Not all prophylactics are created equal. From permanent and temporary implants to the pill, there are plenty of options for female birth control out there, and unfortunately some are safer than others.
Whether making a device or a drug, birth control manufacturers can be liable if their product causes injury. Here are five recent birth control lawsuits, and what you need to know about the products involved.
Essure birth control implants are permanent coils placed in the fallopian tubes, that in some cases have been known to fail, cause infection, and even lead to serious hemorrhaging. And while Essure says its implants "can help you stop worrying about an unplanned pregnancy," the FDA recently issued a "black box warning" on Essure implants, its most serious warning available, saying "some women may be at risk for serious complications."
NuvaRing is a plastic device that can be inserted into the vagina to release hormones, most notably progestin, freeing users from the need to remember a daily pill while the ring is in place. But the progestin used in NuvaRing has been linked to an increased chance of blood clots, some of which may be fatal.
Mirena IUDs are inserted into a woman's uterus and disseminate the hormone levonorgestrel into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Sadly, lawsuits have claimed the device can migrate in women's reproductive systems, piercing fallopian tubes, causing miscarriages after removal, and leading to infertility.
Pfizer was forced to recall its Lo/Ovral-28 and generic Norgestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol birth control pills after it discovered the amount of contraceptive in the pills might not be enough to be effective, potentially exposing thousands of women to unplanned pregnancies.
Similar to women with NuvaRing implants, those taking birth control pills Yasmin and Yaz ran an increased risk of dangerous blood clots. The drug drospirenone can make women 2-3 times more likely to suffer venous thromboembolism (VTE), and the FDA warned women on Yaz to stop taking the pills.