Ah, periods. The magical time of the month when everything hurts and you want to curl up in a ball and die. Cramps, bloating, mood swings...and then there's the issue of poop. It's no secret that your monthly cycle can wreak havoc on your digestive system (but don't worry - we'll get into why this happens soon).
In this article, we're going to take a humorous look at what causes diarrhea during menstruation and how you can deal with it like a pro.
First Things First: A Little Biology Lesson
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details of period poops (yes, that's really what they're called), let's quickly review some basic biology.
Your menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. These hormones regulate everything from ovulation to menstruation itself. As your body goes through these hormonal changes every month, other parts of your body are affected too – including your bowels!
The large intestine (aka colon) is where poop hangs out before being expelled from your body (gross but true). Normally, muscles in the colon contract rhythmically to help move waste along so it can eventually leave via the rectum and anus.
But sometimes things go awry...
Hormonal Fluctuations Can Make You Feel Like Crap
As you approach your period or reach mid-cycle if you have particularly heavy periods (lucky you) different hormone levels start shifting around pretty dramatically.
Both estrogen and progesterone rise just before ovulation begins; however once released by an egg follicle located within one of ovaries producing those 'fun' contractions/cramping sensations which signal it’s "shark week" coming closer in tow! If fertilised egg doesn’t implant itself within the uterus wall, then older stalk of that follicle will die off leading to a blood shedding event (aka period). During this time those hormone levels drop before rising once more throughout next cycle... rinse and repeat.
If these hormonal fluctuations get too severe in your body, it can throw everything out of whack so to speak. One symptom many women experience is cramps - but there's another less talked about issue: diarrhea.
The Connection Between Your Period and Diarrhea
Alright so here's the dealio: Estrogen makes poo harder while Progesterone relaxes muscles related with digestive processes (ever wonder why you got constipated weeks prior?) making them become slower. Meaning not only does progesterone help by relaxing smooth muscles surrounding eggs' release within ovary walls but also dilates smaller muscle valves along intestines - which might cause for peristalsis/regular bowel movements may take a break.
Since no fertilisation has occurred yet, your body hasn't "decided" whether or not it should support growing an embryo or simply start its' disk jockey impression cranking tunes on its “Luteal phase” playlist – keeping menstrual things happy until next roun-oh wait you feel 'loosey goosey'.
The result? Loose/splatterish poops... Oof! But wait there’s more...
Your Body Goes Through A Lot Of Changes Every Month!
It doesn’t just stop at changes amongst regions inside reproductive system either; external reception receptors/hormones partake during different parts stages. Take stress hormones like cortisol for example which we all produce every day because life isn't always easy-breezy lemon squeezy am I right?
Cortisol prime guiding duty is to initiate our 'fight-flight-freeze response.' Which means once stimulated in large amounts(unfortunately regularly happens during periods) adrenaline production gets kicked-in. We're not talking guts’n'glory here it triggers other responses like kicking glucose in action; telling body what to do to react rapidly.
This means that when you're dealing with a period poo malfunction aka ‘diarrhea’ your body might be reacting as though it's under stress - even if you don't consciously feel stressed out at the time!
The Silver Lining: You Can Manage Diarrhea During Your Period
While having diarrhea while on your menstrual cycle is no picnic, there are ways to mitigate the symptoms and keep things under control (pun intended). Here are some helpful tips:
1) Stay Hydrated
When we have loose bowel movements, our bodies lose water quickly (as well as essential minerals). It’s important to drink plenty of fluids during your cycle so that hydration levels stay high enough for comfortable bowel movements. Not everything has to do with staying hydrated.. Sometimes gas can build up causing distress, coffee helps stimulate poop though ( thanks lactose and caffeine).
2) Stick To An Anti-Diarrheal Diet
As much tempting comfort food may sound delicious… spicy foods or greasy fried ones aren’t always best for an unsettled stomach! Limiting fibre intake along calming diet consisting of banana/potatoes will help manage diarrhoea.
What should I eat?
|White Rice||Tastes great yay|
|Applesauce||Fiber without spikes|
|Toast||Simple carbs offering solace|
Remember- Always check/consult dietary changes if serious side effects persist .
3) Take Care Of Yourself Physically And Emotionally
Your period isn't just about physical discomforts but rather also emotional wellness during that time of the month too. People free up their schedules around or during menstrual cycles in order to give themselves breathing space e.g., dark chocolate and binging Netflix’s “Queer Eye” for example.
But you may also consider things like doing light exercise/scheduling some pamper-time on yourself, providing self-care if you will (yes, bubble baths are HIGHLY recommended); It's essential to take care of your emotional health as much as possible when dealing with body changes – especially those which aren't easy-breezy lemon squeezy!
4) Speak To Your Doctor If Diarrhea Persist
Just because diarrhea (period pooops) is a common symptom experienced across an array in menstruating folks doesn’t mean it should be consistently brushed off .This means paying attention to how frequently its occurring and thinking about other factors such as diet, IBS symptoms, bleeding/current conditions or medication side-effects etc. There could be something more serious happening within that body case-by-case wise.
Dealing with period poops can certainly make us go straight into panic mode… however what we really need is empathy/education knowing all kinds discomfort comes along while going through our cycle - whether physical OR mental!
Keeping hydrated, sticking anti-diarrheal foods/hygiene routines keeping checkups & consulting physicians(if necessary), checking stress levels/mood swings- there are many ways women male observing closest individuals approaching periods learn manage them P.S Hide tissues under bed just incase...Ladies we hope this article did justice shedding light onto nature down belows periodic dysfunctions high five