Period poop 101: Here’s why menstruation affects your bowel movements so much
Loose, tight, too much, too little, painful, effortless—these aren’t just adjectives for a new pair of jeans that you’ve just shopped for. This, in fact, could be a rather precise description of your not-so-precise period poop!
Well, as gross as it sounds, menstruation can affect your pooping habits and consistency in more ways than you can imagine and here’s why the changes happen:
1. Blame the loosies on your uterus’ contractions
“To shed off the uterine lining, which was thickened to prepare for a possible pregnancy, the body releases a hormone called prostaglandin before your period,” points out NCR-based obstetrician, gynaecologist and IVF specialist, Dr Ranjeeta Gupta.
Now, this hormone achieves its purpose by making your uterine muscles contract. The effect of these contractions can also be felt in the neighbouring intestines and bowel, which is exactly why your motion could become loose and you could be pooping more often before your period.
2. Progesterone could be the reason why you’re constipated
Conversely, low levels of prostaglandins and high levels of the progesterone hormone (whose main function is to maintain the lining of the uterus), can make your poop go MIA by slowing down the digestion process.
3. Food cravings when you’re PMSing can make your case worse
There’s nothing more satisfying than a tub of ice cream or an entire bar of chocolate for a girl on her period. After all, PMS (aka premenstrual syndrome) can get the better of us and make us crave high-fat and high-sugar foods.
While this can make you feel better, the same can’t be said about your digestive system. While the fats can be quite difficult for your body to digest, the excess sugars could be encouraging the production of bad bacteria in your gut, thereby throwing your digestion off track. The result? A loose stomach or constipated bowels!
Also, read: My #momsays jaggery can relieve period pain. And Ayurveda has her back!
4. All that period stress has a part to play too
From the hormonal frenzy in your body causing mood swings to dealing with excruciating cramps and getting anxious from all the discomfort, periods can cause a lot of stress in life. What comes along with this stress is constipation and/or diarrhoea simply because stress can lead to a sensitive gut as per a report published in the Harvard Health Publishing.
All in all, your periods and pooping habits go hand in hand. If you liked this insightful read, then do give us a shout out in the comments below. In the meantime, happy period pooping!