Bloating During Ovulation: Causes and Relief Tips

Jul 02, 2024 | 6 min read

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Bloating during ovulation is a common symptom caused by hormonal fluctuations, including increased estrogen and progesterone levels. Managing this condition through lifestyle changes and natural remedies is essential for reducing discomfort and improving well-being.

bloating during ovulation

Understanding Ovulation

Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from one of the ovaries, typically occurring once each menstrual cycle, about 14 days before the next period. This egg travels down the fallopian tube, where it can potentially meet sperm and become fertilized.

The menstrual cycle includes several phases: 

  • Menstrual
  • Follicular
  • Ovulatory
  • Luteal

During the follicular phase, the body prepares for ovulation by developing follicles in the ovaries. One follicle matures and releases an egg during ovulation.

Hormonal changes drive the ovulatory phase. Key hormones include estrogen, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Rising estrogen levels trigger a surge in LH and FSH, leading to the release of the egg.

The hormonal fluctuations and physical changes during ovulation can cause symptoms like bloating, cramping, and breast tenderness due to water retention, digestive changes, and increased blood flow to the pelvic area.

Many women will experience those ovulation symptoms for up to five days before ovulation as well as the day of, noted Patricia Pollio, MD, director of obstetrics at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York. 

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Is Bloating Normal During Ovulation?

Yes, bloating during ovulation is normal. Many women experience this symptom due to the various hormonal changes occurring in their bodies. Understanding why this happens and what causes it can help manage the discomfort more effectively.

Hormonal Fluctuations

Hormonal changes are the primary cause of bloating during ovulation. These fluctuations significantly impact how the body retains water and processes digestion.

During the first half of the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels gradually rise, peaking just before ovulation. Estrogen prepares the uterine lining and promotes the release of the egg. After ovulation, progesterone levels increase to support a potential pregnancy. Both hormones influence water retention and digestive processes, leading to bloating.

Fluid Retention

Hormonal changes during ovulation can cause the body to retain more water, leading to a feeling of bloating and fullness.

Estrogen, in particular, can cause the body to hold onto more water. This retention is a natural response to hormonal changes and typically resolves after ovulation. However, it can cause discomfort and a noticeable increase in abdominal size during the ovulatory phase.

Increased Blood Flow to Ovaries

During ovulation, there is increased blood flow to the ovaries and surrounding areas. This can cause the abdomen to feel more swollen and tender, contributing to the sensation of bloating.

  • Pelvic Congestion: The increased blood flow to the pelvic area, known as pelvic congestion, is necessary to support the release of the egg and prepare the uterus for a potential pregnancy. However, this increased blood flow can also lead to a feeling of heaviness and bloating in the lower abdomen.
  • Pressure on Surrounding Tissues: The additional blood flow can put pressure on surrounding tissues and organs, contributing to the sensation of bloating and abdominal discomfort.

Gastrointestinal Changes

Hormonal changes can also affect the gastrointestinal tract, slowing down digestion. This can lead to an increase in gas and a bloated feeling. Foods that are harder to digest can exacerbate this symptom.

  • Slower Digestion: Progesterone slows down the movement of food through the digestive system, which can lead to gas buildup and bloating. This slower transit time means that food spends more time fermenting in the gut, producing gas.
  • Increased Gas Production: Foods that are harder to digest, such as those high in fiber or certain carbohydrates, can exacerbate gas production during this time. This increased gas can contribute to the feeling of bloating.
  • Digestive Sensitivity: Some women may also experience increased sensitivity in their digestive tract during ovulation, making them more prone to bloating and discomfort.

Identifying Ovulation Bloating

Identifying bloating related to ovulation involves recognizing the timing and pattern of your symptoms. Bloating that occurs consistently around the middle of your menstrual cycle is likely linked to ovulation. Understanding your menstrual cycle and tracking your symptoms can help you determine if your bloating is related to ovulation.

  • Tracking Menstrual Cycle: Keeping track of your menstrual cycle is an essential step in identifying ovulation-related bloating. Use a calendar or a menstrual tracking app to log the start and end dates of your period, as well as any symptoms you experience throughout the cycle. Ovulation typically occurs around day 14 of a 28-day cycle, but this can vary for each woman.
  • Symptoms Diary: Maintaining a symptoms diary can help you and your healthcare provider identify patterns and determine if your bloating is linked to ovulation. Record the days you experience bloating, its severity, and any other related symptoms such as abdominal pain, breast tenderness, or mood swings. Note any factors that may influence your symptoms, such as dietary changes, stress levels, or physical activity.

