The Scoop on Period Poop
All you (n)ever wanted to know about period poops 💩
Ever wondered why your trips to the loo take an unexpected turn during your period? It's not just you – many people experience these changes too, so I am giving you the scoop on period poop!
Let's get our nerd on! 🤓
💩 What Are Period Poops?
During the onset of your period, you might start to notice changes in your bowel movements which often include pretty pongy loose poos. But why does this happen?
💩 The Hormone Connection
It's all linked to the hormonal changes you experience just before your period. As your period approaches, progesterone levels drop, causing your uterus to produce fatty acids called prostaglandins. These little chemicals contract and stimulate the smooth muscles in your uterus to help shed its lining aka your period. And results in those pesky period cramps.
Of course, you can learn to anticipate these hormonal changes with a cycle charting practice!
But they don't stop there! Prostaglandins are released by various cells throughout the body, not just in the uterus. As these chemicals are produced and released in response to hormonal changes in the uterus, they enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
When they reach your large intestine, they have the same effect on the smooth muscle of the colon, causing it to contract and increase motility (the speed and efficiency at which food is moved through the digestive tract).
The result? Period poops.
💩 Can I stop them?
No, poops are part of life, but you can make them smell a little better. In the second half of your cycle (Luteal Phase) your body produces progesterone, that tricky little hormone is responsible for PMS and you getting your pre-menstrual snack game on!
PMS cravings often include dairy, processed foods, fizzy drinks, and sugary treats and when teamed up with prostaglandins can result in... loose, pongy poops. Remember, fibre is your friend. So, instead of devouring an entire family-sized bag of crisps (we all have those moments when we're alone with a bag, right? 🤣), consider mixing in some carrot sticks, just saying!
💩 Why do I get constipated?
Some peeps experience the absence of poops. High progesterone levels just before your period can slow down your gastrointestinal transit, affecting the time it takes to eat, digest and poop, causing sluggish bowel movements.
On the flip side, Queen Estrogen in the first half of your cycle can cause your gut to absorb more water and salt from your poop as it passes through your bowel leading to harder-to-pass stools. Hydration and a balanced diet are key.
Maintaining a balanced diet is not only essential for keeping your digestion on track but also plays a crucial role in eliminating excess estrogen from your body. Poor digestion can contribute to higher estrogen levels, as excess estrogen is eliminated, you guessed it, in your poop!
Remember your snack de jour choices count! Make fibre your BFF and stay hydrated.
💩 The Final Scoop on Poop
This is not an exhaustive list, and of course, there are other lifestyle and dietary factors to include and not everyone will experience period poops, but if you do, fear not. Tis completely normal and likely caused by a combination of hormonal shifts and other lifestyle changes that occur just before your period eg lack of movement.
You can support your body by keeping active, bonus points if it brings you joy ( yoga and daily walks in nature are my go-to). Maintain a balanced diet to promote regular bowel movements, and opt for water over fizzy drinks to stay well-hydrated.
Please don't stress or feel embarrassed my friend it's all part of having hormones. But if your poops are being a real pain in the bum (hehe) or last longer than your period. Please don't be afraid to take up space and go and see your doctor to find a solution. Alternatively, feel free to reach out to me HERE