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Why do you poop more when on your period?

And as usual, you can blame it on the hormones!

We discuss pretty much everything about our period with our girlfriends. Whether it is the terrible cramps or the mood swings, only another mum-friend understands the agony. But hang on — there is one thing we don't talk about. And this is the topic of pooping more during your period.

Surprisingly, reports suggest that every month over 8,100 people Google "period poop." Perhaps pooping more during your period is a genuine concern that many women face, but they aren't comfortable talking about it. But it is an important issue, and it needs to be addressed... which is why we are here!

Pooping more during your period: Why does this happen?

You'll be totally surprised to learn that hormones are the reason why pooping more during your period takes place.  These are the hormones responsible for this phenomenon.

1. Prostaglandin

Female bodies make and send chemical signals to the uterus. Basically, these signals inform the uterus that it needs to contract, expelling the uterine lining towards the end of the menstrual cycle. That's how you start bleeding.

But the prostaglandins can also reach the bowels located close by and share the same "expel now" signal with it. And that's one of the reasons why you poop more during your period.

However, if you are on the pill, then the prostaglandin released is limited. As a result, it keeps your cramping — and obviously pooping more during your period — under control.

2. Progesterone

Now, ladies, prostaglandin has a partner in crime here. And that is progesterone. This is a hormone released from your ovaries. It helps in thickening of the uterine lining when preparing to fertilize an egg.

pooping more during your period Pooping more during your period: Why does this happen?  | Image: file image

Rebecca Brightman who is an ob-gyn in New York City shares: "Progesterone slows down GI tract motility, that's when women start to get that bloated feeling. Many women experience constipation in the last week or ten days leading up to their period."

The progesterone levels in your body are high in the middle of your cycle. But when your period begins, it drops dramatically. And this drop in the hormone makes you poop more.

Pooping more during your period: Tips

Not all of you will poop more during your period. Some of you may only feel slight nausea as an effect of prostaglandins. Others may suffer from diarrhea.

But if you are among women who respond to these hormones by pooping more during your period, it's natural to feel frustrated. To feel better, you may take NSAID pain relievers. They can block some of the prostaglandins and help in reducing the cramps and pooping.

According to Mira Kaga, who is an internal medicine physician in New Jersey, "Ibuprofen really helps pretty significantly, and that's oftentimes our go-to. It'll help prevent the cramping, but also diarrhoea."

Otherwise, just go with the flow and think of it as your once-a-month bowel cleanse!

Source: Metro, Popular Science, Cosmopolitan

 Also Read: Why and how I taught my 7-year-old son about menstruation!

Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore