Period Bloating: Causes, Remedies, and How to Manage – Verywell Health

Carrie Madormo, RN, MPH, is a freelance health writer with over a decade of experience working as a registered nurse in a variety of clinical settings.
Chioma Ndubisi, MD, is a board-certified OB/GYN who specializes in sexual and reproductive health in New York, New York.
Period bloating is a common condition that occurs when your belly feels full or tight before or during your period. This uncomfortable symptom is believed to be caused by falling hormone levels leading up to your period.
Common premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms like bloating, headaches, and moodiness usually start to improve a few days into your period when hormone levels start to rise again.
This article will describe the causes of period bloating, as well as remedies to relieve it. 
Verywell / Theresa Chiechi
Bloating occurs when the belly is swollen or distended. It can cause an uncomfortable feeling of tightness. Bloating may be caused by several factors including constipation, swallowing air, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux, digestion problems, and celiac disease. Rarely, certain cancers may lead to bloating as well. 

Period bloating is very common. In fact, over 90% of people who menstruate report experiencing symptoms like bloating before or during their periods. PMS symptoms can begin any time after your first menstrual period, but usually by your early 20s. Some women experience more severe symptoms in the late reproductive years. 
Common symptoms of period bloating include:
Other common period symptoms include:
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce period bloating, which include:
When it comes to just about any period symptom, you can blame it on the hormones. Changing hormone levels leads to a variety of changes in the body. Each month that you do not become pregnant, your body’s estrogen and progesterone levels fall significantly. This rapid decline in hormones can lead to water retention and bloating. After a few days of your period, these hormones start to increase again, relieving most period symptoms. 
Most people who menstruate experience symptoms around their periods. The following risk factors can increase your chances of period bloating:
Certain gastrointestinal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be exacerbated by PMS symptoms. You may notice that you experience bloating, constipation, and diarrhea around your period. Talk with your healthcare provider about how to manage the symptoms. 
If you have tried to improve period bloating with lifestyle changes and are still uncomfortable, you may be considering a home remedy. It’s important to note that you should always talk with your healthcare provider before beginning a new dietary supplement. Home remedies that may improve period bloating include:
Changes in your diet may improve period bloating and other period symptoms. Consider eating six small meals rather than three large ones. This could help to reduce bloating and keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. Other diet changes to try include:

If period bloating has become so severe that lifestyle changes do not help and you are unable to keep up with your daily activities, talk with your healthcare provider or gynecologist. They will likely ask you to keep a symptom diary to understand when the bloating starts and what (if anything) helps it.
Your healthcare provider may recommend taking diuretic medication around your period to relieve water retention and bloating. It’s important to note that diuretics should never be taken with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because of the risk of kidney damage. 
Period bloating is a condition that occurs before or during your period. It causes a distended belly and an uncomfortable, tight feeling. Period bloating is believed to be caused by the hormone changes that take place each month during your period. Tips to relieve bloating include engaging in physical activity, drinking plenty of water, and managing stress.
If you tend to experience period bloating each month, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Just because this symptom is so common does not mean that you have to always live with it. Try making some lifestyle changes like increasing your activity level or eating a healthy diet to see if your symptoms improve. If not, talk with your healthcare provider. 
Menopause usually starts with a transition period known as perimenopause, which often begins in the mid-to-late 40s. 
Period bloating can affect everyone differently. You may experience it before your period or during the first few days of your cycle. 

Bloating usually resolves on its own a few days into your period. This is due to changing hormone levels.

Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life.
Thank you, {{}}, for signing up.
There was an error. Please try again.
Office on Women’s Health. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
MedlinePlus. Abdominal bloating.
MedlinePlus. Menstruation
Office on Women’s Health. Physical activity and your menstrual cycle.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Office on Women’s Health. Menopause basics.

Thank you, {{}}, for signing up.
There was an error. Please try again.
Actively scan device characteristics for identification. Use precise geolocation data. Store and/or access information on a device. Select personalised content. Create a personalised content profile. Measure ad performance. Select basic ads. Create a personalised ads profile. Select personalised ads. Apply market research to generate audience insights. Measure content performance. Develop and improve products. List of Partners (vendors)