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Possible Link Between Female Birth Control and Pseudotumor Cerebri

Washington, DC: Investigations are currently underway into a potential association between pseudotumor cerebri, also sometimes called Idiopathic intracranial hypertension or benign intracranial hypertension, and certain types of birth control, specifically methods of contraception that involve levonorgestrel, such as the Mirena IUD.

While the cause of pseudomotor cerebri is currently unknown, the National Library of Medicine reports that certain types of medications are known to increase the risk, including birth control pills.

Female drospirenone-containing contraception products such as Yaz, Nuvaring, Nexpplanon, Implanon, Paragard, Depo Provera, and Ortho Evra are also among the contraceptive medications that can increase the risk for pseudotumor cerebri.

Pseudotumor cerebri signs and symptoms may include:

• Moderate to severe headaches that may originate behind your eyes and worsen with eye movement
• Ringing in the ears that pulses in time with your heartbeat (pulsatile tinnitus)
• Nausea, vomiting or dizziness
• Blurred or dimmed vision
• Brief episodes of blindness, lasting only a few seconds and affecting one or both eyes (visual obscurations)
• Difficulty seeing to the side
• Double vision (diplopia)
• Seeing light flashes (photopsia)
• Neck, shoulder or back pain


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Posted by

At 13 i got the depo shot, only because "teens in the heat of the moment" and it would make my mom rest easier. I was told no info on it, none!!!! I took 2 shots and decided to stop because i had blew up. I gained so much weight. The doctor told me 6 months after receiving the last shot your hormones will return to normal. That didn't happen. In fact 6 years with no period, and thats with them giving me a pill to have a period that didnt work. I am diagnosed now with intercranial hypertension. My brain feels like there is a ace bandage tied around it, thats constantly tightening. I woke one morning with a crick and no vision. when i laugh or cough it feels like my brain is smacking my skull. sometimes it feels like my brain is going to explode. I have seizures. Ive lost vison twice. Everything im diagnosed with, i have every symptom, but no cause for the symptoms. And only taking two shots i never would have connected. I cant remember anything, im for real like Dory off finding nemo. I cant walk a straight line. Im constantly seeing and hearing things thats not there. I throw up daily, to the point i was throwing up blood. I get dizzy for any movement. My moods are about as unpredictable as the weather. I can sleep 24 hours and wake up tired. or stay awake 2 days without feeling sleepy. Ive delt with manic depressive episodes. Suicide attempts. Hot flashes. To relieve the pain from the cyst they convinced me to get the Implanon. First period after, first period in 6 years, worse pain in my whole life, felt like knifes in my ovary's turning, i bleed for 4 months. To stop to pain and bleeding they prescribed the bc pill on top of the Implanon. Period stopped. Since the Implanon I've went blind. Specialist said for my doc to remove it and she said that wasn't the cause and my insurance wouldn't pay to have it removed when i haven't had it 3 months..... 1 week to the day of removal i got pregnant. I miscarried, 6 months exactly later pregnant again. No choice at the time for contraception i decide to get the Implanon back in.....again being told that wasnt the cause i believed her.......Now i have constant pain, mood swings, memory lost, seizures, vision problems, and no treatment bc my conditions are so broad honestly i dont think any of my 10 thousand doctors i been to have connected any of this. Im hurt if this is the cause of all my discomfort, i just want to have a happy life and watch my daughter grow up instead of constant pain and vision loose.....

Posted by

 Implanton 2010 making me sick?

I had my daughter on september 25th, 2010... a couple months later (2010/2011) I choose the implaton as my birthcontrol... I have had a slew of issues, all of wich go primarily undiagnosed, or choped up to a simple catch all. For years ive felt like something was off. Ive been scared ive had cancer or something cronic for years now with no explanation.
I also remember my dr. Tellling me something at the time, i cant seem to find anywhere. She had mentioned that the implanton came in different doses. Now i remember her saying one was short term 2-3<years, then 5-8<years, and (this is what i cant find online anywhere) and a 8-10<years..... i thought i chose the middle dosage, but i remember saying i wanted it as long as i could. Up until recently i had every intention of leaving it in for 10 years. I assume its still effective, i had been on the depo shot initally, however i got pregnate at 19 (surprise!) when the depo was at its peak effectivness (first shot, 2.5 mo later second shot, 2 mo later on dec. 25th, i conceived (hadnt had intercourse months before and months after). I found out at 6 weeks, and it all developed from there.
After i birthed my perfectly healthy girl, i breastfed. I waited almost 3 months before getting on birthcontrol again, terrified of gatting pregnant too soon.
Needless to say, its 8 years later and ive barely had a period, let alone another unplanned pregnancy. Which is concerning cuz my family is kinda known for having babies, both young and later in life.... but something tells me i dont have ta worry about that, if anything i feel like if i wanted ta have kids i wont be sucessful with a dr.s assistance.....
Most importantly, ive been feelin worse and worse every year, and im starting to feel like I have cancer or organ failure or some other silent killer.
The last 5 years, my symptoms have not only compiled but have become at times unbareably severe. Ive made a list of the symptoms ive been cronically suffering since 2013.....


