Of Course Diarrhea In Early Pregnancy Can Happen
You certainly can get diarrhea in early pregnancy, whether its due to something you ate or a stomach bug, Dr. Rosser says. Diarrhea has a ton of potential causes, including bacteria-contaminated food or water, viruses , parasites, certain medications , and food intolerances , according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. All of those things can mess with your GI functioning, whether youre pregnant or not.
Thats why Dr. Ruiz compares looking at diarrhea as an early sign of pregnancy to trying to read tea leaves. Basically, youre going to see what you want to see. At the end of the day, no single symptom is a foolproof sign that youre pregnant. So even though its tempting to interpret every weird body thing as a sign that youre expecting, a missed period and positive pregnancy test are really the best indicators that you might be pregnant.
How To Relieve Rectal Pain
All those trips to the bathroom can take a toll on your backside. There are multiple ways to relieve the pain associated with your frequent bowel movements.
Could Diarrhea Be An Early Indicator Of Pregnancy
Some women experience diarrhea when theyre trying to conceive and wonder if they are pregnant. However, diarrhea around the time your period is normally due isnt a tell-tale sign of pregnancy. Indeed, the hormonal changes that occur during the early days, weeks and months of pregnancy can result in episodes of diarrhea. There are lots of other reasons why you may have loose stools at this time. Firstly, as weve already pointed out, increased prostaglandin levels during your menstrual cycle can result in diarrhea just before your period begins. Also, your bowel issues could be due to another problem such as food poisoning or a bowel disorder. There are many other early indicators of pregnancy that are more reliable than diarrhea, such as sore breasts, feeling nauseous, and extreme fatigue.
Is It Normal To Have Diarrhoea In Pregnancy
- Youre not starting to feel better after 48 hours. Diarrhoea usually clears up within a week, but if your symptoms dont start to improve after a couple of days, call your GP or midwife. Theres a chance you could become severely dehydrated.
- You develop a high temperature.
Should I See A Doctor
If diarrhea persists in the long-term or is extremely severe it can result in malnutrition and dehydration. These are harmful, not only to you but to your growing baby. Therefore, in some cases, its best to visit your doctor to get medical care, especially if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Diarrhea lasting for more than 48 hours
- Stools containing pus or blood
- A fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- 6 or more episodes of diarrhea during any 24-hour period
- Frequent vomiting
- Severe abdominal or rectal pain
- Dehydration symptoms including thirst, dark urine, urinating less, feeling lightheaded, or a dry mouth
Your doctor will be able to assess your symptoms and get you the treatment you need so both you and your fetus can stay safe and healthy.
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When To Call A Doctor
Although diarrhea is usually not a serious issue, it can be a sign of an infection or lead to dehydration. Notify the doctor if:
- Diarrhea lasts more than a day or two
- You are having contractions
- You aren’t feeling your baby move as much as you did before
- You have any signs of dehydration
- You have other symptoms, such as fever or vomiting
- You notice blood in the toilet
- You’re experiencing pain in your lower abdomen
- Your diarrhea is getting worse instead of better
When Should I Talk To My Doctor
Although many medications are thought to be safe during pregnancy, its important to discuss any medications youre taking with your doctor. Thats especially true if you have a high-risk pregnancy. If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking an over-the-counter medication, contact your doctor immediately. You should also contact your doctor if you think you have the flu or experience dizziness, vaginal bleeding, severe vomiting, high fever, reduced fetal movement, difficulty breathing, or chest pain. The flu can increase the risk of birth defects or premature labor.
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How To Deal With Diarrhea When Pregnant
Although diarrhea is nothing to fear, you need to know what causes the discomfort and how to make yourself feel better. I recommend that you drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration. Remember to stick to water or energy drinks rather on juice and milk.
Diarrhea will eventually subside within two days. The illness will not cause miscarriage, but if it stays longer than that, it could be a sign of infection or other serious causes. Do not let the case distress your pregnancy.
Here are some tips that may help you:
Besides the physical changes, other factors cause stomach cramps and diarrhea during pregnancy.
- Watch your diet. Avoid eating food that would further upset your stomach. Choose easy to digest food until you are well enough to go back to your usual diet.
- Never take anti-diarrhea medication unless prescribed by your physician. Take note that not all over-the-counter medications are safe for pregnant women.
- Observe proper personal hygiene. Loose stools can easily be the cause of UTI. Cleanliness can keep the germs from spreading.
I suggest getting help from your doctor if you have other symptoms like these:
- Diarrhea more than 2-3 days
- Severe pain your abdomen and rectum
- Blood in your stool
- Signs that you are dehydrated
- Pain in lower abdomen
Pregnancy Bleeding And Swollen Gums
You may not have expected pregnancy to affect your mouth. But your blood circulation and hormone levels can make your gums tender and swollen, and you may notice they bleed more easily. You may also develop nose bleeds.
- Get a dental checkup early in your pregnancy to make sure your teeth and mouth are healthy. See your dentist if you notice a particular problem.
- Brush your teeth, floss regularly and rinse daily with an antiseptic mouthwash.
