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Nuvaring Pulmonary Embolism Can Be Deadly

According to a Danish report, some women using hormonal contraceptives other than birth control pills have an increased risk for serious blood clots.


These alternate hormone-releasing birth control methods include skin patches, implants and vaginal rings. According to the researchers, to reduce the risk, women who use these should consider switching to safer birth control pills.

Nuvaring Blood Clot Risks

Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that typically originates in the legs and can travel to the lungs, where it becomes a pulmonary embolism, which can be deadly.

Study Findings

The transdermal patch and vaginal ring have at least a sixfold increased risk of venous thrombosis as combined pills with desogestrel or drospirenone, a risk which is about twice the risk among women using second-generation pills with levonorgestrel.

According to the researchers, women should be informed about these risks in order to be able to choose the most appropriate hormonal contraceptive product, there are hormonal contraceptive alternatives which confer less or no risk of venous thrombosis.

The findings were published May 10 in the online edition of the BMJ.

Women who used a vaginal ring had a 6.5 times higher risk. There was no reduction in risk with the long-term use of a patch or vaginal ring.

To reduce the number of women who develop clots from these riskier birth control methods, the authors advised that more women choose the safer birth control pills.

Take Home Message

Combined oral contraceptives with levonorgestrel or norgestimate confer half the risk of venous thrombosis than oral contraceptives containing desogestrel, gestodene, or drospirenone.

Progestogen only pills do not confer an increased risk of venous thrombosis
Women who use combined contraceptive transdermal patches are at an increased risk of venous thrombosis about eight times that of non-users of hormonal contraception.

Vaginal rings increased the risk of venous thrombosis 6.5 times compared with non-use of hormonal contraception.

The risk of venous thrombosis was not significantly increased with use of subcutaneous implants or the levonorgestrel intrauterine system compared with non-use of hormonal contraception.

Nuvaring almost 7 times the risk of venous thrombo-embolism, so tell me again, why is the Nuvaring still on the market?

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