Period Sex: Tips Benefits Risks
Pain, cramping, and other symptoms along those lines are unfortunately normal parts of having a period. But if your pain is so severe that you cant control it with over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc., its time to see your healthcare provider. This could be a sign of a more serious issue like endometriosis. Lastly, if your bowel movements dont go back to normal after your menstrual cycle, seek medical advice.
What Are Period Poops
Some people refer to changes in bowel movement that happen around their menstrual cycle as period poops. As with most other period wonkiness, you can thank hormonal fluctuations for this phenomenon. The reason that this happens is largely due to hormones, Dr. Staller says. That includes constipation that starts before your period and subsequent diarrhea or excessive pooping that happens once aunt Flo has actually come to town.
Preperiod constipation could be a result of an increase in the hormone progesterone, which starts to increase in the time between ovulation and when you get your period.1 Progesterone can cause food to move more slowly through your intestines, backing you up in the process.
But levels of progesterone plummet around the same time that your period starts.1 Simultaneously, theres an increase in hormone-like compounds in your body called prostaglandins. The cells that make up the lining of your uterus , produce these prostaglandins, which get released as the lining of your uterus breaks down right before and during menstruation. These chemicals cause the blood vessels and muscles in the uterus to contract. If your body has high levels of prostaglandins, they can make their way into the muscle that lines your bowels.
Of course this can all vary for different people. But if you notice you experience constipation or diarrhea right around your period like clockwork, this may be why.
Can I Do Anything Myself To Make My Diarrhea Go Away
It is possible to use natural and over the counter remedies to alleviate your diarrhea. You can do this in between trips to the bathroom or after you have already started treatment with prescription medication.
Drinking plenty of water can help to make your diarrhea go away. You should try to drink a glass of water every half hour until your diarrhea starts to clear up. Avoid drinking sodas, caffeinated beverages, or alcohol as they may cause or worsen your diarrhea.
Applesauce can be soothing for an upset stomach and help to alleviate diarrhea. You can try taking a small bite of plain applesauce every half hour to help until your diarrhea begins to clear up.
It is important to stay hydrated and get electrolytes if you experience diarrhea so that you dont become dehydrated. Low levels of hydration can cause your diarrhea to worsen, so it is important to try to consume drinks that contain electrolytes such as Gatorade or homemade electrolyte solution .
Most of these home remedies should help to alleviate your diarrhea until your body can clear up the infection on its own or until you receive proper medical treatment.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Stop Your Period
Can Health Conditions Cause Period Poop Changes
Certain health conditions like endometriosis, Crohns disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or ulcerative colitis, can flare up during menstruation, leading to bowel changes. For example, if you struggle with Crohns disease, which can often cause diarrhea, or IBS-D , your bodys release of prostaglandins during your period may exacerbate your condition, worsening your diarrhea. But if you suffer from IBS-C , you may find yourself struggling even more to have a bowel movement on your period as progesterone further slows your bowels activity. Since ulcerative colitis can lead to both diarrhea and constipation, you might experience an uptick in either during your period.
Stool Changes During Your Period Could Be The Result Of Progesterone Levels And Uterus Contractions
According to one theory, changes in stool during your period might have something to do with levels of progesterone, one of the sex hormones involved in menstruation and pregnancy. In the luteal phase of the period, or second half of your menstrual cycle, which is just before you menstruate, the progesterone levels go up, McGuire said. And progesterone, we think, slows down the motility of the GI tract and might have some impact on why people have constipation first, and then frequent stooling or diarrhea as soon as that progesterone drops. Levels of progesterone dropping is what also causes you to have a period, she said.
Second, when your progesterone levels drop, your uterus will contract to help expel its lining . Prostaglandins, which are hormonelike substances involved in pain and inflammation, are what cause those muscles to contract, according to Mayo Clinic. Prostaglandins can have sort of a laxative effect, McGuire said, leading experts to believe that they may also contribute to diarrhea during your period.
Recommended Reading: Is It Possible To Miss A Period For A Month
You Might Be Constipated Between Periods Too
Another period-related hormone, progesterone, can cause diarrhea in some people and constipation in others.Progesterone is responsible for the growth and thickening of the uterine walls, and it peaks right before ovulation. A buildup of the hormone can cause bowel issues.
Progesterone typically promotes constipation, which tends to come around ovulation or a couple of days after, he says.
Why Is There Blood In My Stool During Period
During menstruation, the production of prostaglandin increases. This results in uterus contraction. The excess release of these hormones leads to pain and menstrual cramps.
When prostaglandin levels are high, they can reach your bloodstream and then travel to other parts of your body, including the bowels. This is why you see blood in your stool during period.
PMS, eating habits and changes in hormone levels are the reason for your smelly poop during your cycle. Your period poop differs from your regular poop. Usually, it is more frequent and loose. Menstrual blood has a smell too, and it may contribute to foul poop smell.
