has been closed with no new cases being filed. 

Are There Active NuvaRing Lawsuits?

There were no active NuvaRing lawsuits after Merck & Co.’s settlement in 2014. 

What Is NuvaRing?

NuvaRing is a type of birth control ring that is small and flexible that fits inside the vagina. It is designed to prevent pregnancy by continuously releasing hormones into the body. 

How Does NuvaRing Work?

NuvaRing lasts for 5 weeks and will need to be replaced about once a month. The ring works by stopping sperm from joining with the egg. The hormones released by the ring are estrogen and progestin. The ring produces these hormones and the body absorbs them. 

The influx of these hormones stops ovulation meaning that there’s no egg available for the sperm to fertilize, thus preventing pregnancy. The hormones also thicken the mucus on the cervix so the sperm has a harder time getting to the point where an egg would be.

How Does NuvaRing Stop Ovulation?

Nuvaring releases 15 micrograms of synthetic estrogen and 120 micrograms of progesterone per day. The combination of these hormones prohibits the production of an egg within the body, which is what causes ovulation. 

How Does NuvaRing Prevent Fertilization? 

When NuvaRing prevents the body from releasing the egg, there is no way for a pregnancy to occur. The hormones also cause the cervical mucus to thicken, preventing sperm from moving further into the cervix. Both of these instances prevent fertilization from occurring. 

What Are the Side Effects of NuvaRing?

As with many hormonal birth control methods, side effects are not uncommon. The most common NuvaRing side effects are minor and typically do not require medical attention. These side effects include: 

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Skin rash
  • Vomiting
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Hair loss
  • Depression
  • Weight changes
  • Appetite changes
  • Bloating and abdominal cramps
  • Menstrual cycle changes
  • Irregular vaginal spotting or bleeding
  • Contact lens intolerance

What Side Effects May Indicate Blood Clots and NuvaRing Complications?

The hormones produced by NuvaRing may alter the natural blood clotting chemicals which may increase the risk of blood clot formation. The clotting usually occurs more often in the deep veins of legs and arms in a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) This can cause a multitude of problems including possible pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs), heart attacks, and even vision problems. 

What Are Blood Clots?

Blood clots are semi-solid almost gel-like masses formed by blood within a person’s arteries and veins. Blood clots are typically known to help control bleeding when one experiences a cut, but they can also cause serious medical issues. 

A blood clot can partly or completely block blood and oxygen flow throughout the body. 

What Are the Causes of Blood Clots?

Blood clots can be caused by obesity, taking birth control, pregnancy, infections, long periods of bed rest, or inherited clotting disorders. Blood clots are also more likely to form after an injury. 

What Are the Complications of Blood Clots?

A blood clot can form within a blood vessel and travel to the lungs, heart, brain, or other areas. This can lead to serious complications. Some complications can include: 

  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Kidney failure
  • Deep vein thrombosis 
  • Pregnancy complications

What Are the Risk Factors Associated with Blood Clots?

Some risk factors for forming a blood clot include: 

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Being over the age of 60
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Chronic inflammatory disease 
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cancer
  • Family history of clotting disorders

How Are Blood Clots Treated?

Blood clots are treated through the use of blood thinners which are also known as anticoagulants. They work by slowing the body’s ability to form new clots and help treat already formed clots by preventing them from getting bigger. 

What Are Heart Attacks?

Heart Attacks occur when blood flow to the heart is severely reduced or cut off. When there is no oxygen going to the heart, then the muscle begins to die, leading to heart attacks. 

What Are the Causes of Heart Attacks?

Heart attacks are typically caused by coronary artery disease, but there are many risk factors such as lifestyle habits and previous conditions. Coronary artery disease is when the major blood vessels that supply the heart cannot send enough blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the heart. 

What Are the Complications of Heart Attacks?

After a heart attack, the heart muscle may be damaged. These damages can affect the heart’s rhythm and its ability to pump blood throughout the body. Additionally, after a heart attack, one may be at risk of future heart attacks or other conditions such as strokes, kidney disorders, and peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

What Are the Risk Factors Associated with Heart Attacks?

Leading risk factors for heart disease and stroke include: 

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking and second-hand smoke exposure
  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity

How Are Heart Attacks Treated?

Urgent treatment is needed for heart attacks as every minute after the initial attack, more heart tissue becomes damaged or dies. The surgical treatments that are used to immediately treat a heart attack include: 

  • Coronary angioplasty and stenting
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)

Additionally, common medications that are used to treat heart attacks might include: 

  • Aspirin
  • Clot busters (thrombolytic or fibrinolytic)
  • Other blood-thinning medicines
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Morphine
  • Beta-blockers
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Statins

After both medication and surgical treatments, the patient may have to go through cardiac rehabilitation, which includes personalized exercises and education programs to help improve heart health. 

What Are the FDA’s Warnings About NuvaRing?

In October 2013, the FDA released new warnings that they required to be put on NuvaRing’s label. The boxed warning says that the use of the NuvaRing in combination with smoking also increases the risk of serious cardiovascular events, the risk increases as women age as well as with the number of cigarettes smoked. 

It is recommended that women who are pregnant, have a high risk of thrombotic diseases, have hypersensitivity to NuvaRing material, have liver tumors or disease, have uterine bleeding, and who smoke and are over the age of 35 avoid using NuvaRing. 

Is NuvaRing Still on the Market?

NuvaRing is still on the market today but the FDA hopes with its new warning label that patients are able to make more informed choices.

Are There Alternatives to NuvaRing?

Today’s women can choose from a variety of methods, including: 

  • Birth control pills
  • Birth control implants
  • Birth control patch
  • Birth control shot
  • Birth control sponge
  • Cervical cap
  • Condoms
  • Diaphragm
  • Intra-uterine device
  • Sterilization and Vasectomy

Notwithstanding claims relating to this product, the drug/medical device remains approved by the U.S. FDA.