I was recently listening to a podcast and they were talking about “poop friends”. People you are so close to that you would feel totally comfortable with pooping in their home.
For some people this is a “duh!” - for others this is a “NEVER” - and then there are the straight up scat lovers. I digress. We can totally talk about that kink later.
If you have a period, you may have had more than one occasion to tell another menstruating person that you were on your period - and mentioned your period poops. They can be plentiful, a real clean out. For others, they can be a real pain in the ass.
This can become even more of an issue as you march toward menopause. As your hormones go haywire, you will likely find yourself obsessed with what is happening with your bowels. No predictable cycle, no more regularity.
So what causes the tides to flow or the works to be mucked? The 2 P’s!
Progesterone and Prostaglandins
Progesterone is the hormone that sets the uterus up to hold a baby. When the uterus sees that it will not be doing that, it weeps blood. (Could you imagine if I actually believed that?! Weeping, laughter.) Anyways, when the progesterone spikes, some of us have super loose poops, while others’ stools tighten up.
What to do? Well - if you are supplementing with progesterone, like with hormones during perimenopause, prometrium is a risk/benefit scenario. You don’t want to stop your hormones, but you do want ease of movement. So you can bulk up on fiber if constipation is your issue or, conversely, rice to bind you. The other thing to consider is switching to a local progesterone, like the IUD.
Prostaglandin levels are the REAL predictor. This hormone revs up just as the progesterone starts to drop. Prostaglandin is what gets the cramps going for some, and for all bleeders, it stimulates the uterus to squeeze that lining out. That squeeze can also pinch a loaf, as you well know!
How to Alleviate Prostaglandins
The easiest thing to do to counter prostaglandins is by taking an NSAID, specifically ibuprofen. The result is that there is less contracting, which will benefit the bleeding and the bowels. Depending on your cycle you might start approximately 2-3 days before your period starts. If you are perimenopausal and - cycle be damned - you might want to notice the subtle changes in your bowels.
Of course you always want to nourish your body with healthy foods (to the best of your ability), exercise, and check in with yourself mentally. Specifically- anxiety and stress that is unhelpful, because that can put your stomach in knots, the gut is your second brain, for real.
So the poop is - if you notice changes in your body, even changes in your bowels, that goes to show that you are in tune with your body; in tune with your moon. If the changes are upsetting, know that (just like most things in life) – subtle changes can make a big difference.