Recommended Reading: How To Make Your Stomach Stop Hurting From Period
Probiotics: Tiny Fighters On Your Side
Rather than take a harsh laxative thatll leave you crampy and running for the toilet, give probiotics a try for constipation relief. These helpful bacteria dont cause disease like their harmful cousins. Instead, they help maintain a healthy balance in your GI tract.
One study found that probiotics like Bifidobacterium lactis keep stool moving smoothly through your digestive tract. And while smooth-moving stool may sound gross, its a great way to prevent backups and blockages. Dimidi E, et al. The effect of probiotics on functional constipation in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.114.089151
Better out than in.
Lactobacillus GG, acidophilus, and bifidobacteria are other strains of bacteria that can give gut health a kick. Probiotics may also be helpful for slowing diarrhea down along with unclogging constipation.
You can buy probiotics in a supplement bottle or find them in fermented foods like these:
- pickled ginger
Yogurt with added live cultures will also help restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut.
Frozen yogurt, however, will never be ice cream, no matter how many well-intentioned bacteria it contains. Yes, even if it believes in itself.
Why Does It Smell So Bad
This aspects likely because of your premenstrual eating habits. You can blame unusual food cravings on the hormone progesterone.
Progesterone helps regulate your period. It rises before your period to help prepare your body for conception and pregnancy.
High levels of progesterone during the premenstrual phase have been to compulsive eating before your period. This explains why you want to stuff all the feels and irritability down with ice cream and chocolate at that time of the month.
The change in your eating habits can cause foul-smelling stool and those pesky period farts.
Resisting the urge to overeat and avoiding refined sugars and processed foods can help.
Read Also: How To Delay Your Period With Birth Control
Why They Smell So Bad
The smell. Oh, the smell.
There are a few reasons why period farts smell have such a unique scent. The main reason being that your gut bacteria change during your period, which can make flatulence extra fragrant.
The food you eat also contributes to the smell. But its not all your fault that you want to and maybe do eat all the junk when on your period.
Period cravings are very real. Theres evidence that high progesterone levels related to your period trigger compulsive eating and dissatisfaction with your body. Together, these can make it hard to muster the energy to care about what youre eating.
Reaching for dairy, starchy carbs, and sweets change the smell of your farts for the worse and can cause constipation.
Speaking of constipation, the buildup of poop can cause bacteria and odor to develop, too, making for some even smellier toots.
Farting is a biological process that we cant really get away from. Even smelly farts are pretty normal. This doesnt mean youre destined to clear a room for three to eight days every month until menopause, though.
I Cant Tell If I Have Cramps Or Need To Poop Is That Normal
Totally normal. Remember, uterine and bowel contractions are caused by prostaglandins, making it hard to tell the difference between the two.
Plus, cramps are often accompanied by a feeling of pressure in the pelvis, low back, and even the butt.
Pelvic muscles and how things are situated inside make some people more likely to push a tampon out during a bowel movement. Straining to pass a hard bowel movement can also dislodge your tampon.
Poop happens. You cant change your anatomy.
However, the following options might help:
Don’t Miss: Can You Masturbate While On Your Period
Why Do I Sometimes Get Constipated
Hormones again. Low levels of prostaglandins and high levels of progesterone can both slow digestion and make your poop go MIA.
If you have period constipation, upping the fiber in your diet, exercise, and drinking lots of water can help keep things moving. If youre really stuck, a gentle over-the-counter laxative or stool softener should do the trick.
Why Do Period Poops Hurt
There are several reasons why passing a bowel movement may hurt during your period. These include:
- Constipation: prostaglandins and progesterone can make you constipated. If you are experiencing hard and dry stools during your period, they may be painful to pass.
- Menstrual cramps: you might experience a flare in menstrual pain when straining to pass a bowel movement.
- Pain sensitivity: During your period, you are more sensitive to pain. So you may experience more pain and have a heightened awareness of it.
Also Check: Causes Of Late Period Other Than Pregnancy
What Can You Do
During menstruation, prostaglandins and progesterone might make the smooth muscle in the intestines less or more active. Placing a heating pad on the lower abdomen or taking some antacid might aid mild signs. It isn`t something to worry about, unless it may lead to serious GI distress which keeps you indoors.
Particular conditions might exacerbate the case as well. For instance, certain women who need a retroverted uterus, which is not harmful and doesn`t need any intervention, have more bowel problems as their uterus will push down on their large intestine.
If the menstruation will trigger abdominal pain or diarrhea with blood which is so bad that you aren`t able to eat, this medical condition can be endometriosis, and you have to definitely contact your doctor for a checkup.
How Is Dysmenorrhea Diagnosed
To diagnose dysmenorrhea, your health care provider will evaluate your medical history and do a complete physical and pelvic exam. Other tests may include:
Ultrasound. This test uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs.
Magnetic resonance imaging . This test uses large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
Laparoscopy. This minor procedure uses a laparoscope. This is a thin tube with a lens and a light. It is inserted into an incision in the abdominal wall. Using the laparoscope to see into the pelvic and abdomen area, the doctor can often detect abnormal growths.
