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A lot of times in women’s lives, they would wish for their period to end early or at least in time. This can be because of a busy day at the office, a vacation that they have planned, or a special event that they want to celebrate.
The length of a woman’s period depends upon a lot of factors and it varies from person to person. On average, a period lasts for 2–7 days with a median of 5 bleeding days. However, there are people who experience periods that may exceed the 7-day time stamp. This can be due to stress, hormonal changes, or other reasons. (1)
The good news is there are some measures that can help in reducing the days in the menstrual cycle.
Techniques for Shorter Periods
You can shorten your period days with these measures.
1. Perform regular physical activity
Having a good exercise regimen is a good way to lighten your period flow. Physical activity is good for overall well-being and also reduces the number of days in your menstrual cycle.
Moreover, exercising is linked with a reduction in intolerable cramps and bloating that come with periods.
In one study, the mean scores of premenstrual syndrome and the symptoms declined after 8 weeks of training in the experimental group.
If you are unable to plan an exercise routine for yourself, you can always speak to a professional and know what kind of physical exercises would suit you. (2)
2. Stay on the right diet
Eating right is an essential part of promoting overall wellness. This means that if you eat the right nutrients and make sure your body meets its dietary requirements, you can get some relief from your period symptoms and also reduce its duration.
Micronutrients such as vitamin B6 are known to affect your periods. It increases progesterone levels and helps alleviate period symptoms.
In one study, vitamin B6 was found to be significantly better than a placebo in relieving overall premenstrual symptoms and depression associated with premenstrual syndrome. (3)
Foods rich in vitamin B6 include:
- Sweet potato
Zinc is also known to be helpful in period cramps and provide relief from other premenstrual syndrome symptoms. Foods rich in zinc include: (4)
- Dark chocolate
- Whole grain
Another mineral that is good for managing periods is magnesium, which can do wonders for your period cramps when taken in combination with vitamin B6. A study has indicated that magnesium plus vitamin B6 has the greatest effect on the mean score of PMS. (5)
Foods rich in magnesium include:
- Dark chocolate
- Whole grains
- Leafy greens
Increasing your intake of these nutrients via diet is highly advised, but if you plan on taking supplements, talk to your doctor first.
3. Have an orgasm
It is a well-known fact that orgasms not only can reduce period cramps and other period symptoms but can also help end your periods early.
When a woman has an orgasm from either intercourse or masturbation, her uterine muscles contract, leading to the flow of menstrual blood from the uterus with matches. This contraction also enables faster shedding of blood, thereby reducing period duration. (6)
4. Maintain a healthy weight
It has been studied that fluctuations in your weight affect your period. If a woman has very low body fat, she can have inconsistent periods. Not only this, if a woman is overweight, she may experience very heavy flows that can be extremely painful.
The best way to ensure a healthy duration of periods is to maintain a healthy weight. It may not be a quick solution, but in the long run, it helps in ensuring that your menstrual cycle remains consistent and normal.
According to a study, not only proper weight management but also changes in body weight may influence the regulation of the menstrual cycle. (7)
5. Use contraceptive pills
Contraceptive pills may change your menstrual periods. Combination pills, which contain both estrogen and progestin hormones, are often used to prevent pregnancy and can also help regulate menstrual cycles.
These pills work by preventing ovulation and thickening cervical mucus, which can make it more difficult for sperm to make its way to your uterus.
With combination pills, some women may experience shorter, lighter periods or may even skip periods altogether.
It is important to note that using contraceptive pills to stop periods early or reduce their frequency should only be done under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Any changes to menstrual patterns or bleeding should also be discussed with a healthcare provider to ensure there are no underlying medical issues. (8)
6. Stay hydrated
According to one study, water intake may have some role in decreasing the length of menstrual bleeding. The study involved a group of 67 female participants with primary dysmenorrhea who were divided into two groups: one group was instructed to increase their water intake during their menstrual period, while the other group was instructed to maintain their usual water intake. (9)
The results showed that the group with increased water intake had a significantly shorter duration of menstrual bleeding compared to the group with normal water intake. Thus, staying properly hydrated is important for overall health and may also help alleviate some menstrual symptoms. (9)
7. Consume ginger
A study shows that ginger can have a positive impact on heavy menstrual bleeding. The study involved two groups of women, one group taking ginger capsules and the other taking a placebo during their menstrual cycle.
The results showed that the group taking ginger capsules experienced a significant decrease in menstrual blood loss and in the duration and intensity of menstrual pain compared to the placebo group.
Thus, ginger has the potential to modify period duration and severity, making it a natural option for those who experience heavy menstrual bleeding. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of ginger and how it works to modify menstrual cycles. (10)
Know Your Periods
It is important to have accurate information about menstruation, as there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding this topic worldwide.
Here are some pointers shared by our experts and professionals from the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research regarding periods:
- Normally, menstrual fluid appears as medium or dark red and lasts for approximately 5 (± 2) days, occurring every 21–35 days.
- The average blood loss during a menstrual cycle is about 30 mL, with the heaviest bleeding occurring on the second day. A fully saturated pad or tampon can absorb between 5 mL and 15 mL of blood.
- Cramping is common on the day before and on the first day of menses. Bleeding that is painless, scant, dark, abnormally brief, or prolonged or occurs at irregular intervals may suggest a lack of ovulation (anovulation). (1)
What Are the Symptoms Associated With Menses?
The symptoms associated with menses, or menstruation, can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms include abdominal cramps, bloating, fatigue, headaches, mood changes, and breast tenderness. Some people may also experience nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or acne breakouts.
Additionally, menstrual flow can range from light to heavy and may be accompanied by menstrual blood clots or changes in blood color or texture.
It is important to note that while some discomfort or symptoms may be normal during menstruation, severe pain or symptoms may indicate an underlying medical condition that should be discussed with a healthcare provider. (11)
There are safe measures to end your periods quicker than your actual cycle. Use methods that do not cause harm to your body or reproductive health.
If you experience any concerning symptoms or signs that last for more than a week, immediately go for a medical checkup and talk to your doctor about how you can manage your periods in the future.
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