Your Gut Health Is Important—Period.
As the saying goes, “no guts, no glory”… but we’d like to propose it be amended to “no gut health, no happy hormones.”
Okay, so it’s not quite as catchy as the original (we’ll workshop that later). But the point still stands: your gut health has an impact on your hormones, your menstrual cycle, and even any PMS symptoms you may experience. Here’s what to know about how your gut health impacts your period, and what you can do to make sure you’ve got the healthiest gut possible.
What is the microbiome?
The microbiome may sound like an exhibition at Epcot, but it’s actually one of the most important functioning areas of your body. Basically, your body is filled with tons of bacteria, viruses, and other tiny microorganisms naked to the human eye. They mostly live in your large intestine or on your skin, and they live in a little pocket within your large intestine. Those microbes in your intestines are what’s known as your microbiome, and it’s what we’re referring to any time we say “gut health.”
And it’s totally normal and healthy to have these trillion (yes, trillion with a “t”) bacteria, fungi, and viruses living in your body. In fact, you need them so your body can function, and you want a diverse microbiome because it’s better for your health. The food you eat has a lot of impact on the diversity of your microbiome, but your microbiome can be impacted by lots of other factors.
How does your gut health impact your hormones?
On the highest level, an imbalanced microbiome has been correlated with hormonal imbalances—and on the flip side, having too much estrogen in your body can cause gut-related issues like bloating and fluid retention.
Here’s a little more detail. When your ovaries make estrogen, the hormone then travels through your bloodstream before settling down in your liver. There, the estrogen is deactivated and sent to your intestine where the microbes live. Then, it’s broken down by an enzyme so it can exit the body. But if that microbiome isn’t functioning well (due to stress, a high-sugar diet, certain autoimmune conditions, or other factors), the estrogen will recirculate back through your body—and that could cause a hormonal imbalance.
How does your gut health impact your period?
So, if estrogen recirculates through your body and you develop excess levels of it, you’ll probably experience symptoms pretty similar to PMS: heavier periods, bloating, mood swings, and more.
Fluctuating estrogen levels can impact the digestive tract, too, by leading to spasms in your intestines that can potentially cause diarrhea. Or, you could have the opposite issue and experience constipation due to a dip in estrogen, which slows digestion.
How do you take care of your gut health?
There are a few things you can do to care for your microbiome and your reproductive health. First, up your water intake and make sure you’re eating a diet high in fiber; that’ll help facilitate healthy digestion and stave off any diarrhea or constipation.
Next, make sure you’re paying attention to your stress levels. Psychological stress and sleep deprivation can upset the microbiome, so make sure you’re exercising regularly, meditating, getting outside, or practicing any other self-care that you’ve found effective.
Finally, add a probiotic supplement to your daily routine. Taking a probiotic has been shown to support a healthy gut microbiome, and it may also help protect you from gut inflammation or other intestinal issues.
Not sure where to start with a probiotic? SimpleHealth’s Probiotic Blend supports a healthy gut microbiome by naturally regulating your digestive system and reducing bloating and constipation.* It’s made with 30 billion CFU and 12 probiotic strains for a balanced, diverse microorganism community, and it’s designed to work hand-in-hand with your birth control.* Plus, you can add it right on to your recurring birth control delivery to make sure you never miss a day.
Get SimpleHealth Supplements with your birth control subscription.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Disclaimer: *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.