Hysteroscopy. This is the visual exam of the canal of the cervix and the inside of the uterus. It uses a viewing instrument inserted through the vagina.
Read Also: Which Birth Control Pill Stops Periods
Can Your Period Cause Diarrhea
Besides riding a hormonal roller-coaster and dealing with uncomfortable cramps, many women also experience diarrhea during their period.
You have enough to deal with during your period diarrhea and changes in bowel habits are just more things you dont want to put up with.
Though diarrhea is caused by the same bodily changes that cause period cramping, many women find it can be managed and prevented with medication.
RELATED: 3 Ways to Treat Diarrhea
Stomachaches During Periods Aka What The Heck Is My Bowel Doing
Its worth remembering that our menstrual cycle and digestive system are closely connected. No wonder that hormonal imbalance has a direct impact on the frequency of us visiting the toilet around periods.
As youve probably noticed, the symptoms of PMS might appear even 2 weeks before menstruation and can last up to one week after its beginning. I know mother nature totally arsed it up. It boils down to the fact that for almost an entire month were exposed to a ton of unnecessary pain just because we have a uterus and ovaries. Maybe youll find some comfort in the fact that were all in this deep doo-doo together. Diarrhea before menstruation? Abdominal pain? Constipation? Winds? Remember youre not alone!
Don’t Miss: How To Track Ovulation If Periods Are Irregular
Reduce Contraction Of The Intestinal Smooth Muscles
Initially, after ovulation, there is a rise in progesterone hormone, and this reduces the contraction of smooth muscles resulting in decreased motility, and therefore constipation .
Because progesterone levels fall 3 4 days before period, and also during menstruation, its normal that you will experience frequent stooling right before period starts.
Another reason you could have diarrhea before period is prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins have a hormone-like effect on your uterus around menstruation and cause contraction of uterine muscles to expel endometrial blood from your womb.
In some women that experience severe cramping, your body produces an excessive level of prostaglandins, which moves to other parts of your body, including your intestine, resulting in diarrhea.
Prostaglandins cause contraction of the smooth muscles of the intestinal wall with resultant frequent stool and diarrhea.
My Monthly Period & Symptom Tracker
My Monthly Period & Symptom Tracker is an easy way to keep track of your menstrual flow, and its also a way to keep track of cramps, and/or PMS and period symptoms each month There are other ways of tracking your periods and symptoms including apps available for iPhones and Android phones talk to your HCP to determine what method will best work for you.
- Review the sample Monthly Period & Symptom Tracker.
- Print out copies of My Monthly Period & Symptom Tracker.
- Put a check mark in the appropriate box for each day of the month. If you dont have any flow or any symptoms on any given day, leave the box empty. Refer to the Blood Flow Key at the bottom for Flow definitions.
- The dates at the top are the same as the dates in one month. Each month has 30 or 31 days .
- Remember to bring My Monthly Period & Symptom Tracker with you to your medical appointments.
Also Check: Leg Pain During Early Pregnancy Before Missed Period
What Should I Do If I Experience Diarrhea During My Period
If you have been experiencing diarrhea during your period, it is important that you stay hydrated. You should drink plenty of fluids such as clear liquids such as water, Gatorade, and ginger ale. These liquids help replenish your water and electrolyte levels. You can also try consuming clear broths or eating plain crackers during your diarrhea.
If diarrhea persists despite these measures, then you should seek medical attention.
How To Stop Diarrhea During Your Period:
Stick it to Mother Nature and take action against unpleasant period diarrhea by following these doctor-recommended tips.
- Alter your diet: “Eat plenty of fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.” Dr. Mandal advises. “Minimize spicy foods, caffeine, sugary foods, alcohol, and dairy products during this time.”
- Think about trying birth control: “Consider oral contraceptives, which can regulate the cycle and reduce diarrhea,” Dr. Mandal says.
- Exercise: Physical activity can help minimize diarrhea.
- Reduce stress: Excessive stress can worsen all period symptoms, including diarrhea. Check out our tips on how to reduce stress here.
- Try a medication: “If diarrhea is accompanied by cramping, consider an NSAID such as ibuprofen or naproxen, which can reduce the cramping effects of prostaglandins,” Dr. Mandal recommends.
Recommended Reading: What Can Cause A Late Period
What Are Other Digestive Issues During Period
Period can cause havoc on your digestive system. You may experience other digestive issues too, both before and during your menstrual cycle. Some common ones are bloating, gas, constipation, and frequent bowel movements. With every cycle, these symptoms can vary. You may have diarrhea for a few cycles, while you may feel constipated over the next few. In most cases, the cause is the same hormone prostaglandin. However, alteration in your diet may also play a role in these changes.
Some women experience diarrhea, while others face constipation. At times, the high levels of progesterone cause the muscle of your digestive tract to relax. This results in gas, bloating, and constipation. When this happens, your digestive tract is so comfortable that it does not contract and flush out the waste as it would usually, leaving stuff to stagnate.
Women who are more sensitive and experience depression or anxiety, are more likely to experience several GI symptoms. Being in good mental health can help during periods.