What the F is Up with Period Poop?
"Period Poop” as its often referred to, are bowel movements that happen at the start of your period, before or during your cycle, usually at the same time, they all coincide. This poop is different from regular poop or even diarrhea. A change in consistency, frequency and smell are all quite common.
While cramps are usually the public face of painful Period Symptoms we all know “Period Poop” is the worst! Some women agree that the worse your cramps are, the worse your period poop will be. Poop cramps can be more painful or even sharper sometimes.
Why Does This Happen?
Our body sometimes needs a little push to get our menstrual cycle going, so it sends out prostaglandis (a group of hormones) which tell your uterus to contract, causing cramps. This helps get your flow going.
At the same time the same group of hormones are telling your digestive system to contract and relax which is why you see this change in your poop during your period. The more prostaglandis the body releases, the more likely you are to get hit with the heavy cramps and the heavy pooping. If you are experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety, this hormones related to stress can also cause bowel changes.
Tips on How to make this more manageable:
1. Write it down- You must keep track of your cycle each month. This will help you better understand your body and digestive system. Like tracking your period helps you prepare for that time of the month, so will tracking your poop. There are a few Apps out there like Clue, Period Tracker that help! The more you know about your body the better you will be better equipped to handle your cycle. We don't have a Magic Ball!
2. Eat Chocolates- Dark chocolate is recommended, but only if its the 70% cocoa kind. Not only does it taste great, but it releases endorphins to get your mood back on track. Dark chocolate is also high in magnesium, a mineral that helps reduce both period and poop cramps. Eat small portions, everything in moderation!
3. Exercise – Hormonal changes in the body can increase sensations of fatigue during their period. Physical activity can boost energy levels instead of lowering them. It's been proving that exercising during and before a period may reduce symptoms. Go for a walk, run, do some yoga stretches, ride your bike, or go for a swim, don’t let the cramps keep you down!
4. Heat and Hot Water - Heat therapy works great by relaxing the muscles of the uterus, increasing the blood flow and easing the pain. Soaking in a hot bath or using heating pads on your lower abdomen will help reduce menstrual cramps. A popular helper is a hot water bottle. The heat it produces helps relax the muscles in your lower torso easing the cramps. You can have one strapped to your belly all day.
5. Stay Healthy- First don’t skip any meals on your period. This will make you feel nausea and fatigued. A great way to start your cycle is with a fiber-rich diet. Eat lots of fruit, veggies, nuts, and whole grains. During our cycle we are losing blood and going through hormonal changes. Opt for foods with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, iron and fiber. Stay hydrated and avoid certain foods like salty and fatty treats to regain what's lost.
6. Be Prepared - You want to make sure to have your period products on hand. Don't wait until the day before to order your products. We recommend using organic bamboo Sanitary Pads and Period Panties, very comfortable and affordable.