Why do I get an upset stomach during menstruation?
Do you know that? Your period comes in torrents - and so does the urge to go to the toilet. And it should preferably happen at a reasonable speed. Your period can have somewhat the same effect on your stomach as a good double espresso.
And it's not just you. In English it even has its own term: Period poops. But what happens in the body?
It is believed to have something to do with the signaling substance prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are formed in the uterus after ovulation, and right up to menstruation, the body sends the hormone-like substances to the uterus to get them to help the uterus get rid of the old endometrium, which you experience coming out as menstruation.
But the contractions prostaglandins cause can also affect your bowels so they move—and those movements can give you diarrhea-like stools.
This is completely normal and there is not much else to do except to remember the fiber-rich diet and drink plenty of water.
There are actually also some menstruating women who experience the opposite: Constipation. Typically in the days leading up to menstruation. And this is believed to be due to the higher level of progesterone, which can delay food's journey through the intestines. But it can also be because your food intake has changed slightly towards your period (we know all about *cravings*). To get the stomach on its feet, it can help to consume plenty of water and possibly potassium-rich food such as dates or prunes.
If you have irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn's disease, you may be more bothered, and it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor about it.
Sources: Canadian Digestive Health foundation, sundhed.dk, healthline.com