Constipation and Menstruation
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Constipation and Menstruation

Many women experience changes in their bowel habits during the menstrual cycle, with constipation being a common concern. This blog explores the relationship between constipation and menstruation, shedding light on why it occurs and providing tips for managing this uncomfortable symptom.

Why Does Constipation Occur During Menstruation?

  • Hormonal Fluctuations: The primary reason for constipation during the menstrual cycle is hormonal fluctuations. The hormones progesterone and estrogen play significant roles in regulating the menstrual cycle, and their levels fluctuate throughout. Progesterone, which rises after ovulation and falls just before menstruation, can cause the muscles in the intestines to relax, leading to slower movement of food waste through the digestive tract.
  • Physical Discomfort and Reduced Activity: Menstrual discomfort such as cramping and bloating can lead women to be less physically active. Reduced activity can further exacerbate constipation, as exercise helps stimulate intestinal activity.
  • Dietary Changes: Some women experience cravings for specific types of food before and during their periods, often leaning towards high-fat and high-sugar foods and less towards fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, which can contribute to constipation.

Managing Constipation During Menstruation

  • Increase Fiber Intake: Eating a diet high in fiber helps to keep the digestive system moving. Foods rich in fiber include fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Aim for 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is crucial, especially if you're increasing your fiber intake. Water helps fiber work better by adding bulk and softness to the stool, making it easier to pass.
  • Maintain Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can help reduce the severity of menstrual symptoms and promote regular bowel movements. Even light activities such as walking or yoga can be beneficial.
  • Consider Over-the-Counter Options: If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to manage constipation, over-the-counter remedies like fiber supplements, stool softeners, or mild laxatives might be helpful. However, it’s best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new medication.
  • Monitor Your Diet: Pay attention to how your body responds to certain foods during your menstrual cycle. Reducing intake of constipating foods like dairy, red meat, and sweets, and increasing stomach-soothing foods like ginger, peppermint, and yogurt may help.
  • Manage Stress: Emotional stress can exacerbate gastrointestinal symptoms, including constipation. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and other stress management strategies can be beneficial.

When to See a Doctor

If constipation is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms like severe abdominal pain, blood in the stool, or sudden changes in bowel habits, it’s important to seek medical advice. These symptoms could indicate a more serious underlying condition.


Constipation during menstruation is a common issue that stems largely from hormonal changes and lifestyle factors. By understanding the causes and implementing some practical management strategies, it's possible to reduce the discomfort associated with constipation during menstruation. Always consider consulting with a healthcare provider for persistent issues or before starting any new treatment.

1.Why Does Constipation Occur During Menstruation?
2.Managing Constipation During Menstruation
3.When to See a Doctor