By Dr. Vik, MBBS, MRCP(GB), PhD
Vaginal bleeding with bowel movement
In order to maintain optimum health, it is important to have a normally functioning bowel. Normal bowel movements depend on a number of factors, including a good diet and regular exercise.
In women, the genitourinary tract, i.e. the bladder and reproductive system, are placed in close proximity to each other.
While rare, there have been cases reported where women notice bleeding from their vaginal when they attempt a bowel movement.
It is well recognized that patients who suffer from constipation tend to strain a lot in order to move their bowels.
Constipation can play a part in a number of different clinical conditions. In fact, there are nearly 32 conditions where patients may experience vaginal bleeding due to constipation (WebMD, 2014).
Constant straining over a period of time can lead to the enlargement of the hemorrhoidal veins in the rectum.
Hemorrhoids can bleed on occasion, and sometimes this may be misinterpreted as vaginal bleeding.
Clearly, constipation seems to be the underlying problem that is common to all causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding. Therefore, targeting constipation is important.
While fiber supplements are readily available, it seems the American population gets a surprisingly low level of magnesium in their diets.
The primary benefit of magnesium during defectation is that it softens stools making them extremely easy to pass (Guerrera, 2009). It works by pulling water into the colon, thereby increasing the softness of the stools.
When stools are soft, there is no straining effort needed. This tremendously reduces the amount of stress on the wall of the vaginal. It is for this very reason that magnesium is used to clear out the bowel loops prior to bowel surgery (WebMD, 2014).
Vaginal bleeding during a bowel movement is primarily due to constipation. For most women, ensuring easy bowel movements is effective in remedying the problem.
Guerrera, M. P. (2009). Therapeutic uses of magnesium. American Family Physician, 157-162.
NYU Medical Center. (2014). Rectocele. Retrieved from MYU Langone Medical Center: http://www.med.nyu.edu/crs/info/anorectal13.html
WebMD. (2014, November). Constipation and Vaginal bleeding between periods. Retrieved from WebMD: http://symptomchecker.webmd.com/multiple-symptoms?symptoms=constipation|vaginal-bleeding-between-periods&symptomids=58|247&locations=24|35
WebMD. (2014). Magnesium. Retrieved from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-998-magnesium.aspx?activeingredientid=998&activeingredientname=magnesium