Reviewed by

Morgane Leten - Nutrition & Fertility Coach

  • Gut Health
  • Nutrition

How your Poop Changes Throughout Your Cycle

Your period can come with a lot of not-so-fun side effects like cramps, bloating, acne and mood swings, but one thing that doesn’t get talked about all that much is period poop. I mean, let’s face it: our bowel movements aren’t exactly a hot topic of conversation generally, but it’s important to talk about it because our pooping habits can get weird during our period. Understanding what’s going on with our bodies is one of our goals at Guud Woman. So, as gross and uncomfortable as it may be, it’s time to talk about your poop.

What’s the deal with period poop? 

Many people notice that their pooping habits change just before or during their period. Some women experience constipation. Others may have diarrhea. Some just poop more than usual during their period. It’s different for everyone, but the one thing that everyone has in common is that any poop-related changes are often caused by hormonal fluctuations. 

Pre-Period Constipation 

In the time between ovulation and when you get your period, progesterone starts to increase. Progesterone can cause food to move more slowly through your intestines and this can cause a bit of a back-up. The result? Constipation. 

Diarrhea or Frequent Pooping

On the flip side, though, those progesterone levels plummet as soon as your period starts and at the same time, there is an increase in prostaglandins. These are hormone-like compounds that do a ton of different things including causing your uterus to contract (cue: cramps!) Prostaglandins don’t just stay in your uterus though. They move around and some can stray into your bowels. This can cause things to move more quickly or cause you to poop much more often during your period. 

The severity of these symptoms varies for everyone. Some women may have never even noticed so-called period poops (lucky you!) But if you do notice changes - either constipation or diarrhea - around your period each month, this is likely the culprit. 

Why Does My Poop Smell So Bad During My Period? 

This has a lot to do with what you’re eating. Hormonal changes in the lead up to your period can cause food cravings and if you stuff yourself with unusual foods you don’t normally eat, or a lot of processed foods or sugar, it can have an effect on your poop. Try to nourish your body with clean, whole foods - it will really help! 

Why Does it Hurt to Poop When I Have My Period? 

There are a few things that can make pooping more painful when you have your period: 

  • Constipation. If you’re straining to poop, this can be painful. 
  • Cramps. They feel awful in general but even worse if you are straining to poop
  • Diarrhea. This symptom is often accompanied by stomach cramps. Period cramps + stomach cramps is a brutal combination 

If the pain is so bad that it is interfering with your daily life, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. 

How to Cope with Weird Poops During your Period 

Understanding your own body is critical so pay attention to any gastrointestinal symptoms. This is your body telling you something is not right and you can make simple lifestyle changes to help. 

  • Eat more fibre. If you notice that you’re constipated before your period, try upping your fibre intake. Fibre can bulk up your poop and help make it easier to go. Reach for things like fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread and oatmeal. Don’t go crazy though - too much fibre can make you feel bloated and gassy
  • Skip the coffee. If you are prone to period-related diarrhea, skip your cup of coffee which can make the problem worse. Grab a green tea or smoothie packed with fruits and veggies. You can read more about coffee in this post: Coffee please! - The influence of coffee on your hormones.
  • Take a supplement. Take a daily multivitamin that can help ensure you are topped up on all the essential vitamins and minerals. Guud Flow is the perfect addition to your routine. It can help regulate your hormones and support your fertility
  • Get some exercise. You might not feel like it, but movement helps the bowels. Any activity increases muscle activity in your intestines which can stimulate bowel movements
  • Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water especially if you are prone to diarrhea. 
  • Go! When you have the urge, just go. Holding things in can cause constipation and make your poops harder and possibly painful to pass 

Still have questions? Talk to our experts using our live chat or DM us on Instagram. We’re here to help and no question is TMI. Even about poop. We promise.