Diarrhea and menstruation: what are the causes and solutions?

As menstruation approaches, many women suffer from stomach aches; it is estimated that 60% of women suffer from these aches. However, the symptoms that are least talked about, even though many women suffer from them, are digestive disorders, and among them: diarrhea.

Is it normal to have diarrhea during your period?

Yes, an estimated 73% of women have experienced digestive problems digestive problems during their period or during their PMS. It is a phenomenon to which many women are subject, even if few talk about it. Diarrhea is often associated with stomachaches, nausea, bloating and chronic fatigue.

Diarrhea and menstruation: the role of prostaglandins

If many women are subject to diarrhea during their period, it is the fault of prostaglandins: these hormones, secreted by the endometrium at the time of the period, have the role of facilitating the expulsion of the latter by creating contractions. This is where menstrual pain and cramps come from.

However, the prostaglandins that pass through the bloodstream also spread outside the uterus and sometimes reach the digestive tract: this can lead to episodes of diarrhea.

Our 5 tips for treating diarrhea during your period!

Even though digestive problems during your period, nausea and other premenstrual syndrome are completely normal symptoms and nothing to worry about, they are still not pleasant. So here are some tips to help you get through this time of the month.

1. Favour a simple diet rich in starchy foods and vegetables

A basic advice to improve your intestinal transit, especially during menstruation, is to adapt your diet and eating habits. To limit episodes of diarrhea, it is widely recommended to favor starchy foods such as rice (white or whole grain) as well as vegetables.

2. Avoid foods rich in arachidonic or linoleic acid

It is advisable to limit fatty foods during the period before your period. Indeed, since it is prostaglandin that is responsible for the onset of diarrhea, it is interesting to look at its origin: prostaglandins are made from specific fats: arachidonic acid and linoleic acid. Most of the time, these fatty acids are considered to be good for the body. They are part of the omega-6 family.

In fact, these acids play essential roles in the proper functioning of the brain, in the fight against cardiovascular disease and in strengthening the immune system. On the other hand, consumed in too large a quantity before the period, they can lead to an overproduction of prostaglandins. Overproduction of prostaglandins can lead to increased menstrual pain and digestive problems.

3. Maintain a sporting activity to promote transit

Even if you tend to feel more tired than usual when your period is approaching, sport is a good way to regulate your transit. In fact, when you do sport during your periodyou accelerate blood circulation and therefore the oxygenation of the muscles.

Sport really helps to reduce pain and menstrual crampswhether they are located in the uterus or the intestines. Of course, the objective is absolutely not to tire you and make you feel bad: listen to yourself!

4. Drink vegetable broths to hydrate yourself

When you are prone to diarrhea, you have to be careful about dehydration! Indeed, at this time of your cycle, you lose a lot of water! Remember to stay hydrated, that is, to drink enough water. Since it is advisable to eat vegetables during and before your period, you can opt for vegetable soups and broths: this will hydrate you and give you the nutrients you need.

5. Use essential oils

We now know the virtues of essential oils to relieve menstrual pain. But did you know that some essential oils can also relieve episodes of diarrhea? This is the case for two of them:

  • The essential oil of cinnamon of Ceylon: this oil has an anti-infectious property what allows him to act in a powerful way on the intestinal infections, and to relieve the gastro-enteritis and tourista. As soon as you meet the first symptom of diarrhoea, take a drop of essential oil of cinnamon of Ceylon. You can take it on a piece of bread, with a spoon of honey etc. Concerning the dosage, it is to be taken for 5 to 7 days, up to 4 times a day;
  • The second interesting essential oil to use in case of diarrhea is the essential oil of oregano. This oil has anti-infectious and antibacterial virtues which allows to relieve the digestive disorders. Regarding its dosage: same as for the essential oil of cinnamon of Ceylon you can take it for 5 to 7 days and up to 4 times a day.

How are diarrhea and endometriosis linked?

Even though, as previously mentioned, diarrhea is a common phenomenon in women during their period, it can also be a symptom of endometriosis.

L'endometriosis is a very common gynecological disease, affecting one in 10 women. It is characterized by the development of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity. This tissue is influenced by hormones during the cycle each month. The main symptoms of endometriosis are pelvic pain and dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse).

But diarrhea can also be a symptom of symptom of endometriosis. In fact, when endometriosis develops in areas such as the intestines, colon or rectum, it can cause digestive problems, particularly alternating diarrhea and constipation. These symptoms are particularly aggravated during the menstrual period. Endometriosis can also cause pain when having a bowel movement, and in some cases the presence of blood in the stools.

If you are prone to debilitating menstrual pain and often have digestive problems around or during your period, consult your doctor.

The diagnosis of endometriosis is often long because the symptoms of endometriosis differ from one woman to another. Do not hesitate to talk to your doctor, midwife or gynecologist.

What to do if the diarrhea is chronic with each period?

If your periods automatically result in episodes of diarrhea, you can use our tips detailed above in the article. But if your symptoms persist and handicap you on a daily basis, consult your doctor: he or she will be able to prescribe the appropriate treatment.

The FAQ of diarrhea during menstruation

Can menstruation cause diarrhea?

It is common to have diarrhea when you have your period. It is due to the production of prostaglandins, the hormones that create contractions to evacuate the endometrium.

How to treat diarrhea during menstruation?

It is possible to relieve diarrhea during menstruation in several ways: by changing your diet, by using essential oils, or by practicing physical activity! It's up to you to find out which method suits you best. In case of persistent premenstrual syndrome that is too disabling on a daily basis, consult a specialist.

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