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Menstruation is one of the most basic things that make women different from men, and before and during that time of the month, many of us experience uncomfortable premenstrual syndrome, which happens around one week before your period, and menstrual symptoms such as: cramps in the abdominal, breast and lower back areas, mood swings, nausea, diarrhea and physical exhaustion.
The severity of the symptoms may vary considerably for each woman. Some aren’t seriously affected by them, but for others, the symptoms make it hard for them to perform daily activities and prevent them from enjoying life. For example, young girls may experience a menstrual symptom known as cramps and they need to know HOW TO GET RID OF CRAMPS AT SCHOOL.
You may be wondering: How long does period bloating last? This guide will give you a deep insight into the condition of period bloating, the symptoms and causes of bloating and give you some recommendations on bloating relief methods that can be easily done at home!
What Exactly Is Period Bloating?
Before getting to answer “how long does period bloating last?”, you need to know precisely how it manifests. You can know period bloating happens to you when your belly feels heavy and bigger before that time of the month. You will feel like your stomach is swelling and tight because it’s filled with gas. Also, you might suffer from constipation. Overall, period bloating can make you feel very annoyed and uncomfortable .
Menstrual bloating shouldn’t worry you too much, as it is a monthly occurrence. It’s one of the premenstrual syndrome symptoms. In addition to bloating, you might also experience some of the following symptoms:
- Irritability – you will feel more easily triggered and irritated than usual
- Crying spells – you get emotional and cry a lot
- Menstrual depression – monthly cycle depressed feelings
- Anxiety – nervous and anxious feelings
- Food cravings – you will feel like you want to eat a lot of foods which you don’t normally
- Insomnia – hard to fall asleep
- Fatigue – you will likely feel tired and need to rest much of the time
- Cramps – abdominal pains, back pains, leg pains. To find out more about premenstrual cramps, take a look at this article “IS IT NORMAL TO HAVE CRAMPS BEFORE PERIODS?”
- Acne breakout – due to hormonal changes, you will get some pimples on your face and body
- Breast tenderness and heaviness – your breasts will swell and hurt before your period
- Constipation or diarrhea – common period digestive issues
Causes of Period Bloating
There are so many reasons why you are bloated, but hormonal fluctuation is no doubt the number one cause. When you are on your period, your hormonal levels are changed considerably, namely progesterone and estrogen, which are the unchangeable culprits of bloatedness.
Around one week before menstruation, your estrogen levels rise, which causes your body to retain more water than it needs, which creates a condition called water retention, where your body preserves more water and salt, and becomes swollen, making you feel bloated. Then right before your period starts, there is a significant drop in the levels of progesterone, which leads to the discharge of blood from the uterus, making the PMS symptoms go away.
Reason number two for bloating is hereditary factors. You are more likely to suffer from menstrual bloating if it has occurred to your mother or your grandmother.
Finally, one of the contributing factors to your bloating condition is your diet. If you eat too much salt, including canned processed food and junk food, it can lead to fluid retention in your body .
How Long Does Period Bloating Last?
During menstruation, you will go through some stages, which are:
- Stage 1. Premenstrual syndrome, which happens up to 2 weeks before the menstrual cycle start. You might experience bloating at this stage, or a few days before your period.
- Stage 2. Menstrual cycle starts. Your womb lining and period blood begin to shed until the end of menstruation.
- Stage 3. Postmenstrual – because of hormonal changes you can be bloated and have CRAMPS AFTER PERIOD. This can happen for around 1 – 2 weeks.
So the answer to your question of how long does period bloating last is: bloating can take place up to 2 weeks before period starts and 1 – 2 weeks after period ends. Isn’t that the worst? But there are so many home-based methods to help with the situation, and look no further, because this is the ultimate guide to prevent and ease your bloated belly!
Briefly speaking, your dietary habits are most likely the deciding factor that influences the length of time that you are bloated. The next part of the article will go into details on what you should do to shorten the duration of the bloat or alleviate the symptoms.
How To Relieve Period Bloating
At least 40% of all women have to go through period bloating monthly! As we have mentioned above, hormonal fluctuations, hereditary factors and diet can lead to period bloating. However, you can make some changes in your lifestyle, which can make your menstrual bloating go away!
Along with the mission of answering the question “how long does period bloating last?”, we are giving you some of the most effective ways for bloat relief!
1. Cut Down on Salt Intake
Before your period starts, you should definitely keep a healthier diet by reducing the amount of salt in your food. Salt makes your body retain water and it’s the main cause of fluid retention which worsens the situation and bloating duration.
This means putting less salt in your home cook meal. You should also skip the processed food and junk food. Although you are likely to have food cravings, you can shift the attention to healthy snacks like fruits and nuts. Say no to sodium, say yes to a happy belly!
