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Is bloating serious?

Renee E. Cotter, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
When women come in with complaints of bloating, it’s usually an intestinal issue. While gas in the bowels is the most common cause of bloat, other triggers may include chronic constipation, menstrual cycle and diet. Sometimes bloat may indicate a gynecological problem, especially if there are no bowel or gas problems. When a woman comes in with complaints of bloat, we do a full physical with rectal and pelvic exams and we may order an ultrasound to look for an ovarian tumor or mass, with ovarian cancer being the worst-case scenario.

Bloating is usually not serious, but it can indicate a more serious underlying condition. If you are experiencing bloating along with pain, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bleeding, fever, swelling in the legs or abdomen, jaundice, difficulty swallowing, or weight loss, you should talk to your doctor. They can determine the cause of your bloating, and decide the best course for treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.