One of the givens while on your period is running to the bathroom way more than normal, and that might make you feel pretty icky. But there’s a reason you poop more when it’s that time of the month and it might not be fun, but it’s totally normal.

There are two main chemical signals responsible for this phenomenon: prostaglandins and progesterone. Prostaglandins signal the uterus to contract, which pushes out your uterine lining, so that you get your period. But what most likely happens, is some lost prostaglandins head over to your bowel and cause that to contract, making you feel like you have to poop and causing gas. Not much fun, right?

In addition, progesterone is a hormone that helps you maintain a pregnancy. And what progesterone does is to make you a bit constipated, but progesterone levels drop during your period, causing the opposite effect. This is what causes diarrhea.

So while having to poop more during your period can stress you out, at least you know it’s totally normal. Of course, if you feel it’s affecting your life too much, speak with a certified doctor about some options to help lessen the symptoms.