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Weight gain during ovulation is normal, but can be avoided! Know how

Weight gain during ovulation is not very significant, but definitely happens. Just make simple lifestyle changes.
A woman with a weighing scale
Women experience weight gain and bloating during ovulation. Image courtesy: Freepik
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 16 Dec 2023, 08:59 am IST
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Putting on weight while on your period is quite common, but some women also experience weight gain during ovulation. While this weight gain might not be very significant, many women feel bloated and suffer from water retention.

What is ovulation?

Ovulation is an important stage in the menstrual cycle when a mature egg is released from the ovary and is ready for fertilisation by sperm. “It usually happens in the middle of the menstrual cycle and there is an increase in the production of luteinising hormone (LH), prompted by increasing levels of estrogen. This surge leads to the release of the egg from the mature follicle on the ovary, explains gynaecologist Dr Ketki Kulkarni.

How do you know you are ovulating?

Ovulation typically occurs around the middle of a woman’s menstrual cycle, which is usually about 14 days before the start of her next period. “However, the exact timing can vary from woman to woman and from one menstrual cycle to another,” says the expert. There are signs that can help determine when ovulation is likely to happen.

1. Basal body temperature (BBT)

A slight increase in basal body temperature (your temperature when you are fully at rest) occurs after ovulation. Monitoring your BBT each morning before getting out of bed can help pinpoint when this temperature rise happens.

2. Cervical mucus changes

During the menstrual cycle, the texture and appearance of cervical mucus undergo changes. When ovulation is approaching, the cervical mucus becomes clear, slippery, and stretchy, similar to the consistency of egg whites.

3. Pelvic pain

Mild pelvic pain or twinges on one side of the lower abdomen during ovulation can happen.

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Is it normal to gain weight during ovulation?

It’s not typical for women to experience significant weight gain during ovulation. However, some women may notice mild bloating or water retention around the time of ovulation due to hormonal changes. “Many factors like diet, lifestyle and overall health can influence how a woman feels during different phases of her menstrual cycle,” says Dr Kulkarni.

What are the other changes that happen during ovulation?

Weight gain is not the only change you will notice, as your body transforms quite a bit during ovulation.

1. Heightened sexual desire

Elevated estrogen levels during ovulation contribute to an increased sex drive. This surge in estrogen enhances blood flow to the pelvic area and stimulates reproductive behaviours.

A couple having sex
During ovulation, women experience heighten sexual desire. Image courtesy: Freepik

2.Changes in cervical position

Increasing levels of estrogen prompt the cervix to produce more fertile mucus and undergo alterations in position and texture.

3. Changes in skin and hair

Hormonal fluctuations, especially elevated estrogen levels, can affect collagen levels, leading to alterations in skin elasticity and influencing oil production.

4. Ovulation pain

Certain women may feel mild pelvic pain or discomfort during ovulation. It is typically brief and localised to one side of the lower abdomen.

5. Enhanced scent perception

Elevated estrogen levels might impact the sense of smell, potentially making women more sensitive to particular scents during the fertile period.

6. Changes in mood

You might be more moody! Hormonal shifts, including increased estrogen and testosterone, can impact neurotransmitters, influencing mood and social behaviours.

How to control weight gain during ovulation?

Controlling weight gain and bloating during ovulation involves adopting lifestyle practices, says Dr Kulkarni.

1. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water helps flush excess sodium from the body, reducing bloating. Proper hydration also supports overall health and can help regulate hormone levels.

2. Balanced diet

Choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Limiting processed foods, salt, and sugar.

3. Regular exercise

Physical activity helps regulate hormones, including insulin and cortisol, which can impact weight and bloating.

4. Limit salt intake

Choosing fresh, whole foods over processed options and avoiding adding extra salt to meals can help control bloating.

5. Probiotics

Probiotics help maintain a healthy gut by supporting digestion and reducing bloating. Include yogurt, kefir (fermented milk), or other fermented foods in your diet to promote a balanced gut microbiome.

A woman with a wine glass
Avoid alcohol during ovulation. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

4. Limit caffeine and alcohol

Both caffeine and alcohol can contribute to dehydration and may exacerbate bloating.

When do you need to see a doctor?

It’s important to consult a doctor if you experience the following concerning signs or symptoms:

  • Intense or prolonged abdominal pain that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medications.
  • Sudden changes in your menstrual cycle, such as irregular periods, heavy bleeding, or missed periods.
  • Significant and unexplained weight gain or loss.
  • While mild bloating during ovulation is normal, persistent or severe bloating that is not related to your menstrual cycle.
  • If mood swings or emotional changes during ovulation significantly impact your daily life, relationships, or work.
  • History of medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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