PCOS Bloating: 5 Major Causes and Ways to Manage it

Why Does Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Cause Abdominal Bloating and Gas Problems?

by Saima
PCOS Bloating

Do you know that about 5-20% of women throughout the world are suffering from PCOS and the majority of them develop bloated signs?  Other than PCOS, bloating can also occur due to a heavy meal, the onset of PMS, a sedentary lifestyle, or a spell of anxiety.

The most frequently occurring symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are bloating, facial hirsutism, nausea, irregular periods, and back pain. Usually, PCOS, bloating and back pain are interlinked. The bloating or constant heaviness in PCOS-positive women may trigger its severity, such as extreme pain, indigestion, gas or belly tightness, especially in the lower abdominal region.

Consequently, develop inflammation or puffiness on the face, hands, feet or tummy. In severe cases, it can also result in severe pain and discomfort before or during periods.

Here, we’re going to navigate why PCOS induce a myriad of bloating symptoms and how can you get rid of these by following some lifestyle modifications. So, let’s get started!

Signs of PCOS Bloating

Bloating refers to the condition when your gut faces water retention or gas problem. It is one of the most common signs of PCOS that can be challenging to manage. Usually, bloating doesn’t cause serious health concerns; however, frequent episodes may be a worrying sign of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS.

The most frequently occurring signs of PCOS bloating in women may include:

  • Belly tightness and Feeling of satiety
  • The build-up of gas in the abdomen
  • Increased stomach and abdominal cramps
  • Constant Fatigue
  • Increased belly fat, specifically at or during the time of menstruation

What Causes PCOS- induced Bloating?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can cause ripple effects in the body which can be damaging and may lead to various physiological and psychological health problems.

A number of factors may trigger swelling or enlarged belly at or during periods with PCOS. However, the most common reasons that can increase its risk or severity are:

1- Hormonal Changes

Hormonal imbalance is one of the leading health issues associated with PCOS. Progesterone and estrogen are the most important hormones for the female’s reproductive system and menstruation cycle. The study reveals that an imbalance in these hormones may cause PCOS. Moreover, it can also stimulate the body to enhance water retention hence, causing bloating.

2- Intolerance towards Certain Foods

Gluten, dairy, mushrooms, and oily foods can worsen your PCOS symptoms. These foods can cause gastrointestinal inflammation, discomfort, or a tight tummy. Even high-carbohydrate foods like beans, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower can also cause bloating by causing fermentation in the gut. So, reducing intake of these foods can help you improve your gut health and digestion.

3- Sedentary Lifestyle

Lack of regular exercise can majorly cause compromised health and fitness. Women not associated with regular physical activity are more likely to have PCOS and reproductive health-related problems. Daily exercise like cycling, light cardiovascular, endurance or strength training can help you minimize the risk of cyst formation and boost your overall reproductive health.

4- Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

OHSS is the most common health problem in women undergoing fertility treatment. It is a reproductive disorder caused by hormonal imbalance in women suffering from PCOS. During treatment, hormones are injected into a woman’s body to improve egg production for fertilization. These hormones can cause an over-inflated abdomen.

5- Declined Functionality of Gut Microbiome

The stomach is a residence for about 300-500 beneficial bacteria or gut microbiomes. These bacteria have a huge impact on a person’s well-being. Gut microbiota helps you boost your metabolism, digestion, and immune system. It also controls stress levels and manages your mood.

PCOS can be a major factor in hindering the activities of gut microbiota leading to a decline in the food digestion process and bowel movement. According to research, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome may alter intestinal microbiota activities and hinder normal digestion. Food can ferment in the stomach due to poor digestibility, thus may cause abdominal rumbling or gurgling.

How Long Does PCOS Bloating Last?

Usually, the signs of PCOS bloating appear just about a week before periods and end when your menstruation cycle ends. However, the duration and intensity of it varies in every woman depending on her age, health condition, lifestyle and preferred food choice.

Tips to Reduce Bloating with PCOS

Here are the most effective tips that can help you manage and get rid of bad bloating caused by PCOS.

  • Avoid alcoholic beverages to improve digestion, reduce bloating and treat PCOS. Soft drinks can severely damage your digestive and reproductive systems.
  • Reduce your salt intake as excess salt can induce water retention and puffiness in the body, specifically in the abdominal region. You can replace salt with various spices to add flavor to your food.
  • Avoid PCOS triggering foods such as high sugar, caffeine, dairy, processed or fast foods. You can check out our article ‘worst foods for PCOS’ for details.
  • Treating hormonal imbalance is the most crucial step for alleviating or treating PCOS signs. For this purpose, you should consult your gynecologist, who can diagnose the causes of your disease and suggest medicines accordingly. However, certain home remedies can also help you relieve the feeling of severe stomach bulging.
  • Regular exercise and yoga improves digestion and reduces bloating by increasing the digestive enzyme activities in the stomach. Around 15-20 minute walk, light exercise, or yoga can be much effective in relieving PCOS symptoms and shrinking the size of fibroids. For more detailed study, read the article Yoga for PCOS.
  • Take probiotics as they can boost the activities of gut flora, thus helping relieve bad bloating and gas problems. Moreover, probiotics are also much effective for the treatment of PCOS. They can help reduce body inflammation and regularize sex hormones.

Concluding Remarks

Bloating is the most common yet, less severe sign of PCOS.  Paying attention to healthy diet plan, regular exercise, and lifestyle modifications can help you reduce painful signs of PCOS bloating.


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