“Period symptoms” is a stand-in phrase for many different things. Depending on who you ask, they can range from mild headaches to bloating to debilitating cramping. For many women, period symptoms are so painful that it’s like a full-time job finding the right combination of wellness items and self-care to help support them during ‘that time of the month.’
Before we dive into how probiotics can help ease period symptoms, it’s helpful to understand just how prevalent and vast period symptoms are. According to the Office on Women’s Health, over 90% of women say they have some period-related symptoms. These can include cramping, acne, gastrointestinal issues, and more.
The American College of Obstetricians notes that while it’s normal to have menstrual pain for 1 to 2 days, anything more than that can be a period-related condition, like dysmenorrhea or PMS. Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is defined by physical or mood changes that happen before or during a person’s period, month after month. Conditions like endometriosis or ovarian cysts can make those PMS symptoms even more pronounced.
No matter the period condition, or symptoms, studies have shown that the connection between the gut, brain, and body during menstrual cycles is indisputable.
We’ve partnered with Seed to help share how probiotics can help ease period symptoms, no matter which ones you struggle with.
What are probiotics?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, probiotics are helpful, live microorganisms found in food or supplements that help support a body’s functions.
A survey done in 2012 found that 4 million adults had taken a probiotic in the last 30 days.
How are your gut and hormones connected?
Your hormones impact your gut microbiome and vice versa. For instance, estrogen is moved through your system thanks to the gut microbiome, and similarly, sex hormones influence the gut microbiome.
One specific function of the gut microbiome is its ability to metabolize estrogens. In fact, there is a term for the specific microbial species in your gut that can regulate circulating estrogens through the secretion of specific molecules: the estrobolome.
Along with other hormones like FSH, LH, and progesterone, estrogen plays an important part in your menstrual cycle. These sex hormones coexist in a delicate balance and fluctuate during the different phases of your menstrual cycle. All of these interconnected parts emphasize how important the gut microbiome is in the regulation of the menstrual cycle.
How can probiotics help with period symptoms?
Bloating & GI Symptoms
Given that hormone fluctuations come with the territory throughout an entire menstrual cycle (not just when you’re menstruating), those same hormones also hold the power to impact your GI and worsen GI symptoms, like stool consistency, bloating, or even stomach cramping. On the flip side, probiotics have the potential to lessen menstrual cycle-induced gastrointestinal changes.
Seed’s DS-01® Daily Synbiotic includes strains studied to support healthy digestion, bloat ease, and your microbiome throughout the month. Specifically, several DS-01® strains have been studied for their support of gastrointestinal functions, including bowel movement regularity, stool consistency, ease of expulsion, bowel movement comfort, and occasional bloating.
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Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle also affect skin health. Estrogen levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle, and these shifts cause changes in the skin by influencing its texture, thickness, and fluid balance. For example, you may notice more breakouts than usual during your late luteal phase as a result of a drop in estrogen and a rise in progesterone.
In addition to eating a well-balanced diet that includes gut-friendly foods, certain probiotics have been studied to benefit dermatological health. In fact, DS-01® includes strains studied to support healthy, clear-looking skin by way of the gut-skin axis.
For a healthier, happier period, be sure to consistently stick to taking DS-01® to support healthy digestion, bloat ease, and your microbiome throughout the month. Visit Seed.com and use the code RESCRIPTED for 30% off your first month’s supply!
Vivian Nunez is a writer, content creator, and Happy To Be Here podcast host. Her award-winning Instagram community has created pathways for speaking on traditionally taboo topics, like mental health and grief. You can find Vivian @vivnunez on Instagram/TikTok and her writing on Medium and her blog, vivnunez.com.