The Link Between Women’s Hormones & IBS Sex hormones like oestrogen and progesterone affect gut movement. They can slow down bowel movement, making it sluggish. Oestrogen rises before ovulation and drops afterward, while both oestrogen and progesterone rise during the luteal phase and drop before your period. If you have IBS, the second part of your cycle may be more comfortable for diarrhea, but constipation may be worse. These hormones also impact pain sensitivity. Low levels or rapid decreases can make the gut more sensitive to pain. Understanding this can help manage symptoms through dietary changes, breath-work, sleep, and gentle movement during the trickier parts of your menstrual cycle.