Merck’s Contraceptive NuvaRing Blamed for Ruining Olympic Hopeful's Career

A skeleton skater from Roxbury said her Olympic dreams were crushed from the results of the popular birth control device NuvaRing.

Megan Henry was one of the top five women in the country. She is also an army specialist. Henry is part of the world-class athlete program.

Megan was speeding down an icy track at 85 miles per hour when her Olympic dream came to a heartbreaking halt.

“It really flipped my world upside down,” Henry said. “I had a hard time breathing to the point where it was really dangerous. I could have lost my life from it.”

Henry started using the NuvaRing device in the summer of 2012. This device releases the hormones estrogen and progestin into the bloodstream. These two hormones work to prevent the ovaries from producing eggs.

Henry says, “Within ten days of taking it, I had a hard time breathing.”

She unfortunately continued the use of the NuvaRing device since she had not yet made the connection.

Things became worse while she trained in Utah when her breathing became so labored, she could not speak in conversation.

That is when she decided to see a doctor.  She saw a total of five doctors, none of whom could find a cause.

By the time she visited a pulmonologist in Connecticut, it was discovered that she had blood clots and sent her immediately to the Emergency Room. That doctor diagnosed her with pulmonary embolism and told her it was a result of the birth control device.

“They just said multiple blood clots in both lungs. It looks like if you took paint and splattered it like that, there were just blood clots everywhere,” Henry said.

Henry spent ten days in the hospital. That is when she found out that her Olympic dreams had been crushed. She stated that she had to miss one year of training, and that there was long-term damage.

“If I were to have a family,” Henry explained, “I’m a high risk pregnancy. The danger of me having blood clots and even the fetus in there, and that’s kind of scary to think about.”

Even after Eyewitness News contacted Merck, the manufacture of NuvaRing, they stood by the safety of its device.

Two years ago, Henry said she joined 3,800 people as part of the multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Merck. Some of those people had daughters who died. They claimed it was because of fatal blood clots.

As we reported last week, Merck announced they were willing to pay $100 million to resolve the lawsuit, however, this is contingent upon 95 percent of those who filed accepting this deal.

Although Henry missed her chance to compete in the Sochi games, she said that she plans on fighting for a spot on the 2018 team competing in South Korea.

Until then, she plans on fighting on behalf of women she said need to know why she was forced out of the race.

“I had to be very persistent,” said Henry. “I had to see five doctors, and if I listened to the first one I may not be here to tell my story.”

If you or a loved one suffered serious side effects from birth control devices, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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