Is The Birth Control Pill Dangerous?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 10/31/2008 10:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey guys,

My Crohn's has been relatively stable lately, but it's always fragile. I have a pretty serious boyfriend and I was wondering what you guys thought about going on The Pill? I remember someone telling me several years ago that it could exacerbate Crohn's symptoms, but I don't know what has been determined about it since then.

I don't want to damage my health, but I would like to try it out, and I'd really appreciate any advice or information.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 510
   Posted 10/31/2008 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been on BC consistently since 16 (to induce periods) and have continued it through my Crohn's. Granted, I do not have classic Crohn's symptoms (bleeding/pain are my main issues) but I've never considered the connection until visiting these forums. Anyway, I have not had any issues with it (aside from yeast infections from the NuvaRing which could have been related to immosuppresion due to Remicade). Perhaps considering a low hormone pill (Yaz, Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo) will be good.
19, College Student, diagnosed June 2007. Asacol made me worse, Prednisone made me crazy, Remicade for 1 year, Now controlling disease with diet (wheat-free, low dairy, low sugar) and considering Humira. Had to scrap semester abroad plans due to disease, but doing well day to day.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 10/31/2008 10:59 AM (GMT -7)   
B/C pills cause bacterial/yeast over growth which can exacerbate symptoms, often women have issues with their IBD during their periods this is because of hormonal fluctuations which can also happen while taking the pill...if you're gonna take the pill be sure you're taking a good probiotic daily (which you should be regardless anyways, daily and indefinitely). But if you can find another means of B/C then that is probably your best bet.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 10/31/2008 11:04 AM (GMT -7)   
I was on and off B/C through out my late teens and early twenties, never really found one that worked well for me. Granted that was in the dim dark ages. Then about 7 years ago my periods changed and I started having really heavy periods with severe cramping. Plus my hormone levels were low and my Endocrinologist thought I needed more hormones so that I could absorb more calcium for my bones. So I started taking one of the B/C pills where you only get your period every 3 months. I love it and I haven't noticed that it has caused any changes to my CD symptoms. In fact this was my week to have my period and I didn't have any cramps, hardly any bleeding and in general not much CD going on at all. Like most things with this DD, its going to be individual though so the only way to tell will be to try it. And some brands/formulas may work better for you than others.

CD 19 years offically, 29 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Symptoms constantly but all tests show only minor ulcerations. Currently having multiple episodes of gastritis with no known cause.

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 10/31/2008 11:28 AM (GMT -7)   
That is a very individual thing, so we need to say see your doc. But I have to agree with suzanne I am better not having a period right now, so I take depo.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease
...I will find a way, or make one. -Philip Sidney 1554-1586
Make sure your suffering has meaning...
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 10/31/2008 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Here's a good link someone posted recently on the topic.

Sorry, I don't know how to activate it.

got it for you

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 10/31/2008 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I have read that it does not exacerbate symptoms when you already have Crohn's. But bc pills do make you more likely to develop Crohn's and the relative risk increases the longer you are on the pill. Something I do wonder about having been diagnosed after 6 years of bcp use...

If you are willing to risk a flare, maybe try it. But I don't recommend it unless you really NEED it. I was on pills for years and ended in the hospital over liver issues. My liver was so enlarged it went past my pelvic bone (it's supposed to fit under your ribcage). Within weeks of stopping the pill my liver enzymes were normal. And I was on one of the lowest dose pills. If you have a history of liver involvement or elevated liver enzymes, I would say to avoid it entirely and stick with barrier methods.
July 2007 Drug-Induced Liver Injury
January 2008 Crohn's Ileitis
Currently trying...
Entocort, Enteral Nutrition, Omega-3 (Flax Oil and Fish Oil), VSL#3, Vitamin E

