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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am new to your forum but have already found lots of helpful advice - thanks! I am a 32 yr old healthy female and have never had any bowel problems UNTIL 5 months ago when i started taking birth control pills. I took ortho tricyclen for 1 month and then switched to Lo and then back to regular. Within weeks I was having symptoms which I learned later are all IBS related: bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, bloody stools, painful bowel movements, you name it. I had a good feeling it was related to the BC but my Dr said I was crazy. She tested me for parasites and this came up negative. I have been waiting all this time for an appointment with a Gastroenterologist (thanks HMO, takes this long before you can even see someone to get diagnosed!!). In the meantime, I couldn't help but try to alleviate the symptoms by going off the pill (much to the annoyance of my boyfriend!). I stopped taking the pill one week ago and have felt MUCH better. I had a flare up again today but otherwise, am hoping I am on the right track! Here are my questions for you knowlegable people:1. for those of you who thought your IBS was related to the pill, how long does it take before the pills clear your system and you feel better?2.) once you have IBS is it here to stay - or does this differ?3. what other BC can i take? i am not ready for a baby! i am leaning toward an IUD. i don't want anymore hormones after all this has happened! any experiences with IUDs out there?i just want to be healthy again! this has been an emotionally devasting experience and i feel like my body has turned against me. i have tried the IBS diet, tried to regulate dairy and fried foods and CANNOT pin point what causes the flare ups? I never know if it is something from that day or from the day before? it is like shooting in the dark?? i feel so helpless!!any help is much appreciated. thank you!maggie!
 

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hey maggie500! i am also a new member on this site & i've found it sooooo helpful. i've been on the pill for over 12 years. it has never affected me. i take tricyclin lo, maybe you could try that one. i am like you there is no chance that i am ready to have a baby!i was diagnosed with IBS-C only a few months ago. finding out my trigger has been a nightmare as well. i've gone for numerous tests thinking that it is wheat & its always come back normal. so i agree that it is very frustrating! you are not alone. one of my friends has the same symtoms as you & she finds that it is anything that is fried. if i were you i would keep a daily journal of what you eat & then how you feel. when you go see the specialist ask for "dicetel" that works for my friend. i just hope i spelt it right. so hang in there!
 

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I started birth control pills (ortho-tricyclen) when I was 20. I few months afterward I got the IBS symptoms (bloating, C, gas, naseau). I have since tried all other forms of BC and the only one I've found to not cause symptoms is the NuvaRing. I'm now 27, and recently quit smoking and have found much relief to my symptoms. Good Luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks guys! IBS is so mysterious and embarrassing! that is why this site is SO AMAZING! i am not alone, yippeee! i recently started smoking again so that may irritate the IBS although it started right around when i started taking BC pills and was not smoking. i think fried food and coffee might be irritants but i have found dairy to help settle my stomach, not hurt it. i guess everyone is different and it is so hard to tell what is doing what to you! hopefully the Dr will be able to test some of this. also, i am hoping some of these symptoms will go away now that i am off the pill. i wonder how long it takes for the pill's hormones to leave your body?? let's just hope i don't get pregnant by accident! i'm using a diaphram right now but they take a lot of planning! the IBS has also put a damper on my sex life. hard to explain to my boyfriend that my insides feeled like the yare full of acid!!oh well, thanks again!!
 

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I had GI problems before the pill and actually did better taking a monophasic pill continuously, which evened out my hormone levels. I always had worse symptoms during my period. Triphasic pills like you've been taking have a more "natural" progression with three levels of hormones in the pill rather than one. I've never tried them and have no desire to.I strongly suggest adding condoms to your birth control routine, in addition to your diaphragm, if you really don't want to get pregnant. I was a pill + condoms girl for years. I did NOT want to get pregnant. Plus condoms are a good idea to help prevent diseases.Stress is a major trigger of my IBS. It's quite possible that if you're in a new relationship, or if you're newly sexually active (first time ever or after a break), the stress could be contributing to your symptoms. Even if you're really excited about how things are going with your guy, the changes can still be stressful. And having to deal with IBS symptoms in themselves can be pretty anxiety-inducing!You really should wait until after your appt with the GI doc to be sure it's "just" IBS. Some other things can have similar symptoms, and have different courses of treatment. In the meantime some of our posts might help you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmm, thanks for your thoughts. I've been in this relationship for a while so I don't think it is the stress from that. I do have a pretty stressful job but no more or less than it has always been. I also go through periods when I work so much that I don't sleep regularly and I think that might be a trigger. Hopefully the GI can sort this out and I can get back on track. It's been 9 days of the BC and I am feeling MUCH better! Hope this keeps up! I am still pretty convinced it was the pill that started the IBS. I never had symptoms previously.As for future birth control, I am leaing toward the IUD. No hormone changes and I can leave it in. I have to research more though.thanks again!
 

