A little bloating is perfectly normal during your period, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it.

When you’re on your period, bloating is as normal as eating apple pie on the Fourth of July. In most cases, menstrual bloating is caused by an increase in water retention, but some women experience bloating related to hormonal fluctuations. But regardless of what is causing the bloating, no one wants to feel bloated. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can make you feel a little less confident in your skin, which is never a good thing. Luckily, our experienced OBGYN in Venice has come up with this list of things you can do to fight the bloat during your period.

Drink Lots of Water

If water retention causes bloating, how could drinking more water possibly help to combat it? Believe it or not, when you don’t drink enough water, it actually causes your body to retain more of the water you do drink. It’s your body’s way of preventing you from getting dehydrated. So, drinking plenty of water can help to reduce any unwanted water retention. Plus, drinking water helps to prevent constipation, which is also a major reason why people bloat.

Don’t Overdo it on the Sodium

Almost nothing sounds better to a woman on her period than a bag of salty potato chips, except maybe potato chips covered in chocolate! However, in order to reduce the bloat, you need to do something about your sodium intake, and that means not giving in to those cravings. Not only has consuming high levels of sodium been linked with heart disease and many other health problems, but it causes your body to retain excess water. According to the American Heart Association, you should consume no more than 2,300 mg of salt per day. Avoid reaching for the salt shaker, and make it a point to limit foods with high levels of sodium in your diet.

Get Plenty of Exercise

Exercising is essential for combating the bloat, as well as many of the other premenstrual symptoms that aren’t so fun, like cramps, moodiness and fatigue. But exercising helps to fight the bloat in a couple of different ways: it helps you manage your weight and prevents constipation. You should aim to get in a few hours of moderate to vigorous exercise per week. During your actual period, exercising may seem like the last thing you want to do, but doing some light exercises, like going on a walk or doing yoga, can make a huge difference.

No one wants to feel bloated during their period, or any other time of the month for that matter. But the good news is that bloating doesn’t have to be your reality. These are just a few of the things you can do to reduce your menstrual bloating, and you can learn about more of them in our next blog. If you have questions or concerns about menstrual bloating, contact us at University Park Obstetrics and Gynecology today.