Skip to content

Do you get a funny tummy around the time of your period? Don't worry, you're not alone – here's what to do to help

Image: Pexels
Image: Pexels

Lifting the lid on the common problem.

Society may be more tolerant on topics that have formerly been seen as taboo, but there are certain subjects that struggle to get the air time they deserve.

Maybe they're too graphic or too earthy, but our motto at GLAMOUR HQ is that no topic is too taboo, especially when it comes to bodily functions.

We're your go-to when it comes to deciphering whether your vaginal discharge is healthy. We're here for you when you're worried about your spotty bottom. Genital herpes? Here's everything you need to know.

After all, why suffer in silence, especially when there are thousands, if not millions, who share the same experiences? One such experience that we should all talk about more is period poops.

Don't pretend like you don't know what we're talking about – whether you get a runny tummy, cramping that's definitely not coming from your uterus, or days of constipation and the long-overdue relief of that mid-period mega poo, the majority of us are familiar with peculiar changes to our digestive systems around the time of our periods.

Here, we asked Dr Alona Pulde, Health Advisory Board member for leading nutrition app Lifesum to answer every question you may have, from how do periods affect digestions, to how to alleviate symptoms.

How do periods affect digestion?

As with so many changes to our bodies including acne, mood swings and hair loss, hormones are often the root cause, especially when it comes to digestive problems around the time of your period.

"Hormone fluctuations result in digestive changes before and during the menstrual cycle," explains Dr Pulde.

"Progesterone increases after ovulation and with it symptoms of gas, bloating, and constipation prior to your period."

Luckily, these symptoms typically resolve once you begin bleeding when progesterone levels drop and prostaglandins are released.

However, you may experience different digestive issues. "Prostagladins, which are hormone-like substances, can result in more frequent bowel movements and even diarrhoea lasting through the first few days of your period."

What are the best ways to alleviate symptoms?

The good news is that diet and lifestyle can help alleviate the digestive discomfort accompanying your menstrual cycle.

"High fibre foods help keep you regular so increase your fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes," recommends Dr Pulde.

Another simple lifestyle hack is to make sure you incorporate gentle exercise into your regime if you experience symptoms. "Physical movement helps with bowel movement so make sure to include physical activity into your daily routine."

Finally, Dr Pulde recommends avoiding certain trigger foods including foods high in salt, fat or sugar along with spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine and dairy that could make matters worse.

This originally appeared on Glamour UK|

Share this article: