Medical Devices | Medical Drugs

Potential Dangers with Birth Control

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If you are a woman choosing to take birth control, you have the right to safe and effective medicine. Sadly, whether prescribed to prevent pregnancy, to help regulate hormones or another reason, a growing number of birth control products have been found to cause serious and even deadly side effects.

Motley Rice medical attorneys have worked for years to hold birth control drug and device manufacturers responsible for making products that studies later linked to increased risks of painful and dangerous side effects. Our lawyers have also held leadership positions in class action lawsuits involving birth control devices and prescriptions.

Among the most common side effects* for birth control drugs and devices are:

  • Blood clots
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

*See individual birth control product pages below for specific side effects associated with each.

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If you or a loved one has a birth control device or has taken birth control pills and experienced a serious side effect or wrongful death, contact our medical birth control lawyers by email or at 1.800.768.4026.

Current birth control lawsuits  

Paragard® IUD

Paragard is a T-shaped, hormone-free, device made of flexible plastic with a thin layer of copper that serves as the device’s active ingredient by preventing sperm from reaching the egg and fertilizing it. However, thousands of women and health professionals have reported severe complications, including at least 15 deaths allegedly caused by the IUD. View potential side effects.

Previous birth control case experience


Developed as a permanent birth control device, Essure has allegedly caused serious side effects ranging from chronic pelvic pain to organ perforation, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy and death. Motley Rice medical attorney Fidelma Fitzpatrick serves as lead counsel of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee for litigation coordinated in California state court.

Mirena® IUD

The Mirena intrauterine device is designed to release the hormone levonorgestrel over a period of up to five years to prevent pregnancy. The device, however, has been linked to issues of organ perforation, embedment and a complication known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Read more about our leadership role in Mirena lawsuits.


In February 2014, a $100 million settlement was reached with device manufacturer Merck & Co. to resolve close to 2,000 claims against it for allegedly causing a number of serious side effects including blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, heart attack and stroke. Motley Rice member attorney Carmen Scott served on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee of the Nuvaring multidistrict litigation. Read more.


An FDA-funded study released in 2011 found that women who took drospirenone-containing birth control pills such as Yasmin, Yaz and the generic Ocella® had a roughly 1.5-fold increased chance of developing venous thromboembolism—a condition that can cause blood clots to form in the body’s deep veins and travel toward the lungs, blocking one or more arteries. This potentially fatal side effect is in addition to the existing potential side effects associated with drospirenone, which include blood clots, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Read more.

Apart from the drug’s serious side effects, Yaz and Yasmin manufacturer Bayer not only allegedly failed to warn patients of these significant risks, it also allegedly exaggerated the effectiveness of the drug in off-label treatments such as reducing acne and treating PMDD, a more severe version of PMS. 

In 2014, Bayer agreed to pay close to $1.69 billion to settle approximately 8,250 suits brought by women who suffered venous clot injuries allegedly caused by these prescription birth control pills.

Consult a medical professional before stopping or changing any medication.

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