Bloating before periods: Causes and treatment

Women and girls experience several symptoms before their periods begin. Some of these symptoms are painful and annoying, such as bloating, which may prevent you from wearing your favorite pair of jeans before your period. In this article, I will discuss the causes of bloating before periods and ways to avoid and treat it.

dr karen.webp
Karine Chahda
Published on:May 7th 2024
انتفاخ البطن قبل الدورة

Causes of bloating before periods

The leading cause of bloating before periods is a change in hormonal levels, specifically a decline in progesterone. This leads to fluid retention, causing bloating and an apparent weight gain.

Bloating begins a week or a few days before periods and is usually accompanied by other symptoms of PMS, such as irritability, craving sweets, and binge eating. These symptoms increase bloating and cause a slight weight gain as well.

Girls and women who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome also have increased symptoms of this syndrome before periods. Which also increases bloating.


  • Reduce salt consumption to avoid excessive fluid retention and severe bloating. I want to point out that you should not take diuretics to reduce fluid retention, especially since women urinate more after the start of the menstrual cycle due to pressure on the bladder. The retained fluids come out without the need for diuretics.
  • Exercising helps reduce premenstrual symptoms, including bloating and fluid retention.
  • Follow a healthy diet, avoiding processed foods and excessive intake of sweets, sweetened juices, and soft drinks.
  • Eat foods rich in magnesium, such as bananas, which help reduce water retained in the body.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that cause gas, such as legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, cow's milk, and soft drinks.
  • Avoid measuring weight before your period to avoid feeling shocked and frustrated. There will often be a weight gain, but it is an apparent gain that goes away after your period without trouble.


As I mentioned, this bloating is temporary and natural and caused by a difference in hormone levels. It is not an actual weight gain but an apparent gain that goes away after the menstrual cycle. Therefore, there is no need to take any treatment without a prescription. In cases where the bloating is severe, accompanied by unbearable pain, doctors prescribe analgesic medications and hormonal therapies that adjust hormone levels, such as birth control pills, after conducting comprehensive examinations.


Check out Are your hormones behind your weight gain?

dr karen.webp
Karine ChahdaMidwife Nurse

A new mom and Licenced Midwife, she holds a degree from the Lebanese University. Karine worked in the NICU unit at St. George University Hospital in Beirut. Then, she worked as a Midwife in the same hospital for five years. She joined the maternity ward at Danat Al Emarat Hospital in Abu Dhabi in 2021. Karine has a great passion for her role as a Midwife; she believes it is a blessing from God to witness the miracle of life born from another life. She thinks nothing is more beautiful than witnessing this miracle daily through her work. Karine believes that each of us has a specific role in life. She sees her role not as a job but as a vocation where she can assist others, and she is grateful for this blessing.

Related post