You might gain a small amount of weight during ovulation because of bloating. It’s usually temporary.

When you’re ovulating, you might find that your weight increases slightly. This may be caused by bloating, a common symptom of ovulation.

Throughout your menstrual cycle, your hormone levels change. Hormones can affect fluid retention, so that you might be more bloated during certain phases of your menstrual cycle.

If your weight remains the same during ovulation, this isn’t cause for concern. Not everybody bloats during ovulation.

You might even find that you weigh less during ovulation than during the pre-menstrual phase. Some people are more bloated — and thus weigh more — just before their period.

Certain hormonal changes take place throughout the menstrual cycle.

Just before ovulation, your levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) rise. You’ll also have increased levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Estrogen and testosterone also peak during the ovulatory phase.

These hormonal changes drive the ovulation process. During ovulation, a follicle in your ovary ruptures, releasing an egg. The egg then moves into a fallopian tube, where it can be fertilized by sperm.

It’s thought that this surge in LH and FSH can lead to fluid retention (also known as bloating) during ovulation.

A 2011 study documenting fluid retention in 62 participants for a year found that bloating was a common symptom of ovulation. The study noted that bloating started roughly 5 days before ovulation and lasted until menstruation.

A 2017 study notes that this relationship between ovulatory hormones and bloating isn’t fully understood.

However, if you gain weight during ovulation, it’s likely not a cause for concern — it’s a common symptom of ovulation that doesn’t necessarily signal an underlying health condition.

Ovulation usually occurs around 12 to 16 days after your period starts, although the date depends on the regularity and length of your menstrual cycle.

Other common signs and symptoms of ovulation include:

  • Ovulation pain: You may feel a twinge or pop in the pelvic area. Ovulation pain (mittelschmerz) isn’t a cause for concern, but severe ovarian pain could be caused by another condition. If you experience debilitating ovarian pain, consider making a doctor’s appointment.
  • Temperature increase: During ovulation, your basal body temperature (BBT) may increase by about 1°F just after ovulation occurs. BBT refers to your temperature when you first wake up in the morning.
  • Changes in cervical mucus: Around the time of ovulation, your cervical mucus might be clear, stretchy, and slippery, like uncooked egg whites. You may also have more discharge just before ovulation.
  • Chest tenderness: You might experience swollen breasts or sore nipples around the time of ovulation.
  • Libido increase: Some people find that their libido is higher during ovulation. This may be because your estrogen and testosterone levels increase.
  • Bleeding: You may experience a little bleeding or spotting during ovulation. Usually, ovulation bleeding is pink or bright red in color. According to a 2012 study, about 5% of people bleed during ovulation. Although uncommon, it’s not necessarily cause for concern.

You can estimate ovulation by observing your symptoms and tracking your menstrual chart.

This is the basis of the fertility awareness method (FAM), a natural family planning strategy that may help you become pregnant or avoid pregnancy.

You can also use ovulation tests or predictors to help you determine when you’re ovulating. However, these aren’t 100% accurate, and they can’t diagnose fertility conditions.

Ovulation-related bloating can be quite uncomfortable.

To reduce abdominal bloating, you could try:

You might want to consider noting whether certain foods cause you to bloat. If you get more bloated after certain meals, write it down — you may have a food sensitivity.

Weight gain during ovulation is common. It’s not necessarily a sign of any underlying health conditions. Similarly, bloating is seldom cause for concern.

However, seek emergency help if you experience sudden, severe pelvic pain that may radiate to the abdomen, back, or side, especially if it’s accompanied by:

Although the cause may not always be severe, these symptoms could be a sign of a ruptured ovarian cyst or ovarian torsion.

Some people gain weight during ovulation. Weight gain and bloating aren’t necessarily something to worry about — these are common symptoms of ovulation that hormonal changes can cause.

If, however, you’re experiencing bloating along with extreme pain, seek emergency help.

Sian Ferguson is a freelance health and cannabis writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She’s passionate about empowering readers to take care of their mental and physical health through science-based, empathetically delivered information.