Real Women – Real Stories

Do you know that the FDA has no way of knowing how many women were injured or died while using NuvaRing?  This is because unless a report is sent to the pharmaceutical company there is no requirement to report serious events.  The pharmaceutical company is the only one required to report to the FDA.  The FDA admits that less than 10% of all adverse events are reported to them.

The women here are only SOME of the women who were killed or injured by NuvaRing.  We hope you will add your story in the comment box below:


Erika Langhart: Age 24; died Nov. 25, 2011  Erika Langhart had already visited 37 countries by the time she finished college and she had a promising career ahead of her when she suddenly collapsed in her apartment in Arlington, Virginia. Hospital records cited NuvaRing, which she had been using just over four years, as a risk factor for causing multiple pulmonary embolisms. She died on Thanksgiving. Her parents, Rick and Karen, believe Merck, the pharmaceutical giant who makes the NuvaRing, did not do enough to warn women. “It’s billions and billions of sales a year and you know they consider my daughter an acceptable risk factor. She was not an acceptable risk factor,” Rick Langhart says, “She was the love of my life.”

Amy Westbrook: Age 22; died Nov. 18, 2009  Amy Westbrook was described by her father as “Daddy’s little girl.” According to her parents, Ron and Sandy, their youngest daughter began using the NuvaRing after she met the first real love of her life. “She did what she thought was right by getting on birth control,” her parents said. “She just got the wrong kind, and it cost her, her life.”

Julia West Ross: Age 29; died March 15, 2013  Julia West Ross was married just five weeks before she died and had been using the NuvaRing for two years. She experienced “tunnel vision” as she left work and went home to rest. She went to the hospital the next day feeling ill and had difficulty breathing. The NuvaRing was removed in the hospital when she was admitted to the hospital. They treated her for septic shock, but no infection was ever found and she went into cardiac arrest.  Her autopsy showed she died of massive bi-lateral pulmonary embolisms and a deep vein thrombosis. Julia confidently used NuvaRing, as it was confidently prescribed to her by Planned Parenthood. Dru and Joe West, Julia’s parents say, “Our family will never be the same. We lost a beautiful, intelligent, kind, outgoing and loving daughter, sister and wife. No young woman should die because she was being responsible by using birth control.”

Jackie Bozicev: Age 32; died December 7, 2007  Jackie Bozicev’s children were two years and six months old when she died at age 32. Her son Matthew found his mother collapsing on the bathroom floor calling for his father, Rob. According to her autopsy report, the cause of death was massive pulmonary thromboemboii as a result of deep vein thrombosis. The NuvaRing was still in place at the time of the autopsy.

Heather Lee Thomason: Age 25; died Aug. 5, 2012  Heather Lee Thomason’s family described her as the “picture of health” before she died. She was working and going to school, and she had just bought her first house with her fiancé. Her dad, Ted Thomason, described his daughter as “the light of my life.” Her sister, Michelle, said, “My mother’s heart will never heal, my father will never be the same, her boyfriend will never get over her, her friends and family will never stop missing her, and I will never recover.”

Brittany Malone: Age 23; died Dec. 6, 2012 Brittany Malone collapsed when she was visiting her two sisters after complaining her legs felt tired. Doctors found evidence of multiple blood clots in her right leg. It was stated in her medical report: “The patient did have a NuvaRing which had been removed, likely related to patient’s extensive DVT in the right leg.” Her parents, Joe and Dana, said, “Brittany was a very loving, caring and compassionate person with a great sense of humor…she truly had a heart of gold.”

Lyndsey Agresta: Age 27; died Jan. 18, 2009 Lyndsey Agresta was mother to five-year-old Dominic had been using NuvaRing for barely a month, when she began suffering a migraine headache. According to her medical records, Agresta suffered hemorrhaging in her brain that caused a stroke, which doctors believe developed from Lyndsey’s use of NuvaRing. Doctors surgically removed two-thirds of her right cerebral hemisphere and transferred her to a long-term acute care hospital, where paralyzed, she was confined to her bed. She died seven months later, battling an infection acquired in the hospital.

Dana Jenn: Age 40; died: July 15, 2005 Dana Jenn, a wife and mother of four, had been using the NuvaRing for less than two months when she collapsed while walking on a treadmill as part of her marathon training. She was working out with her oldest daughter, Sarah, who said Jenn had difficulty breathing and then collapsed suddenly. According to the medical examiner report, the cause of death was a “Pulmonary embolism due to or as a consequence of deep vein thrombosis.”

