constipation during menopause

Why You Might Be Experiencing Constipation During Menopause—And What You Can Do About It

Menopause is a natural transition that all women go through as they age. During menopause, the ovaries stop producing eggs and the levels of estrogen and progesterone start to decrease.

This hormonal imbalance can cause a variety of symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, mood swings, and you guessed it, constipation.

In fact, constipation is a very common symptom of menopause, affecting a good percentage of menopausal women.

But why does menopause cause constipation? And what can you do about it? Keep reading to find out.

How Menopause Causes Constipation


Motilin is produced in the small intestine and plays an important role in regulating digestion.

It does this by stimulating the movement of food through the digestive tract and by increasing intestinal contractions.

In addition, motilin also increases gastric acid secretion and slows gastric emptying.

All of these effects work together to keep the digestive system running smoothly.

How Motilin Relates to Constipation

As we age, our bodies produce less and less motilin. This decline in motilin production can lead to constipation for several reasons.

First, without adequate levels of motilin, food moves more slowly through the digestive tract. This can lead to hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass.

Second, decreased motilin levels also result in weaker intestinal contractions. This means that waste isn’t moved through the intestines as efficiently, leading to constipation.

Finally, reduced motilin levels also cause the stomach to empty more slowly.

This can further contribute to constipation by making it difficult for the intestines to move waste along.

How Estrogen Affects Digestion

There is currently limited research on the specific role of estrogen in gut motility. However, some studies have found that estrogen may play a role in regulating intestinal contractions and maintaining normal gastrointestinal function.

For example, one study found that estrogen deficiency in mice resulted in decreased intestinal motility and increased intestinal inflammation. Additionally, estrogen replacement therapy has been found to improve symptoms of constipation in postmenopausal women.

In addition to hormone changes, other menopause-related factors—such as stress and lack of exercise—can also contribute to digestive issues. 

What You Can Do About It

If you’re experiencing constipation during menopause, there are a few things you can do to ease your symptoms.

First of all, make sure you’re staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day.

Eight glasses is a good rule of thumb, but if you’re exercising frequently or living in a hot climate, you may need even more than that.

Secondly, be sure to get enough fiber in your diet by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fiber helps add bulk to stool and keeps things moving along smoothly in your digestive system.

Finally, regular exercise can also help with constipation by keeping things moving through your system on a regular basis. So get up and move your body every day!

If you’re experiencing constipation during menopause, you’re certainly not alone—it’s a very common symptom of this phase of life.

Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day and get enough fiber in your diet by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Additionally, regular exercise can help keep things moving through your system on a regular basis.

If you’re still struggling with constipation after making these lifestyle changes, talk to your doctor—there may be other treatments available that can help ease your symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is constipation a side effect of menopause?

Constipation is a common symptom of menopause, but it is not necessarily a side effect. The hormonal changes during menopause can lead to a slowdown in the digestive system and can contribute to constipation.

Can menopause cause constipation and bloating?

Yes, menopause can cause constipation and bloating. These symptoms can often go hand-in-hand as they are both caused by changes in the digestive system during menopause.

What female hormone causes constipation?

Declining estrogen levels during menopause can contribute to constipation by causing changes in gut motility. However, it is not the only hormone that can cause constipation—some birth control pills, for example, may also lead to constipation due to their hormonal makeup.

What helps with menopausal constipation?

Making lifestyle changes such as staying hydrated, getting enough fiber in your diet, and exercising regularly can help ease constipation during menopause. If these measures do not provide relief, talk to your doctor about potential treatments or medications that may be able to alleviate your symptoms.

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