Feeling uncomfortable, bloated, gassy, or full at the same time every month? It could be a sign you’re ovulating. We’re looking at the hormones behind bloating during ovulation and how to relieve it naturally.
Have you noticed a pattern in the symptoms you experience around the middle of your cycle?
Sore boobs, cramps, a sharp, one-sided pain by your hip?
What about the feeling that you’re full all the time?
And don’t get us started on the skinny jean squeeze – not the hugging you need right now.
We’ve checked with embryologist Navya Muralidhar and ovulation could very well be the reason.
More specifically, the hormonal shifts that happen just as ovulation begins could be the reason.
The good news is, utter discomfort and possible dip in your self-confidence aside, bloating during ovulation can be a sign your hormones are working as they should be.
There’s even the possibility of being able to predict when you’ll feel bloated each month so you can take steps to gain some relief.
Because there are things you can do.
Just because bloating in ovulation is a common experience doesn’t mean you have to tolerate the discomfort.
So, strap on your seatbelt and unfasten your jean buttons as we take a deep dive into bloating during ovulation and detail everything you can do to ‘deflate’ your body again.
In this article: 📝
- Is bloating worse during ovulation?
- What are the obvious signs of ovulation?
- Do you gain weight when ovulating?
- How long does ovulation bloating last?
- How do you get rid of ovulation bloating?
- Does bloating during ovulation mean pregnancy?
- What does severe bloating in ovulation mean?
Is bloating worse during ovulation?
Do you bloat during ovulation? You’re not alone and, surprise surprise, it’s all your hormones’ fault.
When your body is getting ready to ovulate, your estrogen levels climb as the egg “ripens/matures” in your ovary.
Estrogen is then overtaken by the luteinizing hormone (which ovulation sticks test for), which tells your body to release the egg.
All this hormonal surging at the beginning of ovulation tends to trigger water retention and unwelcome swelling that can leave you feeling sluggish.
Not to mention some unsexy gastrointestinal hiccups like slowed digestion and increased gas. Yay.
This rollercoaster of hormones is the reason that your stomach feels like a balloon.
What does ovulation bloating feel like?
As a woman, you’re no stranger to a temporary balloon belly.
So what’s the difference between ovulation bloating and PMS bloating?
Well, the bloating itself feels the same – increased abdominal pressure and overall swelling – but it’s the symptoms that accompany it that feel different.
PMS symptoms usually include headaches, cramping, fatigue, and mood swings.
Some of these may overlap with ovulation signs but there are differences.
What are the obvious signs of ovulation?
Alongside bloating and possible cramping, there a few other ovulation symptoms you can look out for, including:
- Fluctuating basal body temperature (BBT): Hormonal changes can also cause your BBT to dip and rise. This spike is often quite small so you’ll need a BBT thermometer to be sure.
- Changes in cervical position: Another subtle change but a clear indication that you’re getting close to ovulation. Around this period, your cervix should feel higher and slightly open (all the better to let the sperm through). You can usually tell with your finger. Practice makes perfect!
- Increased sex drive: Need we say more? It’s not uncommon to feel an increase in libido during ovulation – just mother nature taking care of business so you get down to business. 🍆
- Change in vaginal discharge: You may notice stretchy, slippery discharge that looks like raw egg white. This is ovulation discharge, or cervical mucus, and it’s an essential element for conception. Your vagina will also feel quite wet during this time.
If you are TTC, you know the five days before ovulation and the day of are prime time for baby-making so keep an eye peeled for these tell-tale signs.
Keep in mind, the signs of ovulation make look a little different if you’re breastfeeding.
Do you gain weight when ovulating?
Oof, it can definitely feel like it.
The progesterone hormone is known to slow down digestion, which can make you feel full and uncomfortable.
But, although the bloating in ovulation is horrible, it doesn’t have a permanent effect on your weight.
If you do find yourself a pound or two heavier when you’re ovulating, estrogen is the culprit.
That’s not to say estrogen is all bad (though it’s getting a bad rap in this article).
It controls your menstrual cycle, keeps cholesterol in check, and protects your bones – all heroic things.
It just also happens to make your body retain water which leads to mild weight gain and physical discomfort.
Hey, no-one’s perfect.
And let us not forget those pesky food cravings. 🍔🍟🍨
Everything should go back to normal within a week, but if your weight and discomfort spike during ovulation, there are things you can do to help:
- Increase your consumption of natural diuretics like ginger, cucumber, and pineapple to help you to pee
- Avoid high-sodium (salty) foods can also help because sodium makes your body hold onto water
- While it sounds counterintuitive, drinking extra water actually helps your body to flush out sodium
- You could also shake things up with mint or fennel tea, which helps to get any gas moving
- Get on the probiotic train and give your healthy gut bacteria a super boost 💪
These electrolytes help to keep the water levels in your body balanced.
How long does ovulation bloating last?
Every woman is unique, but it’s most common to experience bloating during your ovulation week.
The symptom can last for as little as three days before ovulation, but it can also go on for as many as seven days after the egg is released.
How do you get rid of ovulation bloating?
You might not feel like eating at all, but having small, healthy meals will probably make you more comfortable.
There are some foods that typically make things worse.
The lactose in dairy, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners, and fatty, greasy foods are all harder to digest so they can make your body more gassy and full.
There are a set of foods known as high FODMAP that commonly cause digestive problems.
Try consulting a list of these foods to see if you can identify any which make your ovulation bloating worse.
And, while it might be the last thing you want to do when your stomach feels like it’s been inflated, exercise helps digestion and reduces stress, which will also make you feel better in the long run.
If gyms aren’t your jam, you could always try sexercise.
Does bloating during ovulation mean pregnancy?
There’s no connection between how bloated you feel when you ovulate and whether you get pregnant that month.
Having said that, bloating is a common early sign of pregnancy because of the rising progesterone levels we spoke about earlier.
If you usually ovulate around day 14 of your cycle but notice more bloating than usual towards day 28, it might be an early pregnancy symptom.
That said, it could also be PMS.
Ah, sometimes it feels like we women just can’t win.
What does severe bloating in ovulation mean?
Although you can expect some gassiness as your hormones rise and fall, new or severe bloating can sometimes be a symptom of ovarian conditions such as cysts, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or ovarian cancer.
It’s worth checking in with your doctor if none of the remedies are making a difference and you’re experiencing:
- Persistent bloating through your whole cycle
- Pelvic pain
- Bleeding in the middle of your cycle
- Noticable changes to your period
- Difficulty peeing or pooping
You may need an ultrasound to check that there isn’t something more serious going on.
There’s never a wrong time to check in with your healthcare provider if you’re feeling anxious about physical symptoms.
You know your body better than anyone.
Even on the days when you’re not getting along.
Bloating and ovulation go hand in hand but it doesn’t mean you need to suffer through it every month.
If you’re still not sure it is related, you can always try an ovulation test to put your mind at ease.
Saving that, our trusty Peanut community is always happy to lend support and a welcome tip or two.
You’re not alone.