Digestive Problems Before, During, and After Your Period: What Can Be Causing It?
Every time you have your period, does your digestion go crazy too? You are not alone in this. In fact, many suffer from digestive problems during their periods. A study in BMC Women’s Health provided exact figures : Of 156 respondents, 73 percent had at least one of the primary gastrointestinal symptoms before or during menstruation . These were the most common
- Abdominal pain
with 58 percent before and 55 percent during your period
- and diarrhea
with 24 percent before and 28 percent during your period.
Why do I have digestive problems during my period?
The hormonal balance in your body fluctuates depending on which phase of your menstrual cycle you are in. In addition to abdominal pain, this can also trigger various physical and emotional complications . These include nausea, abdominal pain, headache, loss of appetite, dizziness, tiredness, irritability, a feeling of tension in the breasts, back pain and depressive moods.
Typical for the onset of your period is the release of prostaglandins. These promote the contraction of the uterus. A side effect is that it also stimulates bowel movements, which in some women leads to diarrhea or increased flatulence .
However, the triggers for these complaints have not yet been fully identified , as the interaction between hormones and hormone signals is so complex that it has not yet been adequately researched.
What gastrointestinal symptoms can your period cause?
The digestive problems caused by the processes before and during the period are very diverse. The symptoms that can occur include:
- Flatulence before and during your period
- Nausea before and during your period
- Diarrhea before and during your period
- Abdominal pain before and during your period
You may have noticed by now that you can have various ailments not only during your period but also before it. Why is that?
Why can I have digestive problems before, during and after my period?
In our overview, we explained that the hormone level changes constantly throughout the cycle. For example, between ovulation and your period, progesterone levels rise and estrogen levels fall.
Researchers have found that the days immediately after ovulation are more likely to experience bloating and constipation . In the days immediately before menstruation and the first two days when the bleeding starts, you are more likely to experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea .
For example, nausea is a common side effect of the cycle . Some medical professionals see estrogen as the cause of cycle-related nausea, because the hormonal changes and fluctuations in hormone levels can unfortunately also affect the digestive tract. As a result, nausea can occur at different stages of the cycle, once as PMS between ovulation and your period and then as a concomitant phenomenon during menstruation.
My periods are missing, but I have digestive problems: what’s going on?
If you have digestive problems but miss your period, there could be other reasons besides the hormonal change. Three of the most common are
Stress can not only make you feel sick, it can also affect your digestion in general . Because the negative emotions hit your stomach quickly.
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
Sometimes an illness is actually to blame for the fact that you have gastrointestinal problems. Here it is good to check whether the nausea still persists after 24 hours, has possibly even gotten worse and other side effects such as diarrhea or vomiting have occurred. It is always advisable to see a doctor if you fear you may be sick.
Some preparations can cause indigestion as a side effect. You can tell by looking at the package insert or discussing the potential side effects with your doctor.
But these two can also be responsible for digestive problems:
In the first few weeks of pregnancy, hormone production is changed. Above all, a pregnancy hormone, beta-hCG, is said to be the trigger for nausea in the first few weeks. But constipation and diarrhea also occur again and again.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Like many things to do with irritable bowel syndrome , the relationship between irritable bowel syndrome and the menstrual process is unclear. Many people find that their symptoms get lighter just before they get their period. Others have worse symptoms when they have their periods.
When should I see a doctor?
Constipation, nausea, gas, and other digestive problems before and during your period can be uncomfortable, but the symptoms usually arise as a result of changes in hormone levels .
However, if you are in severe pain, the symptoms have a strong impact on your everyday life, or you discover blood in your stool, you should actually go to your gynecological practice .
One more note from us: many of us take period pain for granted. However, pain is always a signal from your body and you can also have your period pain clarified by the doctor. Because some pains are actually not “normal”, but an indication that something is wrong.
Even if your pain is “only” allowed to be caused by your period, you can, after consulting your doctor, take a suitable medication for the pain . No matter what helps you now, please do it. Because if we don’t do anything about the pain, it can sometimes get worse or be perceived as worse.
The pain in the lower abdomen can lead to further cramps, which in turn intensify the pain. This vicious circle should not be allowed to arise in the first place. If you need movement, then move, if you want to lie quietly on the couch, then do that. During this time everything is ok that helps you.
What helps with digestive problems during your period?
If you don’t know exactly if and when you have various digestive problems during your cycle, a cycle app or cycle diary may be of help. You can write down your complaints at the exact times.
In this way you will quickly learn which complaints occur to you and when, and you can determine them gradually with more and more certainty. You can also use this well for preparation and possibly also for prevention .