Angela Marie Miller: Age 28; died December 30, 2013  Angela was a beautiful, vivacious women, full of life, and always had a smile on her face.   Angela was found unconscious on the ground in her apartment parking lot. When the ambulance arrived the only thing she could communicate was that she couldn’t breath. She was quickly incubated to help her breath.  Her heart stopped on the way to the hospital where they were able to revive her. Her heart stopped two more times while in the emergency room due to blood clots discovered in her lungs.  Angela was moved to ICU. But within an hour her heart stopped again. After 30 minutes they pronounced her dead. She died from pulmonary embolisms.

Jenifer Kmetz, Age 30; Died June 15, 2012 Jenifer had been prescribed NuvaRing by her gynecologists as a birth control measure. Jenifer was a registered RN and the mother of two young children, ages seven and one years old.  She died from pulmonary embolisms and had a DVT.

Ann Tompkins; Age 43; Died February 23, 2009 Ann died of a pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot in her lungs. Ann began using NuvaRing five months earlier. Tompkins, a mother of two, was found dead in her home by a family friend.


Megan Henry (survived) An elite athlete who competes in skeleton, a type of high-speed downhill sledding, Megan Henry’s Olympic dreams were threatened back in August 2012 following a scare involving the NuvaRing. She had been using the birth control device only a few weeks when she said she couldn’t complete basic training tasks. “It’s like an elephant was sitting on my chest all the time,” Henry said. She was later hospitalized and doctors told her she’s lucky to be alive. According to her hospital discharge papers, NuvaRing was listed as “probably the risk factor” for her pulmonary embolism. Henry said occasionally she gets a sharp pain in her chest, and even though she started off-season training at a disadvantage, she said she feels “pretty much back to normal.”

Alex Ingley (survived) Alex Ingley was a 21-year-old college student when she began using the NuvaRing. Within three months, she said multiple, pulmonary emboli filled her lungs and she underwent massive thoracic surgery to save her life. “There wasn’t a doctor I met, before or after my surgery, who said I shouldn’t be alive.”

Kristen Terry (survived) Kristen Terry, a Pre-K teacher and mother of four children, had only been using the NuvaRing a few months when she suffered a bilateral pulmonary embolism in October 2007. She said she continued to have chest pain after she was discharged and became scared of dying but she considers herself a survivor.

Shauna Conway (survived)  Shauna Conway was 24 years old when she suffered bi-lateral pulmonary embolisms. She said she woke up early one morning in extreme pain and coughing up blood. She was rushed to the ER and hospitalized for nine days. According to her complaint filed against the manufacturer, she was instructed at the hospital to stop using the NuvaRing. “I want girls and women to be aware of the risks involved in this product. If it happened to me it can happen to anyone.”

Kristina Buckner (survived)  Kristina was fit, healthy, and attractive when she developed potentially fatal blood clots. Buckner says her injury came from NuvaRing. “I’m very lucky I went to the hospital when I did.” Kristina was hospitalized for 12 days with the blood clots. Since then her medical bills continue to mount, she suffers pain from scar tissue and faces a lifelong threat of the blood clots reappearing. “What goes on in my head, am I going to be as lucky next time, that’s how I live,” says Buckner.

Wilma Romelien (survived) Wilma thought that using NuvaRing would help her to avoid pregnancy. That it did, but then her doctor diagnosed her with CVST and an intracranial hemorrhage – both associated wiith blood clots in the brain. Romelien is now on a daily regimen of Coumadin and forced to undergo medical treatment and monitoring for the rest of her life.

Tracy Wells (survivor) allowed us to share this post:

One year ago today, 3 weeks past my 29th birthday, I had a stroke. It was caused by the birth control NuvaRing. Due to this event I lost a significant amount of my left peripheral vision. I’m so BLESSED to say it wasn’t worse – women died. I’m not celebrating this “anniversary”, rather I’m ready to share my story, so that it may help others.

Full disclosure – I entered the class action suit, along with 3,800 other women, against the makers of this product, Merck. The final payout Merck was responsible for was 6% of what a similar case paid out, we’re talking a few millions versus a few hundred billion. Basically a slap on the wrist for a company that is knowingly selling a dangerous product to millions of otherwise healthy women, like me.

