NuvaRing is a birth control device. The device releases hormones that make changes to a woman’s body to prevent pregnancy. NuvaRing may be a popular choice for certain women, particularly those who do not wish to take birth control pills. However, some women using NuvaRing experience serious complications and may be able to take legal action.
How NuvaRing works
The pharmaceutical company Merck manufactures NuvaRing. NuvaRing1 is a "once-a-month" vaginal ring that a woman inserts deep into the vagina. The woman keeps the device in place for three weeks and then removes it to allow her period to take place as normal. After her menstrual cycle, the woman then places a new device for another three weeks. Once placed, NuvaRing releases a controlled dose of hormones. These hormones thicken the cervical mucus, preventing a sperm from reaching the egg. In addition, the hormones suppress ovulation in the first place, meaning that the ovaries do not release eggs.
Side effects of NuvaRing
NuvaRing patients may experience a number of less serious side effects.2 These can include infection, headache, weight gain, and nausea. These may subside after time, or the patient may decide to stop using the device. NuvaRing is one of a group of birth control medications known as combined hormonal contraceptives. Combined hormonal contraceptives may cause a number of more serious side effects. These can include:
- High blood pressure or diabetes
- Increased risk of breast cancer
- Increased risk of cervical cancer
- Increased risk of gallbladder disease
- Benign liver tumors, which can cause fatal internal bleeding
- Jaundice and fever
- Severe depression
The most serious side effects from NuvaRing relate to an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. These conditions may arise due to the effects of the hormones that NuvaRing releases. The effects of a blood clot may be life-threatening.
Regulation and marketing of NuvaRing
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration3 (FDA) approved NuvaRing for use as a contraceptive in 2001, and the product went on sale the following year. The manufacturer marketed NuvaRing as a safe contraceptive and as a more convenient contraceptive than oral contraceptives (because the woman need not think about contraceptive when using the device). Patients suffering complications and injuries as a result of using the device claim that the manufacturer did not provide adequate warning about the risks of using NuvaRing.
Basis of NuvaRing class action lawsuits
Patients suffering complications have successfully taken legal action, and NuvaRing lawsuit settlements have provided compensation for the patients’ suffering and inconvenience. When filing a lawsuit against NuvaRing manufacturers, attorneys have accused the company of failing to disclose the potential hazards and the increased risks associated with the hormones used in NuvaRing. There are also claims that the marketing is deceptive and that tests on the product were inadequate.
If you or a loved one suffers complications from the use of NuvaRing, you should contact a trained attorney as soon as possible. There may be a limit on the period of time during which you may be able to file a class action lawsuit.