-Nausea and severe motion sicness

-Hypoglycemia / low blood sugar

-Ringing in the ears that may pulsate with your heartbeat

-Auditory hallucinations/hearing music or voices when nothing's there

-Headaches with no warning/lightsensitivity/ like my skull is in a vice (lasting for hours)

-Double vision

-Blurry vision with dark and dimm blaches

-Seeing flashes of light/ burning brightness even when eyes are closes

-Shaking and blurry vision that comes in waves

-Neck, shoulder pain on my left side

-Dangerously high blood pressure (

-Numbness/sleepy tingling sensatiom in my face around mouth and eyes

-Numbness from my face down my left arm to my fingers.

-Extemely painful swollen/locked joints, esp my wrists and fingers (a friend tried to force my finger apart once. The next day my hands were blue lookin like someone drew in my tendens with a black sharpie... drs could explain it. Said it was anxiety and dehydration... but it happens almost monthly now)

-Shorness of breath and labored breathing

-Irragular heartbeat and anxiety


-Insomnia and trouble sleeping

-Weakness and fatigue

-Frequent mood swings

-Irregular bleeding/dark blood, months or years without period

-Pevic pain and ovarian cyst

-Abdominal pain

-Pharyngitis/cronic tonsillitis/sore throat

-Leukorrhea or irregular discharge

 I guess im just wondering what to do and whether my symptoms are being caused my my implation. Im also currious whether i was Misinformed by my dr about when to have my implanton removed. If it wasnt for the comercials on tv, i wouldnt have even know to ask for help or that my birthcontrol may be why im having these life hindering symptoms.

Thank you for your time,

Nissa N. Kinyon

Posted by

Does pseudo tumor ever cause loss of hearing in one ear? I have lost almost 100 percent of my hearing in my left ear. My ear doctor feels it is from a benign tumor in my brain.

Posted by

After reading the post, I decided to write. My daughter has been diagnosed with pseudotumor Cerebri last month. For several years, she has been as diagnosed as having complex migraines which causes paralysis in one side of her body. It had gotten to the point where the hospital no longer was concerned they would just send her home. She is now 21 and had a problem noted when I took her for her eye exam. She has been to the neurologist and opthamologisy. Last month she had a spinal tap and they placed her on medications to relieve the fluid. They had given her depo provera and ortho Evra in the past to help with the hormones and the menustral cycle. Please contact .
Thanks, a concerned MOM

Posted by

I was diagnosed as having Psuedotumor Cerebri by a neurologist in 2004. I came to him complaining of severe headaches since 1980. I took Excedrin Migraine formula everyday as I do now for daily headaches. Only now I realized that that was the year a GYN doctor treated me with hormones… birth control pills… that prevented me from ovulating in order to treat my endometriosis. However, after several months on the drugs and the bad headaches, I decided to have a hysterectomy instead. I have has spinal taps in 2005 and a case of sixth cranial nerve palsy in 2005 which eventually cleared up after a few months of double vision on my left side. Sense 2012, I have been having trouble walking and am now living in a power wheel chair. At one time one of my doctors suggested I have a shunt put in. This is one of the worst diseases ever and I pray for all who have encountered it.

Posted by

I was diagnosed with PTC in February 2013, but had been unknowingly been living with the symptoms for years. I only found out because my eyes were getting worse and when I went for an exam, it was found that my optic nerves were inflamed.I was then sent to a neuro-opthalmalogist and after that, all hell ensued. I'd been on oral birthday control before, but that was more than 20 years ago. I'm interested as to whether the birth control could have been the cause.

