6 Tips to Reduce Period Bloating

Period bloating can be unpleasant, but there are steps you can take to combat this uncomfortable symptom. Engaging in physical activity, getting plenty of sleep, and reducing stress levels can help with bloating before and during your period. Additional home remedies can include taking a vitamin B6 supplement and drinking water throughout the day.

This article will explain more about remedies to relieve period bloating, what causes the bloating, and how long it might last. 

How to Reduce Period Bloating

Verywell / Theresa Chiechi

Definition of Bloating

Bloating occurs when the belly is swollen or distended. It can cause an uncomfortable feeling of tightness. Bloating may be caused by several factors including constipation, swallowing air, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux, digestion problems, and celiac disease. Rarely, certain cancers may lead to bloating as well. 

Tips to Reduce Period Bloating

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce period bloating, which include:

  1. Physical activity: Getting regular physical activity has been proven to relieve PMS symptoms like bloating. Aim to exercise most days of the month.
  2. Diet: Avoid foods that can cause or worsen bloating. Stay away from foods that contain caffeine, salt, or sugar right before and during your period. 
  3. Eat slowly: Eating too quickly can lead to swallowing air, which causes bloating. Try to slow down at meal times and avoid chewing gum and carbonated drinks, as these foods can also result in swallowing air. 
  4. Sleep: A lack of sleep has been linked with increased PMS symptoms. Aim for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep if possible. 
  5. Stress reduction: Women who report feeling stressed are more likely to experience PMS symptoms. Try relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and massage to improve your symptoms.
  6. Avoid tobacco: Smoking may worsen PMS symptoms like bloating. 

What to Eat to Reduce Bloating

Changes in your diet may improve period bloating and other period symptoms. Consider eating six small meals rather than three large ones. This could help to reduce bloating and keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. Other diet changes to try include:

  • Choose fiber-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to prevent constipation. Avoid fiber supplements as these can lead to more bloating. 
  • Eat complex carbohydrates to give your body energy and fiber throughout the day. Examples include whole-grain bread and cereal, brown rice, and barley. 
  • Make sure you’re getting enough calcium with foods like yogurt, cheese, and leafy green vegetables. 
  • Limit your intake of sugar, salt, and fatty foods.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before and during your period. 

Home Remedies to Reduce Period Bloating

If you have tried to improve period bloating with lifestyle changes and are still uncomfortable, you may be considering a home remedy. It’s important to note that you should always talk with your healthcare provider before beginning a new dietary supplement. Home remedies that may improve period bloating include:

  • Water: Staying hydrated is a simple way to improve bloating. Drinking an adequate supply of water can help to improve water retention and prevent constipation. Constipation is a common cause of bloating. 
  • Vitamin B6: Taking a vitamin B6 supplement may ease bloating during your period. Vitamin B6 can be found in fish, poultry, potatoes, certain fruits, and fortified cereals. 
  • Magnesium: A magnesium supplement may decrease water retention during your period and improve bloating symptoms.

What Causes Period Bloating?

When it comes to just about any period symptom, you can blame it on the hormones. Changing hormone levels leads to a variety of changes in the body. Each month that you do not become pregnant, your body’s estrogen and progesterone levels fall significantly. This rapid decline in hormones can lead to water retention and bloating. After a few days of your period, these hormones start to increase again, relieving most period symptoms. 

Certain gastrointestinal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be exacerbated by PMS symptoms. You may notice that you experience bloating, constipation, and diarrhea around your period. Talk with your healthcare provider about how to manage the symptoms. 

How Long Does Period Bloating Last?

Period bloating can affect everyone differently. However, most people who experience period bloat will start to feel it about a week before their period begins.

Bloating usually resolves on its own a few days into your period. This is due to changing hormone levels.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

If period bloating has become so severe that lifestyle changes do not help and you are unable to keep up with your daily activities, talk with your healthcare provider or gynecologist. They will likely ask you to keep a symptom diary to understand when the bloating starts and what (if anything) helps it.

Your healthcare provider may recommend taking diuretic medication around your period to relieve water retention and bloating. It’s important to note that diuretics should never be taken with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because of the risk of kidney damage. 


Period bloating is a condition that occurs before or during your period. It causes a distended belly and an uncomfortable, tight feeling. Period bloating is believed to be caused by the hormone changes that take place each month during your period. Tips to relieve bloating include engaging in physical activity, drinking plenty of water, and managing stress.

6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. MedlinePlus. Abdominal bloating.

  2. MedlinePlus. Menstruation

  3. Office on Women’s Health. Physical activity and your menstrual cycle.

  4. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

  5. Office on Women’s Health. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

  6. Office on Women’s Health. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

By Carrie Madormo, RN, MPH
Carrie Madormo, RN, MPH, is a health writer with over a decade of experience working as a registered nurse. She has practiced in a variety of settings including pediatrics, oncology, chronic pain, and public health.