January 14, 2014 — In a scathing article citing numerous injuries and death, Vanity Fair is asking why the FDA has not issued a NuvaRing recall despite studies linking it to a 56% increased risk of blood clots compared to older birth control pills.
Vanity Fair described the case of Megan Henry, a young athlete who nearly died after developing a severe pulmonary embolism involving dozens of blood clots.
The article also described the death of Erika Langhart, a 24 year-old women who used NuvaRing for four years. She died on Thanksgiving Day in 2011 after suffering a massive double pulmonary embolism involving blood clots in both of her lungs.
Soon afterward, Langhart’s mother testified before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) against the approval of third- and fourth-generation contraceptives, such as NuvaRing:
“Why are these third- and fourth-generation contraceptives prescribed to young women when they are known to have risks and there are safer, second-generation contraceptives out there? We believe that our daughter would still be alive had the third-generation contraception not been prescribed to her.”
The problem with NuvaRing is that it contains a controversial combination of hormones, etonogestrel (progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (estrogen). The progestin in NuvaRing has been associated with a significantly increased risk of blood clots compared to older progestins, such as levonorgestrel.
Over 1,500 NuvaRing lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers for failing to warn women about the increased risk of blood clots. These cases were centralized in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in Missouri in 2008.