Women that menstruate experience a lot of different symptoms during their periods. As if having a bleeding genitalia, unexpected mood changes and bloating wasn’t enough, we also have to deal with diarrhea, constipation or both.
Why does this happens? According to Doctors is all because of hormones and chemicals. The production of chemicals and hormones needs to be well balanced during menstruation in order to make ovulation happen. When you’re ovulating and you produce an egg, your body produces extra amounts of something called: progesterone.
Progesterone is the hormone that gets released during menstruation and after you produce an egg. It’s production stops when your menstruation stops. Progesterone increases it production during the second half of your cycle. When this happens, the contractions of the bowel are a little bit slower. This means that the way food and gases move is also slow, so you, of course, feel bloated and constipated.
If progesterone production makes your bowel movements slow down, progesterone’s decrease produces the complete opposite.
Yes, you get diarrhea. If progesterone levels drop, the movement of your bowel becomes faster and the result of this is: diarrhea.
Another important hormone that influences your stomach during period is Prostaglandin. This hormone is the one in charge of basically peeling off the tissue that covers your uterus during menstruation. When you have too much prostaglandins, you’ll probably experience some serious cramps.
There’s a study¹ that investigates the relationship between the production of prostaglandin and the bowel movement’s in women. The study shows that women with diarrhea during their periods had higher levels of prostaglandins in their system.
Bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation and what to do about them.
The best recommendations to treat all of these 3 unfortunate side effects of being a lady are:
● Change your lifestyle.
● Take some medicines (if you have to)
● Try with alternative therapies.
Go for a walk, do yoga (ask your yoga instructor about what position can help you deal with cramps) or go get a relaxing massage.
If you don’t have the time to do this, then try exercising by yourself in your own place (youtube has some good videos that can help you)².
Regarding constipation, you can try changing your eating habits a little bit during that time of the month. Beans and peas are high in fiber that help reduce constipation by adding more water content to your stool. You should also ease off on your salt and sugar consumption. Salt and sugar have some severe effects on your hormones and digestion. Also, remember to drink lots and lots of water. Hydration is very important because it prevents constipation and actually helps with fluid retention.
Other things that you can do to ease your discomfort are:
● Get enough sleep. Exercising is also great, but if your body is asking you for a nap, then take one.
● Don’t smoke.
● If the pain gets bad, you can take some ibuprofen, aspirin, ketoprofen or naproxen.