We have all been there. Your expecting your period any day now and all off a sudden there is a mad dash for the bathroom. Diarrhea and periods are synonymous for most women. So why do so many women find themselves up shit creek (pun intended) when their period comes a knocking?
First lets take a look at what happens before your period. After you ovulate, your body starts making Progesterone. It helps to thicken the lining of the uterus making it more hospitable for a potential fertilized egg. Along with thickening the uterus it can also cause constipation, fluid retention, swelling, and weight gain. It “gums up the works” so to say.
As your cycle continues and there has been no egg implantation your body prepairs to start shedding the uterine lining. In order to do that however Progesterone levels need to drop off significantly. When that happens everything starts moving a bit more freely, including your GI tract.
The second chemical that comes into play is Prostaglandin. Prostaglandin is a lipid that narrows the blood vessels in your muscles which causes them to contract, help prevent blood loss, and promote clotting. As your uterine walls thicken during the second half of your cycle they get packed with Prostaglandins.
When you start to menstruate the Prostaglandins are released and cause your uterine muscles to start contracting ( hello cramps). When the Prostaglandins leak into your bloodstream they send the same message to nearby muscle tissue including your colon. You can see where I am going here…..
So, what can you do about the period poops? If you are on hormonal birth control (the pill for exmple) it can help regulate the amount of Prostaglandin your body makes. Ibuprofen can also help as it lowers inflimation and inhibits Prostaglandins.
As you can see period poops are a totally normal albeit annoying part of menstruation. It’s wonderful to be a menstruating human!