NuvaRing Victim Warns Others

A woman who suffered blood clots which she claims were caused by <"">NuvaRing is now warning others about the risks of the contraceptive device. Misty Liebert of Illinois was just 27 and healthy when she suffered potentially fatal clots in her lungs.  She had chosen NuvaRing for its convenience, unaware of its dangerous potential.

NuvaRing is a transparent, flexible vaginal ring that provides month-long birth control. The continuous, low dose of estrogen and progestin for 21 days.  But since NuvaRing hit the market in 2001, it has been the subject of lawsuits related to blood clots. It’s also been blamed for 12 deaths nationwide.

NuvaRing releases a combination of ethinyl estradiol, a form of the hormone estrogen, and etonogestral. Etonogestral is an active metabolite of desogestrel, a form of the hormone progestin.  In 2003 the New England Journal of Medicine published two studies that concluded that the use of low-estrogen oral contraceptives containing the progestin desogestrel significantly  increases the risk of venous thromboembolism, a potentially fatal type of  blood clot, more than low-estrogen birth control pills containing levonorgestrel. .

In 2007, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen asked federal regulators to ban oral contraceptives that  contained forms of desogestral because this dangerous progestin has been implicated in a higher risk of strokes, blood clots and other cardiovascular problems.  NuvaRing releases approximately 120 micrograms of etonogestral – an active desogestral metabolite – per day.

Liebert, who began using NuvaRing after she had a child, said she had used oral contraceptives for a decade with no problem, and had no history of blood clots.  Liebert is also a smoker, but said she made her doctor aware of her habit, but he prescribed NuvaRing anyway.

Three weeks after she began using NuvaRing, Liebert woke up choking and coughing blood.  Blood tests confirmed she had two blood clots in her left lung, while another blood test ruled out any predisposition to develop blood clots. Liebert claims her doctor told her the use of NuvaRing likely caused her blood clots. Liebert will be on a blood thinner for three to six more months. She just completed a round of self-injections with a drug to help her body absorb the clots.

Other users of Nuvaring have also allegedly suffered ill health affects.  Dana Jenn of St. Louis began using NuvaRing in June 2005 and died one month later. Jenn, who was training for a marathon, was running on a treadmill, lost her breath and collapsed. Cause of death was a pulmonary embolism due to deep vein thrombosis — a blood clot from a deep vein in the body that traveled to the lungs and blocked blood flow.

Since her experience, Liebert has quit using NuvaRing.  She also wants to warn other women about what she claims are the dangerous side effects of the device. ” It’s scary. Every day, a new woman goes on this,” Liebert said.

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