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Signs of bloating can vary from woman to woman...

...and is one of the most common occurring symptoms of menopause.


Signs of bloating

The signs of bloating can vary from woman to woman but include abdominal fullness and tightness, distension of the abdomen and increased burping or flatulence. The duration and intensity of these signs also vary.

What causes bloating during menopause?

The most likely cause of bloating during menopause is fluctuating hormones. Estrogen has an effect on water retention that occurs naturally during a woman’s menstrual cycle. When estrogen levels become erratic the pattern of water retention follows suit which leads to bloating. Estrogen also plays an important role in bile production, essential for the digestion of fats, and bloating can result when fats are not thoroughly digested. The other most common cause of bloating is a build up of gas in the gastrointestinal system, the incidence of which increases with hormonal fluctuations.

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This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.


Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.