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Diarrhea In Late Pregnancy
Constipation is more common in late pregnancy for several reasons. Apart from the effects of pregnancy hormones, the enlarged uterus can also press against the bowels in the cramped abdominal and pelvic cavities. Therefore there may be no specific pregnancy-related reason why diarrhea will occur in late pregnancy when it does arise. It may be due to the same causes as diarrhea in early to mid pregnancy or in non-pregnant women.
Morning sickness on the other hand is uncommon in late pregnancy but some women may experience it throughout pregnancy. Therefore when there is nausea, vomiting and diarrhea in late pregnancy then it may not be simply a matter of morning sickness with diarrhea due to pregnancy effects on the body. Other causes of nausea and vomiting with diarrhea should be considered.
The only exception is when diarrhea occurs prior to labor. The hormones that are released to cause uterine contractions may also have an effect on the movement through the bowels. These hormones known as prostaglandins increase bowel motility which may lead to diarrhea. Although it does not always occur, diarrhea can be one of several signs of labor.
Common Pregnancy Symptoms By Trimester
A normal pregnancy term is 40 weeks, but it can range from 37 to 42 weeks. This period is divided into trimesters which reflect specific developmental milestones for the foetus. The first trimester goes from week 1 to 13, the second from week 14 to 26, and the third from week 27 to 40.
Pregnancy puts a lot of pressure on the digestive system. On the one hand, it must extract enough nutrients to nourish your body and that of a growing baby. On the other, your abdomen is put under physical pressure as the baby grows and takes up more room inside of you.
Each trimester is associated with a number of changes in the body, many of which can influence the gastrointestinal system such as heartburn, nausea, diarrhea in early pregnancy, or constipation.
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How Is Food Poisoning Treated
Treatment depends on how sick you are. You may not need any treatment, or your provider may treat you with antibiotics to help keep you and your baby safe. If you have food poisoning, drink lots of water to help you stay hydrated . If youre severely dehydrated , you may need to go to the hospital for treatment.
Pregnancy Gas And Bloating
Gas during pregnancy occurs along with other gastrointestinal side effects. It may be caused by hormonal changes, like the production of more progesterone. This hormone relaxes the bodys muscles, including the intestinal ones, which slows digestion and increases flatulence.
If you have gas when pregnant, try some simple lifestyle and diet hacks to ease the pressure in your gut. Take it easy on high-fiber, hard-to-digest foods like beans, avoid fizzy drinks and fatty foods, and get out for a walk to help move things along.
CAUTION If bloating is accompanied by severe pain that lasts more than 30 minutes, or you have constipation for two weeks or more, you should call your doctor.
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What Is Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is characterised by nausea and stomach upset during pregnancy. Its not quite clear why it happens, but doctors think its due to hormonal changes. About 8 in 10 women will be affected by morning sickness, though some worse than others. Here are some patterns associated with the increased risk of morning sickness:
- Pregnancy with twins or multiple fetuses
- History of morning sickness during pregnancy or in the family
- Women with motion sickness
- BMI of 30 or more
- Elevated stress hormone levels
How To Treat Diarrhoea
It’s likely that diarrhoea will naturally clear up after a couple of days. To keep the discomfort and bathroom runs to a minimum during this time, give these tips a go:
- Hydrate We mentioned it earlier but it’s the most important thing you can do when diarrhoea hits. Drink plenty of water , fresh juice , and nutritious clear broth . This will rehydrate you and replace your missing electrolytes.
- Keep clear from offending foods Dried fruits, sugary juices and soft drinks, milk, fatty or spicy foods these will only exacerbate the situation. Stick to foods that will be gentler on your digestive tract, like bananas, rice, cooked carrots, natural yoghurt, toast and crackers.
- Say no to certain medications Diarrhoea medications that contain sodium are not recommended during pregnancy. If you’re not sure, check with your midwife or doctor to be safe.
Regardless of the severity of your diarrhoea, always call your doctor or midwife if:
- You suspect a virus or bug is the cause of your diarrhoea you may need antibiotics
- Your diarrhoea lasts longer than a couple of days
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The Sudden Change In Bathroom Routines When You Are Pregnant
Do you know that being pregnant causes abrupt change of hormones? Your body would respond and adapt to the physical transformation in preparation of the baby as well. Hence, your uterus will start to expand and will occupy more space inside, pushing other organs to give way. This process disturbs other internal organs and may interfere with their functions.
Since the bowels are the nearest to the uterus, it is common to experience diarrhea or constipation, and this holds true with frequent urination as well. Along with diarrhea also comes abdominal pains. The good news is none of the said conditions is a threat to both you and the baby. However, you need to deal with the situation and make sure you get better.
Managing Diarrhoea While Travelling And Pregnant
When we travel overseas we open our bodies up to a number of foreign influences and diarrhoea is a common response to these.
Some countries pose a higher risk of diarrhoea than others, such as developing countries in South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The main reason people get diarrhoea in these countries is from eating food or drinking water that is contaminated.
