I was wondering if I could get some clarification about Irriable Bowel Disease and birth control. I have ulcerative colitis and even though I'm not sexually active just yet, I've started thinking about my options for birth control for when I do become sexually active. For those who don't know, ulcerative colitis is an auto-immune disease, that can produce inflammation in the colon. It's believed that hormones are produced in the body that tell the immune system to send out white blood cells to the colon to fight, but there's nothing there to fight...and the colon itself is attacked and becomes irritated and inflamed.
When I watch commercials for different kinds of birth control pills, they always say "this pill is not for someone with chronic inflammatory disease"...which is kind of what ulcerative colitis is. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to take birth control pills, and decided to do some research, and see what other women online have said...it seems that for some women birth control pills have exacerbated their symptoms and for a few, they didn't do anything at all.
I trust you guy's research skills and knowledge, so I was wondering if anyone had any information on IBD (Irritable Bowel Diseases) and birth control pills, and if they are safe? And if they're not...what are my other options for birth control?
The types of birth control that would be recommended for you depend on the severity of your IBD and how it affects you. There are a range of options and in consultation with your GYN and gastro doctor, you should be able to come up with a good solution.
Looking at the medical guidelines around this, these state that the advantages of using birth control pills (both combined pills and progesterone-only pills) generally outweigh the risks in someone with IBD. In special situations such as if needing urgent surgery, having flares or if needing to be in bed for long periods, the use of pills should be reviewed and possibly stopped.
As well, if someone has severe disease in their small bowel or needs part of their small bowel removed, they may not be able to absorb pills well. In this case, your options would include barrier methods, intrauterine devices (hormonal or copper), implants, vaginal rings, patches and progesterone injections.
-------------------- "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."
Thanks eryn...that was helpful. I've tried to do some of the research, but there can be some conflicting info sometimes. I don't have a GI or a Gyno right now (can't really afford it unfortunately)...but when I do find one that I like, that is definitely one of the conversations I plan on having with her.
Fortunately, my IBD isn't THAT severe...it's no walk in the park, that's for sure haha...but my flare ups are not that regular, unlike some ppl who have them almost every other month. It's good to know that I would still most likely be able to use methods other than the barrier methods (diaphragms etc.)...call me immature, but the idea of those make me very nervous lol.
Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998
Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.