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Does the menstrual cycle affect the symptoms of ulcerative colitis? Can it trigger a flare-up?

By Anonymous March 23, 2009 - 2:19pm
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I am 47 years old and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis 21 years ago. I was not symptomatic until approximately 10-11 years ago. I was in remission for approximately 1 1/2 years until recently when my remicade treatments stopped working. I am now subsequently starting over it seems.
I have noticed in the last few weeks that I am experiencing hot flashes and because I am, my colitis seems to be very flared up. Is there anything I can take for menopause symptoms that won't further mess with my colitis?
In reading these other accounts, I think I am on track with thinking this is what is flaring me up, so if there is anything that is working, please let me know.
Thank you so much!!

July 5, 2018 - 11:47am
EmpowHER Guest


I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 1993, and now I am 51 years old, and in the last two or three years, every time I would start my period I would go into a flare and after my periods was done, I would still be in a flare up for days, I take all my meds plus a very high CFU probiotic. Now I have been for the last year I am in menopause mode. But this time it is a different flare up, I usually bleed with my flare ups, but this time I am not, I am experiencing bloating and diarrhea, and then constipated, I am trying to drink as much water as possible,even Gatorade, low sodium, but like I said this flare up is different, when I started again, I thought to my self wow I just stopped my menstrual cycle two weeks ago, and then I didn’t have a flare up, which I was really glad.
So this next Friday I am having a colonoscopy. I have had so many of those things because of my condition. My father died from colon cancer, and my mother died from heart disease. What can I do to prevent another flare up?

March 1, 2018 - 2:45pm
EmpowHER Guest

Looks like a shortage of information on this issue. My UC came on with my first pregnancy, flared badly with my second pregnancy and has been extremely mild for 15 years until now when I've stopped having periods. I'm not taking any drugs for the menopause, the symptoms are tolerable (so far). I've been taking asacol regularly for years.

January 27, 2015 - 9:37pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am also a female with long term UC who is finding it has flared badly recently and believe that I am in menopause (hard to tell as steroids can mess with the cycle) and wondering if this is playing a part. Have found very little research about it. Am wondering if things might improve after menopause.

November 8, 2014 - 1:46pm

Anon, thank you so much for your question.

I am assuming you have colitis, and that you're having increased symptoms around the time of your period?

The answer is yes, that symptoms do worsen (in both ulcerative colitis and in Crohn's Disease) around the time of your period, due to the changes in your levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Some women go on birth control pills to help control the symptoms.

It's also common for women with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) also have flare-ups related to their periods.

Here are a couple of resources that discuss this:


Can you tell us what specifically is happening with you?

March 25, 2009 - 8:44am
(reply to Diane Porter)

I have a question too. I am now in the menopause and my UC has flared and I am not responding to the usual UC meds. Is the menopause complicating my condition and does anyone have a solution that worked for them? Please advise. Thank you.

August 26, 2010 - 10:42am
(reply to Robin SD)

Menopause could be complicating your UC symptoms, as your hormones are changing; similar to women's UC symptoms flaring around the time of their periods since their hormones are fluctuating.

Are you currently using any type of treatment for your menopausal symptoms?

August 26, 2010 - 12:31pm
(reply to Alison Beaver)

Thank you. I take Dr. Schutze's Female drops and it prevents hot flashes.
What should I be taking? I really need to end my UC flare as it has changed my quality of life and threatens my ability to work.
My menopause has caused me to experience loss of joy/happiness, I'm moody and I was having warm flashes at night.

August 26, 2010 - 1:10pm
(reply to Robin SD)

Thank you for your additional information.

I will do some research, and see what I can find. I understand how UC can absolutely impact your quality of life. I am so sorry you are going through this.

We will get back to you soon with some more information!

August 26, 2010 - 1:29pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Alison Beaver)

I am having the same issues have responded well with Asacol to control my flair ups until I started going threw menopause. I have not been taking anything for my menopause. So I was hoping to find out more on this subject or if taking hormones has helped with getting the UC back under control.

November 3, 2014 - 9:02pm
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