Is Constipation An Early Sign Of Pregnancy Or Period
How does pregnancy cause constipation? Is constipation and bloating a sign of pregnancy or period? Early pregnancy signs are almost similar to the premenstrual symptoms. It is not easy for many women to tell the difference.
Increase in progesterone hormone during ovulation and pregnancy leads to muscle relaxation. Thus the bowel tends to produce more gas and the wind during pregnancy or even before a period.
Constipation itself is a cause of bloating and gas in many cases, especially during early pregnancy. You are advised to stay away from gas-producing foods such as beans and onions. Always find alternative foods to help you stay healthy right from the start of your pregnancy. While there are other signs of pregnancy and period, constipation should never be ignored.
What Is The First Trimester Of Pregnancy
The first trimester is the earliest phase of pregnancy. It starts on the first day of your last period — before youre even actually pregnant — and lasts until the end of the 13th week. Its a time of great anticipation and of rapid changes for both you and your baby. Knowing what to expect will help you get ready for the months ahead.
Be Careful With Enemas
Enemas come in pill and liquid form — each kind is put in your system through your anus. It can help your body let go of the stool it’s holding, but it also can damage your intestine. It shouldnât be done often — and then only with a doctorâs help or advice. Too many enemas may stop your body from working the way it should.
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When Can I Expect Constipation To End While I’m Pregnant
For some women, constipation lasts throughout pregnancy as progesterone levels peak. However, if you change up your eating and exercise habits, things usually begin moving more smoothly. And you can take steps to combat constipation at any point during your pregnancy.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Could It Be A Sign Of Something More Serious
While most cases of constipation are not a sign of illness, sometimes there are complications such as haemorrhoids, faecal impaction or rectal prolapse. In rare cases, constipation can be caused by more serious conditions such as tumours.
Speak with your doctor if you are concerned, and especially if you notice blood in your stools.
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Ask Your Provider About Medications
Some medications can increase the likelihood that you will have constipation. One big culprit in pregnancy can be iron-laden prenatal vitamins, which are often given to help prevent anemia. If you are having issues with the vitamins, ask your provider if you can switch. You might also try ways to prevent anemia in a nutritional manner.
One study found that certain brands of prenatal vitamins might be able to reduce constipation by up to 30%.
There are medications available to help with constipation, but generally as a last resort. These medications can particularly problematic in pregnancy and you would want to talk to your doctor or midwife before taking anythingeven if it is over the counter .
Urinary Frequency And Leaking
Temporary bladder control problems are common in pregnancy. Your unborn baby pushes down on the bladder, urethra, and pelvic floor muscles. This pressure can lead to more frequent need to urinate, as well as leaking of urine when sneezing, coughing, or laughing.
What might help:
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Do Kegel exercises to tone pelvic muscles.
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What Causes Constipation During Pregnancy
In general, worry, anxiety, minimal physical exercise, and a low-fiber diet may cause constipation. Constipation during pregnancy is due to the increase in progesterone hormones that relax the intestinal muscle causing food and waste to move slower through your system.
Sometimes iron tablets may contribute to constipation. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water if you are taking iron supplements. You may need to switch to a different type of iron tablet, but it is important to talk to your health care provider first.
What Is Postpartum Constipation
Constipation is common after giving birth. Characterized by difficult or infrequent bowel movements, many people experience constipation during pregnancy, and it can continue after delivery, or it may occur for the first time after delivery. Generally, constipation is defined as fewer than three bowel movements a week and/or less often than your normal bathroom habits. This condition may persist for a week or longer until your body’s elimination system gets back on track.
People who did not have an issue with constipation during their pregnancy might be surprised to develop it after. On the other hand, for someone who has had bowel woes in the past or dealt with them while they were pregnant, constipation may continue or worsen right after giving birth.
Whether the experience is new to you or not, constipation is uncomfortableespecially when your body is still trying to heal from labor and delivery. Postpartum constipation can happen for several reasons. Understanding them can help you find the best treatment and get relief.
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Will It Affect My Baby
If youre pregnant, you dont need to worry that constipation will affect your baby since the discomfort occurs in the mothers gut and bowels and isnt passed on to the baby. Most laxatives are not well absorbed into the bloodstream and can be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but always check with your pharmacist before taking a medicine while pregnant.
