How to Stop Menopause Bloating

  • 1st Revision: Anna-Mazepa
  • 2nd Revision: Jasmine Yeh[Linkedin]
  • 3rd Revision: Olivia Sowerby

What are Perimenopause and Menopause?

Perimenopause is the years leading up to menopause, which usually occurs during the mid-thirties or mid-forties. The average time perimenopause lasts is eight to ten years. During this period, monthly menstrual cycles become less and less frequent until menstrual cycles completely cease. If periods have stopped for more than a year, this is known as the official menopause.² This is the stage observed in people assigned female at birth (AFAB) when the ovaries no longer produce the hormone oestrogen that is required to become pregnant.  

Perimenopause/Menopausal Symptoms

Altogether, there are over 34 official symptoms of perimenopause/menopause, plus more symptoms are frequently being recognised. Here are some of the more common symptoms of perimenopause/menopause:

  • Breast pain that worsens before a menstrual cycle or lasts throughout the complete menstrual cycle
  • Mood changes and brain fog²
  • Changes in periods cycles, usually becoming less frequent/heavier/lighter
  • Hot flashes/night sweats
  • Vaginal atrophy, which is where the vaginal walls become thinner and dryer; this can cause low sex drive, vaginal dryness, and loss of libido¹
  • Memory loss/feeling foggy-headed
  • Heart palpitations
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)³

What is Bloating? 

Bloating or weight gain?

Bloating is often a potential indication of perimenopause and menopause. However, unlike weight gain, bloating is only temporary. One of the triggers for peri/menopausal bloating is declining estrogen levels, which may also affect your digestive system. 

Bloating can feel very uncomfortable, leaving your clothes feeling restricted. Menopausal bloating can last from a few hours to a few days. The bloating is usually seen around your stomach areas, although it can also occur in other parts of your body, like the face, hands, or feet.

Causes of Bloating

Four of the main culprits for bloating in menopause are:

  • Water retention: Caused by a decrease in oestrogen levels 
  • Intestinal gas and constipation: Due to the way the changes in the body respond to the digestive tract
  • Feelings of stress linked to the menopause, which also affects hormone levels

Lifestyle factors that may increase bloating:

  • Family history of bloating in menopause
  • Smoking
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Being overweight
  • High cholesterol levels – cholesterol levels can naturally increase during menopause due to the fluctuation of hormone levels.
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • The western diet – women suffering from severe menopausal complaints appear less prominent in Asian countries, such as Japan.¹⁰ The reason appears to be because their diet includes more plant-based estrogen hormones
  • Stress levels –  excess stress can increase cortisol levels (stress hormone) that can exacerbate poor sleep, hot flashes, and other symptoms like bloating
  • Other medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory disease, or previous indigestion issues
  • Chewing gum can trigger menopausal bloating because it encourages you to swallow more air
  • Long-distance traveling/changes in routine – Sometimes long journeys can initiate bloating symptoms in menopausal women due to sitting for long hauls and the potential for being dehydrated and choosing convenience foods, which can potentially leaveyou constipated

Treatment and Prevention of Bloating

Lifestyle Changes

Ways to prevent peri/menopausal bloating are unique to everyone. You may find a few small adjustments to your lifestyle to help your struggle with belly bloat. If your goal is to eat healthier, some menopausal bloating sufferers find that counting calories no longer works as it used to. Instead, eating a well-balanced, high in protein diet and cutting down on processed foods can be more helpful. Here is some guidance on how you might be able to reduce your bloating:

  • Reduced salt intake
  • Consume an organic diet when possible
  • Reduced intake of refined sugars, found in cakes, biscuits, sweets, and carbonated drinks
  • Choose higher fibre foods, such as whole-grain bread, cereals, and rice
  • Herbal teas – There are several herbal teas to try for menopausal bloating. Some of the more popular herbal teas are peppermint, ginger, and lemon tea
  • Incorporate pulses, such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas
  • Reduce highly processed foods
  • Two portions of fish per week can promote good bone density, reduce inflammation, and help with boosting low mood and brain-fog 
  • Avoiding spicy foods
  • Avoiding onions  
  • Herbs and spices to reduce menopausal bloating
  • Reduce caffeine intake
  • Reduce carbohydrates, such as white pasta, bread, and potatoes
  • Eating small and regular meals
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Limit high-fat foods
  • Eat foods high in protein
  • Limit vegetables that may cause excess gas
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Eat the recommended daily amount of calcium (1200mg per day)
  • Take 3 servings of iron per day
  • Look after your gut health


