Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"How do I prevent constipation and bloating when I am about to get my period?"


A couple of weeks before I get my period I always have really bad constipation and bloating. Is there any way to prevent this or at least make it a little bit easier to deal with every month?


It sounds like you are probably dealing with a variant of premenstrual syndrome, which is a complex of symptoms that many women experience before their periods, just like you are describing. These symptoms may occur due to the changes in hormones that occur prior to the period starting, which have multiple effects on the body. Bloating is by far the most common symptom of premenstrual syndrome.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Obgyns near you

This is often easy to control. In particular you can reduce it by avoiding salty and processed foods around the time when the symptoms tend to come out, as well as drinking lots of water and clear liquids and getting plenty of exercise. You many want to take an anti inflammatory medication like ibuprofen if the bloating is uncomfortable and if your doctor recommends it. The constipation is probably related to decreased fluid intake and lack of activity caused by the other premenstrual symptoms. Therefore, if you can stay well hydrated and active, this should improve a lot also. You should also talk to your primary care doctor or your OB GYN doctor to make sure there is nothing else going on. If the premenstrual syndrome symptoms are very severe and do not respond to these simple sorts of tricks, there are also medications that can be prescribed.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.