American Olympic Hopeful’s Dreams Shattered After Birth Control Caused Massive Blood Clots

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 21, 2014   |   7:34PM   |   Sochi, Russia

Megan Henry was one of the top five women in the United States in the sport of skeleton. But, as she was attempting to qualify for the Olympics, a problem with her Nuva Ring birth control device brought her hopes and aspirations crashing down, and almost her life as well.

meganhenryHenry started using the Nuva Ring birth control device last summer but, within 10 days of taken it, she had a hard time breathing. Eventually her breathing got so bad she could hardly speak and doctors couldn’t determine the cause.

Eventually she was sent to the ER by one doctor who determined the device caused her massive blood clotting.

From a story about her situation.

“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.”

“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.

meganhenry2She spent 10 days in the hospital. That’s when she said she found out her Olympic dreams had been dashed. She said she had to miss a year of training, and that there was long term damage.

“If I were to have a family,” said Henry, “I’m a high risk pregnancy. The danger of me having blood clots and even the fetus is there, and that’s kind of scary to think about.”
Two years ago, Henry said she joined with 3,800 people as part of a multi-district lawsuit against Merck. Some of those people said they had daughters who died. They claimed it was because of fatal blood clots.

Just last week, Merck announced it was willing to pay $100 million to resolve the lawsuit, but 95 percent of those who filed must accept a deal first.

Henry argued that the risk of clots is significant and not as small as the company said.

While she missed an opportunity to compete in the Sochi games, she said she plans on fighting for a spot on the 2018 team that will compete in Pyeongchang, South Korea.