How to Make Your Period Come Faster: What Works According to Science

How to Make Your Period Come Faster: What Research Really Says
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There can be many reasons why you might want your period to come faster. If you suffer from irregular periods, you may want to induce your period sooner to get relief from stress and discomfort. You might think that you are pregnant if your period is late and you want to make your period start earlier so you can stop worrying. Or, it could be that you have a vacation planned and you think that menstruation will spoil the start of it.

Your menstrual cycle is regulated by hormones and these determine when your period starts. It can be very difficult to force your period to come faster. In fact, stressing about how to trigger your period sooner may even delay the start of menstruation even more. So, even though you would like to, it can be almost impossible to make your period start faster.

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There are many theories about natural methods to make your period come faster. However, very few of these are backed up by scientific research. In this article, I’m going to look at what research really says about using natural methods to induce your period.

Factors That Induce Menstrual Period

Your menstrual cycle is regulated by an intricate balance of hormones in the body. Your menstrual period starts when there is no fertilized egg that makes you pregnant. If no implantation occurs, the lining of your uterus is shed and menstrual bleeding starts.

Dr. Jennifer Knudtson, an expert in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Texas, says that hormones stimulate the ovaries to produce estrogen and progesterone. Just before ovulation (the follicular phase), there is an increase in hormones, and that stimulates the growth follicles which contain eggs. If no fertilization takes place, levels of estrogen and progesterone drop and this results in the start of your next period.1

During your menstrual cycle, the fluctuation of hormones in your body is responsible for changes in your breasts, premenstrual cramping, and other signs that your period is about to start.

According to Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr. Sarah Marshal, various factors can affect your hormones and have impact on your period. For example, stress, being overweight, strenuous exercise, or losing a lot of weight can all influence when your period comes.2

How to Make Your Period Come Faster: What Works and What Doesn’t Work

In order to make your period start sooner, many people look for natural remedies that can stimulate the menstrual flow. These remedies are called emmenagogues, and it is claimed that they can stimulate or regulate menstrual flow.

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So, when it comes to inducing your period, what works and what doesn’t? Let’s look at what research says.

Birth control pill

Taking the birth control pill or hormonal contraceptive is one way to control your period and get it to start when you want to.

Although birth control pills aren’t a natural solution, they are one of the only ways to accurately control your hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic report that oral birth control pills help to regulate your menstrual cycle to be every 28 days. They also say that the way you take your pill can affect when your period comes, for example: continuing taking your pills will postpone your period so you can skip a period during important events or to reduce bleeding in women who suffer from iron deficiency.3  

Vitamin C

Some people claim that vitamin C can have an effect on your body’s hormone levels and therefore be used to kick-start your period.

The claims that vitamin C can help induce a period seem to be based on research connecting high doses of vitamin C and an increase in estrogen and progesterone. For example, the University of Maryland reports that vitamin C can increase estrogen levels when taken with birth control pills.4  Another research on rabbits found a connection between ascorbic acid levels (vitamin C) and estrogen/progesterone levels.19

However, there is no research to back up claims that starting to take high doses of vitamin C will make your period start faster. According to Oregon State University, taking large doses of vitamin C can overwhelm your body, so the extra amount is lost in the urine in a matter of hours.20

Cinnamon

Some research suggests that cinnamon could help to regulate your menstrual cycle and prevent menstruation coming late.

According to the journal Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, cinnamon has both an estrogenic effect and antiestrogenic effect.5 Research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that cinnamon supplements can help in improve regular menstruation.6

However, studies into the effect of cinnamon on menstruation haven’t confirmed that it helps to induce a period and make it start sooner.

Parsley

It is possible that parsley could assist in avoiding situations where your period is late.

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According to the website Drugs.com, parsley is an important source of vitamins and minerals. It has been reported that high doses of parsley have an emmenagogue effect and may help in stimulating menstruation. However, no clinical trials have confirmed the dosage of parsley needed to have any therapeutic effect.7

Juniper berries

Another plant that may have an effect on stimulating menstruation is juniper berries.

Drugs.com reports that juniper berries or juniper essential oil could help stimulate menstrual flow. Because juniper can also have an abortive effect, you shouldn’t consume it if you are pregnant.8

Black cohosh

Black cohosh is plant native to North America. The National Institutes of Health report that this plant has a long history of use among Native Americans to treat various conditions including menstrual irregularities. 21

Today, however, black cohosh is most commonly used for menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, as well as vaginal dryness.21  This is because black cohosh root seems to have some effects similar to the female hormone, estrogen. However there is no evidence to support the claim that black cohosh can make your period come faster.

The University of Maryland reports that pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid black cohosh as the herb may stimulate contractions and lead to premature labor or miscarriage.22

Heating pads

Many people claim that heating pads placed on your pelvis can help to trigger an early period, however, there is no research that backs this up.

Of course, placing a heating pad on your pelvic area to try and get your period to come faster won’t do any harm. In fact, a heating pad will help cope with any pain and pelvic discomfort before your period.

