NUVARING VAGINAL RINGS have become a popular method of contraception. The hormone releasing “ring” was introduced in 200*. Like birth control pills, it works by releasing hormones that inhibit pregnancy. The NUVARING VAGINAL RING is self administered by a user. That is to say, it is inserted and left in the vagina for a fixed period of time before being removed and a new “ring” is inserted. For this reason, it his marketed as “once-a-month” birth control on the official NUVARING website. MERCK, the manufacturer, promotes NUVARING (etonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring) as a “flexible ring approved for the prevention of pregnancy in women. It’s a flexible ring about 2″ in diameter that you insert vaginally once a month. You remove it after 3 weeks, and a new ring must be inserted 7 days later. Once inside, NuvaRing releases a continuous dose of hormones to prevent pregnancy.”
In contrast, an Intrauterine Device or IUD is not shaped like a “ring” and is not self administered. Rather, the “T” shaped IUD must be inserted by a trained physician or medical staff. Once inserted it is left in place for a period of years. There are two popular types of IUD’s: a levonorgestrel releasing IUD trademarked by BAYER called “MIRENA” and a copper coil IUD that is named “PARAGARD”. Again, they are both inserted and left in place. Like a VAGINAL RING, MIRENA releases hormones and is believed to inhibit contraception by changing the lining of the uterus. PARAGARD does not contain hormones, rather it is wrapped in a copper “coil” which is believed to aid in prevention pregnancy.
NUVARING VAGINAL RINGS, MIRENA and PARAGARD all come with certain risks and benefits. While they may all be marketed as relatively care free methods of contraception they all require some routine maintenance and inspection. IUD’s can migrate or perforate internal organs leading to bleeding and the need for medical intervention. They can also be expulsed. IUD’s can also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can lead to fatal complications if untreated.
As noted in other posts, a recent study by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration considered the risks of NUVARING VAGINAL RINGS and found they were associated with an increased risk of blood clots and openly called for more studies. FDA’s concerns over NUVARING VAGINAL RINGS were underscored in findings published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that concluded vaginal ring users were 6.5 times more likely to have a blood clot than a non-user. These findings are not presently warned about in the packaging, marketing or promotion of vaginal rings. In fact, some physicians may remain completely in the dark of both the FDA’s findings and the recent BMJ study.
VAGINAL RINGS have come under growing scrutiny by both the medical community as a result of recent studies, as well as the legal community as girls and women have come forward after suffering from Strokes, Heart Attacks, Pulmonary Emboli and Deep Vein Thrombosis following use of hormone releasing vaginal rings. Lawsuits continue to be evaluated and filed for users of NUVARING VAGINAL RINGS who were not properly or adequately warned of the potential risks of blood clots, life altering injuries or death.
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