The Birth Control Pill Can Trigger Indigestion

If you have been on the birth control pill or patch or even an IUD with hormones, and you have symptoms of indigestion, it is important to find out if there is a connection between them for you.


According to Dr Andrew Weil, a pioneer of natural medicine, the use of  birth control pills can trigger heartburn symptoms.


You may be tempted  to ignore indigestion symptoms such as heartburn, stomach pain and nausea, or to blame them on something you ate. But if these symptoms are recurring they may be triggered by your birth control method.


First, the hormones can cause relaxation of sphincters that are normally not relaxed, causing symptoms of reflux. Secondly, the hormones are processed through the liver which can result in thickened bile. This in turn can cause nausea, bloating and pressure.


Symptoms of indigestion caused by birth control hormones can be an early warning sign that your body is not handling the excess hormones well. If not addressed, you may be at increased risk for more serious side-effects such as blood clots, strokes and heart attacks.


If you are on the pill and are suffering the side effects of its use, a holistic health care practitioner may help you deal with the problem naturally by supporting normal liver function.


Some tests that can be helpful to understand how to lower your risk are a routine blood panel, a hormone profile and 24 Hour urinalysis. These tests help identify which foods and supplements are most essential for you to improve your body’s hormone metabolism.


Do you know anyone who has experienced side effects from birth control medications? Please write in the comments below.


For a limited time, Dr. Rose is offering a complimentary Discovery Session for women who want to learn more about how to improve their hormone function and lower the risk of side effects from hormone medications.


Click here to apply for a free Discovery Session.


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  • Angela G

    Reply Reply April 22, 2015

    I have had bad heartburn for about 4 years . I have been off the pill for about 4 months now and I am doing better. But I am having pain in my gallblader when on my period .I am not sure what to do ?

    • Marina Rose

      Reply Reply April 23, 2015

      Since we know that hormones are metabolized by the liver, any hormone fluctuations can cause more stress for the gallbladder. It’s important to make the dietary changes I write about in my blog (avoiding sugar, increasing foods that promote bile flow like beets and artichokes) and making sure your bowels are moving regularly, a couple times each day. If you’ve made those changes and your still have problems get in to see a holistic health care provider as soon as possible.

  • Cristina

    Reply Reply April 23, 2015

    I’m experiencing these side effects after a week on beyaz, should I stop taking this form of birth control?

    • Marina Rose

      Reply Reply April 23, 2015

      Yes, absolutely talk to your prescribing physician and let them know you are having side effects. Oral contraceptives can trigger problems with liver, gallbladder or forming clots as quickly as 1-2 days. If you have having symptoms talk to your doctor about alternatives. Then find a holistic doctor to help you improve your bodies ability to detoxify. The National Library of Medicine has some good information about understanding the effects on hormones on the liver.

  • Mandi

    Reply Reply June 17, 2015

    I’ve been on the pill for a little more than a week or so and I’m experiencing heartburn (chest pain &a shortness of breath), hot flashes, and I am also eating a lot. Are those common side effects?

    • Marina Rose Admin

      Reply Reply June 29, 2015

      Those are not normal side effects. You should seek medical attention.

  • Tanya

    Reply Reply July 24, 2015

    I also am experiencing stomach pain and a tiny bit of heartburn. I noticed when I switched to a lower dose birth control that the pain subsided. It’s been a week on tri cyclen Lo and now I have mild stomach pain. Should I continue or lower the dosage again?

    • Marina Rose Admin

      Reply Reply July 24, 2015

      You should bring this to the attention of whoever prescribed your pills and talk to him/ her about the dosage as well as the side effects. A Functional Medicine practitioner can help you find the foods and supplements that will keep your liver and gallbladder healthy while taking the pill.

  • Jessica

    Reply Reply July 28, 2015

    I just started Kariva after not being on birth control for over 4 years. I have slight nausea and heartburn. Should I give my body time to adjust or should I stop taking it?

  • Adriana

    Reply Reply August 18, 2015

    For the past few months I have been waking up with an upset stomach in the mornings. I take my birth control at night because I find it easier to remember. Would it help to take it in the mornings to prevent nausea?

