Women are more at risk of developing constipation than are men

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In North America, women are 2.2 times more likely than men to report constipation [23,24]

A number of factors may lead to constipation in women:

Hormones

The reported incidence of constipation premenstrually ranges from 16% to 32% [25]

  • The relationship between menstruation and constipation may be due to the raised concentration of progester one in the luteal phase, which may reduce gastrointestinal motility [25,26]
    • - The release of uterine prostaglandins (PGs) at the start of menses may stimulate the muscles of the gut to contract, thus increasing motility [25]
Diet

Cyclical food intake during menstruation may affect cyclical bowel habits

  • Women's food intake may increase as much as 35% during the luteal phase [25]
  • Women have reported an increase in appetite and/or a craving for sweet food premenstrually [25]
Pregnancy

Constipation measured using the Rome criteria affects up to one-fourth of women throughout pregnancy [27]

  • Post-partum women may experience constipation that persists for as long as 9 months [28]

MiraLAX® laxative was category C when it was sold by prescription. Patients who are nursing or pregnant should consult their physician before taking MiraLAX®.

Supplemental iron

Constipation measured using the Rome criteria affects up to one-fourth of women throughout pregnancy [27]

  • Constipation may be a side effect of iron supplementation [29]
Menopause

High prevalence of constipation in postmenopausal women has been reported [32]

  • History of perianal surgery and presence of hemorrhoids have been associated with constipation [32]
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The #1 GI recommended laxative [2] Use as directed for occasional constipation.