NPR: Birth Control And Blood Clots: Women Still Weighing The Risks

The drug company Merck, maker of the NuvaRing contraceptive, says it will pay out $100 million to settle thousands of liability lawsuits from women who say they were harmed by using the product.

These women say that the birth control method put them at greater risk of life-threatening blood clots, and that they were not adequately warned of that risk.

The settlement was offered to about 3,800 women who have filed lawsuits in federal and state courts. In a statement Friday, the company said: "We stand behind the research that supported the approval of NuvaRing, and our continued work to monitor the safety of the medicine."

NuvaRing is just the latest hormone-based form of birth control to become the focus of scrutiny. All hormonal contraceptives, including birth control pills, increase a woman's risk of blood clots, stroke and heart attack.

Guidelines by the American Heart Association recommend that women considering oral contraceptives should get screened for high blood pressure because the pills can up risk for blood clots and stroke.

NuvaRing may be even more likely to cause blood clots than other forms of birth control. "The risk of getting blood clots may be greater with the type of progestin in NuvaRing than with some other progestins in certain low-dose birth control pills," the package safety information states.
continue at NPR 

Even if it was healthy, it would still be immoral.  

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