Excess mucus in stool during pregnancy may occur due to gastrointestinal issues or pregnancy-related factors, such as hormonal changes. Gastric mucus is produced in the stomach and helps in the motility of the digested food in the gastrointestinal tract. We excrete some mucus in stools usually. However, pregnancy may increase the amount of mucus excreted, making it more noticeable (1).
Excess mucus due to underlying issues is treatable. Read this post to learn the various causes and treatment options for excess mucus in stool during pregnancy.
Is It Normal To Have Mucus In Stool During Pregnancy?
You may sometimes pass mucus in the stool due to multiple gastrointestinal issues (2) (3). We pass a small amount of mucus in the stool, which is generally unnoticeable. Pregnant women may pass excess mucus in their stool during the first trimester.
The appearance of mucus in stool is due to the rapid changes in your body during the gestational period. Safety measures and precautions may be taken if there is an excess of mucus secretion or followed by pain and bleeding. You may consult a doctor to help determine the cause of the condition.
What Causes Mucus in Stool During Pregnancy?
- Dehydration: Hydration is for a healthy gut and mind. During pregnancy, water intake is crucial for the mother and her fetus. Dehydration might be one of the prime factors for the excretion of mucus in the stool.
- Irritatable bowel syndrome: Change in routine, stress, and infection may cause irritable bowel syndrome. The symptoms may include mucus in stool, abdominal pain, and alternating diarrhea and constipation.
- Hormonal change: Various hormonal changes occur in your body during the gestational period. Some pregnancy-specific hormones may directly or indirectly regulate the mucus secretion in the stool during pregnancy.
- Infection in the stomach: Bacterial or viral infection in the gastrointestinal tract may result in excess mucus secretion in the stool. Intestinal parasites such as tapeworms, hookworms, and pinworms could be the reasons.
Some symptoms of stomach infection that may accompany the secretion of mucus in the stool are diarrhea, cramping, vomiting, nausea, and fever
- Food allergies: Lactose intolerance and specific food allergies may also result in mucus secretion in the stool.
- Intestine blockage: The fetus might be pushing against the intestine wall, resulting in blocked intestine and constipation. The body might be oversecreting mucus in the stool to ease constipation.
- Medications or vitamins: Prenatal intake of vitamins fortified with iron or calcium during pregnancy may be associated with excess mucus excretion in stool.
- Hemorrhoids: Piles or hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the anus usually accompanied by constipation during pregnancy. During pregnancy, hemorrhoids may occur due to constipation and pressure from the growing baby.
What Are The Treatment Options And Ways To Prevent Mucus In Stool?
- Stay hydrated: Taking plenty of water during pregnancy may help reduce dehydration-induced constipation. It can also avoid the accumulation of various toxins in the body. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends drinking around 8 to 12 cups (64 to 96 ounces) of water every day. Excess fluids, including more fresh juices in your diet, are beneficial. Water also helps absorb water-soluble vitamins (vitamins B and C) from the diet into the body.
- Take a healthy diet: A healthy and balanced diet rich in green leafy vegetables and fiber supplements can help reduce constipation during pregnancy.
- Change medication: If you have mucus secretion in the stool followed by vitamin intake, you may consult your physician. It might be possible to change the particular medication to help you relieve mucus in the stool.
- Use laxatives: In constipation, your health care provider may suggest a laxative or a stool softener. The laxatives are over-the-counter medication and may help reduce constipation and mucus secretion in the stool.
- Get the infection cured: If the origin of mucus in the stool is an infection, your doctor may suggest an antibiotic regime to control the infection. It is best practice to complete the course of antibiotics for complete recovery and reduce reoccurrence.
- Avoid allergic food: In case of food allergies, try to identify and avoid the allergen in your food. Abstaining from the source of allergy may help regain a healthy gut and reduce mucus secretion in the stool. It is always good to limit junk and spicy foods for better health during pregnancy.
- Include mild exercises: Exercising during pregnancy can help you stay healthy and fresh. A little warmup followed by movement exercise will keep your gut healthy. It may help ease constipation-induced mucus secretion. Mild exercises and physical activities are safe during the pregnancy. Walking and jogging may keep you active and aid digestion.
When Should You Call The Doctor?
Mucus in stool is not a sign to worry about. You may improve your lifestyle and undertake preliminary measures to reduce the excess secretion of mucus in stool.
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
One may take note of the symptoms and consult a doctor in the following cases:
- There is an excess amount of mucus in the stool
- Blood or pus in the stool
- Pain while passing stool
- Having stomach pain, cramping, or bloating
- Sudden changes in stool frequency, consistency, or color
Mucus in the stool during pregnancy can make you worried at times. However, it is generally acceptable to have mucus in stool during pregnancy. It could be due to dehydration and constipation induced by various body changes during pregnancy. Understanding of your health and proactively working towards it during pregnancy may help your gut stay healthy, fit and reduce mucus secretion in the stool.
- The gastrointestinal mucus system in health and disease.
- Gastrointestinal Infections in Pregnancy.
- Bladder and bowel problems during pregnancy.
- Hormones in pregnancy.
- Piles in pregnancy.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Nutrition Column An Update on Water Needs during Pregnancy and Beyond.
- How much water should I drink during pregnancy?
- Constipation in Pregnancy.
- The Diagnosis and Treatment of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
- The Effect of Phloroglucinol in Patients With Diarrhea-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial.