Menstruation and gas – why do we fart more often during our period?

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It happens that during menstruation women are more likely to have gas. Unfortunately, for many women this is still a taboo subject and they are afraid to address it. This is a mistake, because this phenomenon is quite common and can be explained by physiology. What is responsible for more frequent gas during menstruation?

We call them “farts” or “winds” and sometimes we burn with a blush of shame when we have to let out the mentioned “fart” in company. Gas production is a quite natural process that occurs in every human body. How and where do gases accumulate and when is their release? In the gastrointestinal tract, and more precisely in the intestines – this is where gases reside. And they accumulate, among other things, when we open our mouths. This action forces us to swallow air which is collected in the intestines and transformed into gases

Gases are also formed by fermentation of food, or more precisely, its remains. Food which is not digested moves up the large intestine and there, during the interaction with the bacteria present, it ferments and as a result causes the production of gases. The gases produced from the ingested air consist mainly of odorless nitrogen and oxygen. And those winds created as a result of food fermentation already reek of methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. The body of a healthy person accumulates about 200 ml of winds per day and releases them up to 25 times during this time.

Hormones or anatomy to blame, why do we produce more gas during menstruation?

Estrogen is the leading hormone from the beginning of the cycle until ovulation. And after ovulation progesterone plays the main role in controlling the cycle (only this change does not occur in women who use hormonal contraception). This cooperation of estrogen and progesterone during menstruation affects women’s emotions, but also influences the digestive system, because progesterone receptors are located there, so depending on its level the intestines relax or contract. This affects the fact that during our period we experience more frequent diarrhea or stomach upsets. On the other hand, progesterone relaxes the smooth muscles of the intestines, so constipation may occur, which can cause bloating and more or less successful attempts to get rid of foul-smelling gases.

Hormone levels and uterine contractions affect bowel function

Intestinal function is also affected by hormone concentrations that change during menstruation. Progesterone (female sex hormone) slows down the emptying of the stomach, and therefore can lead to constipation. This often occurs during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Stools are also more frequent and looser during menstruation, and abdominal pain may occur. The anatomy plays its significant role in gas production. We are talking about the uterus, which is located quite close to the intestines and the colon, and because of this proximity, according to some specialists, uterine contractions are increased, which cause a reaction in the form of increased movements of the intestines, and this can cause more frequent bloating and overproduction of gas during menstruation.

photo by Polina Zimmerman/

Increased appetite during menstruation and more frequent gas

Most women have unusual cravings and increased appetite during menstruation, which is due to a drop in feel-good hormones. This makes us crave foods that cause a rapid increase in serotonin levels in the brain, mainly salty and sweet snacks. Remember to choose those that contain calcium because this element alleviates the symptoms of more frequent bloating.

Diarrhea during the period – how to deal with it?

Many experts believe that diarrhea before menstruation may be a result of premenstrual tension. Diarrhea during the period, on the other hand, is usually associated with intensely booming hormones that affect not only our mood, but also our digestive system. Diarrhea not infrequently appears also when we suffer from painful menstruation.

Does diarrhea often get you during these days? There are some simple and effective ways to make diarrhea a quick memory. What are they? At the pharmacy without a prescription you will get remedies that inhibit this process. In addition, peppermint tea will also calm the intestines. This drink will also have a good effect on painful abdominal pain, accompanying the period. Remember also that when diarrhea occurs, it is essential to drink plenty of water and take electrolytes

How do I deal with bloating during my period?

We can fight bloating and intestinal gas in many ways. Sometimes herbs and compresses may be helpful. Caraway, dill, marjoram or basil – it is enough to simply pour boiling water over them, making the so-called tincture. They can also be added in large quantities to meals. Ginger and garlic are also good carminatives; our grandmothers used them eagerly. Warm compresses on the abdomen, especially recommended before bedtime, may also prove helpful. Of course do not forget about exercises to relax the muscles. A lot of exercise in the fresh air will work very well for the work of the intestines, as well as for painful abdominal pain – not only during the period.

Read also: What does the color of menstrual blood say about our health?

Main photo: Polina Zimmerman/

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