Phantom Rectum Pain And Periods

by Stephie Simpson

Phantom Rectum Pain And Periods

Have you got a Barbie butt? Have you noticed that you sometimes or all the time get phantom rectum pain or ladies, do you ‘need’ to go for a poo when your time of the month happens? Have you ever wondered if you are alone in that situation? Well I’m here to tell you that you most certainly aren’t alone! Also you don’t need to have a Barbie butt to experience this pain but there are at least ways you can attempt to relieve it!

Up until recently I thought that I was on my own with the uncomfortable sensation of needing to relieve myself in the old fashioned way…

That was until I noticed a post on my Facebook feed from the female only ostomy support group. A friend of mine had simply asked was she the only one who experienced it and so many women said they also did and I felt reassured that it wasn’t as uncommon as I thought.

I have had four abdominal surgeries, each with their own scar tissue forming, two full term pregnancies and I have also been sterilised. I always thought after my ileostomy was formed that the phantom poo pain was caused by it all healing in there, then when I was pregnant I figured it was pressure from Button (he had already caused me to have two blockages from lying on my intestines) and finally I thought maybe my obstetric/gynae consultant was right and it could be part and parcel of being sterilised – apparently that tends to bring its own issues to the party.

Anyone and everyone can get phantom rectum pain at any given time but it does seem to be more common for me when I’m menstruating and I already have a rough enough time of it as it is.

Very much gone are the days of an easy period for me sadly. I tend to find it comes in two ways - either feeling like I can’t hold something in anymore (I say ‘something’ to be polite and because there isn’t actually anything there!) or it feels like trapped wind in my lower back that creates pressure where my rectum should be. I think the wind is the worst feeling out of the two because it feels like there are gas bubbles and I have no way of getting rid of them.

I do try to help myself feel less discomfort at these times by using the below tactics:

  • Rubbing my lower back
  • Using a hot water bottle
  • Laying on my back and alternating between bringing one knee up to my chest then the other and then both. In yoga (or according to the yoga app on my phone, at least) this is called a wind relieving pose! My friend has a j-pouch and he used to lay on his left side for this.
  • Sitting on the toilet and tricking my brain into thinking it’s passed – this works for those that still have a rectal stump because it may be a build-up of mucous that is causing your discomfort.

Hopefully these may help you too in relieving what ultimately can’t be relieved! Some of the women in the group said that it does lessen after time (as in time after surgery) so that is something I and you can look forward to!

Stephie regularly writes ‘top tips’ blog posts, to read more from her, visit Stephie’s blog feed.

Stephie Simpson

About the author

I’m Stephie - a mum, wife and punk rock ostomate, blessed to be from North Yorkshire. I'll be writing about different campaigns that can help ostomates & general lifestyle posts.

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