Water retention due to your period is annoying and really not necessary, when you think about it, yet many women still experience it. While you can't completely stop your body's tendency to hold onto water at that time, you can reduce the effects of the water retention and make your life a little easier. The habits that will help you stop the water retention are good ones to have all through the month, too, so don't think you have to resort to a bunch of strange timing tactics.
Increase Water and Cut Salt
Water intake is a big determining factor in water retention. If you're not getting enough water, your body holds on to what it has. If you get enough water, your body lets go of the water it was holding because it realizes there's an ample supply coming in. And, salt intake can influence retention, too. So increase your water intake and cut your sodium intake daily as you attempt to coax your body into releasing the retained water. Try to keep a good balance of the two so that your body continues to work properly.
Eat Watery and Diuretic Foods
Add watery foods like cucumbers and watermelon to your daily diet, too. These help with additional water intake. Look at mildly diuretic foods, too, like cucumbers, parsley, and more. Don't overdo the diuretics, though. Stick with regular foods in reasonable amounts, and do not take diuretic pills unless directed to by your OB/GYN.
Elevate Your Legs and Feet
When you can, elevate your legs and feet. Even if the water retention is spread all over your body, the water will have a tendency to head down, due to gravity. Elevating your legs and feet helps water flow back toward your midsection, where it can make its way to your kidneys.
Watch the Heat
This might not be such an issue in winter, but in summer, get thee to an air-conditioned place for the entire season. Heat can cause a mild heat illness called heat edema -- a swelling of the ankles and feet from water retention. Reduce your exposure to heat to reduce the chances of developing that edema and thus adding to your water retention misery.
If you're really having a problem with water retention and the above strategies aren't working for you, see an OB/GYN, such as at Lifecycles OB/GYN, PC. She or he may test you to rule out a few conditions, and you'll get additional strategies for dealing with the monthly swell.