Period farts

August 01, 2022 3 min read

Period farts

For many women, around their time of the month they get a little gassier. Although this doesn’t happen to everyone, it is a totally normal biological process, but why does it happen?

You may have guessed it; hormones are the main reason you may get a little gassier around the time of your period. In the days leading up to your period, your estrogen levels begin to rise. Estrogen is a group of hormones which promote the development and maintenance of female characteristics of the body. Higher levels of estrogen can cause gas, constipation and trapped air/gas in your intestinal tract.

Before the start of your period, cells in the lining of your uterus produce fatty acids that function like hormones, these are called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins help your uterus contract to shed its lining every month. If your body over produces prostaglandins, they can enter your blood stream and cause other smooth muscles in your blood stream to contract – this includes your bowels. As a result, you may experience change in your bowel habits meaning period farts and poops!

Feeling gassy around your period is one thing but doesn’t it make it worse when they smell horrible!? You can thank your progesterone levels for that… Around your period, your progesterone levels are at its highest. This hormone is responsible for triggering compulsive period cravings dissatisfaction with your body. With these two factors combined, it makes it difficult to find the energy to care about what you’re eating. This is when the chocolate bars and ice cream come out… Now what creates the terrible smell of our period farts, is the food that we consume. Reaching for dairy, starchy carbs and sweets only makes farts worse and can also cause constipation. If you’re suffering with constipation, the build-up of stool can cause bacteria and odor to develop making for smellier farts…

Although getting extra gassy around your period is common, it could also be a sign of an underlying condition such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or endometriosis. It is best to speak to your doctor if you’re experiencing abdominal pain, bloating, cramping or constipation.

 

How can I stop or reduce the amount I’m farting on my period?

Below are some tips on how you can reduce the amount of farting you do whilst on your period

  • Drink plenty of water (helps move waste through your body quicker)
  • Exercise (helps you stay regular avoiding constipation)
  • Eat smaller portions slower (helps improve digestion and reduce gas production)
  • If you get constipated, take a stool softener or laxative
  • Try to resist the urge of binge eating (helps the smell)
  • Avoid carbonated/fizzy drinks (they make you gassier)
  • Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen (lowers the production of fart- and poop-inducing prostaglandins)

 

Click here to visit our Women's Health resource.

Click here for everything you need to know about using tampons whether you’re a new tampon user or simply want to learn about potential better practices around precautions, inserting, removing and disposing a tampon.

 

Medical Disclaimer: Articles are intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. Ask a medical professional if you have any health-related questions or concerns.

 

Additional resources

 

Nash, L, S. (2020). If you’re farty and you know it, blame your period. https://greatist.com/health/period-farts

Santos-Longhurst, A. (2019). Yes, it’s time to finally talk about period farts.https://www.healthline.com/health/period-farts#:~:text=%20Here%20are%20a%20few%20ways%20to%20put,throes%20of%20PMS%20and%20your%20period.%20More%20

 


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