open the menu

Prevent Swelling During Menstruation! The 4 Don’ts.

生理 むくみ

Even if we are aware that menstruation is the culprit, looking at our swollen face or feet makes us feel gloomy that we don’t want to go outside. Swelling that occurs before or during menstruation can be cured by massaging to promote blood flow. It can be also kept from occurring if you performed measures on it in advance.
I will introduce the methods on curing swellings as early as possible, and the things that you must not do before and during menstruation.

1. Cause of the swelling occurring before and during menstruation

The swelling before and during menstruation has something to do with the amount of female hormones secreted in our body.


Progesterone (luteinizing hormone) is responsible for promoting pregnancy, raising temperature and storing nutrients and fluids in preparation for post-pregnancy periods.

Meanwhile, estrogen carries its roles such as promoting metabolism and strengthening blood vessels.

If you take a look at the graph, secretion of progesterone increases before menstruation.
On the other hand, the secretion of progesterone and estrogen decreases during menstruation.

*Cause of swelling that occurs before menstruation

Because the secretion of progesterone (luteinizing hormone) increases before menstruation (particularly 10 to 12 days before menstruation), the discharge of fluids from the body becomes difficult, therefore leading to swelling.

*Cause of swelling that occurs during menstruation

During menstruation, the secretion of progesterone and estrogen lessens, leading to decrease of body temperature. Because of that, metabolic functions also decrease due to worsened overall blood circulation, so discharging fluids from the body becomes difficult, leading to the occurrence of swelling.

2. Measures against swelling

You can feel the effects against the swelling in your face or feet by doing a little bit of exercise.
I will introduce the three methods on promoting blood circulation to quickly and effectively cure the swelling here.

*If you are going through a pre-menstrual period, menstrual blood loss may increase a little bit as the exercises promote blood circulation, though it is not a big problem except for those who are somewhat anemic. If you are still bothered about being anemic, please refrain from doing the exercises.

2-1. “Cockroach” gymnastics (swollen feet version)


Lie on your back and facing up, raise your hands and feet up, and sway them without exerting too much power. Do it for around one minute. If you find doing the exercise continuously within a minute difficult, you may take a rest for a while and then continue.
If you feel that your hands and feet get warm, it indicates that your blood circulation has improved. The swelling in your feet would supposed to be gone if blood circulation has been promoted.
When you sleep, and when you stand or seat for a prolonged period of time, the swelling occurs easily as the fluids accumulate in your feet. By promoting blood circulation, the accumulated fluids circulate, therefore curing the swelling.

2-2. Feet bath (swollen face and feet version)


By warming your feet, the terminal part of your body, blood circulation throughout your body improves, therefore ridding facial swelling.
You have to soak your feet in a basin filled with warm water with a temperature of around 40 degrees Celsius. If your body gets warm for a little while, the swelling in your face would finally disappear.

Dipping yourself into a warm tub also improves blood circulation, though taking a foot bath is simpler and easier as you use small amounts of warm water and you don’t have to go to the trouble of removing your clothes.

2-3. Cold and hot packs (facial swelling version)

Apply warm or cold towel alternately onto your face for 20 seconds each. Warming and cooling your face alternately energize cells on your face. It is particularly effective against swelling in your eyes. Even if you are busy during the morning, you can get quick yet effective results by doing it in 5 minutes.

3. Things to remember before and during menstruation

To prevent swelling to occur, I will introduce two things that you should refrain from doing before and during menstruation.
What you are casually doing before and during menstruation may prolong the swelling, so a little bit of caution is required.

3-1. Things that you must not do before menstruation

*Drinking alcohol
Estrogen secreted before menstruation weakens the breaking down of alcohol in the liver.
Because of that, you get drunk easily than usual; therefore the alcohol remaining in your body becomes the cause of swelling.

In order to prevent the swelling, it would be better to refrain from taking in alcohol during the pre-menstrual period (especially 10 to 12 days before menstruation).

