Periods are not necessarily an inconvenience, but at times, a woman just wants to have her way without thinking about the red dot. You have this planned vacation in Bora Bora that you have been looking forward to for the longest time, and you are not about to let your menses ruin your time in the sun. Moments like these get you wondering how to postpone your period.
Various Ways On How To Make Your Period Come Late
Well, there are different healthy ways on how to stop your period from coming without messing with your internal settings. Of course, some of the natural ways we are about to discuss have no stellar medical grounding, and so they could fail to work at times. Additionally, we advise that you consult you GP or gynecologist before using any of these methods.
1. Delay Period Using Birth Control Methods
First, here is how to delay your period when on the pill. This method is the easiest, you could say, seeing that the pill is already packed with hormones.
If you are on the 28-day oral contraceptive, use the first 21 or 24 hormonal pills as instructed. Instead of getting into the placebo pills (inactive pills), skip right through to the next pack of active pills. You will be skipping the few days your body needs a breather from hormones, but you will effectively be delaying your periods.
21 days oral contraceptives can be tweaked too, to delay your periods. You will have a pill free week before resuming your normal cycle. Instead of skipping this week, move on to the next active pack and keep taking them as usual. You will successfully delay your periods by several days.
If you are not on the pill but on NuvaRing (a small coil that is vaginally inserted to prevent pregnancy) instead, you can make it work the same way as the pill. Take the ring off after the recommended three weeks and put on a new one instead of taking the usual one-week break.
Most doctors will have nothing against you delaying your periods. If they have put you on the pill, they will mostly be okay with you using it to manipulating your menses. However, most of them will not bring it up, and you will need to take the initiative. Go ahead and ask if you can use that birth control method to delay your periods.
Now, how do the pills pull this off? The regular pill has high levels of estrogen and progesterone, which prevents the womb lining from shedding (resulting into menses). When you take the weekly break after the regular cycle of active pills, hormone levels stabilize, causing your periods to flow. Taking pills pack to back causes the delay, but it is not advisable to keep at it after three packs of active pills.
2. Delay Period Naturally
If you are not on the oil or NuvaRing but still want to put off bleeding, you can manipulate your body through other ways.
- Work It All Out
Regular physical activity is great for your body, and it even eases cramping, but elevated levels of exercise may alter your cycle. However, you will need to elevate your activity by a lot more than usual if this is your desired effect. This method is not guaranteed to work.
How do you delay your period this way? When you work-out harder than usual and regulate your diet to be in caloric deficit, your body fat naturally goes down.
The body interprets this as starvation, and it will retain as much fat as it needs to conserve energy (and note here that the reproductive function of the body consumes a lot of energy). Low body fat is one of the reasons why athletes have irregular periods.
- Stress Out
You may have heard a doctor say that emotional or mental stress prevents women from getting pregnant. Emotional stress causes an entire process that affects hormones. It starts from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland and then the thyroid and adrenal glands and finally the ovaries. Since they are all intertwined in controlling hormones, the process causes you to miss your periods or delay them for a while.
Now, this method is unorthodox because we cannot think of a way to stress out intentionally unless you haven’t studied for a paper that is due, (or you could start a fight with your partner). Of course, you will need to heighten your levels of anxiety a few days to your period.
- Check What You Eat
Foods delaying periods are not scientifically backed, but rather old wives tales. However, they have been touted to work. Gram lentils are a favorite among those advertising food as a possible period delaying antic.
It is said that frying them and then grinding them into a powder works well. Lentils are an excellent source of protein too, and so they are beneficial to the body. You can blend this into a smoothie with a fruit or other ingredients and consume daily for a week before your periods.
Spicy food is said to stimulate the body and blood, and eventually the pelvic area, which then prompts your periods to come when they are due. Solution? Keep off those spicy condiments (chilies, garlic and all) and herbs for at least a week before your periods. Again, this is one of the tales backed up by years of wisdom more than it is by science. The good thing about these methods is that they have no known adverse side effects.
These work opposite of spicy foods. Cold vegetables (cucumbers) and other foods lower your body temperature and help you manage your periods. Again, no side effects here other than the blandness of eating cold foods every day for a week before your menses. If it’s any consolation, your skin will look radiant, thanks to the infusion of vitamins. You are recommended to eat your cucumbers in the morning on an empty stomach for full effect.
3. Delay Your Period Using Norethisterone
Most of us are afraid to use medication to stop a natural process, but what if your menses correspond with your wedding day? How do you stop your period from coming on such an important day? Well, Norethisterone could be the solution.
This prescription-only pill can delay your menses by up to 17 days. How does it work? Well, you are to take a pill three days before your due date, and then proceed to take it for up to 20 days. Your periods will come three days after you get off the pill.
Norethisterone contains progesterone, which naturally prevents the lining of your uterus from shedding for as long as you take it. As much as it is safe, you should consult your doctor before using this pill.
Norethisterone is not advisable for women who have a history of blood clots or high blood pressure. It is highly effective, though, as the constituents are guaranteed to work with the reproductive system.
How To Shorten Your Period
What if you do not wish to delay your period, but shorten it instead? Trust us to find proven ways to solve your problem.
Have some steamy sex! A roll in the hay could actually help you shed faster! Now, whether you achieve an orgasm through penetration or masturbation, you will achieve uterine muscle contractions, which will then help push the menstrual blood out of the uterus faster.
If sex is too messy, then you can opt for over-the-counter medication for the same effect. Ibuprofen and aspirin produce prostaglandins, which cause uterine muscle contractions.
- Regular Exercise
Although too much of it may cause you to delay your periods, enough physical exercise will do your body some good. It not only eases cramping, but it also lightens the flow. Working out regularly may even adjust the number of days that you bleed, especially if your flow is more than three days.
- Ditch That Tampon
The gospel on tampons has been preached, and if you need further nudging, this is for you. It blocks the normal flow of blood, effectively pushing the number of menstrual days. Replacing the tampon with a sanitary towel could reduce the number.
In the same breath, some women have positively used a menstrual cup to reduce their menstrual cycles. Since the cup allows for an unrestricted flow of menstrual blood, it may help you shed faster and hence reduce the number of days. This theory has no scientific backing, though.
Is It Safe To Delay Your Periods?
There are no studies to prove that it is wrong, but we would not recommend making it a habit. The uterine lining is meant to shed every 23-32 days (depending on your cycle), and so it is only right to let nature take its cause.
If you must delay your period, reserve it for an important event. After all, it’s only three days or slightly longer. That never harmed anyone.