Mucus in Stool During Pregnancy
When a woman is pregnant her body goes through many changes and it can be a difficult time for a mother-to-be. It is extremely common for a mother-to-be to get anxious if she notices a usual change in her body. Everyone tells a woman about the good changes that a baby will bring in her life, but no one tells her about the unpleasant problems she may face during pregnancy. One such problem that scares most women is the presence of mucus in their stools while pregnant. Find out whether this problem is common or not.
What Is Mucus?
Mucus is a viscous fluid produced by the body’s mucous membranes, which line various organs and cavities. It is composed of water, proteins, electrolytes, and other substances. The primary function of mucus is to lubricate and protect the body’s organs and tissues.
In the respiratory system, mucus acts as a protective barrier, trapping and removing airborne particles such as dust, allergens, and pathogens. It also helps humidify the air we breathe. Mucus plays a vital role in the digestive system as well. It protects the lining of the stomach and intestines and aids food movement through the digestive tract. Mucus contains enzymes that assist in breaking down food molecules, facilitating digestion and nutrient absorption.
Various factors can affect mucus production and composition, including hydration levels, hormonal changes, infections, allergies, and environmental exposures. Excessive mucus production or abnormalities in its consistency can lead to conditions such as nasal congestion, chronic cough, or respiratory infections.
Is It Normal to Have Mucus in Stool during Pregnancy?
The presence of mucus in stool in early pregnancy is considered normal. This is because mucus in stool can be due to the changes your body goes through during pregnancy. If there’s only a little mucus in your poop, you probably don’t need to worry. But if you notice blood and mucus in your stool during pregnancy and notice it often, you should contact your gynaecologist. Also, if you have lower abdominal pain and notice a lot of mucus in your stool, don’t take the problem lightly. You should consult a doctor.
What are the Possible Causes of Mucus in Stool while Pregnant?
Usually, digestive problems can lead to mucus in your poop. Some of the causes of mucus in poop are mentioned below.
- A hormone imbalance in your body can cause mucus in your stool.
- Another common cause for the presence of mucus in your body during pregnancy could be the prenatal vitamins you take. If these vitamins have an excess of iron or calcium, you may notice mucus in your poop.
- The expansion of your uterus commonly also displaces your intestines and this can also lead to mucus excretion in your body.
- If you have food allergies associated with nuts or lactose, it can cause mucus in your stool.
- Parasitic infections, such as giardiasis or amebiasis, are uncommon causes of mucus in the stool during pregnancy. These infections can be acquired through contaminated food or water sources.
- In some cases, pregnancy can trigger or exacerbate underlying conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease.
- Infections caused by bacteria, such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, or Shigella, can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, including mucus in the stool.
- Some gastrointestinal issues, such as piles or haemorrhoids, can also cause mucus in stool.
- You may have increased mucus in your stool during pregnancy due to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Treatment for Mucus in Stool during Pregnancy
When you notice mucus in your stool during pregnancy, try to find its type, as it will help you identify its cause. You can tell if it is because of an infection, dehydration or something else. This problem can be treated with antibiotics, which your doctor can provide. Other than that, here is what you can do to treat this problem at home.
- Change your prenatal vitamins.
- You can ask your doctor if you can use a stool softener during pregnancy.
- In case of an infection, complete the antibiotics your doctor prescribed. Do not stop it midway.
Tips to Prevent Mucus in Poop while Pregnant
The best course of action for any condition is prevention. Here are four ways to prevent mucus in your stool during pregnancy.
1. Stay Hydrated
White mucus in stool during pregnancy could be due to dehydration. Consult your doctor about the amount of water you should drink during pregnancy. Drink plenty of water and, if needed, use hydration salts. During Pregnancy, you must drink 8-10 cups or 64-96 ounces of water. This will help avoid mucus buildup.
You should try a prenatal workout as it can improve your immune strength. A strengthened immune system will combat infections better and keep the infections that cause green mucus in the stool at bay. However, before you try any exercise, talk to your doctor. Perform the safe exercises, and don’t exercise for more than 45 minutes. You must listen to your body during this time and rest if you feel tired. You can resume the workout after a short break.
3. Follow a Balanced Diet
Constipation is a common cause of mucus buildup during pregnancy, so your diet should be well-balanced, and you should consume plenty of minerals and vitamins. Take supplements if necessary. Make sure your meals are high in fibre. Dietary fibre helps soften the stool, keeps you full throughout the day, and combat constipation.
4. Stay Calm
The mucus in your body could be due to numerous different aspects, but you need not stress. It may make it a lot worse. Stress can also increase the likelihood of further complications that lead to blood or abdominal pain in your body. Both of which are signs of anything from IBD to premature birth. So, remember to quell the anxiety by exercising. You can try yoga, tai chi or meditation. Use essential oils and diffusers to calm yourself down.
5. Fibre-rich Diet
Consuming a diet high in fibre can promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. These foods are rich in dietary fibre and can help regulate bowel movements. Gradually increase your fibre intake and ensure you get soluble and insoluble fibre, as they have different roles in promoting healthy digestion. Improved gut health due to high fibre consumption will automatically reduce the chances of stomach infections and other reasons leading to cause mucus in the stool.
Adding probiotics to your daily routine may help promote a healthy gut microbiome and improve digestion. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can support the balance of microorganisms in your digestive system. You can find probiotics in certain yoghurts, fermented foods (such as sauerkraut or kimchi), or supplements in pharmacies or health food stores.
When to Consult a Doctor?
You need not worry if you see a little mucus in stool in pregnancy. But in the following cases, you should consult a doctor –
- If you notice blood and mucus in your stool.
- If you have lower abdominal pain.
- If you have haemorrhoids.
- If you notice a persistent presence of mucus in your stool or if the amount of mucus increases significantly.
- If you have certain risk factors or pre-existing medical conditions.
1. Is It Normal to Have Bloody Mucus in Stool While Pregnant?
Passing bloody mucus in the stool during pregnancy is not considered normal and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. It can signify various conditions, such as haemorrhoids, anal fissures, inflammatory bowel disease, or infections. It is important to seek medical attention to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment.
2. Can Consuming Probiotics Cause Mucus in Stool?
In some cases, consuming probiotics can increase mucus production, which may be noticed in the stool. This is usually a temporary and harmless side effect. The presence of mucus in the stool after taking probiotics is typically not a cause for concern unless other symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhoea, or fever accompany it. If you have any concerns or if the symptoms persist or worsen, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for further evaluation.
Although mucus in early pregnancy is not a big problem, it is best to talk to a doctor if that makes you anxious. Discuss this problem with your doctor; he will provide the right treatment. Furthermore, don’t strain yourself during pregnancy. Make sure that you complete the course of medications you have been prescribed. If you are afraid the medication is the cause, consult your doctor.
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