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What are the four stages of a menstrual cycle that affect irritable bowel syndrome?

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This cycle, which spans roughly 28 days, has four stages:

Irritable bowel syndrome worsens as hormone levels fall. During the late luteal phase, you’re more likely to get bloated and maybe get constipated or have diarrhea. As hormone levels fall to the lowest point during menstruation, symptoms -- like stomach pain, discomfort, and constipation or diarrhea-- become more common and intense.

  • Menses (days 1-5): If you’re not pregnant, you shed the lining of your uterus during menstruation. At this stage, estrogen and progesterone levels are at their lowest.
  • Follicular (days 6-14): Estrogen rises, causing the uterine wall to thicken.
  • Ovulation (day 14): The egg is released.
  • Luteal (days 15-28): Progesterone rises to prepare the uterus for pregnancy. If that doesn’t happen, your estrogen and progesterone levels drop quickly during the late luteal phase, around days 24 to 28.

From: Do Your Hormones Affect IBS? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders: “Hormones and IBS.”  

Patricia Raymond, MD, associate professor of clinical internal medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School; spokesperson, American College of Gastroenterology.

Richard Benya, MD, gastroenterologist; professor of medicine, Loyola University Medical School.

Mulak, A. , March 2014. World Journal of Gastroenterology

Bharadwaj, S. , March 2015. Gastroenterology Report

Chen, T.  , January 1995. American Journal of Physiology

Heitkemper, M. , supplemental issue, 2009. Gender Medicine

Chang, L. , December 2001. The American Journal of Gastroenterology 

Cleveland Clinic Foundation: “Menstrual Cycle.”

Olafsdottir, L. , December 2011. Gastroenterology Research and Practice

Triadafilopoulos, G. , 1998. Women Health

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 15, 2019

SOURCES:

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders: “Hormones and IBS.”  

Patricia Raymond, MD, associate professor of clinical internal medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School; spokesperson, American College of Gastroenterology.

Richard Benya, MD, gastroenterologist; professor of medicine, Loyola University Medical School.

Mulak, A. , March 2014. World Journal of Gastroenterology

Bharadwaj, S. , March 2015. Gastroenterology Report

Chen, T.  , January 1995. American Journal of Physiology

Heitkemper, M. , supplemental issue, 2009. Gender Medicine

Chang, L. , December 2001. The American Journal of Gastroenterology 

Cleveland Clinic Foundation: “Menstrual Cycle.”

Olafsdottir, L. , December 2011. Gastroenterology Research and Practice

Triadafilopoulos, G. , 1998. Women Health

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 15, 2019

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How does pregnancy affect irritable bowel syndrome?

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