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Home > Learn > Ovulation Tests > >Weight Gain During Ovulation: Is it Normal? Tips to Manage

Weight Gain During Ovulation: Is it Normal? Tips to Manage

May 23, 24 7 min

By Dr. Kenosha Gleaton, OBGYN

You've probably noticed that your clothes feel slightly tighter during your period. But did you know that bloating can happen at other times in your cycle? Many people who menstruate report bloating and weight gain during ovulation, too.[1]

Wondering about weight gain during ovulation? Is it normal? This guide digs into the science behind mid-cycle bloating. Let's find out why some people gain weight during ovulation and explore a few ways to beat the bloat.

Is Weight Gain During Ovulation Normal?

Your hormones are responsible for ovulation, menstruation, and everything in between. Hormone shifts can trigger fluid retention, temporarily altering your weight or clothing fit.[2] The good news is that bloating usually goes away within a few days. For some, bloating may stick around until menstruation begins. Either way, temporary weight gain around ovulation usually isn't a cause for concern.

The Reality of Weight Gain and Bloating

Fluid retention is a common symptom before and shortly after ovulation. However, researchers aren't sure why some people who menstruate don't experience bloating.[1] Symptom severity can vary. You may experience only a little bloating, while your friend may retain a lot of fluid. As a rule, most people only gain 1-2 pounds due to hormone shifts during their menstrual cycle.[3] They usually shed the weight naturally during their period.

An ovulation predictor kit (OPK) can help you anticipate these shifts. Once you pinpoint your ovulation date, you can track your weight to determine how long it takes your body to shed excess fluid.

Hormonal Changes and Their Effects

Just before ovulation, your body starts producing higher levels of luteinizing hormone (LH). Levels of other hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, also increase.[2] These hormones tell your body to develop a mature egg inside a follicle along the surface of your ovary. During ovulation, the follicle ruptures, and the egg is released into the fallopian tubes.[4]

Your body has ovulation down to a science. But unfortunately, the same hormones that govern this process can produce some unwelcome side effects. Bloating is one of them, but other changes can occur too.

Other Changes During Ovulation

Whether or not you're trying to conceive, tracking your menstrual cycle is a good idea. Once you know what changes your body experiences during ovulation, you can better anticipate what's coming next.

About 32% of people who menstruate feel sharp pelvic pain during ovulation.[5] This pain is sometimes known as mittelschmerz. If you experience mittelschmerz, you may feel sharp, stabbing pains on one side of your abdomen. You might also notice some dull cramps.

Ovulation symptoms can also include[6]:

  • Change in cervical mucus
  • Breast tenderness
  • Light spotting
  • Heightened libido
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Heightened sense of smell

Many people also experience a slight increase in their basal body temperature.[6] But this change isn't noticeable unless you track your temperature daily. If you're feverish or chilled, contact your healthcare provider. These may be signs of an infection.

How to Manage Weight Gain During Ovulation

Here are some tips for managing weight gain during ovulation:

Drink Plenty of Water

Fluid retention can be eased by increasing your water intake. Drinking extra fluids helps flush out excess salt.[7] Good hydration also promotes healthy bowel movements, which can reduce the feeling of being bloated.

Reduce Carbs and Salt

Cutting back on salt and carbs helps decrease bloating. These foods encourage your body to hold onto excess fluid. During the second half of your menstrual cycle, try to limit salty snacks and refined carbs. Instead, reach for whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Increase Protein and Fiber Intake

Eating plenty of protein and fiber helps balance your hormones and keep your gut moving. Some people experience constipation during certain parts of their cycle. Boosting your fiber intake can make it easier to have a bowel movement.[8]


Working up a good sweat is vital for heart health. But it can also help your body regulate hormones and shed excess fluids. Regular exercise can also give your mood a lift and help with the emotional symptoms that sometimes come with certain stages of the menstrual cycle.[9]

When to Consult a Doctor

In most cases, weight gain during ovulation is normal. But you should report any sudden, drastic changes in weight to your healthcare provider. Seek immediate care if you develop severe or worsening pelvic pain during ovulation. You might have a serious health condition that requires immediate attention.

If you've been taking ovulation tests for a while and haven't gotten a positive result, consult your healthcare provider. Sometimes, irregular menstrual cycles can result in irregular ovulation. An irregular cycle can make it more difficult to get pregnant, but don't panic. Your healthcare provider can get to the root of the problem.

Irregular cycles aren't always a sign of infertility, but they could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.[10] If you do have fertility issues, a specialist can recommend treatments that may help you expand your family.

How Natalist Can Help

Trying to conceive? Already have a bundle of joy on the way? No matter where you are in your family planning journey, Natalist is here to help. Check out our fertility support and prenatal bundles. We offer a wide range of supplements to improve your fertility and enhance your prenatal health. 


Dr. Kenosha Gleaton is board-certified in gynecology and obstetrics and is the Medical Advisor of Natalist. She received her MD from MUSC and completed her residency at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC.

Dr. Gleaton is passionate about women, youth, and mentoring. She is a Scrubs Camp instructor, a program to increase student entry in healthcare, and serves as a Compassion International adoptive parent. She is also a member of the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, and the American Association of Professional Women.  


  1. White CP, Hitchcock CL, Vigna YM, Prior JC. Fluid retention over the menstrual cycle: 1-year data from the prospective ovulation cohort. Obstetrics and Gynecology International. 2011;2011:1-7. doi:10.1155/2011/138451
  2. Vigil P, Lyon C, Flores B, Rioseco H, Serrano F. Ovulation, a sign of health. The Linacre Quarterly. 2017;84(4):343-355. doi:10.1080/00243639.2017.1394053
  3. Kanellakis S, Skoufas E, Simitsopoulou E, et al. Changes in body weight and body composition during the menstrual cycle. American Journal of Human Biology. 2023;35(11). doi:10.1002/ajhb.23951
  4. Reed BG. The normal menstrual cycle and the control of ovulation. Endotext. August 5, 2018. Accessed February 13, 2024.
  5. Mittelschmerz. MedlinePlus. April 1, 2023. Accessed February 13, 2024.
  6. Vigil P, Lyon C, Flores B, Rioseco H, Serrano F. Ovulation, a sign of health. The Linacre Quarterly. 2017;84(4):343-355. doi:10.1080/00243639.2017.1394053
  7. Zhang J, Zhang N, Liu S, Du S, Ma G. Young adults with higher salt intake have inferior hydration status: A cross-sectional study. Nutrients. 2022;14(2):287. doi:10.3390/nu14020287
  8. Water after meals: Does it disturb digestion? Mayo Clinic. May 25, 2022. Accessed February 13, 2024.
  9. Physical activity and your menstrual cycle. Office on Women’s Health. February 16, 2021. Accessed February 13, 2024.
  10. Infertility FAQs. Understanding Fertility: The Basics . April 26, 2023. Accessed February 13, 2024.

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