Period Bloating – 7 Ways To Reduce Bloating from Your Period

Abdominal bloating can occur for many reasons. For some, intestinal gas is the main culprit; for others, bloating results from indigestion or digestive conditions. Bloating can also be a period symptom. 

Period bloating is a common symptom that many women experience from month to month resulting in a full and painful abdomen. Period bloating tends to be an uncomfortable symptom, especially when paired alongside other common symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or PMS. 

The likely cause of period bloating is the various hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle. Thankfully, there are ways you can support your body during this time.

Below, we explore some helpful ways to reduce period bloating. 

What Is Period Bloating?

Abdominal bloating occurs when the stomach feels swollen or distended. It can make the belly feel tight and hard to the touch. You may need to adjust your daily activities or the clothes you wear when experiencing bloating. 

Bloating is also typically accompanied by burping and flatulence. 

A recent report by the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that nearly one in seven Americans are affected by bloating every week. The report also found that symptoms of bloating affect women more than men. 

There are many causes for bloating; the most common causes are linked to problems with the digestive system

For example, bloating can be caused by:

  • Intestinal gas 
  • Indigestion 
  • Constipation 
  • Fluid retention
  • Celiac disease
  • Swallowing too much air
  • Chronic digestive disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Stress and anxiety 

Over 90 percent of women experience premenstrual symptoms, such as the below: 

  • Headache
  • Acne
  • Fatigue
  • Cramping 
  • Mood swings
  • Lower back pain
  • Food cravings
  • Swollen or tender breasts

For many, period bloating begins one or two days before the period. But, it can also occur many days before a period actually begins. The onset of these symptoms varies from person to person. 

What Causes Period Bloating?

Unlike most bloating issues, period bloating symptoms are not typically due to digestive problems — though digestive issues can also be at play. Fluctuations in hormone levels can cause period bloating. 

These changes often occur during menstruation. More specifically, the changes in the level of sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. 

Roughly one week before a period begins, progesterone levels start to drop. This fall in progesterone causes the uterus to shed its lining. This is what causes menstrual bleeding. Most women’s health and wellness researchers agree that the cause of period bloating is hormonal.

Some research has found links between sex hormones and water retention in the body. Changes in the progesterone and estrogen levels during menstruation can cause the body to retain more water and salt. This can lead to exacerbated bloating as cells in the body swell with water. 

During this time, you should remain hydrated and reduce salt intake to support your body. 

Common Risk Factors for Period Bloating

As stated, a vast majority of women experience some symptoms around their period, ranging from mild to more severe symptoms. There are some common risk factors to be aware of that can increase your chances of experiencing period bloating:

  • Age - Women in their 30s and over are most likely to experience symptoms of bloating due to increased hormone activity or the body preparing for perimenopause and menopause. 
  • Dietary lifestyle - A highly processed diet can exacerbate bloating symptoms by promoting water retention in the body. Ensure you eat a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, and low in saturated fat. 
  • Digestive disorders - Those with digestive disorders (like IBS) are also at a higher risk of experiencing period bloating due to associated digestive issues. Try Peppermint tea or rubbing peppermint oil on the belly during a bloating episode. 

7 Ways To Reduce Period Bloating

Thankfully, there are some easy tips and helpful home remedies to relieve the discomfort of bloating that occurs during your period. 

1. Drink Plenty of Water

The importance of proper hydration cannot be overemphasized. When it comes to simple lifestyle changes, ensuring you drink enough water is one of the easiest changes you can make. This is especially important during the days leading up to your period. 

Daily recommendations for water intake vary from person to person and depend largely on age, activity level, personal health, and environment. The standard guidelines is a minimum of eight full glasses of water daily. 

Drinking plenty of water can help improve water retention and digestive issues like constipation, which can worsen bloating symptoms. 

2. Try Natural Diuretics

As mentioned, one of the culprits for period bloating is water retention. This is often due to hormonal changes around the time of your period. 

In some cases, diuretics could help reduce the effects of period bloating. Diuretic simply refers to something that increases urine production. 

The more urine you produce, the more excess fluid you get rid of. While there are prescription diuretics, there are plenty of natural diuretics you can try to help relieve period bloating. 

Foods that are natural diuretics include:

  • Cucumbers 
  • Leeks
  • Pineapple
  • Celery
  • Watermelon
  • Ginger
  • Garlic 
  • Peaches
  • Dandelion herb
  • Asparagus

3. Avoid Foods High in Salt

Sodium is an essential mineral that the body requires to maintain normal muscle and nerve function. However, often we can unknowingly consume an excess of sodium.

Salt comes in many forms, from iodized table salt to sea salt. Our dietary sodium comes from our foods - usually packaged or prepared foods. The average daily value for sodium is no more than 2,300 mg daily. 

Too much sodium can increase fluid retention and worsen period bloating symptoms. Avoiding highly processed foods that are high in sodium and cooking nutritious meals at home instead can assist you with keeping your sodium intake in check. 

4. Eat More Potassium-Rich Foods

In addition to avoiding salty foods, you can try adding more potassium-rich foods to your diet. Potassium is an essential mineral for body tissue and nerve function. 

Potassium is found naturally in many foods. The relationship between potassium and sodium is a close one. In short, they have opposite effects on the body and help to balance each other out. 

Research has shown that potassium can help reduce sodium levels and increase urine production. So, opting for potassium-rich foods can help to improve period bloating by reducing sodium and water retention. 

Potassium-rich foods include:

  • Dark, leafy greens like spinach
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas
  • Sweet potatoes

5. Avoid Bloat-Causing Foods

You can support your body by reducing bloat-causing foods before and during your period. 

Foods that are likely to cause intestinal gas and bloating include beans, legumes, and cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage.

Avoiding refined carbohydrates is also recommended. This includes white flour, processed carbs and refined sugars. Not only do these cause spikes in blood sugar levels, but they can also cause a chain reaction leading to more sodium retention, which means more bloating and pain. 

Instead, opt for whole grains and whole foods without refined carbs or added sugars. You can create healthier versions of your favorite treats during this time of the month. 

6. Aim for Daily Exercise

The benefits of regular exercise are well known. Not only can it support healthy body weight but it can also reduce PMS pain and symptoms.

Health experts recommend at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. That equals around 30 minutes of exercise daily for five days out of the week.

You should choose aerobic exercises that you enjoy. This could be walking, running, swimming, yoga and cycling or anaerobic exercises like weightlifting and strength training. 

7. Take Supplements To Help Reduce Bloating

Alongside the remedies mentioned above, you can opt for OTC treatments and supplement support. 

Supplements like magnesium can help reduce water retention during periods, which may help relieve bloating symptoms. For those dealing with period bloating and digestive issues, probiotics can help support healthy digestion and bowel function. 

For those looking for relief from abdominal bloating and extra support for the body's natural detoxification process, our Detox + Debloat formula contains proven ingredients like turmeric, milk thistle, and fennel to help soothe feelings of period bloating and digestive discomfort. It’s convenient support in just two capsules a day. 

The Bottom Line

Period bloating is a common premenstrual symptom that can be uncomfortable and painful. 

You can support your body during this time with a healthy, balanced diet, reduced stress, daily exercise and the right high-quality supplement formulas.


Abdominal Bloating in the United States: Results of a Survey of 88,795 Americans Examining Prevalence and Healthcare Seeking | Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Problems of the Digestive System | American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) | 

Sex Hormone Effects on Body Fluid Regulation | PMC

Sodium in Your Diet | FDA