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Maggie500:It can take up to about 3 months to get your body used to the pill. I'm on Yasmin, and when I first started on it, I had the cramping, nausea, etc.. After about 3 months, all of the nausea, cramping and diarrhea went away. I still have IBS whenever I eat the wrong foods or when I'm extremely stressed out. I have had IBS ever since I was a kid. Your body is not used to the hormones and that's why you have IBS symptoms. The problem with IUD is tissue scarring. I have heard getting pregnant after taking out the IUD is difficult. NuvaRing is much better since there is no tissue scarring. Buttmunch
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
cool, thanks. I'll look into the NuvaRing. I was on the pill for 5 months which is why i am going to see what happens when i am not on it for a bit. i just have this gut (no pun intended) feeling that the pill was what caused my IBS. i have been SO much better in the week that i have been off it that i think that may have been the problem. sounds like everyone is different though and the pill actually helps some people! still, because so many women have IBS and so mnay women are on the pill - it does make me wonder if there is a connection?? hard to find the right balance!after 5 months of suffering from IBS, i have HUGE RESPECT for all of you who have suffered for SO LONG! i didn't even know what this was until 5 months ago! it is awful and painful and it changed my lfie. if i am lucky enough to get past this, i will be a more humble and grateful person. everytime i have a normal BM i am THANKFUL!!! what a huge change in perspective! like a near death experience!!
 

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Hi Maggie,I have had IBS symptoms since I was about 8 years old but never as severe as recently ( I am now 24) I Have been the combined pill for 6 years and looking back things did seem to go down hill then. I have tried pretty much everything to keep this IBS under control and one day noticed that when I had the week break in my pill even though I was menstruating I felt far less abdominal pain, diarrera and nausea. So about a week ago I asked my dr to change me to the mini pill which doesn't contain estrogen. I can't believe how much better I feel its been a week now and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I carry on seeing an improvement! I believe that I have got IBS and always will but that the pill made my symptoms so much worse. Still getting occasional cramps but hey I can cope with that! Hope you carry on feeling good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Katie,Glad the mini-pill works for you - how awful to have symptoms for SO LONG! I am still feeling better now that I am off the BCP but still have some odd gas during bowel movements. Still, the IBS is MUCH improved! I went to a GI Dr and he said that maybe I had a blood clot or something like that and that it would go away now that I am off the BCP? interesting theory. he basically was like, it's getting better so you don't need me. Not too helpful, I waited months for that appointment!?Anyways, I am gonna wait a bit longer before trying a different BCP but this has been SO MUCH BETTER since I stopped! Hope you stay better too!
 

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quote:Originally posted by squeak831:hey maggie500! i am also a new member on this site & i've found it sooooo helpful. i've been on the pill for over 12 years. it has never affected me. i take tricyclin lo, maybe you could try that one. i am like you there is no chance that i am ready to have a baby!i was diagnosed with IBS-C only a few months ago. finding out my trigger has been a nightmare as well. i've gone for numerous tests thinking that it is wheat & its always come back normal. so i agree that it is very frustrating! you are not alone. one of my friends has the same symtoms as you & she finds that it is anything that is fried. if i were you i would keep a daily journal of what you eat & then how you feel. when you go see the specialist ask for "dicetel" that works for my friend. i just hope i spelt it right. so hang in there!
HI,I've also been on the birthcontrol for about 11 years ... I was wondering if being diagnosed with IBS and still taking the pill will worsen this condition??I was also wondering if u have problems with belching/burping and gas usually AFTER MEALS with growling, bubbling, gurgling, rumbling noises that start in the throat and go towards the intestines ... it's VERY wierd ... and FRUSTRATING
THANKS
 

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I definitely connect birth control with the onset of my IBS... when i began to take b.c. i got every imaginable symptom.. heart palpitations, fainting, nausea, and what turned out to be IBS... i stopped taking the pill after 5 months, but the symptoms have continued to this day.. also, when i took birth control for a month in high school (i am 29 now) i had IBS-type symptoms. i wonder if the hormone changes from b.c. set off some sort of hormone imbalance.. which is now fueling my IBS... i still have occasional anxiety, racing heartbeat, sleeplessness... on top of the IBS...very strange as i am a very happy person with a rad life.. this is seriously harshing my mellow. any thoughts...?
 

