Eat more fibre during your period

HORMONES

Oestrogen, the menopause and thyroids

Not just your life style and environment can have certain effects on your digestion. Even your gender makes you more or less inclined for constipation: Statistically, women suffer from constipation far more often than men do.

The reasons for this are not fully clear, but scientists suspect there could be a connection with the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Both relax the muscles and calm womb activity during pregnancy. Reduced bowel activity could be a side effect of this.

Your pregnancy is, of course, a time of bliss and anticipation, but also physically and mentally very stressful. If you use iron supplements, which further slow your digestion, this can soon lead to constipation. If possible, try to add some fibre to your diet and drink regularly. You could also ask your partner for a gentle stomach massage. If all of these efforts are unsuccessful, you can get your digestion moving with a mild laxative during pregnancy (ask for your pharmacists recommendation).
A thyroid disorder can also have a negative effect on your digestion. The thyroid is a ductless gland that stores iodine and produces hormones that contain iodine. A pathological disturbance can lead to a long-term change in hormone metabolism, with constipation as a possible result.
Your menopause involves major hormonal changes in your body and can cause a lot of stress. Your oestrogen production is reduced, altering the balance of your hormones. The way you experience this development is very distinct, but a slowing down of your bowels and associated constipation are possible and common side effects.