Most women notice that their bowel habits change throughout their menstrual cycle. This shift occurs because our bowel gets affected by the hormone changes related to our periods.
With each menstrual cycle, our body goes through many hormonal shifts and changes. All these changes are often referred to as PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome, which affects your whole body. They include mood swings, cramps, weird cravings, and period poop.
Our bowel movements keep changing during menstruation. This is the reason why we suffer from period constipation, period diarrhea, and frequent bowel movements.
A recent study concluded that 73% of women experience gastrointestinal symptoms. These symptoms can be referred to as “period poop.” Here is why you poop more on your period.
Why Is Period Poop A Thing?
When it comes to period poop, you are not alone! Almost every woman goes through it, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Here is why period poops are a real thing.
You must be wondering what on earth prostaglandins are? Before a woman’s period begins, the cells lining your uterus start making prostaglandins. These hormones enable the uterus to contract and shed its lining every month.
In case your body produces more of these hormones, they enter your bloodstream and relax other muscles such as the bowels, Hence giving you “period poops.”
Did we mention that you also get constipation, more cramps, and also diarrhea? Yep! More prostaglandins equal more problems!
Increased Progesterone Levels:
Weird cravings for sugary, fried, and processed foods? Blame it on the hormone progesterone! This hormone increases right before you get your period giving you PMS.
As our body has a hard time digesting junk food or processed foods, our digestive system gets affected negatively. For some women, it can cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or constipation.
Thus PMS related changes in eating habits due to food cravings contribute to why you may be noticing a difference in the consistency, regularity, or smell of your poop throughout your menstrual cycle.
Underlying Chronic Illnesses:
If a woman has IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease, it worsens menstruation. With increased progesterone levels, women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome-related constipation face severe constipation. Furthermore, such women are more likely to face other PMS symptoms such as headaches, body pain, or menstrual cramps.
Other chronic illnesses such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and ovarian cysts also affect your bowel movements and monthly cycle. These can either cause period constipation, painful bowel movements during the period, period diarrhea.
Increased Anxiety And Stress Levels:
During our period or PMS, women are more likely to experience increased anxiety and stress levels. This, in return, can also affect our bowel movements, giving you period poop. Some women also report greater sensitivity to discomfort and pain in their PMS as well as periods.
Can One Stop Period Poops?
The bad news..No!
We as humans cannot always alter the way our body reacts to things. The same can apply to period poop. One cannot stop it completely.
On the bright side, we can reduce it by making diet and lifestyle changes. Here are some changes you can make to manage your period-related bowel disturbances.
Suffering from period poop pain? Try laxatives.
Many women suffer from period poop pain which can be extremely painful. Thus if you have period constipation or more pain while pooping, which is unbearable, then make use of laxatives. They help stool pass through more comfortably by relaxing your bowel muscles.
Eat your veggies and fruits!
Foods high in natural fiber such as grains and vegetables help you deal with constipation on period. Not only that, they help with keeping your bowel and digestive regular. Plus, they also give you energy on your heavy days.
Good ol’ sunlight and exercise.
Exercising on periods or getting a bit of movement may seem like a nightmare. But trust us when we tell you it helps you relieve bloating.
One hour of sunlight can do wonders for you if you’re suffering from PMS and bad periods. Furthermore, the vitamin D from the sun also helps in releasing good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.
Unbearable period pain? Ibuprofen to your rescue!
Ibuprofen helps relieve you of any period pain and discomfort and acts as a prostaglandin inhibitor. Furthermore, sometimes it also helps you with period-related digestive symptoms such as period constipation, painful bowel movements during the period, or period diarrhea.
Is It Normal If I Can’t Tell The Difference Between My Period And Poop Pain?
Don’t worry! It is entirely normal. Due to uterine and any bowel movement caused by prostaglandins, it is difficult to understand whether they experience period or poop pain. This is also because cramps often get accompanied by anal pain in the lower back, pelvis, and butt.
Can You Poop With A Tampon In?
Some women poop with a tampon in, while others prefer to change it or take it out. You may choose whatever works for you.
Although we would suggest changing your tampon or taking it out. This is because sometimes you may push your tampon out, or it will catch bacteria. The bacteria can cause numerous diseases. Thus it is better to be safe than sorry.
How To Wipe Period Poops Without Getting It Messy?
Period and poop! A messy and yucky combination. Don’t worry, as we have the perfect manner of wiping your period poop without making it look like a crime scene.
Make use of pre-moisturized wipes to get rid of your period poops. Search for wipes that are biodegradable and also chemical and perfume-free. These wipes ensure that your skin doesn’t become dry or get irritated. Also, we wouldn’t recommend “flushable wipes” for your septic system.
Period poop can occur for many reasons. But if you cannot figure out why nothing is working, it is better to seek medical advice. Underlying issues such as endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), irritable bowel syndrome can be the reason too.
Only your doctor will help you analyze the problem better and give you the right solution. Lastly, period poops are entirely normal, so do not worry about it. With some changes in your diet and lifestyle, you can lessen the chances of it occurring.