Is Constipation Before My Period Normal?
Your period comes with various signs and symptoms. It’s either headache, tender breasts, nausea, bloating and many others. But there’s one that’s not talked about enough. Perhaps you experience it but only after reading this article will you realise that it happens to come right before your period. That symptom is constipation! Let’s unpack constipation as a premenstrual symptom.
What causes it?
Just like other premenstrual symptoms, medical experts can’t exactly pinpoint the main reason constipation happens before or during your period. However, one thing is sure, fluctuations in hormones like estrogen and progesterone play a significant role.
Some other conditions are:
Hormonal issues - Before your period starts, progesterone tends to build up. This slows down your digestive system, possibly resulting in constipation just before and during your period.
Underlying health conditions - Both irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and endometriosis, for example, can make you more prone to being constipated during your period, especially in the first few days. Some people with painful periods also report constipation.
How can I manage it?
Drink more water
You may be more likely to have constipation during your period if you don’t get enough water. Keep in mind that you can get water from both foods — such as soups, juicy fruits, and more — and beverages.
Eat More Fibre
Fibre helps to increase the size of your stool, which can help it move easily through your digestive system. Some constipation-fighting foods to try include:
dark, leafy greens
While it might be hard to find the motivation to exercise when you’re dealing with cramps and other menstrual symptoms, a gentle 20-minute walk can be a big help. Moving your body gets your intestines — and their contents — moving.
Don’t hold it
If you tend to hold your bowel movements instead of going as soon as you feel the need, try to break this habit. This makes your already harder stool even harder making it more difficult and painful to pass.
Try a mild laxative
Before buying laxatives from any drug store check in with your doctor. They may suggest stool softeners or specific types of laxatives for your needs. However, be careful not to make laxatives a habit read the instructions before taking them.
How can I prevent it from happening?
if period constipation has become a normal thing for you. There are a few things you can do to avoid it. such as:
Avoid dietary triggers - Cut back on processed foods, along with any foods high in fat, sugar, and starch. When possible, replace these foods with fresh produce and whole grains. Also, consider replacing some of your caffeinated or alcoholic drinks with herbal tea and water towards your period
Try hormonal birth control - It helps to keep your hormones at stable levels, which can prevent constipation and other digestive issues. Talk to your healthcare provider first if it’s something you’re interested in trying.
Try probiotics - Probiotics can be helpful for treating constipation and other gastrointestinal issues. Try including more probiotic-rich foods in your diet, such as plain Greek yoghurt with fruit, kimchi, pickled vegetables, or kefir.
Talk to your doctor - If you struggle with severe constipation or constipation that bothers you every month, your healthcare provider may be able to recommend additional treatments, including medication.
Constipation before or during your period can be extra uncomfortable coupled with all other premenstrual symptoms. In most scenarios, constipation is brought about by hormonal fluctuations. This can easily be managed with simple things like including more fibre in your diet and drinking more water. While they may be methods of preventing it, it's advisable to speak to your doctor first before trying anything new.
Stay informed, stay in control Do you experience constipation around the time of your period?