Last updated on July 26th, 2018 at 05:21 pm
Question: Is bloating and gas before period a sign of pregnancy or period coming? What meals worsen stomach upset before period?
Within one or two weeks before the start of a woman’s menstrual period, it’s not surprising to see and feel different body changes that indicate menstruation is close
In some women, their breast begins to swell with tenderness, and this occurs because of the effect of progesterone. Also, some other women will feel sharp or dull cramps in the lower part of their belly that comes and goes before menstruation starts.
Other signs that you could experience one or two weeks before the start of your period are body weakness, pimples on your face, changes in mood, headache, lower back pain, and a thick white vaginal discharge.
Apart from these symptoms, flatulence (commonly referred to as fart) can also be a sign of period coming.
If you are very gassy before period starts and wondering if its okay or not, this article explains the reason you fart before period, when it could be dangerous, and when it could be a sign that you’re pregnant.
What causes bloating and gas before period?
After the end of menstrual period, your body spontaneously increases the production of estrogen hormone. Estrogen hormone is the most prominent hormone after your period ends and will stay high till few days before ovulation occurs.
After ovulation (which means the release of eggs from your ovaries), your body starts producing progesterone at higher levels. This hormone changes your body, including your breast, vaginal discharge, and your intestines
At your breast, it enlarges breast tissues and causes your beast to swell up. At your vagina, it causes your discharge to look and feel sticky.
One more effect of progesterone is in your gut (the digestive tract). Your small and large intestines are an integral part of your digestive system. Their work is to convert food into energy (that is used by your body for daily activities) and push out waste product through the other end (the anus).
Following ovulation, and because of raised levels of progesterone, the motility of your gut become much lower, resulting in constipation. In such a circumstance, it allows gas to accumulate in your intestine, resulting in abdominal bloating and gas before period.
Is gas a symptom of PMS or pregnancy?
In a lot of women, before menstrual period gets underway, they begin to experience different signs. Often, cramps, acne, breast swelling are felt by women before period starts. On top of that, feeling gassy before period and abdominal bloating could also be a sign of period coming.
While these signs are common before menstruation begins, women that get pregnant may experience these symptoms before missed period. So, if you feel gassy before period, it could also be a pregnancy sign.
Remember that progesterone hormone slows down the movement of food past your gut. As your period approaches, there is a sudden fall in progesterone, and then, its normal to feel diarrhea before and during period due to the improved motility of your intestines.
During early pregnancy, progesterone levels do not fall, resulting in continued action on your gut muscles with constipation and flatulence.
The truth is, during early pregnancy, hormone changes cause different symptoms, and while constipation or diarrhea can be an unlikely sign of pregnancy, it’s not an accurate way to tell if you are pregnant or not.
What to do if you suspect pregnancy?
It’s difficult to tell if you are pregnant with just examining the frequency of “farting” and hardness of your stool. If you feel pregnancy symptoms, the only reliable way to confirm you’re pregnant is through blood/urine pregnancy test.
These test check for human chorionic gonadotropin which level could sometimes go undetectable before missing your period. If you get negative results while you’re yet to miss your period, it may still be inaccurate. So, better still, wait for a missed period, and then, test again.
Non Serious causes of gas before period
While its possible that your excessive gas before period is due to hormone changes, it could be due to what you’ve eaten or drank, and also, your lifestyle.
Here’s an email I received from Maria (one of my readers)
I am 24 years old and had intercourse three weeks ago (unprotected) with my partner. While I’m expecting my period, I started experiencing horrific gas before period, and I’m wondering if its okay or not.
My period was supposed to commence three days ago (25th of July) and yet I don’t have any signs.
I feel fatigued, and my breast hurts more. I have taken a pregnancy test last week and its negative. What are your thoughts? Should I repeat my pregnancy test?
Just like Maria, if you feel painful abdominal bloating and gas so much before period, you will be worried about pregnancy if you’ve engaged in an unprotected sexual activity.
While it could be pregnancy (if you’ve had intercourse without a condom), it could also be due to any of these
It’s not abnormal for women to fart during the day or at night. In fact, if you are not “passing gas”, its likely something is wrong.
In a day, a woman can pass gas for more than 14 times, and its nothing abnormal if you release gas more than this.
Worst still, what you’ve eaten could cause increased abdominal bloating and flatulence before period. Food and drinks that produce “Horrific farting” are beans, cauliflower, yogurt, alcohol, carbonated beverages, apples, onions, pasta, and bread.
You are smoking
If you are smoking, its advisable to quit now. This is because much more gas moves into your intestine and causes abdominal discomfort.
Other causes of flatulence are lack of exercise, chewing gum, using a straw while you drink, and consumption of too many carbohydrates.
Serious causes of flatulence and bloating
While “passing gas” is most likely normal, it could be a sign of a developing health issue. Serious medical conditions that can cause excessive gas and be bloating are
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Lactose intolerance
- Celiac disease
- GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Food poisoning
- Intestinal cancer
How to prevent and stop gas before period
Your body hormones change from time to time, and it’s outside your control to regulate your menstrual cycle hormones; So, there is little you can do to stop farting.
However, you can try some of these to prevent or reduce bloating and gas days before your period.
- Have regular exercise
- Avoid or limit certain meals before the start of menstruation
- Quit smoking
- Stop chewing gum
- Take a lot of water every day
- Eat insoluble fibers.see here