If you're wondering, "Why do I poop so much on my period?" you're not alone.

You are not alone if you suffer from period-related bloating, cramping, or diarrhea. At least 73% of women in one study complained of gastrointestinal distress in the days leading up to or during their periods. Stomach pain and, you guessed it, diarrhea, are the most common signs. Also known

You are not alone if you suffer from period-related bloating, cramping, or diarrhea. At least 73% of women in one study complained of gastrointestinal distress in the days leading up to or during their periods.

Stomach pain and, you guessed it, diarrhea, are the most common signs. Also known as: menstrual feces Read on to find out why you have more frequent bowel movements during your period and what you can do about it.

Annotated Contents

Why do I have more frequent bowel movements when I am menstruating?


Prostaglandins are the hormones to blame if you find yourself slouching over the toilet during your period. High levels of progesterone are produced by the body just before a woman's period begins in case she becomes pregnant.

The uterine lining produces prostaglandins and progesterone levels fall during menstruation. The uterine smooth muscles are stimulated by these fatty acids, and the uterine lining is dissolved as a result.

Excessive feces output and diarrhoea can result from an overabundance of prostaglandins in the bloodstream, which triggers contractions of the smooth muscles lining the intestines.

Hormonal changes during menstruation may also affect water absorption, leading to diarrhoea because less fluid is drawn through the colon.

Furthermore, studies show that PMS-related (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms, including period poop, are more severe in people with gastrointestinal problems like Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome.

Ovarian cysts and endometriosis, in which tissue that looks like the lining of the womb begins to grow in places like the ovaries and fallopian tubes, can both be made worse by menstruation.

It is common knowledge that synthetic prostaglandins, specifically prostaglandin E2, can be used to induce labor in pregnant women.

Gut-brain connection

ALT TEXT. "From the pit of your stomach to the top of your head, we have a problem down here."

Our language reflects the close connection between the gut and the brain when we talk about having a "gut-wrenching" experience or feeling "butterflies in the stomach" or having a "gut feeling."

Recent years have seen the discovery of the gut-brain axis, a two-way line of communication between the digestive system and the brain. This is why scientists refer to the human digestive system as the "second brain."

In humans, the vagus nerve is the primary pathway for communication between the vagus and the rest of the central nervous system, specifically the enteric nervous system, which regulates gastrointestinal function. Through this pathway, stress and anxiety can bring on gastrointestinal symptoms, and, perhaps more surprisingly, the reverse is also true. It's true; a stomachache can cause mental distress.

Hormonal shifts cause irritability and stress during menstruation, which in turn speeds up the digestive system and causes the body to secrete more fluid. The result can be stomach cramps and diarrhea.

Interestingly, one study found that women who experienced depression or anxiety before or during their period were more likely to report multiple gastrointestinal problems than women who did not experience psychological distress.

Disturbances in gut bacteria are another possible link between stress and menstrual cramps.

The question mark after "DID YOU KNOW" Physiologically inducing depression-like behavior in mice: evidence from gut microbiota

Affects of constipation on the menstrual cycle

Brief but enlightening video on the subject of hormonal fluctuations and their effect on menstrual poop

While some people have more frequent bowel movements in the days leading up to and during their period, others may notice a slowdown. Hormones associated with your monthly cycle, specifically progesterone, are to blame once again.

Progesterone, which is responsible for the thickening of the uterine wall, reaches its peak just before ovulation, and it can slow the digestive process if levels are high enough.

This can cause the formation of stools that are too solid to pass. In the days leading up to your period, when progesterone levels are highest, you are more likely to experience constipation.

IMAGINE THAT Women can use progesterone as an oral contraceptive by itself or in combination with oestrogen.

Why does my feces have such a strong odor?

When you eat differently around ovulation, you may notice a difference in the smell of your feces or the consistency of your bowel movements.

Hormones are probably to blame if you feel like hibernating with a tub of ice cream, chocolate, or a salty snack at that time of the month.

When you're feeling down because of your period, it's natural to want some comfort food. To want Ben & Jerry's because you feel terrible

These dietary shifts are, once again, a direct result of changes in hormone levels. Specific cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods are linked to elevated oestrogen levels, while progesterone may be linked to cravings for sweet-tasting beverages.

Another study tracked the eating habits of 42 ovulating women and found that they ate an average of 250 more calories per day than usual, with some women consuming as many as 500 more.

When I have my period, why does it hurt to poop?

ALT TEXT. Cramps during menstruation can cause stabbing pain in the lower abdomen, back, and inner thighs.

It's possible to have cramping and pain during bowel movements while on your period for a few different reasons. For starters, constipation causes unpleasant symptoms, such as passing hard, potentially painful stools. Haemorrhoids can also be caused by persistent straining and diarrhoea. It should come as no surprise that these can make toilet trips less than pleasant.

And second, straining to defecate can amplify the abdominal cramps that are common during a woman's period. Similarly, hormones like prostaglandins that are released during a woman's menstrual cycle often accompanying diarrhoea.

Finally, there is some evidence that women with IBS have heightened sensitivity when they are menstruating. One of the hallmarks of IBS, beyond menstrual pains, is what researchers call an increased sensitivity to visceral pain.

Specifically, one study found that menstruation is associated with heightened rectal sensitivity in women with IBS. If you also have constipation or loose stools, this could be the cause of your pain and discomfort during bowel movements.

Helpful hints for dealing with the bowel movements that accompany your period

Whatever you do, you will probably experience some digestive symptoms related to your period because hormonal fluctuations are a normal part of the menstrual cycle. However, there are measures you can take to lessen the frequency of period poop and mitigate its negative effects:

Never forget to drink water.

The loss of fluids and electrolytes/vital salts from diarrhea can lead to serious health problems. Make sure you drink lots of fluids if you experience diarrhoea around your period.

Caffeine and artificial sweeteners, both of which can have a laxative effect, should also be avoided or consumed in moderation during this time.

Have some ibuprofen

It is possible that over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, will help with cramping and pain. As a prostaglandin inhibitor, ibuprofen also aids in hormone balance.

When taken in the days leading up to your period, it may lessen the cramping and bloating. Nevertheless, ibuprofen is only meant to be used temporarily as a first-line treatment, and it can cause problems if taken regularly or in large amounts over time. Be sure to take the medication exactly as prescribed and see a doctor if your symptoms don't improve.

Talk to your doctor about treatment options if you're having severe digestive problems due to your period. Hormone-balancing medications, like oral contraceptives, can alleviate PMS symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

This is why some women decide to take the pill round-the-clock so they never have to deal with their period. However, some people find that modifying their diet and way of life is more effective at alleviating their symptoms. In order to determine which treatment is right for you, it is best to consult with your doctor.

When to get help from a doctor

In most cases, period-related digestive issues like diarrhea and cramping are harmless. However, if these symptoms persist or worsen, you should see a doctor. Also, consult a doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • cramping pain or abdominal pain that is very severe
  • severe menstrual bleeding
  • stool containing mucus

Warning signs of a more serious condition include blood in the toilet or rectal bleeding, so if you experience either, see your doctor right away.

This article is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Do not use this information in place of seeking advice from a qualified medical professional.

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