You may get prescriptions for medication from your GP, or there are medications that you can buy over-the-counter. It is helpful to know if your bloating is due to gas, hormones, or both in order to receive the appropriate medication. Here are some of the medications that a doctor may prescribe:

  • Vitamin D3: Assists with decreased oestrogen levels. Can also help with low mood, problems with joints, and general well-being.
  • Over-the-counter anti-bloating medication: ask your pharmacist which one they recommend for your symptoms. These medications usually help with bloating caused by gas.
  • Hormone birth control treatment: birth control contraceptives can help to balance out your hormone levels and stabilise peri/menopausal complaints.
  • Hormone therapy: this type of medication can only be prescribed by a healthcare professional. Hormone therapy aids with balancing out hormones and improving many other peri/menopausal complaints.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can assist in working on your mindset, sleep issues, diet, and other psychological issues caused by menopause.

Alternative Therapies and Holistic Approaches 

There are numerous alternative therapies that you can try to reduce menopausal bloating. Here are some holistic healthcare interventions that may help with bloating:

  • Lifting weights: Recent studies show that lifting weights and resistance training is highly beneficial for menopausal women. Some of the benefits include helping to reduce bloating, boosting metabolism, maintaining healthy muscle mass (which can deteriorate through menopause), and helping to improve low mood and anxiety.⁵
  • Menopausal supplements: There are many alternative peri/menopausal supplements currently on the market to ease or reduce symptoms. Ranging from well-known supplements, such as ‘St John’s wort’ to more recent multivitamin supplements. Finding which one works best for you does not have to be expensive either.
  • LadyCare plus/healing magnets: LadyCare plus devices have increased in popularity in recent years. This alternative magnetic therapy (originating from the ancient Greeks) is a magnetic device that is placed a few centimetres above your navel. Even though not scientifically proven, these magnets have claimed to help to ease many of the more challenging symptoms of menopause by helping to restore and rebalance the nervous system.⁶  
  • Focus on breathing techniques: Diaphragmatic breathing is recommended to soothe the nervous system; helping to calm many of the menopausal symptoms, including indigestion and bloating.⁷
  • Herbal medicine: Traditional Chinese herbal medicine/techniques
  • Reiki healing and acupuncture: Reiki and acupuncture therapies are both excellent complementary interventions, to work alongside other treatments, aiming to treat both the physical symptoms and the emotional impact of menopause.
  • Isoflavone/plant-based therapy: foods such as soy (found in Asian countries) have been considered to help with menopausal symptoms. This is because there are properties in soy that promote oestrogen levels. Even though there is no scientific evidence currently present, many women have used such plant-based therapies as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. 

When to see a doctor?

It is important to see a doctor if you experience any pain/discomfort with the bloating or if bloating does not go away. This could be indicative of other health conditions, so any signs of bloating are worth getting checked over by a healthcare professional.


Even though bloating is a common experience during perimenopause and menopause, there are many treatments and alternative therapies that are available to help with bloating symptoms.

Links to further information:

  • Helpful advice on exercising through perimenopause and menopause

55 - fitness & weight loss tips for women over 40

  • Menopause bloating and weight gain

menopause-and-weight-gain-patient-information-leaflet.pdf (

Health and nutrition through perimenopause and menopause


  1. Vaginal Atrophy (Atrophic Vaginitis): Symptoms & Treatment [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. 2022 [cited 19 May 2022]. Available from:
  2. Menopause [Internet]. 2022 [cited 22 May 2022]. Available from:
  3. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) [Internet]. 2022 [cited 19 May 2022]. Available from:
  4. Hormones that are made from plants are called Phytohormones [Internet]. Dr. Gaila Online. 2022 [cited 19 May 2022]. Available from:
  5. What is resistance training? | Nuffield Health [Internet]. 2022 [cited 19 May 2022]. Available from:
  6. LadyCare Plus+ Menopause Device | LadyCare Menopause [Internet]. LadyCare Menopause. 2022 [cited 19 May 2022]. Available from:
  7. Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises & Benefits [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. 2022 [cited 21 May 2022]. Available from:
  8. [Internet]. 2022 [cited 21 May 2022]. Available from:
  9. And Breathe - Using Your Breath For Holistic Menopause Symptom Relief — Lisa Health Blog [Internet]. Lisa Health Blog. 2022 [cited 22 May 2022]. Available from:
  10. Diet And Menopause - Dr Sarah Brewer [Internet]. 2022 [cited 19 May 2022]. Available from:
  11. [Internet]. 2022 [cited 21 May 2022]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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