2. Reduce Carbs
High-carb food can be a very tempting choice, but not an ideal one for your bloat. You should skip sugars and refined carbohydrates food since they prevent the estrogen-producing process of the body and increase your blood glucose levels.
This will do the opposite of helping you de-bloat. Cut down on white bread, white rice and things that are made of bleached flour and you will see the difference in the severity and duration of the bloated feeling.
3. Eat foods that are rich in potassium
Foods that contain a lot of potassium can contribute greatly to “how long does period bloating last”. Because they can help debloating your abdomen by lower the sodium levels and promotes the flow of urine, which is perfect if you are suffering from period bloating. Speaking of potassium, don’t you think of bananas? They are indeed packed with potassium, and there are some more healthy foods that we recommend that you replace unhealthy snacks with:
- Dark leafy veggies, such as lettuce, spinach or kale
- Sweet potato
It’s a substance that promotes the flow of urine, so that means using diuretic products can help free more water from your body. Therefore, diuretics can relieve bloating symptoms and shorten the time you are bloated. If you want to reduce bloating, you can seek these foods due to their diuretic nature:
5. Reduce Alcohol and Caffeine
Another important factor that decides “how long does period bloating last” is your intake of alcohol and caffeine. According to some experts, alcohol can increase your PMS symptoms, and caffeine dehydrates you, so they are a definite no-no if you want to get rid of the menstrual bloating. Specifically, you should avoid sugar, coffee, chocolate and alcoholic beverages before your menstrual cycle, or it will lengthen your bloating time.
6. Drink Enough Water
While you might think, “I am suffering from water retention, why should I take in more water?” it is actually beneficial in ridding the excess fluids in your body. It works as a flushing mechanism and minimizes the bloat, since if you provide enough water for your body, it won’t have to retain water in the system, and will surely release the redundant fluids. Drinking a lot of water will definitely have a positive effect on “how long does period bloating last”.
7. Add Some Physical Exercise to Your Daily Routine
You might feel very unenergetic during this time of the month, but experts recommend that you do regular exercise, as it can really help lift the moods. You should totally work that heart beat, because when you work out, your whole body will work, your metabolism and digestive system will be boosted out of the sluggish routine.
However, it is always advised that you should only do light workout, because if your exercises are too much for your body, it can cause inflammation which worsens the period bloating. Yoga or swimming would be the perfect workout for you during that time of the month.
8. Supplements or medications
If your bloating does not go away after you have tried the above remedies then maybe you can take some supplements to heal your imbalanced hormones. There are some supplements you can take a look at like magnesium and vitamin B6, or zinc, or some pills for relieving PMS symptoms like Pamprin or Midol. Taking them will help your body with removing the excess water and the severe swelling.
Some women have reported that using birth control pill can reduce the bloating symptoms. However, the effects of oral contraceptives vary on each person, so before you take it, consult with your doctor to find out which one is right for you.
9. Other Home Remedies for Period Bloating
- Peppermint tea: This kind of tea can amazingly make your pain go away. It also eases your urine flow and therefore helps with bloating and other PMS symptoms. There are convenient peppermint tea bags that you can get at any grocery store or supermarket. When your abdomen starts to feel unwell, grab one, put in a cup, fill with boiling water and it’s ready to serve!
- Apple cider vinegar: Apart from its many other benefits, apple cider vinegar works wonders for those who are suffering from menstrual bloating. It includes acetic acid that helps with imbalance acid in the stomach. You should use around 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and it will help boost your digestive system.
- Heating pad: Not only does it work for keeping you warm, this device also can be simply put on your stomach as a remedy for bloating as well as cramps.
When to See A Doctor
We all agree that PMS in general and bloating in particular are extremely annoying. They cause us discomfort and they affect our mentality and physical aspects as well. However, either if the bloated feelings greatly prevent you from being able to perform the very basic daily activities, or if the situation does not get better after you have tried many ways to alleviate it, then you are highly advised to see your doctor or your gynecologist.
Your doctor can suggest that you keep track of the symptoms in order to make sure that they are only a menstrual syndrome, because sometimes it can be related to a more severe health condition.
Bloatedness are not to be worried about because it is one of the common occurrences to your body when you are about to have your period. Don’t fret yourself over the issue of “how long does period bloating last?”. As it makes you feel unpleasant, you might want to try some home-based remedies and natural methods like dietary and lifestyle changes, to reduce the symptoms.
In addition to those, you can seek medications that are specifically designed to treat the problems. In case serious bloating becomes a serious issue for you, it is suggested that you talk to your doctor for further diagnosis so that you will be able to get rid of this discomfort.
It is our pleasure to provide you with information about period bloating. If you have any questions or contribution, feel free to comment down below. We are happy to hear from you!