Why do I have digestive problems during my period?

Pourquoi j'ai des troubles digestifs durant mes règles ?

As menstruation approaches, it's not uncommon for women to experience digestive and intestinal problems and constipation, and then for transit to resume strongly during the menstrual period, sometimes resulting in diarrhea and gas. These digestive problems are caused by the action of two hormones: progesterone and prostaglandin. This is why digestive problems are so common during the menopause.

What causes digestive and intestinal problems during menstruation?

Progesterone is a hormone produced by the ovaries during the menstrual cycle. Its levels rise throughout the cycle, peaking just before the onset of menstruation. One of the effects of this hormone increase can be constipation or a general discomfort known as "intestinal stress". Progesterone alters the muscular contractions that move food through the intestine, causing constipation. Progesterone levels then fall sharply at the start of the menstrual period, rapidly restarting transit as muscle contractions resume.

Prostaglandin plays an important role in digestive and intestinal disorders around the time of menstruation, since unlike progesterone, prostaglandin has an effect onuterine contractions, which are designed to evacuate the uterine lining during menstruation, which is shed in the absence of pregnancy. Although as yet unproven, the hypothesis is that uterine contraction signals are also sent to nearby digestive organs, notably the intestines. They would then need to evacuate in the same way as the uterus, which could explain diarrhoea, but also bloating and menstrual cramps.

What's more, as menstruation approaches, levels of other hormones rise. These include serotonin and oxytocin, which may lead to greater mobility in the intestines, and hence diarrhoea.

The many hormonal changes therefore modify digestion rhythms, leading to greater gas accumulation during the menstrual period. Finally, hormonal fluctuations affect the bacteria present in the intestines, modifying their composition with each menstrual cycle. In particular, this affects bacterial fermentation, resulting in more odorous gas.

How can I avoid digestive problems during my period?

A simple tip to avoid digestive problems during your period is to chew your food well and drink plenty of water.

Certain foods, such as dairy products and coffee, are particularly irritating during your period. For people with regular gastrointestinal problems, they can cause intestinal upsets. Avoiding them when you're approaching or during your period can help reduce the nuisance.

Limiting stress, practising regular exercise and favouring fibre and a light diet can also help reduce digestive problems, particularly constipation. If you suffer from diarrhea, opt for starchy foods. If you experience flatulence, avoid soft drinks and foods such as cabbage or beans.

You can also supplement your diet with probiotics to improve your intestinal flora at this time, or eat fermented foods to help produce good bacteria.

As for natural solutions, oregano essential oil capsules, thyme tea or sage infusions to reduce stomach ache and improve digestion work very well.

Finally, you can keep a food diary during the cycle to help you identify your problems and adapt your intake during your period.

If these problems are disabling in everyday life, or are accompanied by other symptoms, we advise you to consult a doctor. If they appear several years after your first period, this could be a sign of endometriosis.

To make the most of your period, you can always wear our menstrual panties!

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The information contained in the articles on www-elia-lingerie.com is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.