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Why Do I Poo More On My Period?

It can be an embarrassing topic to chat about, but don’t worry, this is perfectly normal

Have you realised just before or during your period you start to notice a change in your poop? It may be that you experience diarrhoea or loose stools, or you may have the opposite and become constipated.

It can be an embarrassing topic to chat about, but don’t worry, this is perfectly normal. It’s just another way for our lovely bodies to remind us of this time of the month.

The Science Behind Period Poo

Prostaglandin is a natural chemical which can be found in tissues in the body. They help to regulate inflammation, pain, cell growth, and body temperature.

Levels of prostaglandin increase as you draw nearer to your period and this chemical causes your uterus to contract to help get rid of the lining of your womb. The presence of prostaglandin can cause stomach cramps, bloating, nausea, headaches, diarrhoea, and constipation. Higher levels of prostaglandin cause oxygen to get temporarily cut-off to muscles and can cause severe period cramps.

Teenagers have a higher amount of prostaglandin in their body and therefore may experience more intense period cramps. As they get older they may find that the cramps lesson as the levels of prostaglandin reduces.

During the second stage of your menstrual cycle, progesterone levels increase which can speed up or slow down your digestion system. Again, this can cause loose stools or constipation.

Managing Period Poo

There are a couple of things you can do that may help to balance your digestive system throughout the month to help during your period, such as

  • Include fibre in your diet, so eating plenty of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. The fibre will help to keep your bowel movements regular
  • Speak to your doctor to ask if vitamin B6 or calcium tablets would help reduce stomach upsets leading up to your period
  • The pill can prevent a surge in progesterone levels
  • Avoid irritating foods during your periods, such as caffeine and fatty or greasy foods
  • Speak to your pharmacist to see if taking anti-diarrhoea or laxative tablets would benefit you

The Bottom Line (no pun intended)

Leading up to your period, prostaglandin and progesterone levels rise. This has an effect on your body, such as feeling sick, bloating, cramps, diarrhoea, or constipation.

There are things you can do through diet, supplements, and medication to help manage the symptoms.

If it’s not affecting your everyday life then it’s just one of the natural and annoying things that we experience during our period.

If, however, your bowel movements, sickness, or stomach cramps are affecting your day-to-day life then go and speak to your doctor to check there are no underlying health conditions.

girl sitting in a toilet