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Birth Control Pills and Digestive Side Effects

 
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The website for Planned Parenthood suggested that if nausea and vomiting occur, try taking your daily pill in the evening or at bedtime. You might be better able to handle that queasy feeling if your activities for the day are over or if you can sleep through it.

-- Popular birth control brands containing the progestin called drospirenone have been linked to a higher risk for blood clots, and the Food and Drug Administration has ordered that labeling on these products reflect this risk.

But in regard to the digestive system, those same brands with drospirenone have come under fire for a possible connection to gallstones, gallbladder inflammation and gallstone pancreatitis, or blockage of the pancreas.

Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the drug manufacturer in regard to blood clots, gallbladder disease and other issues.

-- Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are beginning to be studied as possible outcomes of birth control pill use. A researcher presented his preliminary findings at a national gastroenterology conference in May 2012.

Dr. Hamed Khalili from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston said he found an association between birth control pills and Crohn's disease, a serious inflammation of the intestinal lining, when he studied data from the large U.S. Nurses Health Studies I and II.

"If you took oral contraceptives for more than five years, you have a threefold increased risk of Crohn's disease," he said during a Digestive Disease Week presentation.

Estrogen can change the permeability of the colon, perhaps making it more vulnerable to inflammation, Khalili said.

Hormone-laden birth control pills have a long history of success in family planning. But as with any prescription that you plan on taking for a long period of time, it's good to discuss the side effects with your health care practitioner.

Sources:

Collins, Sonya. "Comparing Birth Control Pill Types." WebMD: Women's Health. Web. 9 July 2012.
http://women.webmd.com/features/comparing-birth-control-pill-types-combi...

"Birth control methods fact sheet." WomensHealth.gov. Web. 9 July 2012.

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July 10, 2012 - 1:23pm
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