Premenstrual water retention

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Premenstrual water retention (or premenstrual fluid retention) is a common phenomenon associated with the menstrual cycle. It consists of the retention of water during the period of time immediately preceding the menstrual cycle (that is, the latter half of the luteal phase, or the week before menstruation).[1] This water retention is most noticeable for its temporary enlargement of the breasts, which is often related to breast tenderness. The excess fluid is lost during menstruation. During this event, the water retention can store enough extra fluid to add an extra 5–6 pounds (2.3–2.7 kg) of weight.[citation needed] The phenomenon is thought to be caused by high levels of circulating progesterone, estrogen, and prolactin, which stimulates secretory cells in the body.[2][3][4] In the breasts, increased blood flow is also thought to be involved.[5] Water retention and breast swelling can also be caused by hormonal contraceptives (which contain estrogen and/or a progestogen).[6]

According to three studies, fluid retention is not premenstrual, but rather peaks on the first day of menstrual flow.[7][8][9] It also does not appear to be correlated to serum levels of progesterone or estradiol.[7] Fluid retention is higher in recreational runners as compared to “normally active” women.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Theresa Hornstein; Jeri Schwerin (1 January 2012). Biology of Women. Cengage Learning. pp. 147–. ISBN 978-1-4354-0033-7.
  2. ^ Lee-Ellen C. Copstead-Kirkhorn; Jacquelyn L. Banasik (25 June 2014). Pathophysiology. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 660–. ISBN 978-0-323-29317-4.
  3. ^ Farage MA, Neill S, MacLean AB (2009). "Physiological changes associated with the menstrual cycle: a review". Obstet Gynecol Surv. 64 (1): 58–72. doi:10.1097/OGX.0b013e3181932a37. PMID 19099613.
  4. ^ Charlotte Pooler (1 October 2009). Porth Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 1075, 1107. ISBN 978-1-60547-781-7.
  5. ^ Valerie Andolina; Shelly Lillé (2011). Mammographic Imaging: A Practical Guide. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-1-60547-031-3.
  6. ^ Phyllis Carolyn Leppert; Jeffrey F. Peipert (2004). Primary Care for Women. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 150–. ISBN 978-0-7817-3790-6.
  7. ^ a b c White, Colin P.; Hitchcock, Christine L.; Vigna, Yvette M.; Prior, Jerilynn C. (2011). "Fluid Retention over the Menstrual Cycle: 1-Year Data from the Prospective Ovulation Cohort". Obstetrics and Gynecology International. 2011: 1–7. doi:10.1155/2011/138451. PMC 3154522. PMID 21845193.
  8. ^ Taylor, JW (July 1979). "The timing of menstruation-related symptoms assessed by a daily symptom rating scale". Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. 60 (1): 87–105. PMID 573049.
  9. ^ Meaden, Patricia M.; Hartlage, S. Ann; Cook-Karr, Jennifer (March 2005). "Timing and severity of symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle in a community-based sample in the Midwestern United States". Psychiatry Research. 134 (1): 27–36. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2005.01.003. PMID 15808287.