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Is Bloating During Ovulation Normal?

Bloating During Ovulation

Yes! Many women report bloating, water retention, cramping and other symptoms during the middle of the menstrual cycle. This is when ovulation occurs.

 It is also normal to notice an increase in sex drive, breast tenderness, spotting, and changes to basal body temperature, cervical position, and cervical fluid during this time.

Depending on the length of your menstrual cycle, ovulation usually occurs around 2 weeks before your next period.

  • If your cycle is a little longer, like 35 days, ovulation happens around day 21.
  • If your cycle is a little shorter, such as 24 days, ovulation occurs around day 10.

 

Why do you experience bloating during ovulation?

Ok, so now you know that bloating during ovulation is normal, but why exactly does this happen? 

During ovulation, an ovarian follicle bursts open to release the mature egg inside. There are several hormonal changes that occur and can contribute to bloating.

Estrogen and luteinizing hormone surge to high levels. This triggers the rupture of the follicle. The rise of these hormones also causes swelling and water retention, and changes in the gastrointestinal tract that can cause bloating.

Is bloating a sign of ovulation?

It can be! Tracking your cycle may help you identify your symptoms and fertile period. If you are trying to conceive, it can be helpful to have an understanding of what your body does during your cycle. When used in conjunction with progesterone testing to confirm ovulation, it is easier to know when to have sex to conceive quicker!

What causes bloating after ovulation?

After ovulation, the empty egg follicle secretes another hormone called progesterone. The job of progesterone is to support a potential pregnancy. That hormone slows down the gastrointestinal tract, which can also cause bloating.

Does ovulation bloating cause weight gain?

It’s not unusual for ovulation bloating to cause weight gain of a couple of pounds. The hormonal changes that cause bloating can also cause water retention and weight gain.

Ovulation and these hormonal changes can cause some women to develop cravings for high-sodium or high-sugar foods. Potato chips and French fries anyone? Those high-sodium foods can also cause the body to hold on to water to help deal with the extra salt.

What about severe ovulation bloating?

In most cases, bloating during ovulation is mild and self-limiting. However, there are some conditions that can make it worse. Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is one such condition. 

Women with PCOS tend to have numerous small follicles on their ovaries. Sometimes, women do not produce the needed hormones for an egg follicle to actually mature and be released. This hormonal imbalance can contribute to bloating when ovulation does occur.

Endometriosis is another condition that can cause serious abdominal bloating. Endometriosis causes endometrial (uterine lining) cells to grow outside of the uterus. When they attach to other body parts, they behave just like the cells inside your uterus. This means that they grow each month before breaking down during menstruation. Ouch. This can cause inflammation in the belly, and hormonal changes that cause bloating.

Ovarian cysts can also make bloating during ovulation worse.

In very rare cases, abdominal bloating can be a sign of something serious, like ovarian cancer. However, women with ovarian cancer tend to experience bloating more frequently than just mid-cycle.

How long does bloating during ovulation last?

While ovulation bloating can be uncomfortable, the good news is that it doesn’t last very long. In most cases, ovulation bloating only lasts a few hours to maybe a couple of days. Bloating that lasts longer than that may mean that something else is going on.

What are home remedies for bloating during ovulation?

There are many things you can do to reduce bloating:

  • Reduce salt intake: Increased salt intake can contribute to bloating. Focus on eating fresh foods and cutting back on the processed or high-sodium foods.
  • Drink more water: Though it may sound strange, try to increase your water intake as well. Your body will hold on to more water when your sodium level is higher. Drinking more water signals your body that it doesn’t need to hold onto water. This can relieve water retention and bloating.
  • Try a low FODMAP diet: FODMAPs are fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols. This is basically a fancy term for carbohydrates that cannot be digested. They are therefore more likely to create issues with bloating. FODMAP foods include broccoli, garlic, cauliflower, cabbage, watermelon, beans, onion, wheat, and pears.

  • Participate in regular aerobic exercise: Regular exercise stimulates blood flow and reduces fluid buildup. This can help with bloating and water retention.
  • Practice stress management: Increased stress levels cause the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. When cortisol levels are high, another hormone, known as antidiuretic hormone (ADH) is also high. This keeps extra water in the body. Finding ways to stress less can help keep water levels in balance and reduce bloating.


When to seek help with bloating during ovulation?

While some bloating is normal, you should check in with your doctor if the bloating seems extreme, lasts more than a couple days, or is accompanied by severe pain. It’s also worth mentioning to your doctor if bloating seems to worsen over time. The doctor may order diagnostic testing to be certain that there isn’t another condition causing your bloating.

Summary:

  • Many women report bloating, water retention, cramping and other symptoms during the middle of the menstrual cycle.
  • The rise of estrogen and luteinizing hormone causes swelling and water retention, and changes in the gastrointestinal tract that can cause bloating.
  • While ovulation bloating can be uncomfortable, the good news is that it doesn’t last very long.
  • Home remedies can be effective in managing bloating and water retention during ovulation.
 

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