Morning Sickness Nausea And Vomiting During Early Pregnancy
Nausea and morning sickness usually develops around weeks 4 to 6. Although its called morning sickness, it can occur any time during the day or night. Its unclear exactly what causes nausea and morning sickness, but hormones may play a role.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women experience mild to severe morning sickness. It may become more intense toward the end of the first trimester, but often becomes less severe as you enter the second trimester.
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Causes Of Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy
No matter the cause, pelvic pain can create additional stress and makes it hard to sleep.
An array of health issues could potentially be responsible for pelvic pain. They include acute conditions like urinary tract infections and kidney stones and chronic problems like endometriosis or fibroids, to name a few. These are some of the most common causes for pelvic pain during pregnancy.
Things To Be Aware Of During Pregnancy
Simple and gentle ways of preventing constipation in pregnancy are exercise and a diet with sufficient fibre and fluid intake. If these remedies do not help you, you mustnt just try any laxative. This is because many laxatives can produce severe side effects such as electrolyte shifts especially if used over time or even stomach cramps, which are particularly undesirable in pregnancy. An alternative, for yourself and your unborn baby, is a locally acting micro-enema such as MICROLAX® Enema.
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What Are Symptoms Of Constipation During Pregnancy
Symptoms of constipation during pregnancy are the same as symptoms of constipation any other time and may include:
- Fewer than three bowel movements per week
- Hard, dry, or lumpy stools
- Stools that are difficult or painful to pass
- Feeling not all stool has passed following a bowel movement
Constipation during pregnancy is not usually serious, but it may be a symptom of another problem. See a doctor if constipation:
- Is severe
Constipation Relief During Pregnancy
The first step in finding constipation relief is to make sure youre drinking lots of water , consuming enough fiber and getting ample activity . If the constipation persists, Metamucil or a mild stool softener such as Colace can help. If youre taking iron supplements, these may be contributing to your constipationtalk with your doctor about possible alternatives. In general, mineral oils, oral laxatives, enemas and rectal suppositories should be taken only after talking with your doctor, because they may stimulate labor.
Drinking plenty of water and eating those fruits and veggies can help prevent constipation later in pregnancy. Staying active can help prevent constipation too.
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How Is Constipation During Pregnancy Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider may ask you how much youre pooping and what your stools look like. Other questions about your daily habits can help your provider find out whats likely causing your constipation or making it worse. Your provider may ask:
- What your diets like and how much youre drinking each day.
- If youre exercising or getting enough physical activity.
- What medicines or supplements youre taking.
What Can I Take For Constipation During Pregnancy
If you have tried some of these natural pregnancy constipation remedies, but are not finding the relief that youre looking for, you may be wondering if you can take a laxative to help move things along. Always talk to your midwife or doctor about your constipation before taking any over-the-counter products.
There are a few different options when considering laxative medication for constipation in pregnancy, lets take a look at these options:
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Problems Caused By Untreated Constipation In Pregnancy
Constipation may cause pain, cramps, hemorrhoids, and breakdown of the anal tissue. Treating constipation will help reduce the risk of these problems.
Straining could also impair the supportive function of the pelvic floor muscles and could contribute to the development of uterine prolapse .
The likelihood of constipation resulting in fecal impaction during pregnancy is rare, but serious.
What Are The Causes Of Constipation Right After Conception
In most cases women relate constipation before missed period to decreased water intake. However, it is good to note that your body undergoes a lot of changes to sustain the pregnancy. Constipation in early pregnancy is as a result of
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Otc Medications For Constipation During Pregnancy
If these remedies arent working for you, you may need to talk with your doctor or midwife about trying a laxative or stool softener.
Here are some over-the-counter medications that are generally considered safe to take during pregnancy and your provider may suggest :
- Colace : Your doctor might have you try a stool softener, like Colace, first before turning to laxatives. The active ingredient in stool softeners is minimally absorbed by the body, so there is very little chance it could pass to or harm your baby in any way.
- Milk of Magnesia : This is a mild laxative you may need to try if a stool softener alone doesnt do the trick. Milk of Magnesia may have a yucky taste, but it works like a charm for many expecting moms.
- Metamucil : Metamucil is another safe option your provider may suggest. It is a bulk-producing laxative that draws water into the stools, making them softer and easier to pass. Its also used as a fiber supplement.
Bisacodyl and senna are both stimulant laxatives that have been found to be safe in pregnancy. Because they are stimulants, though, they can cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea and can lead to dehydration. Some recommendations state that bisacodyl should be avoided during the first trimester. Senna should be taken with caution, and only if your doctor recommends it. . Always make sure to talk with your healthcare provider before taking any OTC medications during pregnancy.
