We talk a lot about period positivity around here, but we get it. Periods can be a real pain in the you-know-what. Sometimes, it would be easier if your period just didn’t show up for a month or two, right? As with any health decision, attempting to control or change your cycle does come with certain repercussions – but are they worth worrying about? We’re answering all of your questions! Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the pros and cons of interfering with your body’s menstrual cycle. We’ll be covering the following topics:
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Reasons why you might want to stop or shorten your period
Some women suffer from severe cramps and PMS symptoms. Other times, you may have a big event coming up where you don’t want to worry about changing your tampons or wearing certain clothes. Or maybe you’re going on a camping trip and lots of extra period products simply won’t fit in your back pack. There are many reasons why women may want to avoid Aunt Flow for a month or two. The real question is: are these concerns something that can be managed in another way? What’s your reason? Weigh in in the comments below!
Pros to stopping or shortening your period
There is no doubt that stopping or shortening your period does come with some built in benefits like being able to wear what you want, travel with ease, and use the restroom anywhere. If you suffer from severe cramps or PMS symptoms, reducing the number or length of your periods can also help to provide some relief. And, let’s face it: we’re all busy ladies! Some days would just be easier if you had one less thing to manage, right?
How to stop or shorten your period
If you want to stop or shorten your period, there are several ways that you may be able to safely do this. Please note: there is no one surefire way to make your period go away, and it is not recommended that you try any of these methods without first consulting with your doctor. If your periods are regularly lasting longer than a week, are irregular, or causing severe cramps, there may be something else going on. Remember: your period doesn’t need to be painful. Make sure that you’re keeping a menstrual calendar so you can track your body’s patterns. It’s also a good idea to make an appointment with your gynecologist to make sure everything is okay. With that being said, below, you’ll find some ways to speed up the process or shorten the length of your period.
Hormonal birth control: hormonal birth control can reduce the length and number of periods you have each year. If you think this may be a good fit for you, consult with your doctor. Of course, oral contraceptives come with their own list of risks and side effects, so if you take this route, proceed with caution!
Stop using tampons: Tampons can prevent or slow down your period from doing what it was made to do: shed your uterine lining. By switching to an external product like pads or period underwear, you may be able to speed up the process.
Drink up: by drinking lots of water, you will stay hydrated and increase the likelihood that your period will stop sooner. This will help to flush things out more quickly and reduce inflammation, which may also serve to reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Take it from us: there are many old wives tales and suggestions available online for other ways to tell Aunt Flow “see ya later!” But many of these “remedies” are neither scientifically proven, nor are they safe. There’s no sense in speeding up your period if it comes with negative side effects that are worse than Aunt Flow herself, right?
Cons to stopping or shortening your period
We certainly can understand the desire to get rid of your period. However, attempting to interfere with your body’s natural rhythms could actually make symptoms worse, not better. By allowing your body to naturally go with its own flow, you may just be able to stop dreading that week each month. Menstruation is the female body’s way of regulating its reproductive abilities, and can be an easy way to indicate whether or not your system is working properly. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that menstrual health is a clear indication of your overall health. Rather than trying to stop your period altogether, it may be better to look at the root of the problem, and work to fix the issue itself.
Here are some common period problems you might be having, and how to handle them:
I’m having irregular periods: Here’s how to start tracking your period to find out of if your period is regular. If you’re having your period too often, it could be a sign that it’s time to schedule a visit with your doctor.
My period flow is very heavy: Learn the patterns of your flow and what it means.
I’m having severe period cramps: Your over the counter pain medication could be making things worse. Try some natural home remedies to alleviate cramping! If serious problems persist, this could be a sign of another condition, and it’s a good idea to speak to a professional.
I’m worried about period leaks: Period leaks are embarrassing, but they can also be avoided. Our handy guide shows you how to stay prepared.
I’m traveling and I don’t have time to deal with my period: Making the switch to menstrual cups may be just the thing for you. You can safely keep a menstrual cup inserted for up to 12 hours, which should carry you through even the longest of travel days. As a bonus, menstrual cups don’t require you to carry any extra supplies. Here’s how to clean your cup in public.
I’m embarrassed about my period: Menstrual shame is real – and we’ve all been there at one point or another. But we’re here to tell you that a healthy period is nothing to be ashamed of! Join the #periodtalk conversation and learn more about how you can find new confidence and kick those shameful feelings to the curb.
A healthy period is not a problem to be fixed – but the side effects of an unhealthy period can be managed.
Ways to make your period more enjoyable and less painful
So, if you’re looking to relieve the side effects of your period without the negative health implications, there are ways to do this while still allowing your body to do her thing. By working to reduce your symptoms and the effect your period has on your day to day life, you can safely go about your business while Aunt Flow is in town.
Make the switch to natural period products: Conventional products come with a whole host of risky side effects due to the materials used to manufacture them. Women who switch to reusable or organic period products have reported that their flow is lighter and periods are shorter after swapping out their drug store brands. Not to mention many enjoy less cramping, too! Win win!
Diet and exercise: Eating well and moving your body have both been well documented as having positive effects on your body. But did you know that a healthier lifestyle can actually reduce the severity of your periods? Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and high sodium foods can help to reduce bloating, decrease cramps, and reduce overall PMS symptoms. Some studies show that reducing alcohol intake on your period by even one drink a day can help. And although it may not sound particularly appealing, light to moderate exercise on your period can help to keep your hormones balance and provide relief. Low impact exercise like swimming or yoga can help to stretch the abdominal muscles and curb cramps.
Cycle syncing: The hormonal fluctuations that we endure throughout our menstrual cycle has been proven to impact mood, appetite, emotions, and more. Because of this, some women have found relief through the newly developing practice of cycle syncing. To put it briefly, cycle syncing is the act of “syncing” up your habits – your exercise, self care, diet, and social activities – with where you are in your cycle. The theory is that by tailoring your activities to fit the current needs of your body, you can work with your hormones to alleviate the effect that their fluctuations have on your life. Here’s a video that covers the basics of how to cycle sync:
Everybody is different, and every body is different too. If you’re reading this, just know that we support you 100% on your journey to better health and understanding of your body. We hope that you’ve found this information helpful! If you’d like to learn more about how to lead a healthier lifestyle and take control of your health, we think you may like our Menstrual Health email series. It’s totally free, and a wonderful way to jump right in. Click the link below, and we’ll email you weekly with new tips, and tricks tailored to your interest in leading a healthy, symptom-free life.