One of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy is constipation, but does constipation actually start during ovulation? The hormone likely responsible for pre-pregnancy and pregnancy constipation from a reproductive standpoint is progesterone, and both pregnant and non-pregnant women suffer from this uncomfortable symptom.
Between seven and 10 days after ovulation, constipation reports from non-pregnant women apex with about 2% of women suffering slow-moving bowels. Progesterone is to blame for the problem as this reproductive hormone causes muscles to loosen and it is the muscles of the bowel that move waste out of the body. Constipation typically resolves naturally after progesterone levels drop.
Progesterone levels rise and stay higher during pregnancy so constipation is an on-going problem for some pregnant women. There are several factors that come into play, including lax smooth muscles in the intestines, dehydration, and lack of exercise.
How to fight ovulation constipation
If you suffer constipation during and immediately after ovulation, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help the body expel waste more efficiently.
- Drink more water: The longer waste spends in the intestines, the more water absorbed resulting in hard, bulky stool that is difficult to pass. Drink lots of water to keep everything moving as it should.
- Exercise: Exercise is a simple solution to ovulation constipation. A regular exercise program can stimulate the movement of waste from the body. Simply walking for 30 minutes a day is enough to reduce constipation.
- Increase fiber intake: Few pregnant women, or non-pregnant women for that matter, consume enough fiber. Fiber is a bulk-forming laxative that promotes colon health, but fiber needs water to work, so increase your water intake concurrently.
Ovulation constipation is common, especially in women taking fertility drugs like Clomid. If you suffer from constipation every month around the time you ovulate, drink more water, increase fiber intake and exercise daily to promote and maintain regularity.