    • Marina Rose Admin

      Reply Reply August 18, 2015

      Nausea from taking the birth control pill can indicate that your liver is having trouble metabolizing the hormones. The first step is to check with your MD and make sure you don’t have a disease process. Once that’s been ruled out then see a Functional Medicine practitioner or other holistic health care provider who can recommend foods and supplements to improve your body’s ability to handle the added stress of taking hormones.

  • Diya

    Reply Reply September 10, 2015

    My daughter is18 years old and has been started on some low dose oral contraceptive pills named YAZ to treat her poly cystic ovarian symptom. However, within a month of starting this medicine, she has experienced two episodes of acute acid reflux, belching, stomach pain, and vomiting in the early morning. Can it be because if the medicine? Should we stop the medicine? Is there any other method of treating poly cystic ovarian symptom?

    • Marina Rose Admin

      Reply Reply September 14, 2015

      Women with PCOS have a hormone imbalance and often a blood sugar problem. Taking the pill doesn’t address either of those root causes and in your daughter’s case it doesn’t even help with symptoms but is triggering new ones. Any Functional Medicine practitioner can her address the underlying problem using diet, supplements and other remedies. She should contact the prescribing physician immediately regarding her new symptoms.

  • Liz

    Reply Reply September 20, 2015

    I am having the opposite problem! I have actually gone off of birth control and have been experiencing terrible heartburn and acid reflux. So much so that I have lost 10 lbs. I have been off the pill for 4 months and my health is slowly getting better, but this has been a terrible summer with my body. I have been tested for everything but all the tests come back normal. The last time I had a problem like this was when I switched my birth control.

    • carrots270

      Reply Reply March 3, 2016

      Hey! I had the same problems with quitting birth control! It’s been about four months and my heartburn has slowly been getting better, too. How is your heartburn doing now? Is it gone?

      • Kristen

        Reply Reply July 23, 2018

        Hey! Same! I stopped birth control in January, had AWFUL heartburn by March, took a round of Prilosec to try to “heal” any injuries of the esophagus, and still have persistent and consistent heartburn daily (month 6 post birth control) — going back To the Doctor tomorrow to follow up after trying Zyrtec (unsuccessful in controlling the burn) — any and all ideas/thoughts are welcome! I’m starting to lose weight because I’m not eating

  • Haley

    Reply Reply November 16, 2015

    Okay so I’ve been on the pill for almost 2 months and I’ve been having a what feels like period cramps about a week before my period both monetary I’ve been on the pill. This has never happen before. Just today I have gotten heart burn 2 times and am kinda worried help?

    • lisa

      Reply Reply September 6, 2016


      I get a slight pain exactly a week before my period starts. I get this almost every time and it’s how I know my period will be starting a week away. If it’s in the middle of the cycle it is just the egg releasing. But I have always gotten that slight pain exactly a week before.

  • Jackie

    Reply Reply November 30, 2015

    Hi, I’m 25 years old and I just started a low dose of Gildess birth control about a week ago, and it’s my first time trying any birth control. I’ve been getting mild acid reflux, and a couple days ago I woke up with nausea and vomitted yellow liquid, along with diarrhea. I didn’t eat the best the day before, so I’m not sure if that had anything to do with it. Then this morning I woke up with slight nausea, but it went away. I’ve heard it’s normal to have these kinds of reactions to birth control, and that’s why they have you stay on them for a couple months till the hormone reactions subside. Should I wait the couple months providers recommend or should I go in to see my provider as soon as possible?

  • kali

    Reply Reply December 5, 2015

    I have been on birth control for about 10 months and about half way through that time frame started experiencing a lot of stomach upset. sometimes during the day i will get nauseous for no known reason. mostly at night though i have nausea and gas and bloating. the only thing i can figure is that my birth control is causing it because i haven’t had any other changes that i can think of that could cause it. I’m not on any other medication and my diet hasn’t really changed and is fairly healthy. would trying a different type of birth control make a difference or would it be best to try and treat the side effects?

