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Obstetrics and Gynecology International
Volume 2011, Article ID 138451, 7 pages
Research Article

Fluid Retention over the Menstrual Cycle: 1-Year Data from the Prospective Ovulation Cohort

1McMaster University Medical Centre, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4L8
2Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, 2775 Laurel Street, 4th Floor, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1M9

Received 19 January 2011; Revised 18 May 2011; Accepted 31 May 2011

Academic Editor: Edward V. Younglai

Copyright © 2011 Colin P. White et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report menstrual and mid-cycle patterns of self-reported “fluid retention” in 765 menstrual cycles in 62 healthy women. Self-reported “fluid retention,” commonly described as bloating, is one element of the clinical assessment and diagnosis of premenstrual symptoms. These daily diary data were collected as part of an observational prospective one-year study of bone changes in healthy women of differing exercise characteristics. Ovulation was documented by quantitative basal temperature analysis, and serum estradiol and progesterone levels were available from initial and final cycles. Fluid retention scores (on a 0–4 scale) peaked on the first day of menstrual flow (mean ± SE : ), were lowest during the mid-follicular period, and gradually increased from to over the 11 days surrounding ovulation. Mid-cycle, but not premenstrual, fluid scores tended to be lower in anovulatory cycles (ANOVA ), and scores were higher around menstruation than at midcycle ( ). Neither estradiol nor progesterone levels were significantly associated with fluid retention scores. The peak day of average fluid retention was the first day of flow. There were no significant differences in women's self-perceived fluid retention between ovulatory and anovulatory cycles.