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Exploring Why You Gain Weight During Menstruation

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Menstruation is a natural phenomenon in every woman’s life who is undergoing their reproductive age.

This period is followed by several symptoms and changes in the body.

Among these changes, some women may find weight gain during this time to be an unwelcome symptom.

Weight gain during periods can often be a cause of body image issues and frustration among women.

Thus, it is important to know how women gain weight during menstruation.

This article will discuss the aspects that can affect weight fluctuations during menstruation.

Factors Contributing to Weight Gain During Menstruation

Weight gain is a common symptom of menstruation that most women experience and is usually harmless.

There are several factors that can lead to weight gain during one’s menstruation.

It is important to learn about these factors to manage the symptoms effectively.

Some of these main factors include water retention, bloating, hormonal effects, and psychological causes.

This section will discuss the above-mentioned factors of weight gain during periods in detail.

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  • Water Retention and Bloating

    bloatingSource: pixelshot
    woman suffering from bloating

    One of the most significant factors contributing to weight gain during menstruation is water retention and bloating.

    According to research, women experience a peak in fluid retention with the onset of their menstrual flow.

    This fluid retention usually happens due to hormonal fluctuations during periods.

    The retention usually shows itself as bloating, making women feel heavier and uncomfortable.

    Some women may often experience it as a pre-period symptom.

    In some cases, increased sodium levels can induce thirst, leading to increased fluid intake. This can lead to the retaining of water, leading to weight gain during menstruation.

    Additional Fact
    Apart from causing weight gain, bloating during menstruation can also lead to problems with menstrual poop. It can also lead to unbearable period cramps and menstruation diarrhea in extreme cases.

    Impact of Hormones on Metabolism

    Hormonal fluctuations during menstruation can often affect one’s metabolism, resulting in changes in body weight.

    A study states that the basal metabolic rate in women decreases at menstruation.

    With the lowering of metabolism, the body notices a negative effect on how it processes and stores fat.

    This can reduce burning calories, leading to weight gain during periods.

    Additionally, the rise of Progesterone levels before periods can increase one’s appetite, resulting in further weight gain during this period.

    Psychological and Behavioral Factors

    Woman in stressSource: getty_images
    Woman in stress

    Psychological and behavioral factors also play an essential role in weight gain during menstruation. 

    Menstrual mood swings, fatigue, and stress can often affect one’s eating habits.

    These factors are often associated with binge eating, which can increase calorie intake during this period and result in weight gain.

    The regular cravings during this time can often deter a person from engaging in physical activities.

    This can also lead to noticeable weight gain during periods.

    If you are experiencing rapid weight gain, which has become too noticeable, it is best to consult a doctor immediately. Leaving it unchecked may cause serious issues since sudden gain in weight can be a sign of an underlying serious condition.


    To effectively manage weight fluctuations, understanding how women gain weight during menstruation is essential.

    Water retention and bloating during periods are among the leading factors that cause weight gain.

    The amount of sodium in the body during menstruation can retain water, further increasing the body weight.

    Some women may notice that fluctuations in hormonal levels can lower the metabolism rate in women, which can also lead to a spike in weight during periods.

    Additionally, psychological factors like mood swings, stress, and Anxiety can sometimes result in binge eating, which can also cause high-calorie intake and weight gain.

    Hence, it is always best to consult an expert if you notice increased body weight during periods.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is menstrual weight gain normal?

    Yes, menstrual weight gain is normal. Hormonal fluctuations, increased water retention, and changes in appetite usually result in weight gain during periods. 
    The weight gain is usually not noticeable. Yet, if a person notices significant or sudden weight change, it is best to consult an expert immediately.

    How much weight can you gain during menstruation?

    The average weight gain during menstruation is around 1-5 pounds. This primarily happens due to hormonal fluctuations, particularly an increase in Estrogen and Progesterone. 
    However, the experiences of individuals may vary, and factors like medical history, diet, and exercise can also dictate the extent of weight gain.

    What are some tips for managing weight gain during menstruation?

    There are several tips for managing weight gain during menstruation. These include focusing on a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and limiting sodium intake to reduce bloating.
    Experts also suggest regular engagement in workouts during menstruation. Regular exercise can help women keep their weight gain in check.

    Can birth control make one gain weight during menstruation?

    Yes, certain birth control methods containing hormones, like oral contraceptives, may influence weight fluctuations during menstruation. 
    Although not all individuals experience weight gain, hormonal changes from birth control can affect metabolism, appetite, and water retention, leading to weight gain in some women.

    Do I need to avoid certain foods to avoid typical weight gain during menstruation?

    Yes, although there is no strict rule, avoiding certain foods can help women prevent weight gain during their menstruation.
    These foods include limiting salty foods, caffeine, and sugary snacks. Avoiding these foods can help in reducing bloating and calorie intake.

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    Photo of author Janet Fudge
    Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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