*Excessive salt intake

If you intake to much salt (sodium), your body begins to desire for more fluids in order to keep the concentration of sodium inside the body. That is the reason why you begin to feel thirsty after eating salty foods. Once you begin to feel thirsty, you suddenly intake fluids more than what is needed, therefore leading to the occurrence of swelling since the discharge of excess bodily fluids couldn’t keep up with their increase.

Moreover, it is recommended to at least take less than 10g of salt for one day. It is said that ramen has 5 to 6g of salt content and you will get half of the recommended daily salt intake in one eating, so you should think up ways on how to not drinking all of the soup.

3-2. Things that you must not do during menstruation

*Taking in stimulants and alcohol excessively


Stimulants are referred to spicy foods such as chili pepper and curry. Eating spicy foods makes you sweat, though blood circulation suddenly improves in your body. At that time, however, eating spicy foods needlessly stimulate your body, which is more sensitive than usual during menstrual period.

In addition, alcohol easily spreads throughout your body because of temporary changes in your sense of taste during menstruation. Furthermore, similar to pre-menstruation periods, swelling easily occurs as your liver’s function to break down alcohol becomes weak.

We are not saying that you should never drink alcohol at all, but you should do it in moderation after knowing what’s going on in your body.

*Cooling down your body

Cooling yourself down weakens the discharge of excess fluids from your body, so it would better to refrain from wearing light clothes even during summer while going through menstruation. During menstruation, blood concentrates around the stomach area, so make sure not to cool your belly or hips in particular.

If you cool your body down, there are possibilities that the flow of blood stagnates, the discharge of menstrual blood becomes difficult, and menstrual cramps become worse.

4. Preventive measures on swelling that you can do everyday

*Taking enough sleep

Not taking enough sleep decreases the secretion of growth hormones, making your body no longer repair tissues and slowing down your metabolism. Once your metabolism slows down, discharging excess fluids from your body becomes difficult, so it would take hours for the swelling to disappear.

Growth hormones are secreted in large amounts during 10:00pm to 2:00am in particular, so let’s take a good night’s sleep.

*Taking a light exercise

生理前 便秘 運動

Moving your body gets rid of the swelling and relieves menstrual cramps as doing it promotes blood circulation.
Intensive exercises put a lot of strain on your body and may increase the discharge of menstrual blood, so let’s take a light exercise instead. Taking aerobic exercises similar to stretching and walking is recommended in particular.

It doesn’t put a strain on your body and it promotes a blood circulation in moderation, leading to an easy discharge of excess fluids from your body. Taking a light exercise also leads to removing stress and refreshes your mood, therefore easing frustrations during your menstrual period.

However, we don’t recommend you to force yourself to take an exercise when you are having body pains or if you don’t feel well. Tending your body well during your menstrual period is also important in particular.

*Do not build up stress

If you build up stress, the tension in your body continues, making your blood vessels constrict. Thereby, blood circulation stagnates, and discharge of waste products and excess fluids becomes difficult, leading to occurrence of swelling.

Make prevention of stress from building up your daily habit by trying to lightly move your body and create a perfect time for you to be able to relax.

*Drink warm ginger black tea


Ginger black tea warms up your body and helps to discharge excess fluids from your body, so drinking it is recommended to combat swelling. Ginger promotes blood circulation and warms up your body, while black tea has diuretic properties.

If you are having difficulty drinking it, try to mix it with honey or brown sugar to drink it easily.

How to Make

1)Brew hot tea
2)Grate one part of ginger (using a tube is fine)
3)Add grated ginger to the tea
4)Add brown sugar or honey according to taste

5. Summary

It seems that you have learned that pre-menstrual and menstrual swelling can be cured and can be prevented in many ways, right?
Your heart and body become unstable, become more sensitive than usual before and during menstrual periods.

This is the reason why you get frustrated for no reason, or you are not inclined to do anything. That might because your body tells you not to push yourself too hard.

If you are not feeling well because of the menstruation, drink ginger tea to take your relax time.

*The information in this article is provided on April 4, 2016
Please be aware that the effects and results provided in this article vary by individual.