Painful Bowel Movements Prior to Period

Updated on August 09, 2012
A.W. asks from San Jose, CA
7 answers

I know this isn't the most pleasant of topics, but I'm curious.

Over the last year or so, I've noticed that I get painful, sudden bowel movements the dy before and day of the first day of my period.they also have a consistant different smell to them. Is this normal?

Mind you, I'm only 19. I'm not looking to be a mom yet, but I heard this can be a sign of future infertility

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answers from Chicago on

I have had this same thing ever since I was in high school. I have 3 kids, so having it right now doesn't mean that you'll be infertile. Mine are loose stools--not diarrhea, but definitely not my regular stools, and they are a different smell as well.

This is from WebMD:
"If Aunt Flo has you holding your belly each month, don’t be so quick to blame the pain on menstrual cramps. Periods and digestive problems often go hand-in-hand. Prostaglandin, the same chemical that can trigger menstrual cramps, causes the smooth muscles of your bowels to contract. This is why you can have loose stools, diarrhea, and abdominal pain when you get your period."

Hope this helps!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Well I won't get into much detail, but when I was about your age and into my mid-20's, I would get the worst gas and BM's during the first day or so of my cycle. Hormones affect every system in the body and can completely turn them upside down when they're off-kilter. I have never heard of the infertility connection, but agree with Dawn that if you have a family history of those diseases, you should talk to your doctor.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

When I am doing that I usually have adhesion's that have grown from the uterus to the intestines or abdominal wall. It would be good of you to go and have an OB/GYN check it out regardless of wanting to have kids now or later. If it is adhesion's they can go in and clip them and maybe find out why you are having them. It may also determine if you have any illnesses that could effect fertility later on. I had my adhesion's taken care of years ago and have not had the issue come back as of yet.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I don't know that I have experienced exactly what you have, but I can tell you that my bowel movements just before and during my period are.... yucky, and have been for as long as I can recall (I'm 40). I don't know how else to describe it without getting too graphic and gross. And, it is very common. Google "bowel movements during menstruation" and you'll see what I mean. A friend of mine calls it "period poop."

As to the infertility question, I think you're referring to symptoms of endometriosis, which flares up during menstruation and can cause painful bowel movements. If you've not been diagnosed with endometriosis, you are probably fine. However, if you have a concern about it, you should talk to your GYN.

Also - do you use hormonal birth control? I had to stop using hormonal birth control because it was causing me to have weird digestive symptoms that I wasn't willing to live with. That's something else you might want to talk with your doctor about.

If you don't mind me offering a little wisdom from this side of the hill... Keep in mind that as you get older, your body, your cycles, etc will go through changes. It's prudent to track your cycle, make note of changes and if anything seems drastic or really "off," talk to your doctor. But it's also important to remember that what is your menstrual "normal" now might not be the same 10 or 15 or 20 years from now. When I was younger I thought I would simply get my period every 28 days (with pauses for pregnancy) on and on until I hit menopause. I wish someone had told me that it was normal for our bodies to change over time. OK, old lady speech over. Take care!



answers from Sacramento on

My periosd always upsets my stomach a little, and I think this is normal.


answers from Chicago on

Sounds like endometriosis. That was my only symptom -- the one you're describing. You need to talk to your doctor and tell him/her what you've told us.



answers from Charlotte on

Our bodies go through all kinds of stuff when we start our periods. Some people have such a hard time - terrible cramps, even vomiting. Some people get diarrhea, and some get constipated. It sounds like you get constipated.

If I were you, I'd eat a couple of prunes for 3 days before your period, and once it comes and things are better, drop the prunes if you are regular. Drink plenty of water around that time - not enough water can add to constipation.

I wouldn't worry about the infertility thing. I don't know for sure, I will tell you, but it really just sounds like an old wive's tale.

If you have any family history of colon cancer, IBS or Crohn's disease, that's something for you to take seriously and talk to a specialist about.


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