What Is Constipation During Pregnancy
Constipation is a common complaint of women who are pregnant. It affects up to 38% of women at some point during their pregnancy. Constipation can be painful and negatively affect your quality of life. It can also lead to physical problems like hemorrhoids if you don’t treat it.
Symptoms of constipation during pregnancy
Symptoms of constipation can include any of the following:
- Infrequent bowel movements
- Hard, lumpy, or dry stool
- A feeling like all of your stool hasn’t passed
- Excessive straining to have a bowel movement
Causes of constipation during pregnancy
If you are experiencing constipation during pregnancy, it may be a result of one of the following potential causes:
Who can get constipation during pregnancy?
Any woman who is pregnant can experience constipation, but the following factors may increase your risk:
- Age over 35
- Pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index over 24
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How One Can Prevent And Treat Constipation During Pregnancy
Consume a high fibre diet. You can best avoid constipation by increasing the intake of fibre-rich food or roughage because it helps to keep the intestinal system running smoothly. Soluble fibre permits more water to remain in your stool, making the waste softer, and easier to pass through intestines. Insoluble fibre adds bulk to your stool and speeds up its movement through your gut. It also prevents the feeling of constipation. Hence including fibre-rich foods in your diet can prevent constipation, and is the first advice to a woman who is wondering how to treat constipation.
Numb Or Tingling Hands
Feelings of swelling, tingling, and numbness in fingers and hands, called carpal tunnel syndrome, can occur during pregnancy. These symptoms are due to swelling of tissues in the narrow passages in your wrists, and they should disappear after delivery.
What might help:
Stretch marks are red, pink, or brown streaks on the skin. Most often they appear on the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, and breasts. These scars are caused by the stretching of the skin, and usually appear in the second half of pregnancy.
Some women notice other skin changes during pregnancy. For many women, the nipples become darker and browner during pregnancy. Many pregnant women also develop a dark line on the skin that runs from the belly button down to the pubic hairline. Patches of darker skin usually over the cheeks, forehead, nose, or upper lip also are common. Patches often match on both sides of the face. These spots are called melasma or chloasma and are more common in darker-skinned women.
What might help:
- Be patient — stretch marks and other changes usually fade after delivery.
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Relieving Constipation In Pregnancy
With good reason, only a few medicines are licensed for the treatment of constipation in pregnancy. MICROLAX® Enema has established itself as a laxative for pregnant women over many years and is well tolerated, even by children under 3 years old. It takes effect locally in the rectum, so there is no fear of it having any effect on your unborn baby. A further benefit: MICROLAX® Enema acts within 30 minutes so your pregnancy can be a pleasurable experience untroubled by any tiresome discomfort.
Find out more here about the gentle mode of action of MICROLAX® Enema.
How To Stop Using Laxatives
When your bowel movements occur regularly without difficulty, laxatives can be withdrawn gradually. The reduction in the dose of laxatives should be guided by the frequency and consistency of the stools.
Gradual withdrawal will reduce the risk of requiring re-initiation of therapy for recurrent fecal loading.
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Babys Growth In The First Trimester
During the first 13 weeks, your baby changes from a fertilized egg into a fully-formed fetus. All the major organs and systems are taking shape. That means your baby could be harmed if you use street drugs, have an illness, or get exposed to radiation. Heres whats happening:
The fertilized egg becomes a cluster of rapidly dividing cells that implants in your uterus. The placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic sac all start to grow.
Your babys nervous system changes from an open neural tube to a brain and spinal cord. Nerves and muscles start working together. Your baby can move on its own, but its too soon for you to feel it.
The heart takes shape and begins to beat. You can hear it on ultrasound as early as week 6. It beats 120 to 160 times per minute. Red blood cells are forming.
Your baby develops a digestive system, including intestines and kidneys.
They have lungs and other major organs, but theyre not fully developed.
A soft skeleton is starting to grow.
Your baby starts to look like a baby, with arms, legs, fingers, and toes. Their face gets eyes, ears, a nose, and mouth. A tongue and tooth buds grow. Eyelids cover your babys eyes, and by the end of the trimester, they even have fingernails.
Genitals start to grow, but its too early to tell by ultrasound whether youre having a girl or a boy.