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Losing strength to squeeze for the toilet.. anyone?

(5 Posts)
MusclePower Sun 23-Feb-14 21:17:34

Has anyone else ever suffered from this: when I get my period, I lose all stomach/groin strength to squeeze to go to the toilet (not wee)? It's as if the muscles have relaxed so much, I lose all power to push from my stomach and have to push my fist into my stomach/groin to help the muscle.

Am I the only one?

summertimeandthelivingiseasy Mon 24-Feb-14 13:24:50

No experience of this, but didn't want to leave it unanswered.

Hormone cycle has messed up my poos for years - my bowels slow down before a period, then magically restart (if not bunged up).

Short term, to help you go, have you tried gycerin suppositories?

Long term you need to maintain a type 4/5 stool (see Bristol Stool scale), and to do this you need to drink plenty water in addition to you usual tea and coffee and plenty soluble fibre (fruit, oats, beans). Kiwi fruit are particularly helpful if your bowels are slow, generally.

If you google 'pelvic floor dysfunction and 'Michelle Kenway' (physiotherapist), you can make sure you are using your muscles correctly. If you have been doing a lot of pelvic floor exercises, you may need to learn how to relax them at the right time.

Also, put your feet on a box (you will see why from the physio sites).

Choose the right time to go and 'catch the urge' and get some privacy (easier said than done sometimes). A hot drink before you go helps get your muscles working.

If you work at this, you will find over time, that you can go better.

You might need to visit your GP to make sure there are no other issues affecting you.

MusclePower Tue 25-Feb-14 17:14:58

Thanks. I'm on Fibrogel to help prevent piles but it's more the fact that I basically lose ability to squeeze. GP hadn't heard of it, but gave an opinion on what it might be. I have other concerns but it's all tiresome and unwanted worry.

fivecupsoftea Tue 25-Feb-14 22:24:10

I have stress incontinence, this is worse around the time of my period - and I know this is normal for it to be worse, there must be a reason and I'm sure someone somewhere knows.

summertimeandthelivingiseasy Wed 26-Feb-14 21:06:54

MusclePower do sympathise - I spent 20 years not being able to go properly. Not saying what I had to stick where though! I had a rectocle repair, but that has not solved all the problems and I have had to embark on a long program of trying to get diet, laxatives etc right so that it does not recurr.

I know that before a period, the oestrogen is goes lower, and the progesterone stays higher. Just before, it drops and the period starts. Progesterone slows down smooth muscle (the muscles you have no control over, like your intestines).

The progesterone slows down the peristalsis in the intestines and food takes longer to get through (you can test this with sweet corn -I never saw it again!). As well as drier and harder stools, caused by the slow passage throught the colon, where water is removed, they just do not want to come out. Could it be that your intestines are moving more slowly and you are not getting any 'push' from your rectum?

Fybogel is brilliant if you do not have enough fibre in your diet, but if you do not drink enough, or your intestines are slow, it dries out, as the fluid is taken out in the colon, and helps bung/slow things down. The same is true of things like all bran. This is why soluble fibre is recommended these days. It might be worth keeping a bottle of water handy in the days leading up to your period and so that you never feel in the least bit thirsty.

I saw a physiotherapist who specialised in pooing (who knew there were such people!) who recommended coffee for increasing peristalsis. She said that you should stick to regular meals, as this encourages the peristalsis, which starts at the top and works its way down, like a wave. For this reason, it is best to go to the loo after a meal.

I hope there is something here that will help you. The kiwi fruit was a really good discovery as I found it helped the 'push' as well as the softening, but you can tire of them (retires to eat another bloody kiwi fruit)

(As for the incontinence, there are oestrogen receptors around the urethra, as well as in the vagina. When the oestrogen levels drop, it plays havoc with that area - makes urge incontinence worse too.)

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