Constant Side Pain – Infertility


Female, age 30, and from the great state of Texas. Diagnosed in April 2011 because of a ruptured ovarian cyst and the same time as a flare-up. Gluten-free (ish) and carbonation free since June 2011.

Colitis-Infertility-Side Pain:

I’ve had constant pain in my right side for over a year now. It’s sort of how the whole thing started. I was on a work trip and was so sick with what I now know is UC, plus I had an ovarian cyst that ruptured at the same time. I thought I was dying…or at least had a ruptured appendix. Went to the doctor that next monday and they did a scan that showed two issues. The first was the ruptured cyst but the other showed the narrowing of the colon (I guess inflammation). They thought it might be Crohn’s so I had a colonoscopy.

Anyway, after the initial colonoscopy I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis plus some active ulcers. I’ve tried to go gluten-free instead of taking all the meds. The meds were supposed to be 2 pills 3 times a day. I always forget to eat lunch so i knew that it probably wouldnt work for me. Instead I’ve done gluten-free and it’s worked up until the past few months. The pain has returned in the same spot. Now, I haven’t been as strict with the gluten free but am getting back into the very strict stage. Oh, I also gave up all carbonated beverages at the same time as going gluten-free. The carbonation (even from my beloved pellegrino) was giving me awful reflux, but it might have also been due to the prenatal vitamins that i was taking that had fish oil.

Do other people have a constant pain that doesn’t go away? Sometimes it’s worse than others, but usually it’s just a dull pain that doesn’t go away.

Also, have any women experienced infertility because of UC? It’s been over a year and a half of trying and i’ve heard that it can have an impact.

Colitis medications:

currently on none because the one that was prescribed was 2 pills, 3 times a day and i knew that i wouldn’t remember so i chose to change my diet. seems to have worked up until now.

–submitted in the Colitis Venting Area by an anonymous UC’er



5 thoughts on “Constant Side Pain – Infertility”

  1. Lately I have been having constant pain in my side. Infertility is a non-issue for me as my kids are all grown but it would not surprise me if there was a connection.

    Definitely get back on the gluten free wagon. Did they test you for celiac or gluten sensitivity? I write a gluten free blog so if you are every looking for recipes come look me up!

  2. I have dull pain at times, but it goes away. It can last from 5 min to several hours. I’ve relied heavily on the SCD to get by. Have you done this diet? I’m also not on any meds, but am experiencing blood at the moment.

  3. Hi, I’ve had amenorrhea (missed periods) intermittently since I had my first big flare in late 2009. I was on the pill, but figure the hormones weren’t doing anything, because I was vomiting or having D so often that I couldn’t take it at any time that would give me the necessary 2 hours for it to absorb. So I stopped taking it after a few months on constant flaring.

    When things settled down a bit, an I decided to go back on the pill, but still had amenorrhea. After I went 3 months without a period, I went and saw my GP, who sent be for hormone tests. Everything they tested was very low – which is kind of weird – not associated with any particular known reproductive problem. So she said I should come back off the pill and redo the tests in 3 months. Everything was back to normal apart from my oestrogen levels, which were still very low. She spoken to an endochronologist, who suggested referring me to a gynochologist. It was then 6 months since my last period.

    The gyno was very reassuring. He explained it like this:

    “When you have a flare, you stop absorbing nutrients – so your body thinks you are starving. It doesn’t know the difference between famine and colitis.

    In the past, when famines hit, some women would get pregnant and they and the baby would be more likely to die from lack of food. Through normal genetic variation, other women would stop being fertile, and would be more likely to survive.

    There is a genetic advantage to becoming infertile when there is a lack of food, and because those that don’t are more likely to die and not reproduce, a higher and higher percentage of women will become infertile when they lack nutrients.

    So don’t worry. Yet.”

    At that stage, I’d been in remission for 4 months, off the pill for 3 months and no period in 6 months. 2 months later and still no period, but also still in remission. I’m about to have the tests redone (tomorrow, in fact).

    So short answer, yes to infertility as a result of UC.

    I did also have pretty constant pain between my first big flare and getting it under control (5 months). I used SCD to get the colitis under control (the only thing other than prednisone that has helped), and despite having had a couple of small flares since then, redoing the intro diet has brought everything back under control almost immediately.

    Good luck!

  4. thanks for the comments. the drug that i take/don’t take is asacol. 2 pills 3 times a day seems much but the pain has gotten so bad that I guess I’m going to start again. I’ve also looked into the SCD. It seems very strict, but anything is better than being in constant pain. I think I’ll plan on starting tomorrow and run over to barnes and noble for the books. I’ve been taking meds to ward off the chronic diarrhea and other issues, but it seems the moment I stop it taking them the issues come back worse than before.

    Have been referred to a reproductive endocrinologist in 2 weeks so hopefully will have more answers then.

    Also the pain literally only stopped for a few months and is now a constant everyday, anytime of day. it’s weird. lower right abdomen.

  5. Well, when you have Colitis, you have a rise in NK (natural killer) cells. This is the autoimmune response that results in the disease. Many people with colitis tend to have other autoimmune issues such as psoriasis, celiac disease, arthritis, etc. Many cases of infertility are a result of high NK cells in the uterus or blood clotting at the time of implantation as a result of an autoimmune response. This is called Autoimmune Infertility. So considering Colitis patients already have abnormalities with their immune systems, it’s plausible to consider instances of Autoimmune Infertility to be higher in UC patients than the normal population. I believe this would probably go for patients with RA, MS, and other autoimmune conditions as well. You should consider looking into low dose naltrexone.

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