Periods can be a bit of a hassle when it shows up the least you want it to. Whether you have a vacation or an occasion coming up, it really changes up your plans big time. You might be wishing for it to pause for a while or just end up faster. You’re lucky because there actually is a way to do this.
There are a handful of techniques you can do to be able to make your period shorter. These techniques vary from medicinal and natural ways. You should understand that even if these are generally safe to follow, it is not ideal to perform it every month. If you really want to alter your cycle altogether, consult a doctor first.
Read on to find out ways on how to make your period shorter for that beach getaway or that wedding occasion.
Introduction to Menstrual Cycle
In understanding how your period can be shortened, it is first important how your period happens in the first place. This might have been taught in schools but some tend to forget the technicalities and its important elements. Here is a quick introduction to your menstrual cycle.
Your menstrual cycle says a lot about your health not just in terms of fertility and reproduction but as well as your overall health. This is because menstruation deals with hormones. These hormones make up a huge part of your health both physically and mentally.
The menstrual cycle is divided into four phases beginning with your first day of period. The menstrual cycle is based on a 28-day cycle but the length of the cycle varies from woman to woman. It is divided weekly namely: menstrual phase, follicular phase, ovulation phase, and luteal phase.
The menstrual phase is the first phase of the cycle and as mentioned it begins with your first day of period. The phase ends on the last day of your period which would typically last for about 5 days. What happens in this phase is your uterus shed off its inner lining. This inner lining is made up of soft tissue and blood vessels that built up the past month.
This is where blood finally gets through the vagina. The menstrual blood is composed of the soft tissue and blood vessels that were just shed off. This is also what causes the abdominal cramps. An average amount of menstrual blood can range from 10 ml to 80 ml.
The follicular phase also starts together with the menstrual phase. This might seem confusing but the follicular phase does a completely different thing from the menstrual phase. This is when the menstrual cycle is divided into two categories: the uterine and the ovarian cycle.
What happens here is your ovaries will perform follicle development. This is responsible for filling your uterus with nutrients as it is programmed to nourish the embryo.
However, since there is no egg to be fertilized, the uterus sheds its lining beginning the menstrual phase. Estrogen and progesterone levels will be low. This takes place in the uterine cycle.
The end of the follicular phase is the beginning of the ovulation phase. This phase is the most variable in length. This can last for up to two weeks. What happens is an egg is released by the dominant follicle. This release last for up to 32 hours.
Once the egg is released, a 12-hour window is given for the egg to be fertilized. This is very effective for partners who are trying to conceive.
Finally, the last phase called the luteal phase, signals the end of your cycle. In this phase, the egg is transported to the fallopian tube and stays there for around 24 hours. If it failed to be fertilized, it will disintegrate.
The hormone called endometrium will have been used up by this point. Having no endometrium, your body will signal the beginning of your next cycle. The menstrual phase is then repeated.
What is a normal length of a period?
Period lengths and menstrual cycles vary from woman to woman. What it means to be normal is to be normal on your own cycle. It is almost impossible to compare your normal cycle to someone else’s normal cycle.
With that said, try as much to know how long your periods and cycles usually are. You can easily do this by tracking on a calendar, journal, or apps. You will then be able to know your usual cycle length and then eventually know if you are having an abnormal cycle.
Period lengths also vary among ages. Some girls who are just experiencing their first periods tend to be irregular for until after a year or two. This is because their bodies are adjusting to the hormones and are not quite used to the changes yet.
The same goes for those who are about to reach their menopausal years. Period and cycle lengths vary as well. This is because older women tend to produce less estrogen which means the period tends to be lighter and shorter.
What Causes My Long/Short Period Length?
There are tons of reasons why your period is longer or shorter than it usually is. Mostly because of your lifestyle or maybe because you are taking medications. These also affect your premenstrual syndrome and your cramps.
For instance, you might be taking birth control pills. These are known to have an effect on your period. For some, this gives them a shorter cycle and lighter periods. Others experience the opposite.
If you are taking pills for the first time, you might encounter a bit of irregularity in the first few months. This will eventually normalize as your body gets used to the added hormones. However, keep in mind that a missed pill will have a huge effect on your hormones as well thus having an effect on your period’s regularity too.
Once you have found out your normal period lengths and menstrual cycle. It is best to maintain keeping notes of days and perhaps even of your physical and mental feeling and state. This is for you to easily determine if any irregularities have come up.
If ever you have noticed any abnormalities in your cycle. It is best to go to the doctor and have yourself checked. This might be caused by pregnancy or complications.
