What Causes Bloating Before a Menstrual Cycle?

Written by cindi pearce
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Many women know exactly when they are about to start their menstrual period because they experience myriad symptoms, including bloating. Their favourite pair of jeans no longer fits; they can’t get the zipper zipped. Bloating is typical in women prior to the onset of their menstrual period. When a woman is bloated prior to her menstrual period, she will experience a sensation of tightness and fullness in her abdomen. It is uncomfortable and can be downright painful at times. Some women may experience bloating for a few days every month just like clockwork. Women may find that bloating is made worse when they eat.

High Hormonal Levels

The Mayo Clinic explains that water retention, which results in bloating, occurs because of hormonal fluctuations that occur prior to the onset of the menstrual period. High levels of oestrogen cause a woman’s intestinal tract to slow down. This results in constipation and makes a woman to fill up with stool and gas, which causes her abdomen to become distended or bloated. Women who take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) frequently complain of bloating.

Oestrogen Dominance

If your oestrogen levels are too high, or even if they are normal or deficient but there is not enough progesterone in your body to counteract the oestrogen, this is called oestrogen dominance, and it can result in bloating. The relationship between oestrogen and progesterone must stay balanced to avoid premenstrual symptoms (PMS) including bloating.

The Wrong Foods

Right before your period, drink more water and eat a high-fibre diet, suggests the Mayo Clinic. This will help you digest and eliminate food easier and quicker, which should cut down on the gas accumulation that distends your belly. Avoid processed foods and sweets and remember to exercise because exercising helps you sweat off excess fluid.


When a woman’s oestrogen levels decline, which happens later in life but while she is still menstruating, her body tries to find new sources of oestrogen, other than the ovaries, which are not longer working optimally. Fat cells are oestrogen sources, according to Bodylogicmd.com. Your body will transform calories into fat to increase oestrogen production. This is called oestrogen overcorrection. Bloating can occur as a result. In addition, when progesterone levels decrease, which happens during peri-menopause, this makes a woman retain water and bloat.

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