The menstrual cycle is a complex process that involves many changes in the body, including hormonal fluctuations. During the menstrual cycle, the body produces different hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, which can affect the digestive system.
Estrogen, for example, can stimulate bowel movements by promoting the contraction of the intestinal muscles. It can also increase the level of serotonin in the body, which is a chemical that regulates bowel movements. Serotonin helps to promote bowel movements by stimulating the muscles in the digestive system. No wonder we feel happy when we poop regularly!
Progesterone, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect on the digestive system. It can slow down the movement of food through the digestive tract, which can lead to constipation. This is because progesterone relaxes the muscles in the digestive system, making it harder for food to pass through.
During the menstrual cycle, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body fluctuate, and these changes can affect bowel movements. In the days leading up to menstruation your estrogen levels increase, which can lead to more frequent poops. As menstruation begins and progesterone levels rise, bowel movements may slow down, leading to constipation.
In addition to hormonal changes, menstrual cramps can also affect bowel movements. (Good ole’ cramps, not satisfied with just crippling us.) Menstrual cramps are caused by the contraction of the uterus, which can put pressure on the intestines and cause discomfort. This pressure can also stimulate bowel movements, leading to more frequent trips to the bathroom. (…”Alexa, add toilet roll to shopping list”…)
It is important to note that not all people experience changes in bowel movements during their period. However, if you do notice a difference, there are some things you can do to help manage it. Eating a healthy, high-fiber diet can help promote regular bowel movements. Staying hydrated and getting regular exercise can also help keep your digestive system healthy.
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