Although menstruation is a normal part of every woman’s reproductive life, shedding menstrual blood always feels inconvenient.
Apart from being extra careful not to ruin your favorite pair of jeans, you also have to experience painful cramps and other unpleasant symptoms.
So no one can blame you if you want to end your cycle a lot more quickly, right? The good news is, it’s actually possible! Read on to discover the different ways you can make your period go away sooner than usual without jeopardizing your safety.
How Long is a Typical Menstrual Cycle?
Hormones affect the length of your period and cycle. Your hypothalamus releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GRH) to influence your pituitary gland to produce follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Both LH and FSH regulate estrogen and progesterone levels.
All these hormones interact with one another, affecting your period. Typically, menstrual cycles last for 21 to 35 days on average. Your actual menstrual period can last two to seven days. If you feel like yours goes on for too long, you can try a few things to achieve shorter periods.
8 Tips to Shorten Your Period
Whether you have an upcoming trip or you simply want to end the inconvenience of your menstrual flow, you can make your period end more quickly by trying the following:
Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated is something you should keep in mind no matter where you are in your cycle. But if you’re on your period, try to drink more than eight glasses a day.
Not only will this help battle PMS symptoms, but it will also prevent your blood (including period blood) from thickening.
So while drinking water cannot stop your period, it helps you get over it as quickly as possible.
Take Birth Control Pills
Apart from preventing pregnancy, some hormonal birth control pills help lighten your menstrual flow. Some can even stop your period for a few months! If you experience heavy menstrual bleeding or excessive period pain, just imagine how much relief this can bring you.
You have many options here, but be sure to know their benefits and side effects before deciding on one.
The most common ways women stop their periods are through the combined contraceptive pill or continuous cycle pills.
With the first method, you’ll only take the active pills. You skip the placebo pills to miss your period.
For continuous cycle pills, you should take them as intended. Depending on the brand you’re taking, you’ll only have your period once every three or 12 months.
Right now, naturally skipping periods is impossible unless you get pregnant. Consider this as one of your options, but make sure to get your doctor’s advice before proceeding.
Have an Orgasm
Whether you achieve them alone or with a partner, orgasms help uterine blood exit your system quickly. Uterine muscle contractions happening during an orgasm can aid in shedding more menstrual blood.
Plus, it makes menstrual cramps more manageable. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask us!
Even if you don’t have your period, exercising regularly still has a lot of benefits, like promoting your cardiovascular health.
But did you know that it can also lighten a heavy menstrual flow? It may even shorten your period altogether! Since workouts make you sweat, you’re also lessening water retention so you don’t feel bloated.
If you’re on the heavier side, you’ll be glad to know you could get even more benefits from exercise. After all, too much body fat disrupts your hormonal balance, blocking your menstrual flow.
Seek Herbal Remedies
There’s existing evidence that some medicinal herbs work to block menstrual flow.
For example, fennel seeds improve the rate of blood loss due to menstruation. And thanks to its analgesic effect, it helps manage painful periods.
Myrtle fruit syrup can have the same effect. According to a placebo-controlled pilot study, the participants had their periods for a shorter amount of time and experienced less discomfort by just taking 15ml of this syrup daily.
But before trying any of these herbal remedies, be sure to ask your healthcare provider for their recommendations.
Consider Hormonal IUDs
If you want a low-maintenance solution to shorten your period and reduce blood loss, getting an intrauterine device (IUD) is for you.
IUDs release levonorgestrel—a synthetic form of progesterone—to help prevent pregnancy. It thins the endometrial lining, so there’s less material to shed come your period. Naturally, your menses become lighter and shorter in duration.
Think of it as a “set it and forget it” type of birth control. You don’t have to worry about forgetting to take a pill with an IUD. Depending on the amount of levonorgestrel contained in the IUD, you only need to have it replaced every 3-5 years.
Try Contraceptive Implants
A contraceptive implant releases progestin into your system to prevent pregnancy.
But apart from its stellar 99.9 success rate, it also reduces menstrual blood flow over time.
For this to work, it should be placed under your upper arm’s skin. Just make sure to have it replaced within three years to maintain its effectiveness.
Go for Progestin Shots
If you’re not too keen on getting a contraceptive implant but still want to enjoy the effects of progestin, then progestin shots are the way to go. A 150-milligram injection every 12 weeks is enough to stop your period.
Just be aware of the possibility of spotting when you get these shots.
How About Tampons?
One popular belief is that tampons make your period end faster. Unfortunately, there are no peer-reviewed studies or any kind of scientific evidence to support that claim.
But if the main reason for wanting to make your periods shorter is discomfort in using sanitary pads or tampons, menstrual cups may be a good alternative for you.
Is It Safe to End Your Period Sooner?
Generally speaking, the methods mentioned above are considered safe for managing longer periods.
But be warned: artificially controlling your estrogen and progesterone levels may have unwanted effects.
For example, hormonal contraception taken over longer period has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer. Hormonal contraception also increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
So if you’re looking to make long and heavy periods more manageable, always consult a medical professional. They’ll help you understand the risks associated with your chosen method.
While having a period can be a bummer, remember that periods lasting for 5-7 days are not worrisome in the least. It’s still best to let nature take its course and avoid meddling with your menstrual hormones.
But if your periods last for more than seven days consistently, it may signal abnormal uterine bleeding. Consult a doctor to rule out any problems first before attempting to shorten your period.