Period-induced mood swings? Treat yourself to some dark chocolate. Abdominal cramps? Use a hot water bottle for relief. Bloating? Reduce salt intake and take a walk. Fatigue? Sleep well and eat bananas. There is no dearth of remedies for these common side effects of shark week. But there’s one period affliction that no one talks about–period poop. Yes, it’s possible for your bowel movements to take a hit during that time of the month and we’re here to give you all the info about why you may feel constipated or suffer from diarrhea during your periods. Take a look:
What Is Period Poop?
According to a study published in the journal BMC Women’s Health, 73% of menstruating women experience changes in their gastrointestinal patterns during their periods. These may include constipation, diarrhea, more frequent bowel movements, stronger poop odour, and period cramps that may seem like bowel movements. These changes are sometimes referred to as “period poop”.
What Causes Period Poop?
Now that you know what period poop is, let’s understand the four main causes of the changes in your pooping habits during shark week:
Prostaglandins are hormone-like chemicals that are produced by the body to trigger uterine contractions a few days before your period and during shark week. When produced in excess, prostaglandins can enter the bloodstream and have a similar effect on your bowels. This means that they can make your bowels contract too and as a result, you may poop more frequently during your periods. Conversely, the increase in prostaglandins may also slow down digestion and lead to constipation.
Periods can also affect your eating habits and lead to food cravings due to a surge in progesterone (female sex hormones) levels in the body. Now, giving in to those cravings and feeding on junk, fried, and sugary foods can also cause of aggravate period poop. While the lack of fibre in these foods can cause constipation, it can also make your poop smell stronger.
Hormonal changes and nausea during periods can cause dehydration. Additionally, sipping on hot caffeinated beverages like tea or coffee more frequently for cramp relief or an energy boost can also trigger dehydration. This in turn can lead to constipation or cause pain while passing your stool.
From period-induced mood swings to abdominal cramps, a host of changes during that time of the month can increase your stress levels. As a result, your body produces more cortisol (stress hormone) which can disturb your bowel movements and cause diarrhea or constipation.
How To Ease Period Poops
Frequent bowel movements can make a tampon/menstrual cup user’s life miserable. The diarrhea can aggravate dehydration, fatigue, and weakness. Hard stools can make periods even more painful and uncomfortable. The solution? Take a look at these four effective ways to ease period poop and feel comfier:
Make sure to drink eight-ten glasses of room-temperature water during your periods to keep dehydration at bay. You can even add hydrating liquids like coconut water and electrolytes to your diet. This can ensure that you’re hydrated if you’ve been suffering from diarrhea and also make your stool softer in case you are constipated.
If you’re constipated, you must increase your fibre intake to trigger bowel movements and make your stool softer. You can add green leafy veggies, fresh fruits, and whole grains like wheat, barley, and oats to your diet. Avoid caffeinated beverages as they can dehydrate you and aggravate constipation. For excessive bowel movements, eat foods with a natural costive effect like bananas and potatoes (with skin). Avoid processed, sugary, and oily food as they can further disturb your digestive system and cause diarrhea or constipation.
Your food moves through your intestines, where most of the water and nutrients are absorbed. The longer it takes for the food to pass through the intestines, the more water is absorbed, making your stool dry, hard, and difficult to pass. But exercising can decrease the time it takes for the food to pass through the large intestines. This means, lesser water is absorbed from the food and the stool is easier to pass. You can go for slow walks or practice some easy stretches at home. However, if you’re suffering from diarrhea and weakness, excessive exercise can cause weakness, so take rest instead.
Stress can aggravate your period poop problem. So make sure to meditate and sleep well to keep stress in check. Additionally, you can get yourself a massage with a calming essential oil like lavender oil to keep your cortisol levels low.
Period cramps can add to your stress levels and also increase the urge to poop. So you can use heat therapy to ease the pain and make yourself feel comfier.
Sirona Recommends Best Products To Ease Period Poop
Sirona Feminine Pain Relief Patch
Sirona’s Feminine Pain Relief Patch is made with natural pain-relieving ingredients like menthol and eucalyptus oil. This sleek patch can be stuck on the legs or thighs for some much-needed pain relief and ease period poop symptoms. It is easy to carry and stays effective for 8-10 hours.
Sirona Pain-Relief Heat Patch
Sirona’s Pain-Relief Heat Patch is also made with 100% natural ingredients. Consider it as your portable, hassle-free source of heat therapy that can be stuck on the stomach for eight hours of relief from pain and excessive stress–without any side effects.
Sirona Feminine Cramp Relief Roll On
The Sirona Cramp Relief Roll On can be used on your lower back, abdomen, and legs to ease period pain, reduce stress, and reduce period poop symptoms. Packed with all-natural ingredients like lavender oil, clove oil, cinnamon, and eucalyptus, it helps relieve period pain–even on the go. Its calming aroma helps relax your muscles and the smooth roll-on application makes it super handy and convenient to use.
Electric Hot Water Bag
Sirona’s Hot Water Bag is a mess-free way to cash in on the goodness of heat therapy to beat cramps, stress, and period poop. It comes with automatic temperature control and a quick-charging feature and eliminates the need for heating water and filling it up into the hot water bottle every few hours. All you’ve got to do is to charge it once for 7-12 minutes and tada! You’re sorted for the next two hours. It helps relax your muscles, lowers inflammation, and relieves period pain.
Period poop can make shark week more difficult than it already is. But we’re sure that these remedies will make your life and your periods easier. However, if you’re passing bloody stool or pooping more frequently than three-four times a day, you must consult with your doc immediately.
Featured Image: Pexels
How to Get Rid of Period Cramps: Here’s everything you need to know about powering through menstrual cramps like a champ
Tampons vs Pads: Tampons or pads? Which is the better period aid for you?
Reason for Delayed Periods: Delayed periods aren’t always a sign of pregnancy.
Brown Discharge During Pregnancy: Read this if you’re experiencing brown vaginal discharge during pregnancy.
Remedies to Cure Period Pain: These home remedies are all you need to power through a painful period week.