We’ve all heard of period cramps, but why is no one talking about period poops? As if bleeding, sore boobs, back pain, fatigue, pimples, and oh yeah, feeling like a whale aren’t bad enough, did you know that period poop (both more poop and constipation) is a real thing? So real that 73% of women experience them according to this study. AWESOME! 😕
To understand when and why they come, it’s important to understand the menstrual cycle.
In the most simplistic terms:
🩸 Day one of your menstrual cycle is usually considered as the first day of bleeding. This should last any where from 3 to 8 days.
🩸 Once the bleeding stops, the uterine lining begins to thicken again in preparation for pregnancy.
🩸 On or around day 14 (everyone is different) an egg is released and begins its trip down the fallopian tubes – this is when you are ovulating and can get pregnant.
🩸 If fertilisation hasn’t occurred, your trusty hormones will signal to the uterus to prepare to shed its lining.
🩸 Repeat every 28 days!
So why and where does it get messy?
The two culprits are the hormones progesterone and prostaglandins, but they’re not all bad, they’re helpful too.
Progesterone levels peak in the luteal phase (see diagram above) – they peak because they are preparing and growing the uterine wall to be able to accept a fertilised egg to be implanted and develop. It does this by stopping the uterus muscles from contracting (contractions would make it harder for the egg to adhere).
Once the uterus recognises that no egg has been fertilised, progesterone levels drop to stop the growth of the uterine wall.
The problem is, because progesterone does not allow muscles in the region to contract, it can also lead to no movement in the bowels and intestines, or constipation…just what we need! 🤦
Prostaglandins on the other hand, increase muscle contractions – this is to facilitate the shedding of the uterine lining. These contractions that are facilitating the shedding of your lining are more commonly known as period cramps! If you experience painful period cramps, it’s likely that you have high levels of prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins don’t just cause cramps, they also run a muck in your bowels and intestines making them contract as well – [INSERT PERIOD POOPS HERE]. Fun times being a uterus owner!
*Note: if you wear tampons and experience period poops – be sure to check that poop hasn’t made its way to your tampon string! Poop contains bacteria that is bad for your urinary tract, if it makes its way up to your bladder – it could lead to a UTI. 😱
If you do end up with a UTI – girl, you know CRANEL has your back! One shot. Once a week.
Isn’t it amazing what our bodies have been doing most of our lives without us even knowing?