IBS worse OFF of birth control?

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sylvestergirl
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 7/13/2007 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,
Found this great forum and read through posts on periods/birth control/IBS, and I wanted to see if any other women out there have had IBS reappear after they stopped birth control. I had IBS in my later teen years, then went on the pill (for totally unrelated reasons ;-) and the symptoms disappeared. I forgot all about this until 6 months ago, when I stopped the pill (I was on Necon, generic for Ortho Novum 777) and was hit with such horrible upper right side pain that I ended up in the ER. I've had CT scans, a complete abdominal ultrasound, a colonoscopy, and an upper endoscopy--and nothing has shown up. My drs ordered the small intestine barium and I am seeing a GYN to rule out endometriosis as well...but the drs seem to think it's going to turn out to be IBS (again).

Anyway, I was perfectly fine while on the pill and then boom!, I go off and all these problems start. I mentioned it to my gastro dr and he said the bottom line is that there hasn't been enough studies for anyone to really know the link between IBS and birth control. My symptoms are mainly upper right abdominal pain, multiple bowel movements (not necessarily diarrhea), headaches, mild nausea, and serious troubles during my period. It seems like most people experience an onset of IBS when they start the pill...has anyone experienced it after they STOPPED the pill? Any feedback would be great.

Thanks and be well.

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/13/2007 4:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi sylvestergirl,
Welcome to HealingWell!! :-)
I actually was the opposite... My IBS began when I got on the pill (Necon too!). It took me 7 years before I connected it. I can't really help you with this, as I am your exact opposite, but I can say hormones sure seem to play a big part in IBS. Lots of people are prescribed anti-depressants which help with seratonine levels, which in turn helps the gut (most of our seratonine is found in the intestines).
Have you thought about getting back on the pill?
Have you had your hormone levels checked? Maybe see if you can get in with an Endocrinologist.
I hope you can get this figured out...
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
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sylvestergirl
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 7/13/2007 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your reply! I went off the pill b/c my husband and I have been married over 8 years and we are trying to conceive. I was intending to be off the pill a little longer before REALLY trying, but with these issues now I am like, Okay, time to get a baby conceived, birthed, breastfed, and then back to the pill we go! :) I have read, however, that once IBS appears as a result of starting/stopping these pills that you won't necessarily return to "normal" simply by going back on/off of it. But it's a chance I am willing to take!

Anyone out there had similar experiences with IBS after STOPPING the pill?? Please respond!

7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/13/2007 4:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Sylvestergirl,
Who knows, sometimes people with IBS feel A LOT better (almost cured) when pregnant.
Good luck!
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
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scared2getsick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 126
   Posted 7/13/2007 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   
HI sylvestergirl. I too am the opposite of you but can definitely say YES to IBS and birth control pills being related. I was 18yrs old when I started the pill for polycystic ovaries and have never been the same since. (I tried 3 different ones in a year). I gained 60pds in eight months, developed major anxiety to the point that I could not be alone and developed IBS. I would get awful cramping and diharrea most every night. I almost never slept. It was horrible. The GYN I had at that time of course found no connection. I decided to stop the pill and the symptoms were all gone within a month and I lost all the weight. A few years later I tried again and all the symptoms returned (three new kinds of pills were tried). This time they were much worse and I have never really overcome them though I will one day! The IBS is awful. I hate it. I hate the anxiety too. I am lucky though, I am not nearly as bad as others on this site.

Maybe try Digestive Advantage? I have heard its great and am going to start trying it myself to see if it helps. I guess my point is, yes IBS and Birth Control are definitely related. Since I have polycystic ovaries, which involves hormone levels being off, I think those that say hormones play a big role in all of this are right. Now, we just need to find the cure for it.

I wish you and your husband the best of luck with your attempts to have children.
Always grateful for the blessings I do have!


stefanie2286
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/21/2009 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, I was shocked to read all of these posts! I am 23 years old and had my gallbladder removed when I was 19. Two years later, I started having terrbile bowel movements....to the point where I would have to run to the bathroom immediately after eating and would have to go 10-14 times a day! It was terrbile! I tried to rule out things in my diet from dairy, to coffee to wheat, etc. before going to the gastro for a diagnosis. One dr told me it was the bile irritating my intestines and he gave me a script for welchol and told me to take it for the rest of my  life. I work in the medical field and I knew this made no sense...why would I have symptoms after two years and not right after the surgery? Well, seeking another opinion, I went to another gastro and he told me I am so young and its nothing and he did not want to do any tests because I was so young. He gave me levsin which did not help, then he gave me lomotil and it has been my saving grace! It is the only thing that gets me through each day! I ended up working for a wonderful gastro and he told me it sounds like a case of bad IBS-D. It wasn't until recently that I realized I started taking an OCP (orthotricyclen lo) just a few months before the diarrhea symptoms began and due to irregular periods, my ob/gyn recently swtiched me to loestrin 24 fe. I am proud to say I have not taken my lomotil for several days now and have not had an episode of diarrhea since! I was thinking for a while..."there must be some connection between the orthotricyclen-lo and the IBS symptoms." Now, I am pretty sure there was! I was taking orthtricyclen (not orthotricyclen lo) before I had the IBS symptoms and had no symptoms at all then my dr switched me to lo. I have never had these problems before on any other type of OCP and I am glad I was just recently switched to loestrin 24 fe and I hope the symptoms don't return! 

