NuvaRing Birth Control


The NuvaRing (often misspelled as Nuva Ring or Newva Ring) is a low-dose hormonal, contraceptive device. It is manufactured by Organon, a Dutch pharmaceutical company that was purchased by Schering-Plough (which sells well-known products such as Dr. Scholl’s and Coppertone), who merged with Merck & Co. in 2009 and are now known under the name Merck & Co., Inc. The NuvaRing is a small inter-vaginal device inserted by the user once a month to prevent pregnancy. Proponents of the NuvaRing advocate the ring’s low hormone dosage as well as its easy use, in comparison to the pill’s daily regimen. (Your can get a 2016 update on potential NuvaRing settlements here and get information from a lawyer about your potential case here.)

What is NuvaRing?

NuvaRing is a ring that is inserted in a woman’s vagina once a month, releasing a low dose of hormones to prevent pregnancy. The upside is that it is convenient to use. Unlike “the pill” you don’t need to take it every day. Obviously, there is a huge convenience factor at play for women who chose NuvaRing.

Risks Associated with the NuvaRing

Though presented as easy to use as daily dosing is not required; there are some mechanical issues with the device and many cases of improper insertion, improper placement, expulsion and it may be felt during sexual intercourse. Improper insertion into the urethra has been documented and usually results in urinary tract infections. Other reported side effects include a headache, nausea, vaginitis and leukorrhea (thick white to yellow vaginal discharge), among others. Though these side effects are relatively minor and treatable, the NuvaRing also has the risk of more serious side effects.

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NuvaRing contains ethinylestradiol and 3-keto-desogestrel the active metabolite of desogestrel, Desogestrel is found in what is referred to as "third generation" oral contraceptives. This class of oral contraceptives have been shown to increase a woman's risk of thrombotic incidents to a greater degree than first or second generation oral contraceptives, through thickening of blood in the body resulting in clot formation. Thick blood increases the risk of a thrombotic incident such as a stroke, infarction, blood clot, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism or even in extreme cases death. Much focus has recently been placed on combined oral contraceptives and their associated risk of deep vein thrombosis. Advocates for NuvaRing suggest that these implants are more effective than oral contraceptives and have lower incidence of side effects. However, studies have been published outlining the risks similar to those seen with the use of oral contraceptives. In a review article on contraceptive vaginal rings, published in Contraception in 2010, the authors describe two cases of deep vein thrombosis occurred in an open-label study conducted in 72 women. Several other studies have reported venous thrombotic embolisms. In three other studies, totalling 1132 women studied, three incidents of deep vein thrombosis were reported. In 2009, a Cochrane review established a risk for deep vein thrombosis to be 149 in 100,000 (0.15%) for NuvaRing. Though the risk seems low, when extrapolated to the estimated 1.5 million users of the NuvaRing, this is of great concern.

It is well established that oral contraceptives can increase the risk of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. In NuvaRing users, the incidence of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis is rare but can occur. A case study published in 2011 in The Journal of Emergency Medicine describes one such case seen in the emergency department.

The World Health Organization's Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2009 edition, recommends that the guidelines for prescribing combined oral contraceptives should extend to NuvaRing. They recommend that women should not use NuvaRing if they have a history of venous thromboembolic events or current venous thromboembolic events, or are undergoing surgery that may include prolonged immobilization. The risk for acute venous thromboembolic events such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis is similar to that of third-generation combined oral contraceptives. 

What Exactly is the Problem with NuvaRing?

NuvaRing releases the hormones estrogen and progesterone into the patient’s bloodstream. There is a concern that high levels of these hormones can cause blood clotting and other cardiac problems, most notably the formation of an embolus (a blood clot) that can cause pulmonary embolisms. Our lawyers believe that Organon failed to provide proper and full information as to the safety of the NuvaRing to the FDA, which regulates the sale of the NuvaRing. These types of health risks were known and documented for several years, raising the question: why didn't Organon inform NuvaRing users about these risks?

Lawsuits Involving the NuvaRing

Currently, our lawyers are reviewing potential suits for users of the NuvaRing, who suffered a thrombotic incident similar to those described above. Lawsuits are currently pending in the NuvaRing MDL class action lawsuit (which is a class action only for purposes of discovery). 

The NuvaRing’s manufacturer and related companies are the defendants: Organon USA, Inc., Organon Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., and Organon International, Inc. are being sued for not taking into account the higher level of hormone transference that occurs for users of the NuvaRing, and therefore not properly explaining the risk of using the NuvaRing in comparison to other methods of birth control such as the pill. That contention is an umbrella for the negligence and consumer fraud that are also promulgated by Organon’s lack of disclosure on the potential dangers of the ring.

What Is the Current Status of NuvaRing Lawsuits?

There are a number of lawsuits pending in this NuvaRing litigation. The Defendants are Organon USA, Inc., Organon Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., and Organon International, Inc. NuvaRing plaintiffs’ lawyers are contending that there was (1) failure to warn the public and the medical community of known and potential dangers of the drug in violation of NJPLA; (2) breach of warranty; (3) negligence; (4) consumer fraud; and (5) common law fraud. Plaintiff's lawyers allege that the manufacturer Nuvaring had a higher risk of cardiovascular thromboembolic complications than the pill, due to the markedly potentiated androgenic effects caused by the synthetic progestin used in the Nuvaring. Plaintiffs also seek punitive damages which are available in these types of cases in some jurisdictions. The NuvaRing lawsuits were consolidated in an MDL (Multidistrict Litigation) on August 22, 2008. There are also a large number of cases pending in New Jersey state court.

Take Action

There are a number of class action lawsuits pending in this NuvaRing litigation. If you believe that you or someone you know may have suffered a serious injury as a result of using the NuvaRing, then please call one of our NuvaRing lawyers at 800-553-800 to discuss the potential settlement and/or lawsuit of your NuvaRing case or click here for a free, confidential Internet NuvaRing consultation.

Our lawyers are reviewing NuvaRing injury cases involving claims that NuvaRing can cause cardiac problems in women such as strokes, heart attacks, blood clots, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolisms, and in some extreme cases, even death.

What Should You Do?

Our lawyers are investigating serious injury NuvaRing cases for potential settlements and/or lawsuits. If you think you or someone you love may have suffered an injury from NuvaRing, call one of NuvaRing lawyers at 800-553-8000. You can also click here to get a free Internet consultation for your NuvaRing case.

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