These are just some of the things you have to keep in mind and look out for to determine if you have to check the doctor: if you haven’t menstruated for more than 90 days, your period lasts more than 7 days, you get bleeding between menstrual phases, more than usual pain in the abdomen, consecutive irregularities in your period after being regular for a long time..
How to Make Your Period Shorter
Even if you have managed to predict when your period is bound to happen, sometimes you cannot just change your plans. Instead of putting up with the hassle, being uncomfortable, the pain, and all the mood swings, you can try to make your period shorter.
Do not worry of having to swim in the beach or having to stain that dress for that special occasion, there are ways to be able to make your period shorter and end earlier than usual.
Natural Ways to Make Your Period Shorter
You may feel like you are not down for a workout on your period but if your body still permits it, go for a run or hit that treadmill. However it is most important to establish a workout routine while you are not on your period as this is exactly what will have effect on your menstrual phase.
You can do all sorts of exercise according to your preference. Low impact or high impact, it doesn’t matter. The important thing here is your body is active and moving.
It is a known fact that those who are more physically fit and have healthier habits tend to have shorter periods. This is because they also tend to have less body fat. The opposite goes for overweight women as their periods tend to be longer and cycles irregular.
2. Ditch the Tampons and Switch to Pads
You might be a little uncomfortable in the beginning by using pads but if you really want to make your period shorter, you should give this method a try. Tampons tend to block the natural flow of your menstrual blood while sanitary pads allow it to flow smoothly making your period faster.
Using pads over tampons have its own perks as well. For one, pads are much easier to use. It might need some getting used to but you will definitely see how easier and faster your flow is with using pads over tampons.
You may find the idea uncomfortable. However, sex, while you are on your period, is proven to be safe. Not only that but it also greatly affects the length of your period. If you want to make it go away fast, there is no harm in trying this method.
What happens when you have sex in your period is your uterus will have contractions more than usual. These contractions trigger the faster shedding of the inner lining. Achieving orgasm will also greatly shorten your period.
It is, of course, important to notify and ask for your partner’s opinion regarding the matter. In any case, you can also try masturbating to be able to achieve the uterine contractions.
4. Drink Lots of Water
It is a proven fact that drinking lots of water everyday helps in improving and maintaining your health and well-being. This also has its effects on your menstrual cycle and period lengths. Try to drink at least 2 liters every day even if you are not on your period. This will then take effect once you get to your menstrual phase.
This is because when you drink water, it helps your body to flush out unwanted components. This will also make you urinate more often. With that said, water will also definitely make your periods shorter.
Other than that, water is very helpful for when you are having the typical menstrual symptoms such as bloating and cramps.
But apart from drinking lots of water, try as much to avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks. This, on the other hand, increase bloating and cramps and is not generally healthy for your body while you are menstruating
5. Raspberry Tea
To make your periods shorter, there is also no harm in trying out herbal medicines and supplements. As long as you are aware you are safe to take the medicine, you can always give these a try. Raspberry tea is one thing women are swearing by. This has been agreed upon as an effective way to make your period shorter.
Not only that but it is also believed to reduce menstrual pain and help in relieving heavy bleeding. The tea is believed to be a form of uterine tonic. This is because it contains an alkaloid which triggers contractions in the uterus. This is actually even used by some mothers during labor.
As mentioned, the added and more powerful contractions will be able to help your uterus in shedding off its inner lining while you are menstruating. Thus making your period shorter.
Other benefits of the tea that might want to make use of as well is its zinc property. Zinc is known to be helpful in strengthening connective tissues, preventing nipple cracks, and shortening your labor.
The tea also contains calcium. This is effective particularly in helping your nerves response to pain. So, even if the tea gives you powerful contractions it can also lessen the pain with the help of calcium. It is also worth noting that the women’s recommended dietary intake of calcium every day is at least 1,200 mg.
Another herbal medicine or supplement you can try to use to shorten your period is chasteberry. The plant is scientifically named Vitex agnus-castus or “the women’s herb.” True to its name, the herb is really most beneficial to women.
The fruits and the seeds are said to help in controlling prolactin levels. This is a hormone that triggers menstruation along with other hormones. It has been used a lot in Greek traditional medicine as the plant has its roots in the Mediterranean region. They would usually use it for fertility problems and menstrual complications.
Today, women swear by its effectiveness in relieving premenstrual syndrome and heavy bleeding. You can easily take it as a tea as much as three times a day. This will then help your period end faster.
