Myths and Methods to Try and Induce Your Period
Believe it or not, some people want to hurry up and have their period. Taking control of your cycle can ensure you know when it’s arriving, without interrupting your wedding day, a beach trip, or another important event. Many people use hormonal contraceptives while others try holistic measures, like eating pineapple or having sex.
Whatever your reasoning is for inducing your period, we are here to set the record straight on the basics and debunk any myths.
Is it even possible? And if so, how can you nudge Mother Nature to arrive early before your big day?
This is the only scientifically backed and the most reliable method on our list to induce your period.
The pill contains estrogen and progestin and can effectively control periods. Usually, a person will take a hormonal birth control pill for 21 days and then take a sugar pill, or a placebo pill, for seven days, which is when they have their period.
If you would like for your period to arrive earlier, simply stop taking the hormonal pill to switch when the seven days will occur during the month.
Be careful when switching your pill, however, as this could result in an unintended pregnancy, and always talk to your doctor before making any sudden changes.
If you’ve never had your period before, there is no way to induce it. For most people, their first period will occur anytime between the ages of 12 and 13, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
When someone doesn’t have their period by the age of 15, this is something called amenorrhea. Second amenorrhea is when someone doesn’t have their period for three months or more.
Feeling stressed or anxious? This could potentially delay your period.
According to a University of Arkansas study, stress can negatively influence menstruation due to fluctuations in hormones, which may lead to an absence or irregular period.
Another study published in Clinical Epidemiology suggests that cortisol, which is released when stressed, may interfere with a menstrual cycle and cause it to be irregular.
Relaxing and destressing by utilizing yoga, meditation, or a gentle walk can make your period regular again. Taking a hot bath has also been shown to reduce inflammation, which could be preventing you from having your period.
However, destressing won’t necessarily induce a period, but stress may be the culprit for why your period is late.
Some people claim that having sex (or masturbating) may induce a period due to the uterine muscles contracting during climax.
The facts on this one are a bit fuzzy, however. Some anecdotal evidence says “Yes, sex can induce a period,” and scientific researchers say, “No, not that’s how it works.” The debate is up in the air with no concrete evidence saying this is a factual remedy.
However, if you’re willing to try, it doesn’t hurt and may result in an orgasm that gives you your menstrual wish.
Exercise, diet, and body weight
Body weight and menstruation are very closely linked and can impact the arrival of a period if someone’s body weight is too low. Many athletes experience period irregularity, as do people with eating disorders who are at a low weight. The body requires fat to produce hormones and for folks who have a lean body type, this may impact their flow.
Some people claim that exercising loosens the muscles and induces a period, but these may be people who have irregular periods. Exercising does ease period pain, however. So implementing a routine may treat cramping and pelvic pain.
If you’re under or overweight, try adjusting your weight to induce your period again.
When it comes to what you eat, certain foods are thought to speed up the menstruation process. Some people claim pineapple, papaya, dates, parsley, ginger, turmeric, and nuts are linked to inducing menstruation. However, if you believe you might be pregnant, refrain from eating semi or unripe papaya.
Ginger is said to cause uterine contractions and induce a period. In fact, ginger is incredibly anti-inflammatory and could potentially be the reason for the anecdotal evidence that says it works for inducing a period. When it comes to heavy bleeding, ginger has been effective in treatment.
A common favorite for inducing a period is pineapple, which is a source of vitamin C and vitamin B6. Pineapples are also inflammatory because the enzyme bromelain is present in the fruit, which is used to speed up labor. While pineapple is recognized in science as anti-inflammatory, it may be an old wives tale (or pure coincidence) that it induces labor or induces your period.
While there isn’t scientific research in the holistic food area, fat, nutrients, and protein may be linked to a period arriving when eating these foods. But at this time, there’s no science to back this up.
Is your period late?
On average, the menstrual cycle—which is the time in which a person starts a period and the day before her next period—is 21 to 35 days but it is different for every woman.
If you aren’t trying to speed your period up for an event, but are rather worried why it hasn’t arrived, here are some reasons for why it hasn’t shown up yet.
Reasons for a late period can be due to stress, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, birth control, diabetes, celiac disease, weight loss, weight gain, too much exercise, menopause, or pregnancy. Make sure to consult a medical professional if you think any of these reasons may be contributing to a late period.
Additionally, if you have missed three periods in a row, experience light bleeding after sex, have bleeding in between periods, or are over 45 years old, consult a doctor.
Overall, if you’re trying to induce your period, don’t rely on these holistic methods. Inducing a period can change the number of days that you bleed and cause irregular periods in the future.
S. Nicole Lane is an editor and journalist living on the South Side of Chicago.