So, I didn’t settle and here’s why:

If you had a life altering stroke at 29 years old during the height of a beautiful California vacation that ripped vision and sensation from the left side of your body, would you settle?

If you spent two days in the hospital and worried your entire family, friend and professional circle, would you settle?

If you had to correct your mom in a room full of doctors that glasses wouldn’t help because the injury wasn’t in your eyes, it’s in your brain, would you settle?

If over the last 7 years you told several doctors of your experiences with migraines, never to be taken seriously, would you settle?

If you still walk cautiously through every single intersection worrying that you may not see the motorist, bicyclist or Mac truck, would you settle?

If you secretly dread shopping because it will require you to perform exhaustive and annoyingly slow eye scanning, would you settle?

If you sometimes avoid large crowds because you worry you will bump into, trip or hurt yourself or others, would you settle?

If people still ask you “how’s your vision” and you have to tell them that it’s no better, would you settle?

If something that happened to you on one day of your life is now something you think about every day, would you settle?

If you knew officials claim the type of stroke you had doesn’t “support a casual link” to NuvaRing, but the FIRST THING the ER doctors asked you to do when they identified your stroke was to remove your NuvaRing, would you settle?

If all official medical reports point directly to NuvaRing, but the courts don’t care, would you settle?

If the after insurance amount in medical bills was more than the payout, would you settle?

If you knew that other women died because of NuvaRing, would you settle?

Please share/tell my story to one person, then it’ll be worth it.



Share your NuvaRing story in the comments box below


14 Responses to Real Women – Real Stories

  1. Sylvia says:

    Hello everyone, my name is Sylvia, I am 51 years of age, last year on labor day I was in Wisconsin with my family on a mini vacation, I remember going to take a walk from a parking lot to the mall and having to sit down because I couldn’t breathe, after a few moments I was able to breathe again, we went on with our usual day but I felt uneasy about the way I felt and told my husband let’s go home. We went home and I slept thru the night, got up in the morning went downstairs for breakfast, then I went upstairs to take a shower, by the time I got to the top of the stairs I could not breathe, I tried calling for my husband and I felt this great pain in my chest, my husband rushed up the stairs and saw i was gasping for air, and called 911 right away. I was taken to the hospital and they ran all kind of test on me, they came back to me and told me I had quite a few massive blood clots in my lungs and my heart was struggling to pump blood thru my lungs, I was on the verge of having a heart attack. I was kept in the hospital for a week getting injections in my stomach and they question me about my health history, they believe the NUVARING I was using was the cause of my blood clots. I am 51 years old and the only reason I was using it was because of the hot flashes I was having, my gyne put me on it to control them, I was shocked, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, Why in the world would they put me on something that almost killed me. It has been a long and hard year for me, I am still out of breath all the time and I have developed so many health issues from this. I am hoping my health improves, and I live with this haunting fear everyday from what happened to me. I have posted a warning to all women out there, the NuvaRing has taken so many lives and it is a shame that they continue to give this to so many women. The worst part is that I couldn’t even take any legal action against the nuvaring makers because they have already settled their class action lawsuit, which I think was a complete joke, they should have made them take this off the market, how many more families are going to suffer because of their negligence.

    • jayr says:

      Sylvia, thank you so much for sharing your story. It is so disturbing that most doctors believe that NuvaRing is safe for anyone, but especially disturbing that a doctor would prescribe it for an “older” woman since the risks of blood clots escalate rapidly as we mature. This is exactly why we share the dangers. Somehow many doctors still think it is safe, most likely because the FDA continues to stand behind the belief that it is safer to have blood clots with birth control than blood clots in pregnancy. This is the pharmaceutical companies fault. I am so glad you survived. Please keep sharing your story.

  2. Dana says:

    I suffered a stroke at age 37 while using NuvaRing. I was a healthy mom of two, teacher, and involved in many activities. I currently have many side effects from the stroke that will never go away and I have quit my job because I can no longer teach on a daily basis. I am grateful things were not worse, but sad that my life is forever changed, and not for the better. The doctors can find no reason for my stroke but none have come out and said it could be directly related to my NuvaRing usage. We do know my stroke was caused by a blood clot so I do think the cause is NuvaRing related.

    • jayr says:

      Dana, Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am sorry that you went through this and now have long-term effects. Your story is important so that women understand that real women can be hurt, or killed, by NuvaRing. It’s not enough for Merck to say on page 6 of the patient information that you could have a stroke or blood clot that can cause permanent damage or death. Thank you for speaking up!

