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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Triggers (cont.)

5. Menstrual Triggers for IBS

Studies show that women with IBS tend to have worse symptoms during their periods. There's not a lot of information about preventing this type of trigger, but doctors may recommend certain strategies to ease pain and discomfort during your period.

Prevention Strategies:

  • Oral contraceptives. Some brand names are Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Lo/Ovral, and Alesse. These drugs can regularize periods. Side effects may include upset stomach, vomiting, stomach cramps or bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Work with your doctor to find a pill that works for you without causing side effects.

  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) drugs. These include drugs also used to treat depression, such as Sarafem, Paxil CR, and Zoloft. PMDD is a severe form of PMS. These drugs adjust levels of serotonin, a brain chemical thought to be out of balance during certain phases of a woman's cycle.

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