Causes of abdomen distension in women include pregnancy, overeating, gas or medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, or an intolerance to lactose, explains Healthline. A distended abdomen is also caused by indigestion, heartburn, weight gain and a hormonal flux.
Some medications can cause a distended abdomen in women as well as intestinal parasites, an overgrowth of small bowel bacteria, constipation and an inflammatory bowel disease, according to Healthline. Less common causes of a distended abdomen include pancreatitis, an intestinal blockage or gallstones. A distended stomach that leaves women feeling bloated can cause tightness and swelling in the abdomen in addition to a feeling of fullness, pain, frequent belching and excessive gas.