Written by Yoppie
20 Dec 2021
Why does it happen?
Could it be related to my endometriosis?
Should I be worried?
Is there anything I can do about it?
We’re all about answering the weird, wacky and somewhat embarrassing questions about all things periods and bodies and, erm, poop, here on the Full Stop blog, so if you’ve ever wondered why you only see blood while you’re sitting on the toilet, this is the place for you. Let’s take a look at why this happens, if it’s anything to worry about, and what you can do about it...
When you bear down during a poo the muscle contraction may help to move blood through the system and out of the vagina. This increased pressure within the abdomen helps to push out the excrement, and could do the same for any blood that’s left inside the vagina. Like squeezing the excess out of a toothpaste tube! Also, if you have naturally light periods, for example due to a change in birth control, than you may notice this is often the case for you.
If this happens, it’s usually nothing to worry about, and could in fact be somewhat handy as you won’t bleed until you’re already hovering above the bowl! If it hasn’t happened before and starts to occur randomly, you may want to double check with your GP to make sure it’s not a sign of an underlying condition.
Yes. Though bleeding only during number 2 isn’t anything to worry about in itself, in some cases it could be a symptom of endometriosis. Endometriosis is when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus starts to grow in places it shouldn’t, causing pain ranging from mild to severe. Normally endo grows in the ovaries and fallopian tubes, but there is such a thing as ‘bowel endometriosis’, thought to be the second most common place for endometriosis lesions to grow.
Tissue can grow on the peritoneum, which is the membrane that lines the inside of the abdomen, abdominal organs, rectum, intestines, and other areas relating to the bowel. Those who suffer from bowel endometriosis could experience symptoms such as painful bowel movements, pain during sex, constipation, diarrhoea and bloating, to name a few. Symptoms relating to the bowel are very common in those with endometriosis, and an estimated 30% of endo patients have direct symptoms of bowel endometriosis.
If you don’t have any other symptoms, then bleeding only when you’re pooing is probably nothing to write home about. If, however, you are also experiencing pain or discomfort, that’s not OK. Also, if you have any endometriosis symptoms alongside, or you are concerned the blood may be coming from your rectum instead, it’s best to speak to your GP to make sure there’s nothing else going on that needs to be checked out.
If your blood isn’t coming out unless force is applied, and there are no underlying conditions, then there’s probably nothing to be done about this, as long as it isn’t affecting your daily life.
If, however, you are regularly straining when having a poo then you may be suffering from constipation, which can result in you forcing blood out when having a lighter period. Constipation is pretty normal, but it can be frustrating and painful, so try drinking more water, eating more soluble fibre, exercising and drinking caffeine to get things moving through your system.
Worried that your period and pooping habits are down to endometriosis? Don’t delay going to speak to your doctor to get checked out and potentially diagnosed so you can begin treatment and avoid worse symptoms. The sooner the better.
Got a question about endometriosis? Hop into our Full Stop FB group to chat about your own experiences, or ask any questions you have on Instagram at @itsyoppie. Don't forget that our personalised period box can get organic tampons, period cramp supplements and much more delivered easily and regularly through your letterbox, which gets rid of at least one massive pain to think about each month.
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