How to Stop Bloating From Birth Control Pills: What You Need to Know

Dinesh Patel
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Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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How to stop bloating from birth control pills

Hormonal birth control pills, though a prevalent form of contraception, have potential side effects, such as bloating and weight gain.

These side effects might make some individuals stop or hesitate to use them.

Research suggests that bloating can be a persistent issue for some and is mostly related to water retention. 

In this article, we will explore how to stop bloating from birth control pills and what causes them.

Causes of bloating

It’s essential to differentiate between weight gain and temporary bloating, as the latter is often a manageable and short-lived concern.

Bloating can be linked to the following issues:

Water retention

One common reason for bloating associated with birth control pills is water retention. 

Certain hormonal contraceptives, especially those containing Estrogen, can lead to an increase in water retention in the body.

Today’s birth control pills contain lower levels of hormones, containing 20 to 50 mcg of Estrogen.

This excess fluid can result in feelings of fullness and bloating.

Hormonal fluctuations

The hormonal changes induced by birth control pills can affect the digestive system, causing bloating and gas. 

Progestin, a hormone in many birth control pills, can slow digestion, causing food to remain in the stomach longer and contributing to bloating.

Managing bloating

If you’ve noticed bloating after starting birth control, here are some practical tips to help manage and reduce this symptom:

Give it time

Recognize that bloating may be temporary, and your body might adjust to the hormonal changes over time. 

Be patient, and the bloating may subside.

Stay hydrated

Adequate water intake is essential for maintaining a healthy urinary tractSource: Евгений Харитонов_from_Getty_Images
Adequate water intake

Drinking plenty of water flushes out excess sodium and reduces water retention. 

Aim for at least eight glasses of water a day to stay adequately hydrated.

Consuming too much water in a short period can cause imbalanced electrolytes. This can dilute the sodium concentration in your body, leading to a condition known as Hyponatremia. 

Monitor sodium intake

High sodium intake contributes to water retention and bloating. 

Be mindful of salt intake, avoid processed foods, and opt for fresh, whole foods. 

Choose the right pill

If bloating persists or becomes unbearable, consult your healthcare provider to explore alternative birth control options. 

Different formulations and hormone combinations may affect individuals differently, and finding the right one for you can help alleviate bloating.

Recommended Article
To know about the different types of birth control pills in detail, read Exploring Types of Birth Control Pills: Benefits and Considerations.

Take your pill with food

Consuming your birth control pill with a meal can help minimize digestive discomfort. 

Food can help buffer the impact of hormones on the stomach and intestines, reducing the likelihood of bloating.

Consider probiotics

Probiotics, found in fermented foods or available as supplements, can support a healthy gut microbiome. 

They may help regulate digestion and reduce bloating. 

Please consult your doctor before taking new supplements and introduce them to your routine.

Regular exercise

Engage in moderate exerciseSource: FatCamera_from_Getty_Images_Signature
Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity can help alleviate bloating by promoting healthy digestion and reducing water retention. 

Incorporate exercises like walking, jogging, or yoga to maintain overall well-being.

Dietary fiber

Include fiber-rich foods in your diet. This diet supports regular bowel movements and prevents constipation, which can contribute to bloating. 

Some good sources of fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 

Avoid drinking carbonated beverages

Carbonated drinks or sodas contain gas, which can build up in the stomach. The carbon dioxide is used to make these drinks fizzy, which can cause bloating in the stomach.

Similarly, the sugar or artificial sweeteners used in these beverages can contribute to bloating, so it is advisable to avoid these fizzy drinks. 


Bloating is a potential side effect of hormonal birth control pills, which can be caused by water retention and hormonal fluctuations

To stop bloating, you should stay hydrated, monitor sodium intake, choose the right birth control pill, and take it with food to minimize digestive discomfort. 

Additionally, exploring alternative options with the guidance of a healthcare provider is essential if bloating persists or becomes intolerable. 

By incorporating fiber-rich foods into the diet, individuals can support regular bowel movements, contributing to overall digestive well-being. 

Individuals need to be proactive in managing bloating by adopting a holistic approach, addressing lifestyle factors, and exploring different birth control options. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can birth control cause extreme bloating?

Yes, some individuals may experience bloating as a side effect of birth control. Hormonal contraceptives, like pills, can cause water retention and changes in hormone levels, leading to bloating in some users. However, the extent and severity of bloating can vary from person to person.

How do you stop water retention when taking the pill?

To combat water retention while on birth control pills, stay hydrated, as paradoxical as it may sound, to prevent excess fluid retention. Keep an eye on sodium intake by reducing consumption of salty foods. Engage in regular physical activity to increase circulation and prevent fluid buildup. 

Does bloating from birth control go away?

For many individuals, bloating from birth control tends to diminish over time as the body adjusts to the hormonal changes. The adjustment period may vary from person to person. If bloating persists or becomes severe, consult with your healthcare provider to discuss alternative contraceptive options.

Does drinking water help with bloating?

Yes, staying adequately hydrated can help alleviate bloating. When your body is well-hydrated, it is less likely to retain excess water. Drinking water also supports digestive health and can help flush out sodium, reducing the risk of bloating. Maintaining a balance is essential, as excessive water consumption can cause electrolyte imbalances.

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