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Several lawsuits and even an Olympic athlete are alleging that the popular birth control method NuvaRing is dangerous and possibly deadly. The lawsuits claim the ring causes blood clots, which, if they reach the lungs, can cause fatal pulmonary embolisms and cardiac arrest.
These accusations have continued after Merck, NuvaRing's manufacturer, paid $100 million last year to settle numerous lawsuits.
NuvaRing is a plastic device that can be inserted into the vagina to release hormones, most notably progestin. The device was touted as a breakthrough in contraceptive convenience, since users did not need to remember a daily pill to reduce the risk of pregnancy.
However, the progestin used in NuvaRing has been linked to an increased chance of blood clots, with some studies saying third-generation progestins are twice as likely to cause blood clots. Olympic athlete Megan Henry claims NuvaRing was responsible for the blood clots in her lungs that caused her to collapse during training in 2012.
Erika Langhart, a college classmate of Henry's, died of multiple pulmonary embolisms and heart attacks a year earlier. Hospital records cited NuvaRing as a risk factor for the blood clots that caused her death.
Almost 4,000 people sued Merck, claiming the company knew that NuvaRing posed an increased risk of blood clots and failed to properly warn potential users. As noted above, Merck settled most of those lawsuits without admitting any wrongdoing. (Although some parties, like Erika Langhart's parents, opted out of the class action settlement).
If you think you've been injured by a defective product, or a potentially dangerous product failed to provide adequate information or warning, you may want to consult with an experienced consumer injury attorney.