Period bloating is a serious issue. No matter how many times you’ve been through it, it can be an uncomfortable and frustrating experience. But there are ways to reduce period bloating and get on with your life.

We’ve got the answers to all your questions about how to reduce period bloating, so you can feel confident in your body and comfortable in your skin.

The hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle can lead to fluid retention and changes in the body’s electrolyte balance. Estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, and these hormonal changes can affect how the body regulates fluids, leading to the accumulation of water in tissues. This can result in the sensation of bloating and puffiness.

Common symptoms of period bloating include:
  1. Abdominal discomfort: Many people experience a sense of fullness or pressure in the lower abdomen. This can sometimes be accompanied by cramps or a heavy feeling.
  2. Swelling: You might notice that your belly feels distended or swollen. This can also extend to other body parts like the breasts and fingers.
  3. Weight gain: Due to water retention, your weight on the scale might temporarily increase during this time.
  4. Gas and flatulence: Hormonal fluctuations can affect digestion, leading to increased gas and bloating.
  5. Changes in appetite: Some individuals might experience changes in appetite, often craving salty or sweet foods.
  6. Breast tenderness: Swelling and tenderness in the breasts can occur as a part of the same hormonal changes.

Period bloating, also known as menstrual bloating, is a common discomfort experienced by many women during their menstrual cycle. It’s caused by hormonal changes that lead to water retention and can result in feelings of abdominal fullness, discomfort, and even weight gain.

While it’s not always possible to completely eliminate period bloating, there are several strategies you can try to help reduce its severity:

17 Tips to Reduce Bloating
  1. Stay Hydrated: It might seem counterintuitive, but staying hydrated can actually help reduce water retention. Drinking plenty of water can help flush out excess sodium from your body, which contributes to bloating.
  2. Balanced Diet: Focus on a well-balanced diet rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. These foods contain essential nutrients that can help regulate your body’s fluid balance.
  3. Limit Sugar and Processed Carbohydrates: High sugar and processed carbohydrate intake can contribute to inflammation and bloating. Opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains, and limit sugary foods and drinks.
  4. Small, Frequent Meals: Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day can help prevent overeating and reduce the feeling of fullness.
  5. Avoid Gas-Producing Foods: Some foods can contribute to gas and bloating. These include carbonated beverages, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage), beans, and certain fruits like apples and pears. (1)
  6. Probiotics: Consuming probiotic-rich foods (yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut) or taking a probiotic supplement may promote a healthy gut, potentially reducing bloating. (2.and 3.)
  7. Herbal Teas: Certain herbal teas, such as peppermint or ginger tea, might help soothe digestive discomfort and reduce bloating.
  8. Avoid Carbonated Drinks: Carbonated beverages can introduce extra gas into your digestive system, potentially exacerbating bloating.
  9. Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can help improve circulation and reduce water retention. Even light exercise like walking or yoga can be beneficial.
  10. Magnesium Supplements: Some people find relief from bloating by taking magnesium supplements. However, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.
  11. Over-the-Counter Medications: Non-prescription diuretics (water pills) can help reduce water retention, but they should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
  12. Heat Therapy: Applying a heating pad to your abdomen can provide relief from menstrual cramps and may indirectly help with bloating discomfort.
  13. Stress Reduction: Stress can exacerbate bloating. Engage in stress-reducing activities such as meditation, deep breathing, or gentle yoga.
  14. Sea moss: Also known as Irish moss (scientifically called Chondrus crispus), has been traditionally used for various health purposes, including as a potential remedy for period bloating. Sea moss helps the normal production of thyroid hormones and function. Menstrual abnormalities, such as irregular, heavy, hot flushes, weight gain and infertility might be caused by thyroid issues. This is due to the thyroid gland, a little butterfly-shaped gland positioned at the base of your frontal neck, playing an important function in reproductive health. (4)
  15. Prescription Medications: If your bloating is severe and significantly impacts your quality of life, consult a healthcare provider. They might recommend prescription medications or hormonal birth control methods that can help regulate your menstrual cycle and reduce bloating.
  16. Track Your Symptoms: Keep a menstrual cycle diary to monitor your bloating patterns and identify potential triggers.

Remember that every person is different, so it may take some trial and error to find the strategies that work best for you.

Nothing can do a number on your happiness quite like those menstruation blues. You may feel like your body is betraying you, and the world is against you, but even though it may seem bleak there are things you can do to ease yourself into a better mood. Hopefully, these tips helped tackle the worst of your moods, and next month, and in the future. Take care of yourself, and take good care of the amazing body operating inside you every single day.

  1. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017). Belching, intestinal gas and bloating: Tips for reducing them.
  2. Bernstein MT, et al. (2014). Gastrointestinal symptoms before and during menses in healthy women.
  3. Judkins TC, Oula ML, Sims SM, Langkamp-Henken B. The effect of a probiotic on gastrointestinal symptoms due to menstruation in healthy adult women on oral contraceptives: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial protocol. Trials. 2022 Jun 10;23(1):481. doi: 10.1186/s13063-022-06410-w. PMID: 35689274; PMCID: PMC9188249. https://www.
  4. Jacobson MH, Howards PP, Darrow LA, Meadows JW, Kesner JS, Spencer JB, Terrell ML, Marcus M. Thyroid hormones and menstrual cycle function in a longitudinal cohort of premenopausal women. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2018 May;32(3):225-234. doi: 10.1111/ppe.12462. Epub 2018 Mar 8. PMID: 29517803; PMCID: PMC5980701.

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