Getting rid of water retention before your period

Getting rid of water retention before your period

Despite the fact that more than 9 in 10 women who menstruate suffer from water retention before their period, many of us don’t know what causes it, or how to get rid of water retention.

What is PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to the changes that occur before our periods which can negatively affect our daily lives. There are currently a total of 150 symptoms associated with PMS.

Symptoms generally begin around 10 to 14 days before we start bleeding and disappear once our periods start. The most common include feelings like irritability, tiredness, back pain and cravings for certain foods.

Also known as fluid retention or oedema, water retention is one of the symptoms linked to PMS, and is thought to affect 92% of women who menstruate.

The good news is that you can alleviate the symptoms with a combination of gentle exercise, small changes to your diet and natural herbal water retention tablets.

What is water retention?

Many women experience water retention during, and in the days leading up to their period when hormonal changes lead to bloating and swelling. It’s particularly common in the stomach, arms and legs, but some women experience it in the face too.

If you suffer from water retention, you may notice your clothes feel tighter around this time – in fact, a 2014 study found up to 65% of women experience period-related swelling.

Water retention can also give the appearance of weight gain and you may also notice you gain a few pounds during this time. Don’t worry too much about this – this is just ‘water weight’ – extra fluid that isn’t properly expelled from your body, not fat.

What causes pre-period water retention?


Throughout our menstrual cycles, our hormones fluctuate and our periods are triggered by rapidly decreasing levels of hormones, oestrogen and progesterone.

Unfortunately, these are the hormones that control how our bodies regulate fluids, responding to this fall in oestrogen and progesterone by holding onto more water, resulting in fluid retention.


What do you crave when your period is about to start? Spinach? Carrots? Apples?

Probably not!

Hormonal changes before our periods can cause us to overeat and crave sugary or salty food (bring on the crisps!) which can contribute to additional water retention and could cause you to genuinely gain a few pounds into the bargain.

Exercising less

In the week leading up to your period, oestrogen and progesterone levels increase. This can make you feel more tired than usual and skip your workout or Pilates class. This change can mean that bloating hangs around, rather than being flushed out of your body.

Read our guide on the top 5 exercises to get rid of water retention to find out more.

How can you get rid of pre-period water retention?

Generally, the symptoms of water retention such as water-weight gain and swelling should go back to normal about 4 or 5 days after your period starts.

However, to speed up this process, there are a number of small and fairly simple lifestyle changes you can try to reduce water retention before your period. These include:

  • Drinking more water
  • Avoiding aggravating foods such as bread or carb-laden goodies
  • Exercising gently
  • Taking herbal water retention tablets
  • Relaxing with your feet elevated

Why isn’t my pre-menstrual water retention going away?

It can take some time for hormone levels to settle again, even once your period has started. Sometimes, your period may start while your oestrogen and progesterone levels are still falling rapidly so your body continues to hold onto extra water for several days after your period begins.

How can HRI Water Balance™ help with water retention before my period? 

Small but mighty, easy-to-swallow HRI Water Balance™ tablets contain a combination of extracts of dandelion, uva-ursi leaf and buchu leaf – three medicinal herbs famed for their anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.

Thanks to this unique tablet formation, just four tablets a day can help to alleviate the symptoms of period water retention, often within a few hours. HRI Water Balance™ can be taken continuously, or when uncomfortable symptoms arise.  

So why not give natural water retention tablets a go and see if they can help you beat the uncomfortable bloating caused by water retention once and for all!

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