Digestive disorders are a common complaint during pregnancy. It's an intestinal inconvenience that, fortunately, is mostly benign. But this is not always the case: how is diarrhea treated? What causes it? We explain it all in this article.
Why does diarrhea occur during pregnancy?
The pregnancy is a time of life when many symptoms appear. Often benign, it is possible that certain effects on the body are not directly linked to pregnancy. Diarrhoea can be caused by a number of factors. l
Symptoms of pregnancy
When you're pregnant, your body tends to secrete much more progesterone. This hormone slows down intestinal transit. This can sometimes lead to constipation. When constipation occurs, people tend to supplement their mineral intake, which can also lead to diarrhoea. If you also tend to be stressed during pregnancy, it's possible that your anxiety is generating diarrhoea.
Some women adopt a much more balanced diet when they're pregnant, to make sure they meet the baby's needs. If you adopt a diet that's much higher in fiber, your intestinal transit changes, and as a result, colic can occur.
In late pregnancy, frequent bowel movements can also be a sign of the onset of labor.
Many pregnant women are prescribed iron supplements. Iron supplementation helps to treat anemia, but can sometimes lead to watery stools or, conversely, constipation.
But as explained earlier, diarrhea can have many different causes:
- Food poisoning : for pregnant people, it's especially important to be careful when choosing and storing food. Particular vigilance is advised, as certain bacteria such as listeria and salmonella can actually be dangerous for the fetus;
- Gastroenteritis : even during pregnancy, it is possible to get gastroenteritis, especially if you are in contact with people who have the disease or during an epidemic;
- By chance, it is also possible to discover during pregnancy (even if unrelated), a functional colopathy also known as irritable bowel syndrome.
What are the symptoms of diarrhoea for pregnant women?
Diarrhea manifests itself in different ways during pregnancy:
- Liquid or loose stools, in fairly large quantities;
- High frequency (more than 3 bowel movements per day);
- Abdominal cramps and bloating;
- Some nausea ;
The various symptoms and medical conditions will helpidentify the cause of diarrhea, which can be viral, infectious, bacterial or functional.
What are the risks of diarrhoea?
Although diarrhea is usually benign, it does present risks.
The first risk is dehydration. This is the most important and dangerous complication of an episode of acute diarrhea.
Weight loss and chronic fatigue
Dehydration also entails other risks, such as constant fatigue, which can lead to dizziness, for example, or weight loss.
How to stop diarrhoea during pregnancy?
The first thing to do if you experience diarrhoea is to contact your GP. In the first instance, it's better to contact a GP rather than your midwife or gynecologist, as it's very likely that the colic is not pregnancy-related at all.
Your doctor will be able to determine the cause and, if necessary, refer you to another specialist. In all cases, we advise against self-medication: some drugs are contraindicated during pregnancy.
While you're waiting for your appointment with your health care professional, you can simply adopt simple gestures by changing certain aspects of your diet: for example, you can favor rice, pasta, potatoes, wheat - all foods that will help reduce heavy diarrhea. It's also advisable to cut back on certain foods, such as raw vegetables, dairy products, coffee and tea.
Diarrhea in late pregnancy: is it a sign of premature labor?
Diarrhea is not a sign of miscarriage or premature delivery. Some women will experience these symptoms at the start of labor, in which case it's best to refer to your due date to find out when labor is supposed to start.
When should I consult a doctor if I have diarrhoea during pregnancy?
When diarrhea s'is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever over 38.5 degrees or bleeding, it's advisable to seek medical advice to establish the cause and rule out bacterial infection, food poisoning or other parasite infection. In addition, if symptoms last for more than 2 days or s'they s'worsen, it's important to seek medical advice.
If you're pregnant and already have signs of premature delivery with an altered cervix, it's important to make sure that frequent bowel movements aren't accompanied by uterine contractions that can be mistaken for intestinal cramps.
Pregnancy diarrhea FAQs
Is it normal to have diarrhea in early pregnancy?
Early pregnancy diarrhoea can occur in women who change their dietary habits to better meet the needs of l.
Can diarrhea be a sign of miscarriage?
Diarrhea is not symptomatic of miscarriage. However, it can lead to digestive spasms, which can stimulate lthe uterus and cause contractions. In the event of persistent diarrhoea, it is advisable to consult your referring practitioner.
Is diarrhea dangerous for pregnant women?
In most cases, diarrhea is not dangerous, and there's no need to s'worry. Natural prevention is enough to avoid the risks. However, if diarrhoea persists s'for a long time, we advise you to consult a specialist as soon as possible.