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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
my ex-husband used to call them period farts and they came at the same time every month, right before my period and for the first day or two once it started (i'm very near menopause now, missed one period, but am certain i'm going to get it this month because i'm once again having period farts.)

other  period symptoms?  dramatically increased sense of smell (my grandmother had the same thing) and crazy sex drive.
Avatar universal
I have the same thing. Heavy periods, bad cramps, and stinking farts. I have endometriosis. I cut out caffeine, cut out dairy, went to a mostly plant based, low sodium diet. This is my first month of trying it so its still on trial but so far i feel much better with the PMS, bloating, cramping, mood swings, and breast tenderness, like nothing compared to how I used to be. Im gonna start something like a miralax to keep my bowel clean throughout the mouth since Endometriosis can cause alot of problems with that. We"ll see what happens. Thank you for posting, and I wish you all the best.
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Wow - I have just discovered this post and like many of you ladies suffer with foul smelling wind a week before my period until I turned 40ish. For the past 3 years I have had no flatulance problems whatsoever. I haven't changed my diet (I've always eaten very healthy) or changed anything significant. I just think the flatulance was due to monthly hormonal changes. I think I am in the premenopausal stages and maybe that's why the wind has stopped. Just a thought.
Avatar universal
just fart to your heart's content. at least it feels good when it's out! and farts are supposed to stink! consider it comic relief every month :) lol.
Avatar universal
Wow! I can't believe how old this thread is and yet women are still adding to it. Just goes to show how many of us suffer from the same thing! I think it's great that we can all talk about this and exchange advice.
I'm 32 yrs old and a mom to a 6 yr old. I never had any PMS growing up(started period at 11) or any.issues during period either..not even cramping.  But i did have a heavy flow. It became less and less as i got older. I'm not on BC either and have a good diet.
I recently figured out it was appr a week before my period that I started experiencing this. It is CRAZY how a women's body changes once she hits her 30's. Now at 32 a week before my period,  I have extreme bloating, CRAZY gas, dizzy spells, back pains like labor pains, and total nausea. A lot like pregnancy symptoms!  I started keeping track of how ofteb this happens and realized it was always right before period was due. I.didn't know these issues were SO COMMON (nausea,  gas, dizziness) before period or even during. But once i researched, i saw how there's sooooo many women dealing w the same thing. I really was thinking that i was pregnant every month! Bc all these really are soo similar!  But once the tests were coming out negative,  I.began to worry that there was something wrong with me.  I have not found anything that works except emetrol syrup for the nausea.  It alsi helps me release the gas too. But regarding the odor, i have no had any luck. Has anyone tried these suggestions from the other members?? Curious if anything worked.
-Donna
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Avatar universal
Saw this reply on another forum and I thought it might be helpful. Many women go through this every month so its not the foods that you eat:
While the foods you eat are important, you are saying that the approach of your period is what makes the difference to your farting. As I understand it, this is because of the increased production of a hormone-like chemical called prostaglandin series 2. The purpose of this is to stimulate the muscles of the uterus to shuck off the lining that has been built up over the preceding few weeks, causing a period.

Series 1 and series 2 prostaglandins act differently and can get very out of balance as the menstrual cycle progresses. If there's excess series 2 then this necessary muscle stimulation can get out of hand and cause the pain of muscle cramps and also affect the bowel and bladder. Like all chemicals in the body, they do lots of things and it's all stupidly complex. But the effect on the digestive tract can be to change the production of digestive juices and stimulate the peristaltic muscles - both of which can cause excess gas.

The traditional way of counteracting the series 2 prostaglandin is to increase the production of series 1. And that's where the essential fatty acids come in, specifically the omega-6 GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) found in borage oil (starflower oil) and evening primrose oil. You may find it helps to take borage oil for a week before you expect the symptoms to begin. Some take it all month.

A less natural option is to inhibit the production of prostaglandin series 2 in the first place. This can apparently be done by taking NSAIDS (aspirin, ibupofen etc.) during the week approaching the onset of symptoms. If the production of the prostaglandin is reduced, it may make your period last a little longer because the muscles of the uterus aren't working so hard.

Source(s):

http://www.endo-resolved.com/prostaglandins.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostaglandin
Avatar universal
I am so glad I am not the only one who suffers from this.  Usually I try to keep away for everyone when this is happening but that can not always be possible.  I think I will try the Evening Primrose as suggested in a previous post.  I did tell my boyfriend about it, well basically warned him, and now it sort of makes us giggle but I would obviously prefer if it did not happen.  The other day I was in a queue in the Post Office and I could feel one coming on, panic.  There was a guy in front of me who looked like he had been working on a building site, he had mud all over his shoes, fresh mud.  So I moved a little closer to him, stinky arrives and I promptly moved back.  Everyone thought it was him.  I know it was awful but it worked.  Luckily this time I had a few moments warning but that is not always the case.  I was giggling to myself all the way home.  
Dinosaur
External User
I had the same issue.I had an outgrown number of bacteria on my intestine (h.pylori) I take pills of enzymes,probiotics and activated charcoal( absorbs the odor)
This issue took me years to somebody to figure it out.This issue can develop IBS as well.Stay away from conservatives,sorbitol,grease,fast food and processed food. some places call this S.E.B.O.
The test used to detect this is an O2 test..usually doctors do all kind of crappy test that dont help out a bit.
Good luck
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Avatar universal
Magnesium works. Give it a go and you will see. I bought it over the counter and i take 2 tablets daily and the amount of gas is still there BUT the smell is totally neutralised !
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I too have terrible gas and cramps coming up to my period. I noticed whilst on holiday in June, my period came and went without any gas or issues. Very shocked!!! Then July,August I went back to my smelly ways. The only thing I could pin point was that I rather drank coffee on holiday and had no dairy for the whole week because it was horrible. I also eat less bread. Think I may have to try my theory out next month. :)
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Thank you so much for nailing that idiot where it hurts. Wonder if we should tell him that when a woman is in labor the pressure from that is equal to 53 bones fracturing at the same time. Bet he'd **** his pants before it got past the first stage of a period lol
Avatar universal
My post is purely anecdotal. I agree with this theory.  For months, I have significantly reduced my intake of caffeine, cheeses and milk products and noticed that the foul flatulence 1 week before my period was practically non-existent.  I also ate more veggies and less meat.  In the past month, literally 1 month, I had to take a trip back east and had started a bad cycle of the "old" diet- included more meat, cheese, milk, and this past week alone have been drinking coffee with some skim or soy and had pizza twice. It is one week before my period and the flatulence is back.  I'm now back home and can get back on my regimen of leafy greens, fruits, nuts and almond milk.  No more pizza!
Avatar universal
I am 34 years old and have the same problem.  It is a sulferous smell and usually one week before my cycle.  It doesen't seem to matter what I eat, I just have gas and it is horrible.  Trying to find all natural solutions. I don't use birth control. I noticed its worse since I've cut back on exercise because of a knee injury. Maybe that was helping and I was less aware of it.  Thanks to all the people who shared their stories.
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