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Hi Everyone,I'm new to this board. I googled IBS and birth control and found this post, and felt i had to contribute!I have taken Ortho 777 for about 7 years (and recently its Italian equivalent, since i moved here); have had IBS since puberty, and am now 30 years old and have taken control with yoga and diet. They pulled my pill off the market with no notice. So, 2 weeks ago i switched to Nuvaring and have been so nauseated that I have missed every day of work since I started. The doc told me switching should be good for my stomach. I'm at a loss! I'd say this is the best birth control ever, since having sex with permanent nausea, occasional migraines, and an o-ring in an uncomfortable place is highly unlikely! I don't want children cuz i can't deal with the morning sickness (i have that without pregnancy!), so I guess i need a new pill.It seems like nuvaring can cause an upsetting hormonal balance, just like an oral contraceptive. After all, it is hormones. The gynocologist said it was not likely to cause nausea, but she doesn't know my stomach!Thanks to everyone for their advice to the member who posted this original question; i think i might give that mini pill a shot (i was always sick on pre-period, off-pill days). Think i'll check out the rest of this board and see what else I might learn!thanks again, Alexandra
 

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Hi Everyone, I'm new to this forum and just wondered if anyone can relate to my symptoms.I came of the bc pill in september and my IBS-D symptoms started then. It seems most of you on this forum started IBS while on the pill but i was fine (i was on the pill microgynon for 7 years). My problems started about a month after finishing my last pack. I started to feel really bloated then started having diarrhea most mornings, i also always have the feeling of not emptying my bowel properly and in the last month my stomach is making really loud gurgling noises especially after eating and i have awful gas!
I have been so worried that i have something serious wrong but my dr has examined my stomach and given me a rectal examination (not nice!) and said everything seems normal. I hope it is just the hormonal change and that gradually the symptoms will ease. I'm really worried that i could have this long term now.Has anyone else had a similar experience? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.ThanksTracey
 

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Hello,I have always ad the worse time with IBS while on the pill. My IBS started 2.5.93 when I was pregnant, took from then until 1996 to get a proper diagnosis. I am a big "cycle girl" so I watch to see when mine is the worse. Always around my period. I have tried birth control many times and NEVER have been able to take it without stomach problems. I have tried the ring as well, still the same thing. It is definitely hormone triggered. I have been diagnosed with polysistic ovaries since 6/06 and wouldn't take the pill because of the stomas stuff, tried the sugar med that was suppose to help me, it didn't, made me feel like I had the flue, since then my sugar has been out of control and now I am diagnosed pre-diabetic. To make things worse, because of the ovary pain I wanted to try the pill one more time, reluctantly however, and finally did. I tool my first one last night, and today had a huge bout with the IBS, ended up in the bed and on all the IBS meds. I am searching to see if just one dose can do this. So, Maggie, yes the pill could have brought it on because of the hormones! Sorry for the reality and I hope that you find an alternative that suits you. Take heart though, eventually you will learn how to deal with the IBS but it does take a long time sometimes and lots of different meds. One more thing, I was told last year by my GI that thyroid being out of whack will also cause problems with IBS.Good luck ladies.Dawn
 

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I was wondering the same thing...when I was going through all of my gastro testing I went to the gyno to rule out anything woman related because it seemed like my symptoms got worse depending on where I was in my menstrual cycle. I asked her to switch my birth controls cause I have pain between periods anyway. So she switched me to Seasonique, but told me hormones really don't have anything to do with your digestive system, which I didn't believe and still don't believe.After a couple days on the pill all my right sided ab pain and stomach problems went away! Anyway, after that I was diagnosed with IBS-C and made a move for school and went to family planning to get my scrpt renewed, they don't have Seasonique because it's quite pricey, 170 bucks for 3 months..so they put my on ortho tricyclene, I gave it a try and within a week all my IBS symptoms came back and I was in pain for about 3 weeks until I figured this HAS to be hormone related cause I went to a different doc to get a sript for Seasonique again and am back on it..once again..all my symtpoms have disappeared and I feel SO much better...I still have to take my Miralax but I'm pain free and thats all that really matters to me....I guess what I'm getting at is do alot of you other gals think IBS is hormone related?? I really believe it is after all this #### with the pill
 

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Hi all, I'm new to the forum, though I've been lurking for a long time! It has never ever occured to me to try a different pill, but all of your experiences have me pretty convinced. I was also checked for a variety of gynecological issues because for a while I only got pain around halfway through my cycle. The ER doctor (who gave me one of many catscans to rule out appendicitis) was pretty sure that I was actually experiencing "mittelschmerz" which she said can be very much like PMS, with pain and digestive problems. Now that my symptoms have become much worse throughout my whole cycle, I am more convinced that I am having a functional digestive disorder, but I think it's worth considering how intimately these two systems interact. Clearly our women's problems are not necessarily the cause of our symptoms, but they certainly are contributing factors, just like stress and diet and anything else. Anyway, I am currently taking seasonale, though I still have just as bad symptoms as before. I wonder if there are any BCP that overall are more beneficial to IBS than others, or is it entirely dependent on the person?
 
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