  3. Carol Pepin says:

    My daughter Shelby Pepin passed away on July 2, 2015. She was only 19 years old, very healthy and athletic. She had summer job in the city where she was attending college so was living alone. She did not show up for work so a few of the people she worked with went to her place and found her unresponsive. The coroner’s investigation states that her death was due to deep vein thrombosis which resulted in a pulmonary embolism. The only contributing factor was exogenous hormone therapy (NuvaRing). She had no warning signs that anything was wrong and we had been texting minutes before she collapsed. She was not aware of the risks of using the NuvaRing and neither was I. I still can’t believe she’s gone, such a wasted life. She was so outgoing and adventurous. I do not want this to happen to any other family. Our family is broken and will never be the same. I would like the NuvaRing to be discontinued. I know it’s all about money for Merck but no amount of money will ever replace my daughter. I also want anyone using the NuvaRing to know that you are not always lucky enough to have side effects, you could end up dead like my daughter. No birth control is worth that risk. Sometimes I think if only she had been born a boy I would still have my child.

    • Aleesha Boening says:

      my thoughts and prayers to you and your family. It is sad that you have to question if she had been a boy would you still have your child. Corporate greed has gotten out of control and it has been proven women’s health is shoved under the rug these days. The fact this is still on the market is horrible.

  4. Mary says:

    I’m 24. I tried the ring for about four days and I immediately went nuts on it. I tried to ride it out, thinking it just took time to adjust to. I got suicidal overnight and began hallucinating. I ran around acting like I was on meth. Normally I’m a happy, healthy person. I was finally able to get a moment of clarity and pop the thing out. Within a few hours I was back to normal. I truly think I almost died. It was like having a robot take over my mind temporarily. When I told my doctor she was completely uncaring and recommended I try something else, like the arm implant. It enters the bloodstream directly in a very similar way and is much less convenient to remove if there’s an emergency. She clearly wasn’t listening at all. We need to take care of ourselves and listen to our bodies.

  5. Gwen says:

    My stroke came after the lawsuit in Feb . 2014. My name is Gwen. I would love to discuss my case with someone.

  6. Diane Lijewski says:

    My name Diane Lijewski. I had stroke around this time. My children were Jordyn 3 gr. and son Nate 6 gr. my Huband work UPS, and I was a Realtor. Every morning I get & up and my kids to school. I got up got son. And daughter came down and found laying on the floor. They got me to the the hosp. my huband was at work. The said they 1% chance of living. So afters years I weren’t therepy. I had stroke I coundn’t walk, talk, eat, my right don’t work right. My life hasn’t been easy. But I see always see there with the passes away. My life goes out to.

  7. Aleesha says:

    My 2 sisters and I were all prescribed Nuvaring by 3 different Doctors. I am the youngest and my two older sisters had gotten it and loved it. I used it for 2 days and started getting light headed, nausea, and vomiting. I called the hotline for the Doctor and they said it was just side effects and my body would adjust to it. I kept it in and the symptoms continued. I was sick for a good week after and lost a lot of weight as well as had the shakes horribly. I took it out and never used it again. My oldest sister had come home from Texas. She was very healthy, didn’t drink nor smoke. No high blood pressure or cholesterol. She worked for a pulmonary and sleep specialist for year’s and she had cold like symptoms. She said it was just and upper respiratory infection and she would go the doctor as soon as she got back and get something for it. She drove back to Texas and when she got there she laid down and took a nap. When she woke up she told her husband she couldn’t breathe. They called EMT, they got her into the ambulance and she coded, they brought her back and shortly after she coded again. They could only get half of her heart started. She died of a Pulmonary Embolism Deep Vein Thrombosis from the Nuvaring. 3 different doctors, non of which told any of us the high risk factors. As 3 sisters close in age who did everything together we were presented with a birth control that we told was easy to use and was effective. We didn’t smoke and 2 of us never drank. No major health problems and pretty healthy. I lost one of my best friend’s because young women are not being warned about the high risk factors. Yes all birth control has side effects which everyone is told about but not the high risks. My life. Changed forever in July of 2008. I don’t wish anyone to experience what I have nor do I wish a parent to have to bury a child because of this. To open your door and have your mother fall into your arms and tell you your sister died was never anything I would expect. I refuse to touch any birth control. My other sister got off of it after our sister died and got pregnant and had a miscarriage. Can’t say for sure but going to say it contributed to that. Women need to be informed and this silent killer needs to be brought to the light. By ignoring it we are saying we don’t care about the women of the future.

