A migraine is not an ordinary headache. It is caused by a combination of enlarged blood vessels and the release of chemicals from the fibers that surround these blood vessels. Migraines are extremely painful. They are sometimes accompanied by auras—sensory changes that occur right before the migraine.

Eighteen percent of women suffer migraines. A recent study found that these women may have an increased risk of blood clots and other side-effects associated with NuvaRing.

NuvaRing is a vaginal ring that releases a constant dose of contraceptive hormones into the blood stream. Although NuvaRing is marketed as a low-dose hormone contraceptive, the steady dose of hormones may result in a woman actually receiving higher doses of the hormones than she would get from traditional oral contraceptives. The increased dosage of hormones in NuvaRing is linked to an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.

Researchers at Bordeaux and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston examined the medical records of 145,304 women who were using hormonal birth control. Birth control methods included both newer contraceptives like NuvaRing and older oral contraceptives. The authors found that women who experienced migraines and used newer contraceptives were more likely to suffer blood clots than women without migraines. Women who suffered from migraines with an aura had an even higher risk of blood clots: 7.6 percent of the women who experienced migraines with an aura and used newer contraceptives suffered from a deep vein thrombosis, or blood clot in a leg vein. In comparison, 6.3 percent of NuvaRing users with traditional migraines suffered from deep vein thrombosis.

This is not the first study to link NuvaRing to increased blood clot risk. A 2012 study published in the British Medical Journal suggested that NuvaRing users were 90 percent more likely to suffer a blood clot than women using birth control pills. In 2012, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study that found NuvaRing may double or even triple the risk of blood clots. These blood clots can dislodge and travel to the lungs, heart or brain where they can cause a pulmonary embolism, heart attack or stroke.

The first of more than 1,000 NuvaRing lawsuits will be going to trial in October. If you have suffered a blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or pulmonary embolism while using NuvaRing, you may be eligible to join in a lawsuit against Merck, the maker of NuvaRing. To learn more about Iowa drug injury lawsuits, contact the NuvaRing attorneys at Hupy and Abraham. Call 888-807-2752 to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a Des Moines pharmaceutical injury lawyer.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.