NuvaRing Side Effects

Female contraceptives are highly effective at preventing pregnancy when properly administered. However, many contraceptives carry a risk of certain side effects as well. When NuvaRing was approved for contraceptive use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001, it was noted for its low estrogen exposure, ease of use, and low incidence of side effects.

Over the years, however, NuvaRing has been shown to increase the risk of serious, life-threatening complications. If you have suffered serious injury or complications, such as depression, pain, blood clots, and heart attack, after using the contraceptive you should contact a NuvaRing lawyer to discuss your options for civil dangerous drugs litigation.

Common Side Effects Linked to NuvaRing

NuvaRing, like oral contraception, carries with it the risk of side effects. The most common side effects include the following:

  • Irritation on the cervix or in the vagina, caused by placement of or reaction to the device
  • Changes in mood
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache/migraine
  • Tenderness of the breasts
  • Acne
  • Decreased libido
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal discomfort
  • Painful cramping and menstrual periods

Even beyond the lengthy list of common side effects, there are more serious side effects which impact a smaller percentage of patients. These risks are greater for women who are over the age of 35, women who smoke, those with high blood pressure, liver disease, breast cancer, and those with diabetes.

Combination hormonal contraceptives (CHC) such as NuvaRing greatly increase one’s risk of life-threatening blood clots, stroke, or heart attack, according to the FDA. You can view a copy of the FDA’s “boxed warning” here.

NuvaRing and Blood Clots

Merck & Co’s NuvaRing website now notes the devices’ propensity to cause potentially-fatal pulmonary complications:

“The use of a CHC, like NuvaRing, is associated with increased risks of several serious side effects, including blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. NuvaRing is not for women with a history of these conditions or any condition that makes your blood more likely to clot.

The risk of getting blood clots may be greater with the type of progestin in NuvaRing than with some other progestins in certain low-dose birth control pills. The risk of blood clots is highest when you first start using CHCs and when you restart the same or different CHC after not using it for a month or more.”

While blood clotting is a necessary part of healing in wounds, when a clot develops inside a vein or artery, this clot known as a thrombus may cause blockage that prevents the necessary oxygen from reaching body tissues thus resulting in tissue damage or even death.

A thrombus can develop in the heart, or a thrombus in a lesser vein or artery can break free and travel through the body (then referred to as an embolus), causing serious or fatal blockages in other areas. The following are just some of the many potentially fatal results:

  • Renal Vein Thrombosis (kidneys)
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (legs)
  • Stroke (clot in the neck or brain)
  • Mesenteric Venous Thrombosis (intestines)
  • Angina (heart/heart attack)

It is imperative that NuvaRing users take these risks seriously. If you are concerned about the side effects of this or another CHC, see your health care provider immediately and contact a personal injury attorney who has handled civil claims against prescription drug manufacturers to find out more about the compensation to which you may be entitled.