You don't have to admit it out loud, but you might find that you take more frequent trips to the bathroom when you're on your period. For some reason, it seems like our digestive system gets thrown a little out of whack every time we menstruate. Which means you probably poop way more often than usual.
If this sounds familiar, you're certainly not alone. Jennifer Wider, MD, nationally renowned women's health expert, told POPSUGAR that this happens to many women during their period, and there's a scientific explanation for it.
"Our bodies produce prostaglandins, compounds that have hormone-like effects, including causing the uterus to contract," Dr. Wider said. "They also act on the digestive tract, making the bowel contract, triggering more frequent bowel movements."
So it's not all in our heads. What a relief. "Many women frequent the bathroom more than during a regular week of the month," Dr. Wider said. "Prostaglandins can also make the bowel movement looser than normal." Which is exactly why your poops even look different during your period.
Although you don't need to worry if your poops look slightly different during menstruation, Dr. Wider recommends you see a doctor if your bowel movements suddenly change in the weeks when you're not on your period. If there's blood in your stool or if the color and texture suddenly change, for example, you might want to see if there's something else going on.