Constipation Caused by Hormones

Statistically, women suffer from constipation far more often than men do.

The reasons for this are not fully clear, but scientists suspect there could be a connection with the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Both relax the muscles and calm womb activity during pregnancy. Reduced bowel activity could be a side effect of this.

Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, your body produces more of the female hormone progesterone. Progesterone helps to relax the womb, but also the bowel muscles – which are also increasingly squeezed by the growing womb. Combined with iron supplements and the stress of pregnancy, this can soon lead to constipation.

Constipation After Childbirth
If you continue taking iron supplements after giving birth, constipation is not uncommon.

Pain After Childbirth
If, after you have given birth, you experience pain when pooping that shows no signs of improvement, visit your doctor. It might be that you have developed piles by pushing while giving birth.1

Menopause
Your menopause involves major hormonal changes in your body and can cause a lot of stress. The way you experience this development is very distinct, but a slowing down of your bowels and associated constipation are possible and common side effects.2

Hypothyroidism
Low thyroid hormone, or hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones that affect your health, including bowel movements.

When thyroid hormone levels are low, it is most likely for one to have a slower metabolism, which then increases the possibility of constipation.3

Source:
1 Menopause Constipation: Connection, Treatment, and More. (2019). Retrieved 7 August 2019, from https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause-constipation#when-to-seek-help
2 Holly Ernst, P. (2019). Constipation in pregnancy: Causes, safe treatments, and home remedies. Retrieved 7 August 2019, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324379.php
3 Madeline R. Vann, M. (2019). 8 Tips to Relieve Hypothyroidism-Related Constipation. Retrieved 22 August 2019, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/healthy-living-with-hypothyroidism/tips-to-relieve-constipation/