GERD, Perimenopause, and Birth Control Pills

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 7/27/2011 1:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I am in my mid 30's. I went to my GYN back in the spring before I developed indigestion/GERD. Due to my heavy, long periods and increased irritability she said I was perimenopausal. She gave me a prescription for a low dose birth control pill that I never filled. about 3 months ago I noticed I was having indigestion and reflux. The indigestion, belching, and nausea is absolutely horrible when I am on my period. I can't think straight because I feel so bad during my period. 15 days ago I went to my GP for the GERD and she prescribed 40 mg Nexium which I am taking. It only helps a little bit. I forgot to mention my perimenopause symptoms to my GP. My question is: Has anyone had GERD improve by taking birth control pills? I am wondering if I stabilize my hormones with birth control pills if it will help with the GERD.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 7/27/2011 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I think you are correct in the fact that the birth control pills will help stabilize your hormones and that very well may help with GERD, along with your nexium. I am 48 and am in the deep trenches of peri-menopause and I have developed GERD/Gastritis as well. Like you, my period makes it much worse and yesterday and today have been particularly bad. If you are not feeling a lot of relief from the Nexium then I would try the birth control pills and see if it helps, it is worth a try if it can make you feel better.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 8384
   Posted 7/27/2011 3:30 PM (GMT -6)   
likehome, did your gyn do any tests to establish whether you were in fact perimenopausal? A blood test on day 2 or 3 of your menstrual cycle will tell you what your baseline FSH is - this is a good measure of where you are relative to menopause. Fertile women have baseline FSH less than 11, menopausal women have baseline FSH over 50. You need to be off the pill I think to get a good measure of this hormone.

The upper GI gas you're experiencing may be due to some lactose intolerance, which is very common and gets more prevalent as we age. Cut back on milk and soft cheese, or use a lactase tablet (Lactaid brand works well) when you're having these kinds of foods and see if that helps.

Sometimes you have to try a few different ppis to see what works best for you. I used Nexium for a few years without much relief and then switched to Prevacid which worked like a charm.
49 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), mesalamine enema as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 7/27/2011 5:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone for your advice. My GYN did not do any tests. I will request a blood test if I do not get any relief in the next couple of weeks. I did notice milk makes me very bloated and sick feeling so I switched to Almond Milk. I'm glad to hear that Prevacid worked well for you. I may try that after my remaining 15 tablets of Nexium are used.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 7/27/2011 5:27 PM (GMT -6)

You might find this interesting re hormones and the LES pressure. I'm of perimenopausal age but symptomless from that point of view. However the interstitial cystitis and the GERD have appeared over the last 12 months. My IC is hormonally sensitive, being very painful on days 21 to 23, which is at the progesterone peak. My GERD is very like the reflux I had during pregnancy, which was not really to do with the increased abdominal pressure seeing as it started in the first month each time! The pregnancy hormones gave me very bad nausea and reflux (vomiting 8 times a day!).

I have read elsewhere about when oestrogen starts to drop off, you get more exposure to progesterone because there is less oestrogen to oppose it, so we get symptoms of being progesterone dominant. I think it was in a book called "What doctor's don't tell you about the menopause" (there's a perimenopause book too).

I have considered using Mexican yam type natural oestrogen stuff to see if it altered my cystitis or GERD, but it's not cheap. But at 45 I do wonder if my hormones are behind any of my current problems, despite the lack of any menopausal symptoms.

New stuff: GERD. Interstitial Cystitis
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies, eczema, asthma

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 7/27/2011 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks MMM. I will check out the site you recommended. I did read about the yams and natural estrogen on a website somewhere else before. This GERD is wearing me down.
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