  8. Kande says:

    I am a 29 yr old mother of 3 a non smoker/drinker have never had health problems other than anxiety/panic I have had for about 6 years now.. after the birth of my youngest son in 2011 I decided to go on Nuva ring it seemed convenient easy to use and didnt bother me at all I figured im young enough to not deal with any crazy side effects. . Well How wrong was I when may 14 2014 I came home from work and the gym as im eating lunch I feel what I think are gas pains in my rib cage my shoulder and chest as the day went on I chalked it up as gas trapped n my body or since I had jist started working out maybe I injured myself not knowing. . That night I could not get comfortable any way I laid in bed hurt eventually it hurt to breath yawn or cough on my back was the worse it felt as if I broke ribs.. in the morning I stood up an took a breath feeling very nauseous and I said to my husband we gotta go to the ER.. after 6long hours and test after test coming back normal the er doc was all but positive this was a muscular issuse and he decided to give me a cat scan.. he came back 2 hours later with results we were ready to pack up and go home& he says well I cant believe it but theres 2 small PE and your lucky you listen to your body and came in.. I had to stay 3 days in the hospital it was traumatic for me my husband my children who have never even been away from me for 1 night let alone 3 and my family.. my anxiety was threw the roof as I thought I was going to die or just thinking I could have died its been 2 wks an I still am scared I thank God every morning now to be alive.. I got all genetic testing done and every doc and specialist says the Nuva ring has done this to me.. I will be on xarelto blood thinner for 6 mos.. my recovery from the hospital stay and the anxiety attacks iv had has taken a toll on my body I cannot do much I get tired easily.. I still feel pains here and there n my chest an sides I have these clots one one each side of my lower lung lobe that I was fortunate enough to catch and that they were small enough to pass threw w.o much damage but i have no clue when they will dissolve and thinking about that freaks me out.. I have a 8 year old daughter who I will not stop worrying about this when it’s time for her to be on BC.. I am one of the lucky ones but this nuva ring has killed people I cannot stress enough to stay away from this.. I also am having a hard time adjusting to not having the nuva ring in anymore and my hormones are all outta wack my head aches on and off.. if I could go back id stay completely awy from any of it and practice pull out methaod method or invest ij condoms. . I hope my story can help somebody and save a life or a real bad scare like I have had.. God bless xo

  9. Nikkia George says:

    In July of 2007 I inserted the Nuvaring and that’s the day that altered my life. Within 2 days I became light headed and I just wasn’t feeling right. The next day I took it out and the day after that well…I don’t remember. My sister and I were living together with our children, supporting each other after our divorces. She told me I was hallucinating stating that I was going to have dinner with President Clinton because he was my favorite president. She thought I was joking. But I wasn’t eating and I wasn’t getting out of the bed. My sister told me she had to force me to eat fruit and water. The next day when I wasn’t getting better she decided to call 911 for an ambulance. By then she told me my skin had gotten really dark, I wasn’t responding to anyone, and I would talk to people who weren’t there. When the paramedics got to the house my sister told me I couldn’t even walk on my own they had to hold me up to walk me down the steps. When I got to the hospital they ran all kinds of test and they sent me home after a couple of days. When I got home I started to remember some things but it was so hazy, it was as if I was between being awake and being asleep. The doctor called my sister and told her to bring me back into the hospital right away. They found two blood clots in my brain vessels. Which caused me to have two mini strokes. That time when I went back to the hospital I can recall it all. The doctor’s and the nurses were very helpful and worked hard to get me back on my feet. Although I was overweight I had never been a person who was sick a lot. I lost almost 100lbs in a matter of a month because I had been so sick and unable to eat. When they discharged me this time they released me to my mother in Virginia (at the time I was living in North Carolina) to recuperate. So I lost my home, my kids went to live with there dad until I got better, I lost my job, i had no money but I did have my life and I was very grateful for that. It was a long road back. I also had short term memory loss. So I would literally forget what I ate a few minutes ago or if I ate at all. I would forget who I was talking to. But now I’ve gotten a lot better over time. Nuvaring caused my world to be turned upside down but God worked it out for my good. By me moving to Virginia to recuperate, I met my new husband, my children are back home with me, and we have a new edition to the family my little girl named Promise.

Leave a Reply to jayr Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s