Yarrow and Ginger are said to have the same benefits as Chasteberry and you can look more into these options if you prefer using them.
7. Dark Chocolate
You’d think that to make your period shorter you’d have to sacrifice a lot of things. In fact, you can satisfy your craving for chocolate while on your period. And benefit from it too. However, be sure to get the dark chocolate kind.
This is because dark chocolate is known to help in making period shorter. Dark chocolates have in its component a handful of antioxidants. These antioxidants will help you not just in making your periods shorter but as well as with your cramps.
The antioxidants found in dark chocolates also help boost your serotonin. Serotonin is one hormone responsible for improving your mood. With all the stress menstruation provides you, you really need a picker upper.
8. Healthy Diet
As mentioned, those who lead a healthier lifestyle tend to have shorter periods.This is because there is less body fat and more movement in the body. To be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, exercise is just one element of it. A healthy diet is its other half.
Having a healthy diet will first help you get rid of the pain while you are having your menstrual phase. Of course, it also makes your cycles more regular and your periods shorter.
A healthy diet that is focused on having a healthy menstrual cycle is one that is well balanced. This means meals should be well prepared having equal amounts of nutrients that are needed by the body. This would include carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
Before you have your period and while you are on it, munching on lots of fruits and vegetables can be very helpful. These contain a lot of vitamins that might help in making your period more bearable.
Medicinal Ways to Make Your Period Shorter
There are also a handful of medicinal ways you can try to make your periods shorter. Unlike the natural ways that have just been mentioned, these methods are only safe to try once in awhile and not every month or every time you have your period.
Taking these are generally safe as most can easily be bought over the counter. However, best to consult with your doctor if you are going through complications or taking other medicines.
1. Birth Control
Birth control pills have always been used not solely for preventing conception but as well as to control your periods. This is because these pills contain additional hormones that can have an effect on your body when taken.
If you have a habit of forgetting to take your meds and pills, you might want to consider using a birth control shot. This has the same effects and components as the birth control pill minus the hassle.
Different kinds of birth control have different effects on women. Some might make you miss your periods completely while some will help you normalize it. For instance, the depo-provera shot is commonly used by women who want to stop having periods. This usually takes places after a year of taking the shot.
In taking and choosing birth control pills and shots, it is important to check in with your doctor. They are the ones who know well what is best for your situation. Choosing a birth control pill that is appropriate for you depends mostly on your lifestyle and medical situation and history.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is taken as a supplement for preventing common diseases and improve your immune system. Fact is, Vitamin C is also very effective in inducing menstruation and making it shorter.
Taking Vitamin C in doses larger than usual will trigger the reduction of progesterone in your uterus. This would result to the faster breaking down of its inner linings. With the uterus’ inner linings already broken down, all it has to do is to flow and go through your vagina. This then makes your period shorter.
Even if Vitamin C can be easily bought over the counter and is something that is usually taken by a lot in everyday basis, keep in mind that in order to achieve its results you will be taking it in large doses. With that said, you should still consult with your doctor if this is safe for you to perform.
Ibuprofen and other kinds of pain reliever are also believed to make your periods shorter. Add the fact that it makes your cramps go away completely. This is also proven to reduce menstrual flow for as much as 50%.
Other forms of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs you can use are aspirin and naproxen. These can easily be bought over the counter. What they do is reduce the production of prostaglandins which causes the uterine contractions.
Unlike Vitamin C, these cannot be taken in large doses. Never attempt to do so. This should be taken as directed by the pharmacists. Other than that, it is also not recommended to be taken if you are on other forms of medication.
4. Vitamin D and Calcium
As mentioned, calcium helps in relieving menstrual pain and making your period shorter. These effects can also be achieved with taking Vitamin D.
Some studies are claiming that premenstrual syndrome symptoms become worse with the lack of these nutrients. If you feel like you are experiencing these symptoms often and more than usual, then you must be lacking in these nutrients. You might want to consider taking these then.
However, Vitamin D and Calcium can also easily be found in a lot of food. You can try to mix up your diet in order to get the right amount of each in your daily dietary intake. This should include milk, leafy vegetables, tofu, fish, eggs, and mushrooms. Of course, this should be incorporated into a well-balanced diet.
If you want to make your period faster once in awhile for an upcoming occasion or a vacation, there is no harm in trying these methods. So long as you follow these and take them with precaution.
However, keep in mind that menstruation is a natural phenomenon in a woman’s body and that trying to force yourself out of it could pose some risks and complications. If you want to make your period shorter than it is for good, consult your doctor before making any decisions.