Most claims about how to make your period come faster are false — here are the ones backed by science

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Taking placebo birth control pills can make your period come faster, but you should talk to your doctor before doing so. Isabel Pavia/Getty Imafes
  • The best way to make your period come faster is to take your placebo birth control pills earlier than usual.
  • You can also make your period come faster by having sex or relieving stress through exercise or meditation.
  • Taking vitamin C, drinking pineapple juice, or taking herbs will not induce your period and could cause adverse side effects like vomiting and nausea.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

There are many reasons why a person may want to induce their period, from medical conditions to convenience.

However, some techniques for inducing a period can jeopardize an early pregnancy. Therefore, it’s very important to check whether you’re pregnant before attempting to make your period come faster.

This article discusses when it’s important to induce your period and what will — and will not — make your period come faster.

When to induce your period

Doctors may recommend people with oligomenorrhea — a condition where periods are irregular and infrequent — induce their period.

“In some situations, you’re still producing the endometrial lining that needs to be shed at least four times a year,” says Tamika K. Cross, MD, FACOG, an OB/GYN at Serenity Women’s Health & Med Spa. “That is sometimes the reason that polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) patients who aren’t having regular periods need to induce their periods. They need to be able to flush that out.”

If the endometrial lining is left to build up, it increases the risk of endometrial hyperplasia. This condition occurs when the endometrium becomes too thick and causes abnormal cell growth, increasing your risk for endometrial and uterine cancer.

Convenience is the other reason for inducing menstruation. If your period is coming during an inconvenient time, having it earlier can be beneficial.

“If somebody is going on a trip or vacation and they’re planning on swimming a lot, or even athletes or swimmers who don’t want to worry about tampons, that’s when people will induce their periods,” says Cross.

Before making any attempts to induce your period, Cross strongly recommends confirming that you are not pregnant, as you risk aborting the foetus. Once you’ve confirmed there’s no baby on board, here are the steps you can take to induce your period safely.

1. Take hormonal birth control

Taking the pill every day suppresses your period. When you take the placebo sugar pills are generally when it arrives. However, purposely skipping your pill can do the trick if you want your period to come early.

“Anytime you stop taking birth control is when that withdrawal of hormones makes your period come,” says Cross. “It is not dangerous as long as you know what you’re doing, and you have a doctor helping you.”

Working with a doctor helps ensure you don’t accidentally become pregnant. They can also help you determine the best way to induce your period with your specific birth control.

“Some birth control is monophasic — meaning it’s the same dose all the way through, and another type is triphasic — meaning each week it goes up a little bit. So, if you’re trying to induce your periods, you have to be on the correct type and know what you’re doing. Every pill isn’t the same,” says Cross.

Monophasic pills allow for more flexibility with inducing your period, as you can technically stop taking your pill at any point in the cycle without disrupting the hormone increase. However, triphasic pills increase your hormone dosage and starting your period in the middle of a pack can disrupt this. Talk with your doctor if you’re on triphasic pills.

2. Have sex

Generally, sex will not cause someone to have their period if it isn’t that time of the month.

“However, if they have sex around the time their menses are due — about 24 hours prior to expected start — they may notice their menses begin,” says Scott G. Chudnoff, MD, MSc, FACOG, an OB/GYN and chair of the department of OB/GYN at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut.

Cross notes this can also happen if you have a pelvic exam right before your period is due, as it may open up the cervix a bit more.

If engaging in sex regularly causes bleeding and your regular period isn’t supposed to come anytime soon, Chudnoff recommends speaking to a doctor to determine if there are any problems that need to be addressed.

3. Reduce stress

When you’re stressed, it can delay your period or even cause irregular menstrual cycles.

“Stress comes with the hormones cortisol and adrenaline,” Cross says. “So, stress can affect the release of estrogen and progesterone the two hormones responsible for your menstrual cycle.”

When a period is late, people may also stress further about causes like pregnancy, adding to the issue.

In a 2015 study of women aged 19 to 23, about 58% of those with a high-stress level reported irregular menstruation. The same was true for only 17% of participants with low-stress levels.

Cross recommends practicing self-care, giving yourself time to relax, exercising, or meditating to reduce stress levels.

Methods that won’t speed up your cycle

There are many methods out there that claim to induce your period, but lack scientific evidence, says Cross. Here are some period inducing myths you should skip:

Drinking pineapple juice. Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that is thought to affect hormones such as estrogen. As a result, the fruit is sometimes recommended to eat or drink as a method of inducing your period. However, there is no scientific evidence linking pineapple to quicker menstruation.

Taking vitamin C supplements. “Many people feel that a variety of vitamins and supplements may help to bring on menses. The vast majority of these agents are unproven to accomplish that,” says Chudnoff. “In some circumstances, these agents can actually be dangerous.”

The recommended daily dosage for vitamin C in supplement form is 65 mg to 90 mg. With an upper limit of 2,000 mg per day, ingesting too much vitamin C supplement can lead to side effects such as nausea, insomnia, vomiting, and heartburn.

Using herbs. While some herbs such as dong quai and evening primrose oil have shown to have some benefit for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, there is no scientific evidence that any herbs can induce a person’s period, says Cross.

Insider’s takeaway

For people who want to induce their period, they should try taking hormonal birth control, having sex, or reducing stress. However, no matter which method you choose to induce your period, consult with your doctor first.

“It’s really important that patients are making sure that their OB-GYN is involved in the process — that’s crucial,” says Cross.

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