piscesmoon68
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/1/2010 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had such bad gastrointestinal problems since going off the pill. I have been off the pill for 3 months now and have had only a few days in between since without some sort of stomach issue, not to mention anxiety attacks, back aches and bad mens. cycle. I thought it was because I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago, but thought, why now after all this time (6 years ago) or figured I had a flare up of IBS again. I even thought I was going thru perimenopause! I finally put it together and realized I started suffering from these symptoms after stopping the pill. I did some research on these forums and realized I wasnt the only one having these issues.
The reason I went on Seasonale years ago was to end this suffering and it did eventually, but when I decided to stop, was hoping that my body had changed and I would no longer have these issues..well.. again, I have had to diagnose my own health issues as I have not had any help so far. No one I've spoken too relates stomach issues with stopping birth control not even the ob/gyn nurse I spoke to. Well, going back on the pill soon and I will let you know if this helps.. God, I hope it does.. I cant take much more of this and I am not going through a series of GI tests again only to be told I have IBS.. again.

piscesmoon68
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/1/2010 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
by the way, sylvestergirl.. your post has helped me so much today and I want to thank you because I now know what has been ailing me. my plan is to quit smoking and go back on the pill.
I hope you feel better soon!
Thank you thank you!

Dagger
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 2/1/2010 11:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Endometriosis can give you IBS like symptoms. Unfortunately, in most cases, the only way to diagnosis endo is with surgery. If your doc suggests putting you on Lupron for suspected endo, read about the drug first. It helps some women but hurts others and the problems don't always go away when you stop the drug.

I hope you feel better soon.

starz003
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/11/2010 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey,
i just wanted to add to this. I stopped my birth control pill for one month all through the month i experienced IBS symptoms I even went to my doctors and got all these tests done. Anyway I found this information and definetly think it is linked. Im starting my birth control pills again to see if the symptoms will go away. I will keep you updated!

butterflies28
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/24/2010 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I was on birth control pills for many years in order to manage my menstrual cycle.  I recently stopped taking the pills because it got to be too much to remember and I found myself forgetting more often than not.  After a month or so of not being on the pill, my symptoms began.  I had dhiarrea for a month straight, where I could barely keep bread in my system.  I went through a lot of tests (colonoscopy, edoscopy) and they found nothing.  I was diagnosed with IBS and started to take medication on a daily basis for the IBS.  Still, my menstrual cycles were really heavy and unmanageable, and my dhiarrea showed up for the days I was on my period, so I began to take the pill again.  After taking the pill for a month, my symptoms are gone and I am back to "normal".  I haven't been back to my gastro yet, but I have an appointment in a week and I'm going to ask if there is a correlation between the IBS and birth control pills.  It makes me nervous to know that the birth controls help my symptoms, because I'm very young and I want kids one day.  Well that's my story!  Thanks for all of the other posts, it's good to know I'm not alone.

shawn12
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 1293
   Posted 12/27/2010 4:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Women: Special IBS Issues
It has long been known that women, especially those age 15 to 45, make up the bulk of IBS patients — approximately two-thirds of IBS patients are female.

This section was developed in response to an e-mail inquiry to us by an IBS patient. She described her elation in being freed from IBS symptoms during her pregnancy. However, one month after delivery, her symptoms returned. This prompted a search of the IBS literature for the effects of female hormones on IBS.

http://www.mindbodydigestive.com/mbdc/women-special-issues/
IBS Forum Moderator


I am not a doctor. All information I present is for educational purposes only and should not be subsituted for the advise of a qualified health care provider.

Please make sure you have your symptoms diagnosed by a medical practitioner or a doctor.

wonda
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/16/2011 6:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow! I know these posts are old but hope people are still reading this thread. I have been on the pill for over 20 years as I used to suffer severe stomache cramps and altered bowel habits since I started my periods. I had countless investigations and eventually my GP suggested I try the pill and immediately my symptoms disappeared. Every time I have tried to go off the pill since I get these pains again and become incredibly constipated. All the health practitioners I have seen have acknowledged the relationship between sex hormones and the gastointestinal system but no one has offered anything concrete. I knew I couldn't be the only one in the world with this problem so I was grateful to find this site! I am now trying to come off the pill as I hope to have children in the future but these pains are pretty hard to bare sometimes. Have any of you managed to come off the pill and conceive despite having to deal with all the pains and discomforts??? 

MarzipanChan
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/23/2012 4:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm glad I found this. I starting having IBS after I got off of my birth control pill. I got off the pill because it sometimes made me nauseous, but IBS symptoms are way worse. Not to mention, my period has become painfully unbearable. I'm having to lay out of work on the first day or take a Vicodin to get me through it! I'm going to get back on it as soon as I can. Thanks ladies.

Clare36
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/18/2016 10:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow. I am glad I found this. Yes this thread has been running over many years but I wanted to contribute for any women going through the same as myself. I came off Cerelle- progesterone only pill a few months ago. Thought I would give my body a break. It has been a nightmare ever sInce. My abdomen has ballooned and I look 6 months pregnant everyday. My emotions are all over the place. Anxiety is a daily struggle. Then the stomach cramps/ache/ pain in upper right abdomen started. The pain was excruciating. I would experience attacks every so often. Then it became everyday. So much so I needed time off work and a trip to A&E. They assumed gallstones but the scan found none. I also had nausea most days and very heavy periods that made me look ill! For fear of going through invasive bowel tests I thought I would sit down and look at what has been happening to me over the last few months. I matched my problems to coming off the pill and found some loose, small amounts of research/info on the Internet relating coming off the pill to IBS. Apparently 50% of women experience this once coming off the contraceptive.

Today I have gone back on the Pill. I will update as to whether my symptoms improve. Praying they will and thank you for the other women who have contributed to this post and made me feel I am not alone!
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