  • T

    Reply Reply February 1, 2016

    Hi, I’m 19 years old and I have been on the same birth control since I was 15. Lo lo estrin. I was diagnosed with PCOS at this time because of high testosterone levels and low estrogen levels. my vitamin b12 levels have always been low and I used to get shots for this. In the past two years I have suffered from weight gain (35 lbs) and indigestion, which I have assumed they go hand in hand. I also suffer from a certain degree of anxiety and tension. (Blood pressure is normal) I have stretch marks surrounding the top of my thighs and some on my lower stomach. They’ve gotten much worse in the past year. I’ve tried diet and exercise and I have not lost a single pound in the past month. I gave up Cokes so some swelling in my hands went down, but nothing else. I’ve had all the thyroid tests done, including the anitbody one, and everything with that is normal. I can’t help but think there is something else going on other than weight gain from a low dose of birth control.

  • georgina fitzpatrick

    Reply Reply February 19, 2016

    Hello I’ve been feeling sick for the past 2 days I’ve also started getting heart burn this evening I’m also on the pill I don’t know if it’s pregnancy or not do you have any answers to help me

    many thanks

  • Allyson S

    Reply Reply June 21, 2016

    I’ve been on birth control pill for 4 months now and I’m just now getting heart burn, nausea and stomach pain …. is that normal ??

  • Kacie

    Reply Reply December 9, 2016

    I started birth control in August and did not start seeing symptoms until the beginning of October. I had dark stools, specks in my stool, foul smelling stools, bloating, lots of heartburn and nausea. Because I had had no symptoms for my first month of taking birth control the doctors thought that was not the problem and told me to keep taking it. I finally stopped it and instantly felt better.

  • MDNF

    Reply Reply April 4, 2017

    I’m 40 and I’ve been on birth control since the age of 16 due to extreme menstrual cramping. Unfortunately nothing takes away the excruciating pain besides birth control pills. I am vegan and I have had difficulty with digestion for the past 4-5 year. I initially thought it was due to a high stress job but I’m not in that environment anymore. It is very uncomfortable and I suspect it might be due to Alesse, the birth control pills. I am afraid of what will happen when I go off because I will surely be sick in bed for at least 1-2 full days due to the pain. I’m not sure what to do…

  • Nikki

    Reply Reply June 8, 2017

    I have never experienced acid reflux issues in my entire life and I have a steel stomach and basically can eat whatever I want as far as spicy foods, peppers, etc. I had only experienced heartburn once in my life back when I was far along in a pregnancy. After the pregnancy the heartburn never returned until I started orsythia birth control. It’s a generic form of Allese. It has caused a daily burning sensation in my lower throat even without eating anything prior. It’s also been accompanied with daily headaches which I’ve never had previously. I stopped taking the birth control and all of the symptoms subsided. As soon as I began the birth control again they returned. Therefore, I am positive there is a strong link between birth control and acid reflux issues. The strange part is.. I tolerated this birth control well in the past without these issues. Now however, my body has become where it can’t tolerate it at all. Hormones are such a delicate balance.

  • Jessica

    Reply Reply June 11, 2017

    Took the plan B pill in an emergency situation and have had pressing chest pain all day. Normal symptoms of nausea and dizziness also occurred but the chest pain is quite uncomfortable and is making me a tad nervous. Is this a normal horomone increase reaction? I am typically off any and all medications so anything seems to affect me in emergency scenarios but this symptom seems off. Feels like tenderness on my upper chest going into my back at times as well, it’s been 12+ hours of this.

  • Shy

    Reply Reply August 5, 2017

    Good day! I’m also having the same symptoms you mentioned above and I’m taking Diane-35. The issues started when I took my second pack. I feel bloated and nauseated that last for several days. Is it okay to stop the contraceptive abruptly? Will there be no side effects?

    Thank you.

  • Steph

    Reply Reply October 18, 2017

    I got put on birth control and iron supplements because of my period never stopping.I’ve been checked but apparently they say im good.I had the shot before but it caused vaginal pain and now these pills are causing me some horrible acid reflux and indigestion.

  • Flora Cox

    Reply Reply March 28, 2018

    I have been on birth control for a year and have just recently been getting heartburn and bloating after deciding to shorten my 7 day break period to 4 days.

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