Are you trying to get pregnant? Here’s why you should never ignore a bout of diarrhoea

IF you’re trying to get pregnant, your ovulation window is probably a key thing you’re trying to monitor.

You may be doing this through period or ovulation tracking apps – but your body might be giving you key clues about when you’re most fertile, though not always in the most sensual of ways.

GettyWatery poos in the middle of your cycle could be an indication that you’re ovulating[/caption]

If you’re struck by a bout of diarrhoea midway through your cycle, this could be a sign that you’re ovulating.

“Because the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the reproductive system share the pelvis, often something that affects one may affect the other,” Allison Rodgers, a board-certified OB/GYN, reproductive endocrinologist, and director of education at the Fertility Centers of Illinois, told Well+Good.

As a result, you may notice your poop is more watery than normal – even verging on diarrhoea – during ovulation.

What is ovulation?

Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from your ovary, travelling down your fallopian tube when it can be fertilised by sperm.

This is usually the point of the month where you’re most fertile, usually at the middle of your menstrual cycle.

According to the NHS, ovulation usually occurs around 12 to 16 days before your period starts, so you may be able to work out when you’re likely to ovulate if you have a regular cycle.

But pinpointing the exact window of time where this is happening can be tricky, as your egg only hangs out in the fallopian tubes for 12 to 24 hours, according to Mayo Clinic.

Can diarrhoea be a sign of ovulation?

According to Dr Rodgers, getting the runs could be a sign you’re ovulating.

“Some people notice a huge correlation between their menstrual cycles and bowel symptoms,” she said, including a correlation between ovulation and bouts of diarrhoea.

The culprits behind your runnier number twos are hormones called prostaglandins, which play a role in prompting your egg to be released and also relax the smooth muscle tissue inside your uterus to facilitate shedding of the uterine lining that happens during your period.

Prostaglandins can also relax your intestinal muscles, causing the “the smooth muscle of the GI tract [to respond] by moving digested food through faster,” Dr Rodgers explained.

This can result in watery poops.

These hormones are also behind the runnier number twos you might get before or during your period, known as period poos.

Who’s most likely to see a change in bowel habits while ovulating?

But not everyone will see changes to their bowel habits during ovulation or periods, as they’re not “sensitive” to prostaglandins.

And if you already have gut issues that tend to result in diarrhoea – like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – runny poops might not always be the most reliable indicator of ovulation as it can be hard to pinpoint their cause.

According to Dr Rodgers, you might be more prone to digestive issues while ovulating if you suffer from endometriosis, a painful condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus.

If you have endometriosis in your bowel itself, this may cause diarrhoea or looser poos, she added.

Having IBS or Crohn’s disease can also make you more prone to digestive woes when you’re on your period, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

What are other signs that I’m ovulating?

There are other indications of ovulation that you can look out for instead, according to Cleveland Clinic:

A slight increase (about 0.5 to 1 degree) in you’re body temperature when you’re at rest – you may be able to detect this with a thermometer

A change in cervical mucus – you may notice wetter, clearer and more slippery mucus around the time of ovulation

Tender breasts


Mild pelvic or tummy pain

Light bleeding or spotting

Increased sex drive

Heightened sense of smell, taste, or sight

Mood changes

Appetite changes

How can I manage diarrhoea?

DIARRHOEA involves passing looser, watery or more frequent poo than is normal for you.

Though it can be unpleasant, it’s usually nothing to worry about.

It’ll normally clear up within a few days to a week.

A bowel infection is often a common cause of diarrhoea and can be the result of a virus, bacteria or a parasite.

Make sure you:

Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration – have small sips of water often
Use an oral rehydration solution (ORS) if you’re particularly at risk of dehydration
Eat olid foods as soon as you feel able to
Avoid foods that are fatty or spicy, as well as fruit juice and fizzy drinks
Stay at home until at least 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea to prevent spreading any infection to others

Speak to your GP if you have diarrhoea and: 

It’s particularly frequent or severe
It lasts for more than seven days 
The poo has blood on it 
You’re vomiting and are unable to keep fluid down
You have a severe or continuous stomach ache 
You’re experiencing weight loss
You have passed a large amount of very watery diarrhoea 
It occurs at night and is disturbing sleep
You have recently taken antibiotics or been treated in hospital
You have signs of dehydration – including drowsiness, peeing less than usual, and feeling lightheaded or dizzy
You have poo that’s dark or black – this may be a sign of bleeding inside your stomach 

Source: NHS Inform

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