If you’ve had your period for some time you’ve probably noticed a pattern with your bowel movements each month too. Suddenly, there are a few noticeable changes with your poop, like how frequently you poop, the smell might get significantly worse, and the consistency of the poop might change too. You also might find yourself farting a lot more too. All of this is completely normal! It might not be openly discussed as much, but if you menstruate the chances of you experiencing any of the above is quite high.
But, what causes all of these changes with your poop in the first place? Like most changes related to menstruation and reproductive health, it has to do with *drum roll* our hormones! Around the time that your period begins the body releases fatty acids called prostaglandins which causes the muscle of the uterus to contract causing the uterine lining to shed. This is what causes your period, along with the cramps. Prostaglandins also play a role in your bowel movements when you have your period.
Prostaglandins make the colon’s muscle contract faster than usual, which means it becomes more active. This means you’ll poop more often, your poop is looser and it can even cause diarrhea in some cases. It’s also common for some people to struggle to poop while on their period and they may experience constipation. This is because their prostaglandin levels are low. If this is the case, make sure to eat fruits, vegetables and other foods that are high in fibre while drinking enough water.
Experiencing discomfort, cramps and pain while pooping on your period is normal too unfortunately. But, if you’re experiencing excessive and consistent pain while pooping on your period to the point where it’s unbearable, it could be a symptom of endometriosis. Remember, if you feel that you’re experiencing anything out of the ordinary, always have it checked out by a qualified medical professional.