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!