Period poop is real, and it’s one of the many joys women get to face when their Aunt Flo comes for a visit. Changes in your stool’s consistency, frequency, and smell is completely normal during your period. Women, we’re all in the same boat here.
Butt, just because it’s normal, does not mean it’s not shitty. We’ll get into how to figure out what kind of cramps you’re having, the clean-up situations, and how to keep that damn tampon from shooting out of your vag when you’re trying to handle business.
1. Poop & Periods — Sometimes It’s Messy
I don’t think we need to get into too much detail here, as one can imagine the traumatizing sight of poop and blood. Whether you’re constipated or having the runs, it’s gonna get messy. It’s also a good idea to cut back on inflammatory foods and drinks like coffee during this time.
Two important hormones are responsible for the majority of your period symptoms, including what type of poop you have during your cycle.
Prostaglandins are hormones that play a part in regulating the female reproductive system and control processes such as inflammation, blood flow, the formation of blood clots and the induction of labour. High levels of prostaglandins cause inflammation. Hello cramps!
Progesterone, though its main job is preparing your body for pregnancy, is also responsible for the regularity or irregularity of your periods. It helps maintain the uterine lining and prevent uterine contractions.
2. Cramps AND Constipation?!
Like we said, period poop can be on one end of the poop spectrum or the complete opposite. Experiencing constipation while on your period is also normal for many women who have lower levels of prostaglandins and higher levels of progesterone.
They basically double-team on slowing down your digestion and scaring away your poop. If this is you, you will definitely want to up your fiber and water intake during your period.
3. Well That’s An Interesting Smell
Outkast said it best. We know you like to think your shit doesn’t stink, but this right here is next level. PMS cravings will have you binging on hot cheetos and ice cream, and next thing you know you’ve surprised even yourself after that first trip to the bathroom after your period hits — and it hits different... trust us.
High levels of progesterone are linked to binge eating and cravings before your period, which explains why the smell of your stool may, quite frankly reak, as a result of those pre-period eating habits.
4. Period Flow Isn’t Enough — Bring On the Runs
Sometimes having a flow from one hole just isn’t enough for Mother Nature’s standards, when she’s feeling especially wicked. Our good friends prostaglandins occasionally decide to start wilding, causing you diarrhea. Clearly we have a toxic relationship with these friends.
5. Those Period Poops Can Be Painful
Pooping is uncomfortable while on your period. There’s no way around it. It can even be painful for a number of reasons. Constipation on your period can make stool hard and painful to pass, for example. Then there’s having menstrual cramps, which is painful as it is, and having cramps on top of either having diarrhea or constipation is even worse.
6. Can’t Tell What Kind of Cramps You’re Having
Are you having period cramps, constipation cramps or diarrhea cramps? Sometimes, it’s honestly hard to tell. We can’t forget that the uterine and bowel contractions are caused by prostaglandins, so it’s no wonder why the cramps can be hard to distinguish.
7. Uh.. What’s Going on With That Tampon?
This one is probably one of the most irritating things about pooping on your period. More often than not, sitting on the toilet to take a poo will dislodge your tampon, whether it’s a fresh one or not. Because the pelvic muscles operate so closely to your anal sphincter, bearing down to poop may move or expel your tampon.
8. Looks Like You’ll Be Changing That Tampon
If you’re lucky enough to not lose your tampon every time, then there’s no rule that says you have to change it after you poop, it’s completely your prerogative — unless there’s poop on the string, then definitely get rid of that thing. Any fecal matter that close to your pretty little flower poses a risk of vaginal infections, and nobody wants that.
9. What About Your Menstrual Cup?!
Using a menstrual cup is a great, eco-friendly alternative to tampons, but it doesn’t come without its own strife when going number two. The same way that bearing down can dislodge your tampon, it can also change the way your menstrual cup sits, making it feel uncomfortable enough that you’ll probably end up taking it out, just to put it back in. You just can’t win.
10. Is There A Secret for Clean Wiping?
It’s no doubt that pooping on your period is messy. Did we mention the crime scene at hand when a tampon or menstrual cup isn’t in? Flushable wipes can really come in hand during your period, but they're still not entirely eco-friendly or cost effective. An attachable bidet is a game-changer for having a fresh butt and lady parts during your period!
Poop and Periods FAQ
Why does it hurt to poop when I’m on my period?
If you're constipated while on your period, it may hurt due to straining. On the other hand, having diarrhea cramps tied with menstrual cramps, can also make it painful. Try adjusting your diet accordingly depending on which type of poops you’re more prone to.
Why do you poop more on your periods?
Thanks to your prostaglandins stimulating the smooth muscles of your body like your uterus and bowels, you may feel the need to poop much more often during your period.
What’s the difference between poop cramps and period cramps
Period cramps tend to be lower in your abdomen because they happen only in your uterus, and can radiate into your lower back as well. Poop or bowel cramps can occur higher up in the stomach if you’ve got gas or slightly lower, towards your intestines.
Why is period poop a thing?
Period poop is a thing because periods are a thing. A woman’s body goes through so many changes during her menstrual cycle and hormones play a part in changing the frequency and consistency of bowel movements.
Why do period poops smell so bad?
The smell of period poop is due in part by the change in women’s eating habits, normally the week before their period. High levels of progesterone are linked to binge eating and cravings before your period, which explains why period poop smells.