Q:

Is diarrhea common in early pregnancy?

A:

Diarrhea is not one of the more commonly discussed early signs or symptoms of pregnancy. In fact, its opposite affliction, constipation, is much more common during the early months of pregnancy. However, the American Pregnancy Association notes that some women have diarrhea, experiencing three or more loose or liquid bowel movements during a 24-hour period, during early pregnancy.

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Some women make sudden changes to their diet upon finding out that they are pregnant. Women often change their diets due to concerns about supplying all of the necessary nutrients, according to the American Pregnancy Association. However, sudden dietary changes can sometimes lead to upset stomach or diarrhea.

In other cases, the American Pregnancy Association suggests that diarrhea occurs because women develop sensitivities to certain foods during pregnancy, even foods that did not give them any stomach issues in the past. Hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy can slow down the digestive process, which can also lead to diarrhea for some women; however, these hormonal changes rarely cause such issues early on in the pregnancy.

Although it does happen as a symptom of pregnancy, diarrhea during the first or second trimester is more likely the result of a bacterial or viral infection or a particular food that was eaten, according to the American Pregnancy Association. The main concern when dealing with diarrhea during pregnancy is staying hydrated.

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