What should I look for in my diet to prevent digestive problems on my period?
Your diet directly affects your digestion. If this is already a bit stressed by your period, it is good if you rely on an adapted diet during this time:
- Diet gentle
on the stomach If you are struggling with gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, heartburn, nausea, stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea, it can be helpful to switch to food that is gentle on the stomach . Our stomach-friendly recipes provide you with delicious inspiration .
- Avoid foods that cause gas.
Some foods contain a lot of soluble fiber. These lead to excessive intestinal gas formation. Especially if you suffer from gas or flatulence, you should avoid these foods. These include legumes, leeks and onions, artichokes and cabbage vegetables.
- Little fat The
fact that fried, deep-fried, breaded and smoked foods put a strain on the stomach is due to the fact that a lot of fat and sometimes also spices are used in the preparation of these dishes. Because even without a period, fat can cause digestive problems due to a fat intolerance, for example .
- Do not season too much
If you have a sensitive digestive system, you can quickly get discomfort after eating spicy food. It is therefore advisable not to season too strongly or spicy if you have digestive problems.
- Eating in peace
Not only what, but also how you eat affects your digestion. Therefore, it is good if you deal with mindful eating .
Are there home remedies that can help with digestive problems during your period?
Home remedies are things you can usually find in your home, and especially in your kitchen. Even if you have indigestion due to your period, there are a few home remedies that can relieve them:
- Home remedies for abdominal pain
- Home remedies for nausea
- Home remedies for flatulence
- Home remedies for diarrhea
- Home remedies for digestion
Are there any medications that can be used for digestive problems during your period?
When a healthy diet or home remedies are not enough, medication can sometimes help. Your gynecological practice or pharmacy can give you good advice on which remedies are recommended for your symptoms.
In general, it can be said that you need an active ingredient to treat the pain. The best known are acetylsalicylic acid, paracetamol and ibuprofen . An antispasmodic is also helpful to relax the cramped uterus.
Some manufacturers have already brought products and remedies specifically for menstrual pain onto the market. You can find out which one is suitable for you and which one you can tolerate together with your pharmacist or your gynecologist .
There is also a study that looked at the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen. According to the results, taking the medication before the start of your period can reduce the amount of blood by 30 to 40 percent and also reduce the occurrence of cramps and diarrhea. If you would like to try this out, please discuss it with your doctor beforehand.
You can go another way with hormonal contraceptives . You can either take some of the “pill” preparations uninterruptedly so that there is no menstrual period at all. Other preparations ensure that very little uterine lining is built up. In this way the menstrual period, in which the mucous membrane is shed, is also reduced. The uterus does not have to contract as much and your period becomes less painful.
Please seek detailed advice on this from your gynecological practice, because hormonal contraceptive methods have side effects and can also increase the risk of some other diseases.
What else can I do if I have digestive problems during my period?
In addition to diet, home remedies, and medication, there are a few other tips you can try. We have four tips that are relatively easy to implement for digestive problems before and during your period:
Warmth is not only very comforting, it also relaxes the muscles. This relaxation can relieve pain. If you don’t have a hot water bottle or a grain pillow to hand, a warm shower or a bath in your tub will also help.
- Breathing exercises
With various breathing exercises you can manage to breathe away pain, so to speak. Breathing exercises can also be of great help with gastrointestinal complaints.
Though it may sound ridiculous when you are curled up on the bed, movement actually helps relieve the pain sometimes. Because the movement stimulates the blood circulation. In addition, happiness hormones are released when you engage in a favorite sport. These can help to drive away the hormonal mood swings.
If your symptoms are slowly subsiding, it will also help you to distract yourself. If you can focus on a book or another activity such as painting, crafting, or writing, you can try that. Otherwise, of course, the look at the smartphone or the series look excellent.
Digestive Problems During Period: Causes and What Really Helps
Due to changes in hormone levels, many people experience digestive problems during their period. Just abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea are common symptoms, as well as bloating and constipation may well happen.
Unfortunately, these complaints are unpleasant companions in everyday life not only during, but also before and after your period .
Fortunately, you can usually get the symptoms under control with the help of diet, home remedies, and medication . Here it is good for you if you get individual advice from your gynecological practice about which remedies can help with your complaints.
Since nutrition and digestion are closely related, your eating habits have a very large influence – both positive and negative – on your digestion. You can use this to alleviate or prevent symptoms. In our gastrointestinal section you will find relevant information and helpful tips about common complaints and your digestion .