There are plenty of things that can be early signs of pregnancy, including unexplained exhaustion, swollen, tender, or sore breasts, more frequent trips to the bathroom, and bloating (source: University of Rochester Medical Center).
But what about green poop? Can that be an early sign of pregnancy?
Green poop could be a sign of early pregnancy, but it’s rare. There are many other more reliable indicators, and a woman’s poop color doesn’t usually turn green until a little later on when her diet changes. Plus, green poop is just as likely to mean something else than it is to mean pregnancy.
Although poop may not be the most exciting subject, this article will talk a bit more about green poop and what it could mean for you and your body. We’ll even really get down into it and discuss both bright green poop and dark green poop, so get ready to learn more about green stool than you probably ever wanted to know.
Is Bright Green Poop an Early Pregnancy Sign?
Though bright green poop could be an early pregnancy sign, it’s not a reliable one. Wait for more reliable indications like a missed period, or better yet, take a pregnancy test. Bright green poop could be indicative of too many other things.
Two of the most common reasons for green poop have nothing to do with pregnancy; instead, they have to do with something you’ve eaten.
The first common cause of bright green poop is eating a ton of green, fiber-rich foods, such as any of the following:
- Collard Greens
- Parsley (source: Healthline)
The second is green food coloring. If you’ve eaten something with a lot of green food coloring (for example, after many of the foods dyed green for St Patrick’s Day), then this may be the culprit.
Green stool color can also signify that food is moving through your digestive tract too quickly. When you digest food, your liver adds bile to it to help break it down. Usually, that bile gets fully digested, and your waste comes out brown.
However, if things are moving too quickly through your digestive tract, the bile may not have time to break down, and since bile is primarily green, the waste that you excrete – your poop – will also be green.
Now, let’s switch gears. If you know you’re pregnant and you start noticing bright green stool, the poop, in this case, could be due to your pregnancy.
But wait, didn’t I just say it wasn’t a reliable indicator of early pregnancy?
Yes, I did. And it isn’t.
However, it is frequently a side effect of many things that happen when you’re pregnant. For example, prenatal vitamins can cause your poop to turn green, so if you’ve started taking those vitamins, that could be the reason for the green excrement.
Additionally, if you’ve adjusted your healthy diet to include more green leafy vegetables, well, we’ve already discussed that above. Finally, pregnancy can cause diarrhea, and diarrhea causes your food to move through your body too quickly. Again, this can result in green stool due to the bile content of the waste.
So while bright green stool isn’t a reliable first sign of pregnancy, it’s a pretty common sight for pregnant women.
Is Dark Green Poop A Sign of Early Pregnancy?
Like bright green poop, dark green poop could potentially be a sign of early pregnancy, but it probably isn’t. There are many other reasons for dark green poop than pregnancy.
The same things that could be making your poop turn bright green – leafy veggies, food coloring, too much bile, prenatal vitamins, etc. – could also make your poop turn dark green. It all depends on what else is going on in your digestive tract at the time.
However, dark green stool may be a more likely cause for concern than bright green stool. While it, too, could be harmless, if it’s too dark stools, that could indicate bloody stool. If you experience dark green poop along with abdominal pain, painful defecation, fever, or any other unusual symptoms, it may be time to see a doctor.
Here are a few other potential causes of dark green poop (in addition to those mentioned above):
- Anal fissures: If you have an anal fissure (or tear), you’re likely bleeding when you go to the bathroom. The blood can mix with the green poop (which may be entirely unrelated) and cause your stools to look dark green instead of bright green. Anal fissures usually aren’t serious, but they can be painful.
- Stomach problems/Parasites: Whether you have ongoing stomach issues, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Crohn’s, or have recently contracted a bacterial infection or parasite, it can cause dark green poop.
- Antibiotics and iron supplements: Either of these medications could potentially cause you to have green poop. If you’ve recently started taking either and are now experiencing green stools, it’s probably nothing serious. However, if you have any of the accompanying symptoms mentioned above, you should talk to your doctor.
- Hemorrhoids: Like anal fissures, hemorrhoids aren’t likely causing your stools to be green. However, if you have an unrelated issue (food coloring, for example), the blood from your hemorrhoids can cause your poop to look dark instead of bright (source: Healthline).
Typically, green poop is considered within the normal spectrum and is nothing to worry about, whether dark or bright (source: Mayo Clinic). However, if it’s bothering you or you’re having additional symptoms, get to a doctor right away.
So, whether you’re hoping you are (or aren’t) pregnant, don’t let potential green poop get you too excited either way.
While it could mean that you’re pregnant, it could just as easily mean you’ve eaten too much “green” food, or that there’s something else going on.
If you have concerns, or if your symptoms continue, it’s best to speak to your healthcare provider, especially if you also suspect you might be pregnant.