Female hormones and flare ups

Every single month, my RA flares up. I'm usually quite well controlled but a few days before that time of the month, I revert back to the days of outrageously uncontrolled RA. I'm on an oral contraceptives (rigevidon) but it doesn't seem to help and I'm wondering if it's making the things worse. Anyone else experience the same? Is there any reputable research on RA and hormones? I'm trying to figure out if I need to switch the pill or stop altogether. It isn't an easy decision as I also have polycystic ovary syndrome. Any advice would be much appreciated.

3 Replies

  • Very interesting, thank you. At first, it confirmed that I don't want to stop my pill which is combined but I then wondered if the drop is even worse when I take my 7 day break.

  • I think pretty much all of the autoimmune disorders are influenced in some way by hormones - some diseases for the better (eg going away during pregnancy), and sometimes for the worst. I know my ankylosing spondylitis definitely first showed its face around puberty, and I went into a megaflare of disease progression around menopause.

  • To me there has to be something that links these things. 3 times more women than men get RA, and a large percentage find it appears around menopause time. So hormonal issues have to be somewhere in this - as well as the whole issue of younger people who get RA find that pregnancy can change things. And female hormones are the same sort of chemicals as steroids.... But sadly, because RA is mostly a disease of older women there's little interest in researching these things. Personally every time I've tried to quit HRT my RA goes totally mad (and the menopause symptoms too), so I'm staying with them for the time being.

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