Dr. Michael Zinger who is a practicing Reproductive Endocrinology doctor says that warm pads can help to alleviate menstrual cramps. It is claimed that heat helps to relax the muscles in the uterus and thus prevents pelvic cramping.9

It seems as well that a heating pad placed on the pelvic area improved blood flow to the uterus. However, there was no evidence that placing a warm pad or going for a warm bath would induce a period and make it come faster.

Turmeric

Research into curcumin, which is the active ingredient in turmeric, has found that it has some estrogenic effects. However, before you start consuming more turmeric to induce your period, there are some facts you should consider.

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The journal Breast Cancer reported that curcumin has only a weak estrogen effect. This means that it may not be helpful in helping to make your period come faster.10 The book Herbal Medicine reports that turmeric has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine to help regulate menstruation.11 But, no modern scientific studies have found any evidence to use turmeric to get your period faster.

However, turmeric does have some benefits in helping to reduce discomfort during your menstrual cycle.

According to the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine, curcumin supplements can help to reduce the severity of premenstrual syndrome. Curcumin helped to reduce pain and cramping before the period because of its anti-inflammatory effects. Participants in the study took curcumin for seven days before their period was due and 2 days after to get relief from menstrual pains.12

Deal with stress to help regulate periods

One natural way to help make your period come quicker is to reduce stress. Of course, this will only work if stress is making your periods come late or causing you to have a long menstrual cycle.

The Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research reported that emotional or psychological stress can cause menstrual irregularities. Researchers found that irregular periods, infrequent periods, or even absent periods could all be caused by too much stress.13

If you are concerned that stress is making your periods irregular, you could try some of my natural remedies for anxiety. For example, many essential oils have stress-relieving properties.

Warning About Making Your Period Come Sooner

There is no strong scientific evidence that taking natural remedies or herbs can help induce your period and make it come quicker. It is also good to remember that some herbs that act as emmenagogues can have an abortive effect. For example, parsley, juniper and black cohosh can have abortifacient effects and cause miscarriage if taken in higher doses.

Reasons for Irregular Periods

If you are worried that your period is late or has become irregular and you want it to come on time, it is good to know about some of the common reasons for abnormalities in your menstrual cycle.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

One reason that your periods may have become irregular and don’t come on time could be due to polycystic ovary syndrome.

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Dr. Richard Lucidi from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine explains about PCOS. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder where there is too much male hormones. This causes many follicles to grow on the ovaries and can result in menstrual abnormalities.14

One way to treat POCS naturally and help regulate your menstrual period naturally is to take cinnamon. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reports that cinnamon can be an effective natural treatment for women with polycystic ovary syndrome.6

Fluctuations in hormone levels can delay period

Periods that start coming a few days later than usual are sometimes due to hormonal fluctuations in your body.

As I’ve explained in this article, the timing of your period depends on various hormonal factors in your body. OB-GYN Dr. Traci Johnson says that imbalances of your estrogen and progesterone levels could delay your period. Also, stress can play havoc with your hormones and may also be a factor why your period hasn’t come when you expected it.15

Thyroid problems

Thyroid problems could also be a reason why your period has become irregular.

According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, thyroid dysfunction is often to blame for menstrual irregularities. Doctors will usually carry out blood tests to determine levels of thyroid hormone before they recommend treatment to regulate your menstrual cycle.16

Having late periods is just one sign of a thyroid disorder. Other signs that your thyroid isn’t working properly include unexplained changes in weight, loss of hair, mood changes, and heart palpitations. Some natural ways to care for your thyroid health include getting enough vitamins and minerals, cutting out processed foods, and taking probiotics.

Over-exercising

Strenuous physical exercising could be one reason why you are having irregular periods.

Dr. William Blahd on WebMD says that increased exercise that results in late periods are common among endurance athletes.17

However, according to the British Journal of General Practice, moderate exercise may be useful for reducing the symptoms of menstrual disorders. It was found that regular exercise can help to reduce menstrual cramping and improve a woman’s quality of life.18

Read these related articles:

Medical References

  1. MSDManuals. Menstrual cycle.
  2. WebMD. Normal menstrual cycle.
  3. MayoClinic. Birth control.
  4. UMM. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
  5. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol.2008 Jan;25(1):75-82.
  6. Am J Obstet Gynecol.2014 Nov;211(5):487.e1-6.
  7. DrugsCom. Parsley.
  8. DrugsCom. Juniper.
  9. WebMD. Heating pads as home remedy for menstrual pain.
  10. Breast Cancer (Dove Med Press). 2017; 9: 153–161.
  11. NCBI. Turmeric, the golden spice.
  12. Complement Ther Med.2015 Jun;23(3):318-24.
  13. J Clin Diagn Res. 2015 Mar; 9(3): QC01–QC03.
  14. Medscape. Polycystic ovarian syndrome clinical presentation.
  15. WebMD. Why is my period so random?
  16. CMAJ. 2014 Aug 5; 186(11): 850–852.
  17. WebMD. Missed or irregular periods.
  18. Br J Gen Pract. 2009 Apr 1; 59(561): 241–242.
  19. J Clin Gynecol Obstet. 2012;1(4-5):63-66
  20. Linus Pauling Institute. Questions about vitamin C.
  21. NIH. Black Cohosh.
  22. umm.edu. Black Cohosh.
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