Management and Relief

Managing bloating during ovulation involves making lifestyle changes, using medical treatments if necessary, trying natural remedies, and incorporating supplements. Here are some effective strategies to help alleviate symptoms and improve your comfort.

Lifestyle Modifications

Diet Changes:

  • Reduce Salt Intake: High sodium intake can lead to water retention, which can worsen bloating. Try to limit your consumption of salty foods, such as processed snacks, canned soups, and fast food.
  • Avoid High-Fiber Foods: While fiber is essential for a healthy diet, too much fiber can increase gas production and bloating. During ovulation, consider reducing your intake of high-fiber foods like beans, lentils, and certain vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cabbage).


Staying well-hydrated helps to flush out excess sodium from your body, reducing water retention and bloating. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, and increase your intake if you're physically active or during hot weather.


Regular exercise can help improve digestion and reduce bloating. Activities such as walking, jogging, yoga, and swimming can promote better blood circulation and reduce the feeling of fullness and tightness in your abdomen.

Medical Treatments

Over-the-Counter Medications:

  • Anti-Gas Medications: Over-the-counter medications that contain simethicone can help reduce gas and bloating. These medications work by breaking up gas bubbles in your digestive tract.
  • Pain Relievers: Non-prescription pain relievers can help alleviate abdominal pain or cramping associated with ovulation.

Birth Control Pills for Severe Cases:

For women who experience severe bloating and other ovulation symptoms, birth control pills can help regulate hormonal fluctuations and reduce symptoms. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine if this option is suitable for you.

Natural Remedies

Herbal Teas:

  • Peppermint Tea: Peppermint tea can help relax the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, reducing bloating and gas.
  • Ginger Tea: Ginger tea is known for its natural anti-inflammatory properties and can aid digestion, making it a great option for reducing bloating. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine publication, consuming ginger can reduce fermentation, relieve constipation, and alleviate other causes of bloating and intestinal gas.

Heat Application:

Applying a heating pad or warm compress to your abdomen can help relax muscles and alleviate pain associated with bloating. Use the heat for 15-20 minutes to get relief.


  • Probiotic: According to the review from 2022, prebiotics or probiotics can reduce bloating by reducing gas production. 
  • Magnesium: Magnesium can help reduce water retention and improve digestion. Taking a daily magnesium supplement can help alleviate bloating during ovulation. Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
  • Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 can help reduce water retention and alleviate bloating. It is particularly useful for managing premenstrual and ovulation-related symptoms. Ensure you follow the recommended dosage and consult your healthcare provider.

If you're unsure which supplements are right for you, consider taking our Supplements Quiz. This quiz is designed to suggest a personalized supplement kit tailored to your specific needs, helping you manage bloating and other ovulation-related symptoms more effectively. Remember, online tools are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a professional before taking any action.

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When to See a Doctor

While bloating during ovulation is generally normal, there are times when you should seek medical advice. Consult a healthcare professional if:

  • Your bloating is severe or persistent.
  • You experience additional symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, fever, or significant changes in bowel habits.
  • The bloating impacts your daily activities and quality of life.
  • You have concerns about other potential health issues.

Prevention Tips

Preventing bloating during ovulation involves adopting healthy habits that can minimize symptoms and improve overall well-being.

  • Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity helps maintain a healthy digestive system and reduces the likelihood of bloating. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
  • Balanced Diet: Eating a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can promote overall health and reduce the risk of bloating. Avoid overeating and try to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Stress Management Techniques: Managing stress is crucial for preventing bloating and other digestive issues. Practices such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness can help reduce stress levels and improve digestive health.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Bloating during ovulation is a common and normal symptom resulting from hormonal changes. Understanding the causes and symptoms can help you manage and reduce discomfort effectively. Implementing lifestyle changes, trying natural remedies, and consulting with a healthcare provider when necessary can greatly improve your well-being during this phase of the menstrual cycle.

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