Can Ovulation Make You Bloated?
If your average menstrual cycle is between 21 and 28 days, you may experience mild bloating around days 11 to 14. If your cycle is longer cycle, i.e., 35 days on average, you may feel bloated at around day 21 of your cycle.
In general, bloating occurs before or around the time when you ovulate and is typically not severe.
How Does Ovulation Make You Bloated?
After menstruation, your pituitary gland secretes follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which causes several follicles to grow in your ovaries. These growing follicles secrete estrogen, which subsequently cause your pituitary gland to stop secreting FSH.
As you approach ovulation, the persistent high level of estrogen causes an abrupt release of luteinizing hormone (LH), and this hormonal surge then triggers ovulation.
These hormonal changes cause water retention, which can result in bloating. Although the symptoms associated with fluid retention are hardly pleasant, these only last one to two days.
If the symptoms persist for several days of if you believe you have a condition that may be causing you to experience bloating, you should consult a doctor for the best advice.
You should also consider seeking professional help if bloating is associated with other symptoms such as severe lower abdominal pain, vomiting, and/or fever.
Is It Ovulation Bloating or Menstrual Bloating?
You can easily distinguish these two if you track your cycles. Ovulation bloating occurs after menstruation about midway into your cycle. Menstrual bloating occurs after ovulation.
Additionally, contrary to ovulation bloating that lasts only one to two days, menstrual bloating may last much longer, starting one week before your expected date of menstruation and continuing up to one week after your period stops.
Menstrual bloating also occurs with other symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome, including depressed mood, insomnia, libido changes, joint or muscle pain, fatigue, breast tenderness, headache, or constipation/diarrhea.
What to Do If You’re Experiencing Bloating During Ovulation
Several home remedies can help you manage the discomfort due to bloating. The following tips may help resolve your symptoms:
- Drink about eight ounce glasses (approximately two liters) of water daily.
- Reduce salt consumption (including salty snacks and other processed foods that include a high amount of salt).
- Exercise regularly.
- If you typically experience bloating during every cycle, slowly increase your fiber intake (limit to 70 g/day to avoid worsening of your symptoms).
- Avoid fizzy, carbonated drinks, as these can cause bloating.
- If time permits it, practice a relaxation technique such as yoga. Taking a warm bath may also help you to relax. Relaxation can decrease stress levels, which may allow your gastrointestinal tract to function more effectively and help reduce your symptoms.
- Take a magnesium supplement. Research has shown a link between low magnesium levels and increased stress. However, if you plan to take a magnesium supplement, you should consult your doctor first.
Overall, ovulation can make you bloated and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms of ovulation such as one-sided lower abdominal pain (also called Mittelschmerz), cervical mucus changes, changes in your basal body temperature, breast tenderness, fatigue, libido changes or light spotting.
In most cases, bloating is mild and usually resolves within two days. It is advisable that you see a medical professional if the symptoms persist or if you have a medical condition that may be causing you to experience bloating.