If you travel while pregnant, take these simple measures to help avoid getting diarrhoea in high-risk countries:
- Don t drink or brush your teeth with tap water be careful of vegetables that have been washed in tap water as well, and ice as it is commonly made from tap water.
- Avoid eating food from street vendors.
- Avoid fruits that can t be peeled or that you didn t peel yourself.
*Please note that the published date may not be the same as the date that the content was created and that information above may have changed since.
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Will Diarrhea During Pregnancy Harm The Baby
Generally speaking, a stomach bug is very unlikely to cause harm to your baby.
Even if youre unable to keep anything down for 24 hours, your baby will almost certainly be fine.
Dehydration is usually the biggest concern when you have a sickness bug, so make sure you drink plenty of fluids when treating diarrhea. Dehydration will affect pregnant women much earlier than it will affect the baby.
If you have a sickness bug, its important to:
- Rest as much as possible
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If youre struggling to keep water down, try electrolyte icy-poles
- Try to eat. If you can keep food down, try to eat bland foods throughout the day whenever you feel hungry. Foods that are low in fiber and gentle on the stomach include apples, toast, crackers, and broth
- Wash your hands well before and after going to the bathroom this will limit the spread of the virus.
Speak to your healthcare provider immediately if:
- The sickness bug lasts for more than 48 hours
- Youre unable to keep any fluids down
- There is blood in your stools
- You have abdominal pain
- Your urine is very dark.
Severe dehydration can lead to pregnancy complications, so seek immediate emergency care.
Causes Of Gastrointestinal Issues During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can intensify underlying conditions, even if you werent aware of them before your egg got fertilised. There are a number of lifestyle and medical reasons behind gastrointestinal problems during pregnancy:
- Changes in hormones
- Thyroid disorders
If you have chronic GI problems, like IBS , acid reflux, or GERD , their symptoms will most likely intensify during pregnancy. So if you are planning a pregnancy, consult your doctor for advice.
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Diarrhea During The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy
Diarrhea during the third trimester is not as uncommon and is more likely to happen as you approach your due date. It could be a sign that laboris near, and it can occur right before labor or a couple of weeks before labor. If it is a couple of weeks before your due date, a premature birth should not be expected.
If you are experiencing diarrhea during your third trimester, it does not mean your baby is coming right now, so you should not be alarmed. This is just a way some womens bodies prepare for the labor that is going to start at some point. You may want to be aware of other labor signs as well.
When To See A Doctor
Blood or mucus may appear in the stool in more serious cases of diarrhea. This is often accompanied by a fever and requires a visit to the doctor as soon as possible.
Untreated diarrhea can also lead to serious complications, including dehydration. A person with severe diarrhea may require hospitalization and intravenous electrolytes.
Anyone experiencing a fever of higher than 102°F or severe abdominal pains should visit a doctor.
Parents or guardians should carefully monitor any children with diarrhea. If symptoms do not clear up with 24 hours, they should call the doctor for guidance.
If a child shows any signs of dehydration, seek immediate medical care. Signs include:
- dry diaper for longer than 3 hours
- weight loss
- crying without tears
Any additional symptoms should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
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What Can You Do If You Have Pregnancy Diarrhea
Again, diarrhea throughout pregnancy is actually less typical than constipation, but if you do experience it, it’s more likely to happen closer to the time of delivery. At that time, your uterus starts producing hormones known as prostaglandins, which help soften the cervix and prepare the uterus to contract in labor, explains Dr. Zore.
The prostaglandins also get the smooth muscles of the digestive tract moving, so stool will pass more quickly, Dr. Zore says. You may just experience increased frequency or urgency to go to the bathroom, or you may even get diarrhea in some cases.
If you do have diarrhea, hydration is super important. Basically, loading up on water is your best defense mechanism. Eating a diet rich in fiber while pregnant is also key to make sure you dont end up with loose stools, says Dr. Zore.
Diarrhea During Early Pregnancy
Food digestion starts in the mouth. As you chew your food, it mixes with saliva, is swallowed, and moves down the esophagus to reach the stomach.
When it reaches the stomach, acids are added and a full metabolic process occurs to ensure nutrients and water can be absorbed when the food moves into the intestine.
Through the intestinal walls, useful nutrients are filtered into the blood while waste products move on down the bowel until theyre finally excreted.
Diarrhea is when you pass loose stools. This is due to the transit of food in the intestinal tract happening much faster than normal.
When you experience diarrhea, it means the digestive tract isnt functioning properly and the food processing cycle is sped up so the absorption of nutrients and water doesnt happen properly.
Diarrhea can be caused by various digestive problems.
If you have underlying conditions, such as Crohns disease, irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease, you will have baseline knowledge, and you can tell if an episode of diarrhea feels any different from what youve experienced before.
Food poisoning or viral infections such as gastroenteritis can also be the cause of loose bowel movements. Diarrhea with these illnesses tends to be accompanied by cramps and abdominal pain. When you get one of these conditions youre generally quite unwell you have a temperature, and arent able to carry on with life as usual for a couple of days.
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