Why does Your Period Affect Your Poop? Tips for Relief

So, which is the most annoying period symptom? If your answer is cramping, you could not have been more wrong. While cramping is terrible, and many women suffer from cramping during menstruation, period poop has to be the most annoying period symptom. Not only do women poop more during periods, but your stool also produces a foul-smell during this time.

According to research published in BMC Women’s Health in 2014, 73% of the 156 women who took part in the study experienced GI symptoms during menses (1). Period poop is not something that women often talk about, but they can be cause for concern for some. This article will try to answer all your questions about period poop.

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Why do I poop so much during my periods?

Just like all the other symptoms of periods, hormones are responsible for why you have to run to the bathroom so often during periods. Before your periods, your body releases hormones known as prostaglandins, which stimulate muscle contractions in the uterus and help it to shed its lining.

Prostaglandins also stimulate the muscles in the intestines and the bowels and cause contractions. The more often your bowels contract, the more frequently you poop will come out.

Why does my poop smell awful?

Progesterone is responsible for this problem. This hormone is responsible for regulating your period, and it rises before the period starts. The rise of progesterone in the body is linked to an increased feeling of hunger and cravings for food that is high in sugar and fat.

This type of food can be hard to digest and can lead to foul-smelling bowel movements. If you try to eat healthier, you may be able to get rid of this problem. Menstrual blood also has an odor, which may contribute to what you smell.

Why do I get diarrhea during my periods?

Prostaglandins cause contractions in the intestines, which may lead to diarrhea. These hormones also reduce the rate of absorption of food in the intestines, making food pass through the colon faster. Prostaglandins also increase electrolyte secretions, which can also cause diarrhea.

Eating probiotic foods and foods that are rich in fiber, can help to prevent diarrhea during periods.

Why am I sometimes constipated?

The hormones released during your menstrual cycle can have an inflammatory effect on the body. Progesterone causes the thickening of the uterine wall just before you ovulate, and this may lead to constipation for days before you ovulate.

Progesterone also causes the food to move more slowly through the intestines, which may make you constipated.

Start drinking more water and increase your fiber intake during the middle of the cycles, as this is when your progesterone levels start to rise.

What consistency is considered normal during periods?

As long as your poop is not entirely liquid, doesn’t have blood, and isn’t accompanied by weakness, fever, and vomiting, it is considered normal. You must see a doctor if there is blood in your stool or severe pain during bowel movements. These symptoms can be a sign of endometriosis. If your bowel movements don’t return to normal after your periods, you should see your doctor.

Why does it hurt when I poop?

It can hurt to poop even when you are not on your period. There can be several reasons why it may pain when you poop.

  • If you are constipated, straining while pooping can cause pain.
  • If you have diarrhea, all the extra trips to the bathroom and wiping can make your butt sore.
  • You may be feeling pain due to hemorrhoids, which can develop due to constipation and spending too much time on the toilet.
  • Endometriosis and ovarian cysts can also cause pain (2).

Can period change the color of my poop?

Regular poop is shades of yellow and brown, depending on what you eat. Your poop can turn reddish-brown during your period, which could be because of menstrual blood dripping out when you pooped.

However, if you are bleeding from your rectum, it can mean that you have a severe problem like endometriosis or hemorrhoids.

How can I tell the difference between period cramps and gas pain?

Period cramps feel like a dull throbbing pain. This pain can spread to your lower back, pelvis, and your butt.  You may feel period pain all the time when you have your period. On the other hand, gas pain comes on fast and then goes away when your poop or fart.

Sometimes you may suffer from gas pain and period cramps together. The increased level of progesterone in the body may make you feel gassier during periods.

Can I poop with my tampon in?

Its physically possible, but most of the time, it gets dislodged when you push hard. It’s a matter of hygiene. If you get poop on the string, it is better to remove it. Feces contain harmful bacteria, which can cause vaginal infections.

You can hold the string to a side when you poop. You can also wear a pad in the morning until you poop, and then put it in a tampon afterward.

Can I prevent my tampon from coming out when I poop?

Straining to pass, especially when you are constipated, can dislodge your tampon. The pelvic muscles’ position makes it more likely that you will push the tampon out when you poop. Stools become more comfortable to pass when you are not constipated.

Eat fiber-rich food and drink more water to prevent constipation. You can also use a menstrual cup as it is more likely to stay put.

How should you wipe correctly during periods?

Always wipe from front to back and avoid skin contact with the stool. Use wipes that are free of any chemicals and perfumes. Flushable wipes are a good option. Never scrub the skin around the anus as it can cause tears, which can lead to infections.  Once you have wiped and cleaned, wash your hands with soap and water.

Is there anything I can do to make these symptoms better?

You cannot always predict or prevent unpleasant digestive symptoms of periods. However, you can make specific lifestyle changes to ease the symptoms and feel better.  Here are some tips to help you manage your digestive symptoms during periods –

1. Eat high fiber food

High fiber food can help to prevent constipation. Eat carrots, broccoli, beets, and artichokes as they are rich in fiber. Bananas, avocados, apples, oranges, and strawberries are also useful for digestion. Also, add beans, legumes, and whole grains to your diet.

2. Physical activity

Physical activity helps to keep the bowel moving. It also helps to ease the symptoms of PMS.

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3. Stool softeners

Stool softeners make it easy for you to pass stool till your hormones ease out. They help you to avoid straining too much, which can also lead to hemorrhoids and other problems.

4. Take ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which helps to ease pain and cramping linked to menstruation. It is also a prostaglandin inhibitor and can help to reduce digestive issues during periods.

Final thoughts

Bowel issues during menstruation include diarrhea, constipation, and smelly stools. While these problems are normal and nothing to worry about, you can take specific steps to ease them out. Follow these tips to ease your symptoms related to period poop.

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