Well, full disclosure, this is probably the grossest article I’ve ever written. Still, I will ask that you bear with me. Certain things need to be said, and all of us that endure that thing called menstruation have to deal with those things every month. Maybe you’re one of those people, or maybe you have no idea what it’s like to have a period but you're motivated by morbid curiosity. Either way, by the end of this article you, too, will know exactly why pooping on your period is the worst.
Periods in general are tough to deal with. Still, those of us who bleed for a week and don't die are all expected to do so quietly, calmly, and without so much as a sneer or a stain. There’s cramps and bloating, headaches and occasional breast tenderness, on top of having to deal with the actual mess of it all. Do I use tampons or a menstrual cup? Should I go for pads, and if so, should they be reusable? The questions, and the costs, surrounding menstruation are no joke, dear reader.
So, I think it's safe to say that non-menstruating folks just don’t get it. They also don’t get that one of the worst parts of having your period is having to, well, do your business while you're simultaneously bleeding. We certainly don’t ever talk about it in public, but why not? Let’s push back and face these taboos head on, shall we?
Because Menstruation Leads To Create Looser Stools
OK, let’s throw some science your way. Many women and other menstruating folks report that they experience more frequent bowel movements during their period. They also often report looser stools. The reason is simple: prostaglandins. These fun hormone-like substances send a signal to your uterus to contract in order to shed that fetus-free lining out of your body. As a result, sometimes they end up signaling contractions over to your nearby intestines, which cause you to poop more. Fun, huh?
Because It’s Messier Than Usual
As you might imagine, periods get messy. If you wear tampons or a cup, the mess is a bit more contained (at least, while you’re wearing them). But either way, when you mix all this poop and menstrual blood, there’s just more clean-up to do.
I suggest making sure you have some hearty toilet paper and perhaps some flushable baby wipes nearby, to stay slightly fresher.
Because It’s Certainly Smellier
Period poops are definitely going to smell worse because, again, it’s usually consistent with a case of mild diarrhea. If you’re bleeding to boot, that just adds to the concoction of airborne aromas. Buy a candle and a box of matches if you’re sensitive to smells. There should be no shame in your bathroom game.
Because It's Scarier To Look At
Whatever you do, please don’t forget to flush your toilet after a period poop. OK, actually, just always flush the toilet after you use it, period (pun intended). No one wants to see what was just inside you a few moments ago, alright? Please be decent.
Because It Ends Up Happening Way More Often
Again, the prostaglandins tend to make you poop more. Also, progesterone (a hormone that can have a constipating effect) actually drops when you’re menstruating. That could be another reason for the frequent bathroom trips. Either way, it's totally inconvenient (especially at work or when you're trying to enjoy a day in public).
Because If You’ve Got A Tampon It Might Slip Out
Anyone that’s ever pooped with a tampon in knows that, sometimes, the pushing of our bowls can also cause other things to be pushed out. One of those things is tampons. It’s pretty irritating, especially if you just happened to have inserted one, as you usually end up having to throw it out. Menstrual cups also often feel like they’re going to fall out, causing you to have to re-adjust afterward.
Because Once You Put A Tampon In You Feel Like You Have To Poop Again
It's already annoying that your tampons and cups shift during a poop. What's worse is when, sometimes, you re-insert one of these items and suddenly feel like you need to poop again. It’s like this evil, never-ending cycle. You’ll never make it out of the bathroom alive! Run for your lives! (Just kidding. I think.)
Because Folks Don’t Get Why You Can’t Just Hold It
I’ve always thought that we live in a pretty weird society because we’re all expected to hold in the need to pee or poop until it’s more convenient for other people. In school, we have to raise our hand. At work, we have to excuse ourselves (but might get a negative glare if it’s timed improperly) and if you take too long, forget it.
So bosses and customers and other such folks might not be so sympathetic to your frequent period poops, especially if you take longer in the bathroom (which you might because of things shifting, or needing to perform more clean-up duty). It just all really sucks because it’s way too taboo to say, “Hey listen, I am going to take about 10-15 minutes in the bathroom because of all my period sh*ts, alright? Please deal with it.”
Because Everything When You’re On Your Period Is The Worst
Facing facts, there are only two good things about a period (and even these are subjective). One is that it means you have the capability to reproduce (which for some is a good thing). The other is that you are currently not reproducing (which again, for some, is a good thing). Other than that, no one enjoys dealing with fatigue, painful cramps, mood swings, or the dreaded period poops. But hey, that’s life.
So now you know pretty much everything you ever needed to know (and more that you probably didn’t need to know) about period poops. Make sure to sympathize with your fellow menstruating human beings next month. We’re all in this (sh*t) together.