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 10/31/2008 11:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I know when I was a teen and went on B/C pills it was after that that I started to develop the perianal crohn's skin tags, only I didn't know that's what I had as every doc that saw my skin tags told me they were just hemmies.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 10/31/2008 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I took BC pills for years and NEVER had any issues with them. They made my periods way more manageable and less painful. JMHO
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 10/31/2008 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I also have not had any problems with bc pills and have been on them for 10+ years. :)

Bad flare May '06 resulted in CD diagnosis
Asacol: 2400 mg/day; Prednisone: 1.25 mg/day; Entocort: 9mg/day; Metronidazol
Started seeing a Naturopath-Castor Oil Packs, Liquid B Complex, Floragen, Ribes Nigrum, Herbal GI, Chlorella
"Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1343
   Posted 10/31/2008 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I started taking BC pills (Lutera) a few years after I was diagnosed with Crohn's. They've never caused any problems, and have actually been very helpful by giving me a regular light period. I currently don't get a period at all because I take the active pills year round. It's great for helping my anemia!

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 10/31/2008 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I just hope you all are taking a good probiotic especially with taking B/C pills.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1343
   Posted 10/31/2008 2:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm taking Renew Life Ultimate Flora (Adult Formula 15 Billion). However, I'm going to start the SC diet soon, so these will be illegal. The have a lot of bifido strains and some FOS.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 246
   Posted 10/31/2008 4:11 PM (GMT -7)   
i find the depo quite good thou my gyno's wife has crohns so he had insider knowledge,i suggest tlking to a gyno if ur unsure i found that many docs are not very good wit prescribing B/C
dx 17 aug 2007
21 yrs old
13 dec 2007 resection/temp illeostomy 14 feb 2008 temp illeostomy reversed 
150mg azamun
3000mg pentasa

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 10/31/2008 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm another of the people here who are very grateful to be on the Pill. Pill-less I have horrendous periods that exacerbate my Crohn's: each period the Crohn's would get worse and I'd never recover before my next period, which would make me even sicker, on and on until I would be in a terrible, uncontrollable flare.

On the Pill I have only the lightest periods, and only a very few problems at "that" time of the month. The Pill also provides some hormones to help my bones, because I seem to be unable to produce them on my own these days (I'm not in menopause; I'm way too young; just sick).

Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 10/31/2008 4:34 PM (GMT -7)   
It can be an individual thing, just like all medications.

I've been on the pill for years and years. It does WONDERS for me. I used to have more symptoms of Crohn's around my period, and now I skip my periods with the pill. It also helps me with my ovarian cysts, and migraines that I'd get with them. So add me to the list of grateful people to be on the pill!
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL (for high blood pressure). Tapered off prednisone a month ago!

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 11/1/2008 10:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been using the birth control pill for years and it has never caused any problems with my Crohns disease.  HOWEVER, be warned that if you are having a flare up the pill will not work as effectivley as it won't get absobed so well.  just be aware that it may not be so effective if you have crohns

31 year old female from Birmingham UK.
Diagnosed with Crohns in Oct 2000
Currently taking Asacol, vit supplements, acidophilus
Not feeling too bad at the mo - apart from the pain in the bum!

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 11/1/2008 2:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had no problems with the pill. I've found that the ones that don't switch horomone levels throughout the month (monophasic) are the best for me. You might have to switch brands a few times to find one that works right for you.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 11/1/2008 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there. It's definately a trial by error process find the perfect pill with or without Crohn's. I use to be on the depo shot but I gained a ton of weight especially when I was put on pred. So now I'm on YAZ which is wonderful very very short period but my doc wants to talk about Seasonique which gives you 4 periods a year. I still have very minimal flares right before a period on YAZ, but I'll try anything to be more flare free. I use to have massive flares before with out the pill so I'll take the baby steps

26 year old female Veterinary Technician. Going through the diagnosis process since August, the fun tests start when I get health insurance in Novemeber!! Currently on Asacol 3 Tablets 3 times a day. Gall bladder removed for malfunction 11-20-07

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