The curious thing about diarrhea as a rule is that it can appear before, during and even after the period and is usually accompanied by other discomforts such as cramps and bloating. The appearance of diarrhea with the period is associated with the hormonal changes that a woman undergoes during menstruation. Specifically, the concentration of progesterone and estrogen, which varies cyclically every month. In our digestive tract there are receptor cells for these female sex hormones, which means that it is prepared both to detect them and to react to them. This indicates that the natural variation in our progesterone and estrogen levels will influence our digestive tract, and may cause the appearance of diarrhea.
Progesterone is one of the hormones responsible for controlling the menstrual cycle. Specifically, it is responsible for stopping the thickening of the walls of the uterus, blocking the cervix and causing constipation. During menstruation, progesterone levels decrease, which causes greater movement of both intestinal and uterine musculature, increasing the movement of intestinal content.
In addition to these hormones, the appearance of diarrhea is also attributed to the increased number of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins act by narrowing the blood vessels in the muscles, potentially causing them to contract. In fact, a type of synthetic prostaglandin is usually administered to induce labor in women. After ovulation, the levels of prostaglandins in the musculature of the uterus increase and it is not until the tissue sheds, giving rise to the start of the period, that these prostaglandins are expelled. Its release causes muscle tissue to contract, producing the famous menstrual cramps, and this same release into the bloodstream causes the colon to begin to contract, causing diarrhea.
In large amounts, prostaglandins can penetrate the muscle that lines the intestines, causing it to contract and eliminate intestinal contents more quickly. This hormone, if it is released in larger amounts than usual during menstruation, is the main reason that can lead to the appearance of diarrhea with the menstrual period.
In addition to some symptoms that can indicate that there are only a few days left before the menstrual period goes down, such as back pain or breast pain and mood swings, although they are not always associated with each other, it is necessary to add diarrhea as another to this list. Problem to deal with before the period arrives.
Suffering from diarrhea is one of the most frequent symptoms associated with a problem with the menstrual cycle and it is necessary to check with a doctor to obtain the necessary answers to this discomfort associated with the period, to be able to control it and rule out that it is something else.
Many of the premenstrual symptoms begin to be felt between 1 and 2 weeks before the period. The fact that they occur so long before the arrival of the period means that we do not always connect them and think that we have a general malaise, not a malaise generated by the period. In addition, the symptoms associated with the rule can be maintained even for 7 days after the start of the rule.
When the days when the period should come are getting closer, these symptoms intensify. It is estimated that at least 73% of women have gastrointestinal symptoms before or during their period and 24% have suffered from diarrhea before their period.
During the menstruation period, those women who already suffer from irritable bowel syndrome will notice how the symptoms of this disorder increase remarkably at this time. In the days before the onset of the period, it is more likely to suffer from diarrhea and intestinal pain. It is normal for the bowel movement rhythm to change before menstruation, but if you get diarrhea it is interesting to check that there are no basic alterations that can justify it. It is always recommended to follow a healthy diet and, if necessary, combine it with the appropriate medications to make these symptoms disappear.
Although this symptom is not experienced by all women, there are many who suffer from diarrhea due to their period and although it should not be a cause for concern, it should alert us to a lack of harmony in our body. Before the pain is so intense that it causes gastrointestinal discomfort that prevents us from leading a normal life, it is necessary to consult a specialist. In any case, the diarrhea associated with the period usually disappears quickly, in parallel with the decrease in bleeding.
If the diarrhea contains blood, it is possible that it is endometriosis or other organic pathologies and not a symptom of the rule. In this case, it is necessary to see a doctor as soon as possible, so that the doctor can assess the indication for a specific treatment.