The Birth Control Pill Ortho Tri-Cyclen and Ulcerative Colitis, Raising Awareness

Ortho-McNeil-Janssen (part of Johnson & Johnson)

If you think about the company Johnson & Johnson the first thing that is likely to come to mind is their slogan, “A family company”. I never would have guessed that they are tied to Ortho-McNiel-Janssen the manufacturer of *Ortho Tri-Cyclen birth control pills. At any rate, I find it important to write this post in case it would serve someone somewhere who has taken Ortho Tri-Cyclen and became ill like I did.  It seems the medical community doesn’t know the pill is making women sick!

 I have written the F.D.A. regarding the severity of what *Ortho Tri-Cyclen did to me. After taking the drug for over 6 years to control acne, I developed **ulcerative colitis. I lost weight and had hot flashes. I passed whole undigested food and had incredible pain. I went into shock. I couldn’t eat much of anything. I lived exclusively on the B.R.A.T. diet for months on end. I was so sick I lost my job. For eight months doctors ran test after test. Never finding a cure.

 One day, while at the pharmacy, my pharmacist said, “Have you tried stopping your birth control?  You should know in a few days if that was causing the trouble.”

I took his advice and within three days the diarrhea I had for months, stopped. My digestion normalized and after six months my panic attacks were gone. I had my life and health back, or so I thought.

Though I cannot prove it, I suspect my pancreatic tumor was caused by the *Ortho Tri-Cyclen medication.

My pancreas surgeon said the tumor I had occurs only in women and is caused by hormones. Hmmmm….

 If you are taking *Ortho Tri-Cyclen or are considering it. Think twice. No doctor told me this would happen. I was told it would clear up my acne. To be fair it did but, the cost to my health was immense. I am missing a portion of my pancreas to prove it.

Dear Jesus, thank you for being sovereign over everything! Thank you for carrying me through this. Please Jesus, make this information available to any woman who is considering the pill. Please make it go off the market. Thank you Jesus. Amen.

*Another option if you are wanting to avoid pregnancy is to learn the fertility awareness method, or F.A.M.  I highly recommend getting the book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility.  You can obtain information about the F.A.M. method on their website:


I have found this method to be extremely effective for preventing pregnancy as well as planning intended pregnancy.  It also empowers women to know their bodies better and best of all this method will not make you sick or kill you.  Oh and it’s cheap.  Buy the book, a basal thermometer and print some blank charts then your ready to start this method.

**If you are struggling with ulcerative colitis you may find help from this woman’s blog:  She is a Christian gal living well with ulcerative colitis.


9 thoughts on “The Birth Control Pill Ortho Tri-Cyclen and Ulcerative Colitis, Raising Awareness

  1. I am “allergic” to ortho evra which I believe is made by the same company. It made me have thrombocytopenia (2 % of women get this side effect) which took my platelets down to nothing. Same thing with me, after trying other things, took me off my meds and in three days felt better and numbers were up. We have to pay attention to our body’s and the meds we put in them. There are really good ones out there, but The Lord made us all differently and one formula may not work for everyone. So I agree UNDER Doctors care the first step should be to stop a med., it may not be right for you!!

  2. I also took Ortho Tri-cyclen for many years, and the gynecological oncologist said that “could have been” a contributing factor to the cancerous cells on my cervix (adenocarcinoma in situ). Like your case, medical professionals wouldn’t commit to saying drugs were the cause, who knows. Scary stuff.

  3. Thank you Erica for sharing this information. I hope it will reach the women who are going through what you did and don’t yet know why. I hope they get the information early enough to save them a lot of the complications.

  4. Incredible! As you’ve said before, when there are warning labels and if it affects you negatively, then it’s 100% happening to you! Did the FDA respond? Thank God for your pharmacist’s suggestion!
    XOXO to H&G from Grammie

    • No, I wrote the FDA about three years ago and have not received a reply. I sure wish that pharmacist was still at my local pharmacy so I could thank him.
      Alive because of Christ,

  5. Wow!! I have had UC for about 8 months now and I’ve tried so many things with little improvements. The only thing that has helped is reducing stress. Months ago I thought birth control (Ortho tri-cyclen lo) might be causing it, so I stopped it for a month – nothing improved. BUT, I am going to stop taking it again because I am convinced that is the cause and that I just need to give my body more time (especially since my symptoms are very mild)! I cannot think of anything else.. I’ve been eating healthy all of my life, and I am very extreme with my diet since ulcerative colitis came about. I’m sure it is diet related in many cases, but I really think the pill is to blame in my case. I’m so glad you got better! I pray I can too! If I do, I will be writing to the FDA as well.

    • Thank you for reading. I’m sorry to hear you too have been sick. I know it took about 9months for my body to flush out all of the synthetic hormone from Ortho tri cyclen. I hope you will heal quickly. Please let me know how you do.

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