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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are many things you can do to reduce bloating:
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.
Turns Out, Your Bloated Feeling May Be Thanks To Ovulation. Retrieved from https://www.romper.com/p/does-ovulation-make-you-bloated-heres-how-that-mid-cycle-change-makes-you-feel-9237528
11 Ovulation Symptoms That Are NBD. Retrieved from https://www.bustle.com/wellness/things-that-happen-to-your-body-during-ovulation-that-obgyns-say-not-to-worry-about-9720246
What Is Endo Belly, and How Can You Manage It? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/endo-belly