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Diarrhea in Pregnancy

Rapid liquid or watery stools can overtake a woman during the gestation period. This is diarrhea if it occurs with a feeling of sharp pressing and unpleasant pain more than 4 times a day. It develops as a result of functional disorders of the normal functioning of the intestinal tract during gestation.

Accelerating the process of defecation leads to frequent urination on the toilet. The nature of diarrhea during pregnancy can be physiological and infectious.

When Does Diarrhea Start in Pregnancy?

Relaxation of the stool is normally characteristic at the end of the third trimester. Diarrhea during pregnancy should not be severe and persistent. It is rather the result of functional transformations. They are typical for the last weeks of the third trimester because the pressure on the intestines and stomach is increased. There is a decrease in immunity and preparation of the body for childbirth.


Physiological diarrhea is characteristic of the 39th week of pregnancy. The uterus at this time is maximally enlarged. The digestive system is tuned to frequent bowel movements. It happens that a weak stool is observed in the early stages of pregnancy (on the 8th, and 12th week). This is not the norm. Women are more likely to complain of constipation during these periods.

Diarrhea weeks

When will it end?

Diarrhea ideally resolves after the 39th week of pregnancy. But at this time, it will most likely already be childbirth. Weak stools can persist until birth. The normal functioning of the intestines will improve only after the birth of the baby. Many women do not experience diarrhea. They notice only a slight loosening of the stool.

How Does it Feel?

A pregnant woman feels diarrhea as an increased urge to defecate. She feels unpleasant discomfort in the abdomen, weakness in the body, trembling, cold sweat, and spasms. The feces come out with fluid. They are not decorated sometimes with high acidity. Symptoms of diarrhea can be acute or mild.


The symptom is distinguished by its paroxysmal in this manifestation. It occurs several times a day and is accompanied by cramping pains in the abdomen. The woman feels the unbearable weakness of the body, trembling and sweating. The stool is very loose, frequent, and profuse.


Diarrhea in a mild form manifests itself without attacks. It is characterized by a frequency of no more than 3 times a day. The stool is slightly shaped but weak. A woman does not feel pain and severe discomfort during bowel movements.

Pay attention to symptoms. Severe spasms in the intestines can trigger uterine contractions.

Prevention methods

The main preventive measures for diarrhea are aimed at the health of the intestines and the entire digestive system. It is better to check your digestion before pregnancy by supporting it at the beginning of pregnancy. An important role in preventive measures is nutrition: diet and avoidance of provoking foods. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways to prevent diarrhea:

Get Tested

It is recommended to be examined and tested for lactose tolerance and celiac disease if there are frequent diarrhea and indigestion. These two diseases cause diarrhea. It occurs due to inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. By identifying lactose and gluten intolerance, you can remove foods containing these components from your diet. This will eliminate the cause of diarrhea.

Attention to products

Buy meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits only in trusted and clean places. Pre-treat and wash food well before cooking. Maintain the correct temperature in the refrigerator. Do not store food and previously prepared dishes there for a long time. Such caution minimizes the risk of intestinal infections and the development of pathogenic intestinal microflora that destroys its walls.

Hand hygiene

Wash your hands thoroughly after returning from the street. Use antiseptic, antimicrobial sprays, and gels. Use them after a public restroom, transport, and close contact with people.

Always wash your hands with soap before eating. Treat every finger and even the wrist. This is especially true for employees of medical and children’s institutions. Such measures are necessary to reduce the number of viral diseases.

Why Diarrhea Occurs in Pregnancy?

The main cause of diarrhea during pregnancy is physiological. This is the result of changes in the hormonal, endocrine, and digestive systems. There are functional disorders in the work of the intestines and other digestive organs.

Diarrhea is a symptom that occurs at a specific stage of preparation for childbirth. The intestines are empty on an instinctive level to facilitate childbirth. A woman experiences a frequent urge to defecate, accompanied by spasmodic pain.

Reduced immunity is another cause of diarrhea during pregnancy. It is at the end of gestation that the protective functions of the body stop working at full strength. This often leads to infection. Pathogenic microflora develops and the stool weakens.

A common cause of diarrhea is an unhealthy diet. Pregnant women often eat intuitively and their diet is sometimes far from ideal. The use of fatty foods, dairy products, and sweets causes weakness in the stool.


Diarrhea can be left untreated if it is not accompanied by severe spasms and is not characterized by persistence. It is better to consult a doctor and choose the optimally safe treatment for the acute course of the disease. It is predominantly medicinal. Some medicines are allowed to be used during the gestation period. They must be used in the infectious nature of the manifestation of diarrhea.


These are drugs whose action is aimed at binding exogenous and endogenous substances in the gastrointestinal tract. This mechanism works due to adsorption, which is provided by substances of a special structure. You can take these medicines under the supervision of a doctor. They are prescribed until the stool normalizes or in a certain course.

Rehydration solutions

Rehydration solutions are mandatory for severe diarrhea. In addition to simple clean water, you need to drink this supportive medicine. Its action is aimed at compensating for the loss of fluid and electrolytes in severe diarrhea. The solutions are harmless to pregnancy and can be prescribed by a doctor. Their main task is to prevent dehydration.


The diet is introduced immediately upon the appearance of diarrhea. It is aimed at eliminating fatty, spicy, sour, and highly salty foods. All foods that can irritate the digestive tract are removed from the diet. It is not recommended to eat and drink hot. It is better to remove whole milk and gluten from the diet.


Be sure to consult a doctor if you have severe attacks of diarrhea and if there are abdominal cramps that get worse. A doctor should be called if the stool changes color, becoming greenish, strong-smelling, or frothy. Urgently call an ambulance in a situation where diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting. Regular loose stools in pregnant women should not be present for several days and high temperature with normal diarrhea.

What Not to Do

Do not ignore the symptoms that appear. Monitor your condition. Try not to resort to untested methods of dealing with diarrhea that has not been proven to be effective in medicine. Drink more water and remember the basic prohibitions during the gestation period. What exactly not to do with diarrhea during pregnancy:

Take antibiotics

This direct-acting medicine is too aggressive. It is prohibited for use during pregnancy. It can provoke severe complications in the fetus.


Overeating greatly loads the work of the digestive tract. It will be harder for them to recover even with treatment. Give preference to fractional meals.

Drink high-calorie broths

Strong meat and fish broths are strictly prohibited. They are poorly absorbed by the gallbladder and intestines, provoking complications of diarrhea.

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