Most people are familiar with the term “period,” which refers to the monthly bleeding that women experience. However, there is another aspect of menstruation that is often overlooked: period poop. Period poop refers to changes in bowel movements that some people experience during their menstrual cycle. This article will explain what causes period poop, what to expect, and how to manage it.
What is Period Poop?
During the menstrual cycle, some individuals may experience changes in their bowel movements, which is commonly referred to as “period poop.” This phenomenon is caused by hormonal fluctuations that affect both menstruation and the digestive system. It’s a normal occurrence and nothing to be concerned about.
What Causes Period Poop?
Hormones play a significant role in the menstrual cycle and affect the digestive system. During menstruation, the body produces higher levels of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that cause the uterus to contract. Prostaglandins can also affect the digestive system, leading to cramping, diarrhoea, and changes in bowel movements.
In addition to prostaglandins, other hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can also affect the digestive system. Estrogen can cause the body to retain water, leading to bloating and constipation. Progesterone, on the other hand, can slow down the digestive system, leading to constipation.
What to Expect:
The changes in bowel movements during menstruation can vary from person to person. Some people may experience diarrhoea, while others may experience constipation. Sometimes, people may experience diarrhoea and constipation during their menstrual cycle.
Diarrhoea is a common symptom of period poop. Loose, watery stools characterize it and can be accompanied by cramping, bloating, and nausea. Diarrhoea during menstruation is usually caused by prostaglandins, which can cause the intestines to contract and move stool through the body too quickly.
Constipation is another common symptom of period poop. It is characterized by infrequent bowel movements, hard stools, and difficulty passing stool. Constipation during menstruation is usually caused by the effects of progesterone, which can slow down the digestive system.
How to Manage Period Poop
There are several things you can do to manage period poop:
Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help prevent constipation and keep stools soft and easy to pass.
Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fibre can help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation.
Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help regulate bowel movements and reduce bloating and constipation.
Take over-the-counter medications: Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve cramping and reduce inflammation, which can help manage diarrhoea.
Use menstrual products that suit you: Using menstrual products such as tampons or menstrual cups can help reduce pressure on the rectum, which can reduce the risk of constipation.
It’s quite common to experience period poop during your menstrual cycle due to fluctuations in hormones, which can impact your digestive system and cause changes in bowel movements. Although it can be uncomfortable, there are various ways to manage it. Staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, taking over-the-counter medications, and selecting menstrual products that work well for you can all help alleviate the symptoms of period poop.