Written by Aparna Hari
Do you feel that every month around your ovulation dates, your clothes feel a bit snugger – pulling up jeans feels a bit tough? This is because of bloating in the abdominal area. At different points during the monthly cycle, you can feel bloated, however bloating during ovulation is most common.
The amount of bloating differs from one woman to another. This condition also indicates that these are the dates to conceive. Often, this bloating leads to a slight weight gain as well. Every woman’s body is different and bloating, weight gain, and such symptoms may or may not occur for everyone.
In This Article
Ovulation is the phase in the menstrual cycle when a mature egg is released from one of the ovaries. After the release, the egg then travels down the fallopian tube where it can get fertilized. Ovulation occurs about two weeks before one gets the start of the menstrual period.
Just before ovulation, the body’s estrogen and luteinizing hormone levels rise. This hormonal rise and fall lead to water retention. The disturbance in the gut and digestion leads to water retention causing ovulation bloating which leads to sluggish digestion and feeling gassy. These symptoms often go away in a few hours or a few days depending on the body.
Ovulation often leads to some weight gain, also because of water retention. But the weight reverts post-ovulation as the retention eases.
Bloating is often accompanied by a couple of other symptoms which indicate that it is related to the hormones of the ovulation cycle.
During ovulation, you might feel a slight gain in your weight. This is usually because of water retention caused due to hormones and because of breasts feeling fuller. You will feel normal and back to your previous self once the ovulation is over.
During this time, your body begins to crave high-sodium and processed food. The cravings too lead to more sodium in our bodies thereby aiding more water retention.
There is a significant difference between hormonal bloating and water retention. In bloating when you are ovulating, there is a gassy feeling with increased abdominal pressure leading to stomach distending. The skin around the midsection starts to feel like it has ballooned up. In water retention, where the body entirely starts to feel heavier and larger, the timing of which has nothing to do with ovulation. Ovulation bloating resolves once ovulation is complete while water retention doesn’t resolve quickly.
Depending on where you are in your monthly cycle, you’ll be experiencing ovulation bloating or premenstrual bloating.
Premenstrual bloating comes with additional symptoms such as mood swings, abdominal cramping, headaches, constipation or diarrhea, nausea, tiredness, or swollen breasts.
Ovulation bloating happens around the ovulation dates or middle of the cycle, premenstrual bloating is after the ovulation phase ends, and often a week before menstruation starts.
Regardless of when in the cycle you experience bloating, it is not a comfortable situation. There are ways in which you can reduce bloating.
Consuming an optimum amount of magnesium and potassium can help ease both bloating and water retention. A deficiency in potassium leads to your body accumulating more salt and water leading to bloating and water retention.
You can get potassium through bananas, tomatoes, spinach, and potatoes, and magnesium through almonds, fish, and avocados. Having some of these around ovulation can help ease bloating.
Like with everything, it’s best to not overdo these supplements as excess can also lead to indigestion.
Water retention is our body’s way of signaling that it needs hydration. Retaining water in the body causes bloating, be it during ovulation, pre-menstruation, or otherwise. Hydrating with water or other fluids like lemonade, coconut water, etc., helps the body get active hydration and rid itself of the retained water as it is not needed anymore.
Eating a bit mindfully around ovulation can sometimes help reduce or avoid bloating. Drinking more water helps our bodies flush out excess sodium. One should limit the intake of salt as well.
Group of foods called FODMAPs, which include wheat, lactose, artificial sweeteners, lactose, and even fructose, should be limited or avoided as they are seen to cause discomfort to a lot of women, so it’s worth it to see if limiting this helps. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.
Since sodium leads to the body storing excess salt and water, it is helpful to limit the daily sodium intake, especially through processed and junk food.
Having more probiotics helps ease bloating. It could be through diet or supplements as well. Probiotics help through strengthening the gut. However, when picking a supplement, look for one which has lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis.
Increase the consumption of natural diuretics in your diet, such as ginger, garlic, pineapple, cucumber, peaches, leeks, or asparagus. Diuretics decrease the amount of water in our bodies and thereby help relieve water retention or bloating.
Exercising, among many other things, also improves our digestion. It helps get digestion moving fast and timely, decreasing any chance of bloating. Working out might be a far thought during bloating and discomfort, but it helps improve slow digestion. Having a proper workout regime throughout the month can help alleviate a lot of uncomfortable symptoms that are brought on by hormones through the monthly cycle, be it around ovulation or during PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
High stress often leads to bad digestion, by increasing the acidity in our stomach. This leads to bloating. You should be always mindful of keeping stress levels low, especially around ovulation. Trying to relax through yoga, meditation, massage, a run, etc., would help avoid ovulation bloating.
Mostly, ovulation bloating goes away in a few hours or a few days depending on the body. However, if it doesn’t then it could be because of a different medical condition, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or cyst in the ovaries. In case the bloating persists, it is wise to consult a doctor. Normally, ovulation bloating should not continue after 3 days.
Weight gain brought on by ovulation is also common. But if this is accompanied by other symptoms like pelvic pain, nausea, fever, lightheadedness, rapid breathing, or cold skin, then also it’s best to rush to a doctor.
Ovulation bloating is more common than you think. It’s just rarely discussed or brought up. Bloating at some point or the other during the menstrual cycle is very normal. While it’s not alarming, it is not pleasant and often very uncomfortable. Doing some of the things mentioned above, like exercising, eating mindfully, and keeping stress levels low can help alleviate some symptoms. The quickest way is to increase water intake and cut out junk food around ovulation dates. It is possible to get rid of the bloating sensation with a few lifestyle changes and even keep it from recurring.
Ovulation bloating can last anything between a few hours to a few days, depending on one’s body. However, if it continues for more than three to four days with significant discomfort, then one should consult a doctor to ascertain what’s causing the bloating.
Yes, women, who have PCOS, do see recurrent bloating, caused by hormone-related water retention or gut imbalance. This can be managed through a few lifestyle changes. Ovulation bloating could be caused by hormonal shifts, dehydration, PCOS, or endometriosis.
Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.
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