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Does my period make me poop more?

The quick answer is Yes, it does.

This is a quit common issue women just chalk up to their periods but there is a specific reason why you may find yourself running to the bathroom more during your period or right before. Hormones are the cause for this. Specifically, two

1. Prostaglandins

2. Progesterone

Prostaglandins are not true hormones but they kind of “act” like hormones. The purpose of prostaglandins is to help trigger inflammation so our body can fight infection and injury. Prostaglandins can either increase the blood flow to an area or slow it down.

During our period prostaglandins help in the contraction of the uterus. How this happens is that when it is time for the endometrial cells to start breaking down in the uterus it releases large amounts of prostaglandins.

This release of prostaglandins causes our uterus walls to contract and constricts the blood flow to the uterus causing or helping with the expulsion of the endometrial lining causing our bleeding to start.

Prostaglandins also stimulate the muscles of the digestive tract to contract and relax and since it is increased during our period this is why you may find yourself having more trips to the bathroom and even having diarrhea. However, we also have an increase in Progesterone right before your periods and Progesterone relaxes the muscles so It has a different effect on our bowels. Some women find that they are more constipated while others have more diarrhea. Progesterone also tends to increase our feelings of hunger and cravings, and what we eat can also affect our digestive tracks causing more lose stools or increase constipation.

Most will find that right before their period with the rise in progesterone that they may be more constipated but during your bleeding you have more diarrhea. This is because of the fluctuations in both your progesterone and progesterone.

What can you do about it.

1. Stay well hydrated

2. Increase your fiber intake and avoid processed foods

3. Use Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory medications if needed to help with cramping

4. Knowing this can be a normal part of our cycle can also help. Awareness is key

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