Posted by

I was diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri in November of 2009. My first symptoms I believed I was having a stroke cause my whole right side of my body went numb, I had no clue who I was or my family and I had a 3 year old daughter at the time who is now 8. DOCTORS had no clue what was wrong with me but still sent me home, i went to 3 diff. Hospitals 3 diff. Times. I started not being able to see so i went to my eye doctor he did special scans of my optic nerve and they were swollen and I was bleeding behind my eyes if I would've waited I would have went blind, he knew exactly what was wrong with me. (I cried i started thinking i was crazy, doctors actually told me to stop making stuff up) I had the Implanon birth control in my arm at this time. I had my 1st spinal tap thanksgiving day 2009.(this was the next day after my eye doctor appointment). I had my implanon removed February 2010 I was bless to be pregnant with my 2nd daughter,who was Jan 2011 I took loloesrgin until 2014 then I got the nexplanon Oct of 2014 and all my problems started all over again I had my 2nd spinal tap august 2015 now planning my 3rd plus maybe planning a shunt surgery. I had my Nexplanon removed March 2016 because I'm 100% sure their the reason why I have Pseudotumor Cerebri!!!!! Please consider my case thank you

Posted by

Ever since I started taking birth control in 2012 I started having sight issues and weight gain. After that I started getting migraines every so often then it switched to bad headaches every month at least 2 times a month. I thought I was fine and was just adjusting still, and soon after I would be in the middle of doing something and blackout and have to sit somewhere. In addition to the blacking out I get very dizzy and just think I'm doing to much at the time. I haven't been to the doctors because I have been scared of if I do have any health issues(not good with doctors). I'm just asking if this is something I should get checked out or if its similar to anyone who has gotten diagnosed with Pseudotumor?

Posted by

I was diagnosed with pseudo tumor in 1994. I have had 4 brain surgery's and I don't remember how many surgery's to put it in my back but those wouldn't take. I can't count how many spinal taps I had before the finally put the VP shunt in. I have vision loss in both eyes. I started taking birth control when I was 12 or 13 for bad monthly visits. They told me if I lost weight that it would help. I lost 152 pounds for 10 years and I got down to 129 pounds. It didn't change anything. I still had the pseudo tumor. The headaches are one of the most difficult things to go through besides all of the pain with the surgery's. I am glad they are finding out this because I hated it when they told me that it probably was my falt because I was big. Well when I lost all that fat they couldn't say anything then but good job. If it was the birth controls falt. Well im sorry but I suffered along time and im still suffering. If they can get us something for our pain. Then im glad because we deserve something for years of pain.

Posted by

Mine was actually diagnosed around 2007, it has since then mostly went away with some damage to my retinals mostly in my left eye. This was never something I would have ever thought could happen to me, just like the next person, right. Reading about it sounds just like the issues I went through with the birth control that I was on, so I guess I'm going to be checking into this more deeply.....

Posted by

I was officially diagnosed withe psuedotumor cerebrai in May 2015. I have had horrible headaches and blurred vision for years. My doctor kept telling me it was stress headaches. Nothing seemed to help with the pain anymore and I was getting worse and worse. I told my family I wanted to die that is how bad the pain was. I took the depo shot for a while and had to stop due to extreme migraines. I went to 3 hospitals where I live and the first 2 I felt just pumped me full of medicine and sent me on my way. The 3rd hospital -University Hospitals put the VP shunt in. The next morning I woke up and my headaches were gone. I cried being so happy to not have that pain. Thru all of this I couldn't work and I have 2 sons to support. Not making any mone is rough and trying to ask family to help is so hard. I hope they can do something with this lawsuit.

Posted by

I was diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri in June 2014... it went away for about 6 months and just came back in November 2015. I have been on BC for a while but I have been on BC way longer than I have been diagnosed with this pseudotumor...

Posted by

I was diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri in 1996. After having eye surgery in NYC I lost vision in my right eye and some in my left. I also had a shunt placed in my spine connecting to my stomach. I've had many spinal taps, shunt replacement surgeries and now I'm learning that this could have been cause by the use of birth control pills. I was on BC pills back then but don't recall the name. It's been almost 20 years since I've suffered with this disease and am finally hearing that there could be a possible cause. I need to know more....

Posted by

I was diagnosed with pseudo tumor in 1998. I had 3 spinal taps many hospitalizations and a shunt placement. I have permanent vision loss. I previously was on birth control but was 7 weeks pregnant at time of symptom onset.


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