Constipation During Pregnancy

Constipation involves a consistent pressure to pass a bowel movement that is accompanied by a lot of strain   Individuals experience constipation often have to sit for extended periods of time and make extra efforts to successfully have a bowel movement.

What causes Constipation during pregnancy?

Constipation is caused by a combination of factors.  The rapid shift in hormones causes the intestinal smooth muscle to soften which slows down the speed that bowels are passed.  Additionally, the slowed transit time of the food also allows for more water than to normal to be reabsorbed.  There are also some who believe the expanding uterus crowds the intestinal tract and increases the probability of constipation.  

When does Constipation occur during pregnancy?

Your pregnancy related hormones trigger the smooth muscles of the intestine causing them to soften during the first trimester, so it is possible to experience constipation as early as the first trimester.  However, it is most common to experience constipation later in the second trimester or in the third trimester.

How frequently does constipation occur during pregnancy?

About 50% of women will experience constipation.  Don’t be surprised if you experience some change in the way that you experience your bowel movements.

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