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Ask Dr. Norm S. Your Own Question
Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 11230
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice, including teaching students. Fellow of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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Hi - I often have some diarrhea for a day or two around my

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Hi - I often have some diarrhea for a day or two around my period, but today it is especially horrible. My period started this morning, and is quite heavy and painful, and is accompanied by liquid diarrhea. Not just soft stool, but completely just liquid. My gut is also making some gurgling noises and is gassy. I don't seem to have any other symptoms -- other than this horrible diarrhea (twice in the past 5 hours) and painful menstrual cramps. Is it possible that the diarrhea is caused by an especially heavy period? Or is there reason for concern?
Hello and welcome to
I am Doctor Norm, and I look forward to helping you with your problem today.

I doubt that there is any reason for concern. Many women have intestinal symptoms and diarrhea around the time of a period. It's related to prostaglandins, which are chemical substances secreted by the uterine lining (endometrium). Prostaglandins cause both the diarrhea and also the uterine cramps. I suspect that you have extra prostaglandins this month, contributing to both your cramps and diarrhea. It's possible that you have food poisoning or something else causing the diarrhea, but that generally resolves on its own without treatment.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX Would I have other symptoms if it was food poisoning or a virus? I'm assuming the diarrhea is directly related to my period because a) they started at about the same time, and b) I don't have any other symptoms. Is it possible for the severity of menstrual cramps to vary from month to month? This just seems more severe than usual. What do you recommend to alleviate the discomfort?


Thank you again for your help.

If it were food poisoning, you may or may not have had other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps. It's common for the severity of menstrual cramps to vary from month to month.

In general, NSAID medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin work well for the discomfort, and also help with the diarrhea. NSAID's are anti prostaglandin medication, so they counteract the effect of prostaglandins.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much.

You're very welcome.
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