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Contraceptive Patches and Vaginal Rings Increase Risk for Blood Clots

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Copenhagen, DenmarkWomen may be at higher risk for blood clots with non-oral contraceptives, which include the Ortho Evra patch and NuvaRing compared with birth control pills, according to results of a study just published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The Danish study, conducted by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, reviewed data from over 1.6 million healthy women between the ages of 15 and 49 who used various forms of birth control. They found a three times higher risk of blood clots associated with hormone-containing birth control pills, compared with non-hormone containing contraception, but surprisingly, an even higher risk for blood clots was linked with other types of non-oral hormonal contraception. Specifically, women who used vaginal rings had a 6.5 times increased risk and women who used patches were at 8 times increased risk for venous thromboembolisms (VTEs), compared with non-users.

Hormone-containing contraceptive patches and vaginal rings—or intrauterine devices—work by continuously releasing hormones into the body, thereby preventing pregnancy. For example, NuvaRing is a birth control product that is placed near the cervix and releases a dose of synthetic hormones—etongestrel (a progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (estrogen)—over a 21-day period. It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in 2001. Lawsuits have been filed alleging women suffered serious side effects as a result of using the NuvaRing birth control. Among the reported side effects is an increased risk of NuvaRing blood clots, some of which have allegedly resulted in the deaths of young women.

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ortho McNeil, manufacturer of the Ortho Evra Patch. So far, they have paid $68.7 million to settle more than 4,000 state and federal lawsuits brought about by women who have suffered adverse side effects, from blood clots in legs and lungs to heart attack and stroke, from using this potentially lethal contraceptive device. Ortho Evra has also been blamed for 20 deaths.

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READER COMMENTS


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I took both of the nuva ring and ortho evra and it has caused me some problem ovarian cyst ,high blood pressue

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