NuvaRing Product Details
NuvaRing is a birth control product sold by the New Jersey based company; Organon USA Inc. NuvaRing received approval by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001. NuvaRing is a flexible vaginal ring. The vaginal contraceptive ring, which is approximately 2 inches in width, contains the hormone etonogestrel. This is a metabolite of desogestrel. Upon insertion into the vagina, the device releases a continuous stream of hormones, specifically etonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol, which are absorbed into the blood stream. After insertion, NuvaRing remains in the vagina for three weeks full weeks. Subsequently, it is then removed for a one-week period, after which a new ring is inserted. Working together, these hormones suppress ovulation, inhibit reproduction, and prevent pregnancy.
History of Contraception Use
Historically speaking, NuvaRing is a third generation birth control product. Initially, the birth control pill was released to the public following FDA approval in 1960. Subsequently, upon increasing reports of life threatening side effects, including heart attack, stroke, and venous thrombosis, a second generation emerged in the early 1970s. This “second generation” birth control was formulated using smaller amounts of estrogen and a progestin called levonorgestrel. Reported concerns included facial hair and acne. In order to combat the second generation’s androgenic side effects, a decade later, a “third generation” came about. NuvaRing is a member of the third generation of birth control. This group replaces levonorgestrel by using desogestrel or gestodene.
Common side effects reported by those who use NuvaRing include weight gain, nausea, vaginitis, vaginal secretions, headaches, and mood swings. Additionally, according to studies, women who use combination hormonal contraceptives run an elevated risk of developing blood clots in comparison to women who use barrier methods.
In 2007, the consumer group, Public Citizen petitioned the Federal Drug Administration to ban contraceptives containing the hormone desogestrel. The plaintiffs allege Organon USA Inc. failed to adequately warn them of potential and known blood clot complications. Since then, a plethora of wrongful death and personal injury cases have been filed in both state and federal courts.
In 2008, the federal lawsuits were consolidated and assigned to the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. In March 2009, the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered all state cases centralized, not consolidated, for mass tort litigation in the Bergen Justice Center in, Hackensack, New Jersey.