If PMS is real, period pain is real, then so is period poop. Yes, you read that right! Most of us have experienced those bouts of constipation or diarrhoea during periods. Bouts that can be sometimes dreadful and sometimes feel like heaven. There is, however, little talk around period poop, though we have all experienced it.
What causes period poop?
While the exact reason behind this is yet to be determined, experts* believe that it is caused by an increase in hormones called prostaglandins. As prostaglandins are released, making our uterus contract to shed its lining, they can also result in contractions in our intestines. They enter the bloodstream and increase the electrolyte secretions which can lead to diarrhoea. In some cases, high levels of progesterone may cause the food to move more slowly which can lead to constipation.
Does it smell?
It does! Quite bad! And again, you can put the blame on prostaglandins and a bit on those strange cravings. The high levels of prostaglandins results in constantly craving for all the ice-creams, chocolates, and other guilty food in the world. This sudden change in the eating habits often results in foul-smelling stool. But believe us, it’s a very common thing and there’s nothing to be ashamed of!
Does it hurt?
While in some people bowel movements more or less stay normal and it might not hurt, for others it might. Especially when you experience a surge in constipation, it can make the stool hard and difficult to pass. It can be painful for those who have endometriosis and menstrual cramps which put an additional pain to the whole experience.
It might also happen that sometimes we won’t know if it is just cramps or if we really have to poop. This is an absolutely normal feeling. Prostaglandins cause uterine and bowel contractions which makes it hard to decide if it is period pain or nature’s call.
When is the right time to visit the doctor?
While constipation and diarrhoea are very common among most of us, excessive or persistent constipation can be the result of other issues. In such a case, we would recommend you to visit your doctor or gynaecologist. Symptoms like mucus in the stool cannot be ignored and it is advisable to seek expert opinion in the matter.
Periods come with their own saga and most of us have some built-in abilities to participate bravely in those sagas. At Nua, we thought of making your journey a little more comfortable with products that can provide you warmth and convenience. Our fully customisable pack of sanitary pads bring to you three different sizes for your different flow-phases. Cramp Comfort is a self-heating patch that keeps you warm for 8 hours as you go about your daily routine. Periods is our experience and we are all in it together!
*As per Healthline