Yes, you do poo more when you have your period. Here's why.

As if the cramps, cravings and mood swings didn’t make that time of month bad enough – there’s also a good chance that you’ll poop a whole lot more when you have your period.

Yep, good ol’ Aunty Flow also messes with your bowel movements.

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According to Dr Brad McKay, GP and former host of Embarrassing Bodies Down Under, there’s a range of reasons why you might experience a mass evacuation of bowels when you’re menstruating.

Some are simply a part of normal menstruation, while others might be a cause for more serious concern.

In the lead up to getting your period, you might find yourself retaining fluid and feeling a little bit constipated. Once your period arrives and your uterus decompresses, it’ll basically opens up the floodgates and all that fluid will need to leave your system.

“When you’re menstruating, it can open up the floodgates,” Dr McKay explained.

“Basically you’re opening up the door and everything comes out at once.”

All that fluid means you’re more likely to experience diarrhoea during this time. So it’s basically a case of what goes in, must come out – eventually.

man reports woman with period to hr
Frequent trips to the toilet could be a sign of something more serious. Image via iStock.

Diarrhoea and irregular bowel movements might also be a result of a change in your diet during this time — to be more specific, those family blocks of chocolate and sneaky cheeseburgers can lead to looser stools with an oily residue.

However, Dr McKay says if you experience severe abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhoea every month - along with heavy bleeding - you should talk to your GP.

"One in 10 women have endometriosis - which means they'll have endometriotic tissue sitting on the bowel," he explained.

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"When it becomes irritated, it then irritates the bowel, and can cause quite severe abdominal cramps and diarrhoea.

"If women are experiencing heavier periods, and significant pain in the days before they get their period, and the days after, they should talk to their doctor."

You can also try to minimise those embarrassing dashes to the loo by avoiding dairy and fatty foods in the lead up to your period, or by taking some anti-inflammatory medication.

Have you ever noticed that your period affects your bowel movements?