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Foul Gas x 1week before mentrual period every month

I am 32 y/o female 5'7", 150lbs, 2 children and happily married. I do not take any medication or BC pills. I have minimal stress. (many blessings!)My problem: Every month approx one week prior to onset of my period...I experience horrible foul smelling flatulence.  It is embarrasing and needless to say hard to ignore. 3-4x times a year it is accompanied by severe and sudden onset diarrhea, migraine, and other common PMS symptoms.  In researching this topic, I find much on PMS symptoms and treatment...but little mention of this particular problem other than "IBS" or "bowel changes". I do not have mood swings (even husband agrees) but, I am often more tired, clumsy-(I drop things), stutter, and have uncomfortable back pain DURING my period.  What is causing this smell? I am not kidding when I say it is THE foulest odor you can imagine and for 3-4 days of the 1 week it is frequent. Obviously, I try to "hold it in" if in room with others and it is not explosive but, it is so foul I even wake up in the middle of the night because the smell has woken me. I have what I would consider "normal" gas normally.  Please help...I want to know the specific physiologic reason it occurs and what I can do about it.  Thank you.
88 Responses
Avatar universal
I too have this problem for a few days each month.  Absolutely foul to the point that I have to change my clothing & bedding, no joke.
I haven't had it all my life but at least the last 8 years or so. I am 41yo.
I used to get it every evening without fail & I saw a naturopath about it.  It was put down to fructose malabsorption so I eliminated fructose from my diet & it seemed to work for about 6 months.  Then it came back.
I decided to cease taking the contraceptive pill as I thought it might be related to hormones because it was always that bit worse just before my period. It worked!
I still get this foul gas for a few days each month but not for the rest of the month like I used to which is such a relief.
Therefore I do believe it is related to hormones. Hopefully there will be some research into this so we no longer have to suffer at all.
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Avatar universal
Thank goodness for this little string of comments I thought I was a total weirdo. Some months there is the foul stench- and you better believe I just put magnesium on my grocery list- other times its just an amazing amount of essentially odorless gas. Like Ripley's Believe it or Not amazing! Seriously- a fart will be so big I can actually feel myself deflating. I'd be careful with the cutting dairy thing though- the reason we can't put down the ice cream is because our bodies are losing calcium every time we menstruate. Some researchers think that because women are having more periods in their lifetime (read: less babies, later in life) we are essentially flushing our system of calcium each month and that is what is causing osteoporosis in older ladies.
Avatar universal
Thank goodness for this little string of comments I thought I was a total weirdo. Some months there is the foul stench- and you better believe I just put magnesium on my grocery list- other times its just an amazing amount of essentially odorless gas. Like Ripley's Believe it or Not amazing! Seriously- a fart will be so big I can actually feel myself deflating. I'd be careful with the cutting dairy thing though- the reason we can't put down the ice cream is because our bodies are losing calcium every time we menstruate. Some researchers think that because women are having more periods in their lifetime (read: less babies, later in life) we are essentially flushing our system of calcium each month and that is what is causing osteoporosis in older ladies.
Avatar universal
Oooh that's interesting!  I've given up on giving up dairy and I don't think it makes much difference.  Like you said some months it is worse than others and at the moment I am accepting it as a symptom of menstruation and that it is linked to our bowels.
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I too have had this problem  for about 9 years.  I finally tied it to my cycle and have tried the magnesium.  It is somewhat effective but not really. I have also found that when I don't take it I get constipation.  
I have begun to wonder if it may be related to having a tubal ligation.  I never had problems like this until my son was born 9yrs. ago and I had a tubal. I also had to have a C-section at the time.  Has anyone else thought they may be linked somehow?
I have gotten to the point where I'm thinking of having a total hysterectomy and hopefully it would take care of the problem I have with flatulence.  
1 Comments
Hi, like everyone else here I have the same flatulence problem that is especially sever before and during my period. I lost my period for a few years for no apparent reason as I was perfectly healthy other than the rheumatoid arthritis I got at age 16 (in remission now). When I had amenorrhea I felt amazing and had no digestive issues whatsoever and when it cam back all the issues returned. My gynecologist is absolutely no help.

I'm also curious as to whether or not a total hysterectomy would solve this problem as I am not planning any kids in the future and can't handle these issues anymore. Have you done the procedure? Have your GI issues gotten better? I can't find any info on this anywhere else and I'm really curious.  
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Avatar universal
i am 25 and have had this problem since i started my period. i have not really found i cure i have tried everything and my DR. is stumped too. it dose help to exercise more around that time too. i also suffer from horrible pms and i have cramps for a week or two. there r at least 3 days of my period were i cant get out of bed and i have severe bleeding. the first 2 days of my period i go through 7 to 10 pads a day i have been told that is because i release 2 eggs at a time by several DR.'s. so it makes sense too me if any one has any new ideas about how to solve any of my problems please let me know. it have dealt with it this long but i would like to try anything to help. thanks for your time and ideas.

Avatar universal
I always thought I was crazy that this happened to me.  My problem is compounded by the fact that I have Ulcerative Colitis which also causes these symptoms so, sometimes it's hard to differentiate what is causing this to happen.  But, it took me a few years to learn to tell them apart.  I have to say that excersing really helped me.

I'm sorry that we have to suffer with this embarrasing and usually uncomfortable issue but I'm glad that I don't suffer alone!  
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Avatar universal
I wanted to add about Magnesium supplements. You must NOT take a supplement higher in calcium than magnesium. You should be getting at about a 2:1 ratio of mag to cal.
Magnesium is needed to absorb calcium and if you take too much calcium you will deplete magnesium and have side effects of improperly absorbed calcium, (arthritis, osteoporosis).
Check here for a more detailed explanation--
http://www.mgwater.com/calmagab.shtml
Avatar universal
I came cross this because I was looking for answers for my 22 yr old daughter,she has painfull gas build,diahrea,she throws up sometimes and when she dose it has a god awfull smell(im talking when she throws up too). This also comes on a week or two before that time of month. I dont know what to do for her. Oh she also gets pale white and a fever. If anyone kniws what this is and knows what to do please let me know. Thanks
Avatar universal
Just wanted you to know that I had these symptoms of horrible smelling gas along with back pain before I got my period and it was endometriosis. I had laproscopic surgery, then got pregnant two months later and one year and no more symptoms. Hormones are definitely at play, I will get my thyroid levels checked after I finish breastfeeding.
Avatar universal
wow! for years i have had this prob. always seemed to avoid being around anyone while it was  happening until the other day. My poor bf was like " oh my god was that you?" i owned up to it and felt really stupid! for the rest of the day i held it in which made my cramps worse. letting "it" go really helps relieve my horrible cramps. like a few other women on this page i also have endometriosis. i have had painful periods since i was about 20 where i typically throw up and have severe bleeding for the 1st two days. my perids last about 7 days, ectreme bloating, awful mood seings and headaches the works. Ive had a hard time at work with the pain as well and if you work with women who have never experienced bad periods they think your a wimp and will never understand! glas to know im not alone and that i can tell my boyfriend its not my fault haha
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