The Secret, Scary Risks of NuvaRing

by Elizabeth Ollero

Which sounds more deadly: pregnancy or heart attack? What about blood clots? Stroke? Apparently NuvaRing thinks these risks are a fair price to pay for preventing unwanted pregnancies. “Like pregnancy, combination hormonal birth control methods increase the risk of serious blood clots,” so while you get to skip the baby, you can’t avoid the side of effects of pregnancy! You lucky girl.

Erika Langhart, 24, was a victim of NuvaRing, which caused “pulmonary embolisms, heart attacks and subsequent irreversible brain swelling.”

While the product warns smokers and women over 35 to choose an alternative birth control, young, healthy women shouldn’t have to fear these fatal risks when taking control of their reproductive health. Erika wasn’t the only woman who died from using NuvaRing, though. Informed Choice for AmErika, a foundation dedicated to educating women about the options and risks of contraception, shares countless stories similar to Erika’s.

I can’t decide what’s more frustrating. The fact that if women want to prevent pregnancy, they have to do so knowing they’re putting themselves at risk for fatal side effects, or the fact that, despite these crazy risks involved with using NuvaRing – and the subsequent deaths that have occurred – the FDA approved of it because the side effects aren’t as severe as the side effects of pregnancy.

Informed Choice for AmErika provides information for women about potential side effects of NuvaRing and other hormonal contraception, as well as information on alternative options for contraception. Be sure to speak carefully with your doctor about what contraception is best for you. 

Images via DrugWatch and InformedChoiceforAmerika


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