How To Stop Diarrhea On Period

The most common GI symptom either pre- or during menses is abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Studies have found that one-third of women experienced bowel habit change during menses, with diarrhoea being more common. Women who had a history of painful menses were more likely to experience primary GI symptoms (diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain) than those not reporting painful menses.1

Diarrhoea during a period

What causes diarrhoea during a period? 

  1. High levels of prostaglandin (hormone): high levels in the menstrual fluid can induce abnormal uterine contraction leading to pain. Prostaglandin travels via the bloodstream to the gut,  causing contraction of smooth muscles, inducing absorption and increasing the secretion of electrolytes in the small bowel. These enhance gastrointestinal pain and diarrhoea1 
  1. Endometriosis: a condition in which the endometrium (mucus membrane that lines the uterus) is found elsewhere other than the lining of the uterus. The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain associated with the menstrual period. Common signs patients experience are cramps, bloating, and nausea2 
  1. Patient with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): increases your likelihood of diarrhoea3

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms differ according to the causes of the diarrhoea. The common symptoms of endometriosis are:4 

  1. Pain in the lower tummy or back
  2. Period pain
  3. Pain when peeing or pooing during your period
  4. Feeling sick, having diarrhoea or blood in urine

The common symptoms of IBS are:3 

  1. Stomach pain or cramps
  2. Bloating
  3. Diarrhoea 
  4. Constipation

Is diarrhoea during a period common?

Yes - gastrointestinal symptoms are very common for healthy women during and before menses. One-quarter of the women experienced bowel habit disturbance in the form of diarrhoea.3

How long does it last?

GI symptoms may begin one or two weeks before the period, and may last up to seven days after the start of menstruation.5

How to stop diarrhoea on a period?

Probiotics are a source of gut-healthy bacteria that can help stop diarrhoea. They are found naturally in food such as kimchi, yoghurt or kefir, natto, miso, tempeh, sourdough bread, and kombucha. Some people who are diagnosed with IBS require supplementation with certain probiotics to help reduce the severity of their symptoms.6

Managing diarrhoea on a period 

You can manage it by:7

  1. Adding more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids to your diet like salmon, sardines, leafy vegetables, and walnuts
  2. Before and during your period, eat more high-fibre food like fruits, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables which help stop diarrhoea by bulking up the stool
  3. Avoid foods that make your diarrhoea worse like spicy foods, sugary foods, caffeinated beverages, and fried and fatty food
  4. Eat more foods rich in potassium including bananas, avocados, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, chicken, and salmon
  5. Stay hydrated: drink plenty of water to replenish the fluids you lose. You can supplement water with electrolyte beverages, diluted juice, clear broth, and herbal or weak tea

When to seek medical attention

If your diarrhoea doesn't stop after your period stops, or is not treated, you have a risk for dehydration. Severe dehydration can lead to organ damage, shock, fainting, or coma.8

If your symptom worsens, or you think you have endometriosis, seek medical help immediately.


The most common GI symptom either pre or during menses is abdominal pain and diarrhoea. The main causes are  high levels of prostaglandin, endometriosis, and individuals with irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms differ according to the causes of the diarrhoea. 

Gastrointestinal symptoms are very common for healthy women during and before menses. You can manage it by adding more food rich in omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, eating more fibre, avoiding foods that make your diarrhoea worse, and staying hydrated. 

If your symptoms worsens, please contact a healthcare professional immediately. 


  1. Bernstein, Matthew T., et al. ‘Gastrointestinal Symptoms before and during Menses in Healthy Women’. BMC Women’s Health, vol. 14, no. 1, Jan. 2014, p. 14. BioMed Central,
  2. ‘Endometriosis - Symptoms and Causes’. Mayo Clinic, 
  3. ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Symptoms’. Nhs.Uk, 9 Jan. 2018,
  4. ‘Endometriosis’. Nhs.Uk, 20 Oct. 2017, ‘How to Get Rid Of Diarrhea During Your Period’. Flo.Health - #1 Mobile Product for Women’s Health,
  6. ‘Managing Diarrhea During Period and Before Period – Enterogermina’. Managing Diarrhea During Period and Before Period – Enterogermina,
  7. Diarrhea.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Malaz Ameer Ata Almanan

Medical Student - University of Bahri, Khartoum, Sudan

Malaz Ameer Ata Almanan Mohammed. 4th year medical student. Researcher enthusiast. Passionate about ophthalmic surgery. I would like to be ophthalmologist.

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