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Comprehensive Guide to Managing Menstrual Cycle/Period Delays and Period Induction

Last updated on : 10 Jun, 2024

Read time : 9 min

Menstruation, or a period, is the normal bleeding that happens from a woman’s vagina as part of her monthly cycle. Each month, the body gets ready for pregnancy. If you don’t get pregnant, the uterus sheds its lining. This menstrual blood is a mix of blood and tissue from inside the uterus, and it leaves the body through the vagina.

The menstrual cycle usually starts between ages 11 and 14 and continues until menopause at about age 51. It usually lasts about 28 days, but it can range from 21 to 35 days. It can sometimes be a bit shorter or longer. The periods usually last from three to five days. The periods are considered irregular if the gap between them is less than 21 days or more than 35 days. Irregular periods can affect anyone who has periods. It’s more likely for your periods to be irregular when they first start during puberty and when you’re nearing menopause. Other than these factors, if your periods are delayed, it can be due to a sedentary lifestyle, stress, PCOD, certain medications and pregnancy.
Know more about your monthly cycle, its delays, possible reasons of delays, and how to get periods immediately if delayed.

Understanding Your Cycle and Its Delays

The menstrual cycle is a monthly process that is normal and prepares a woman’s body for pregnancy. It usually lasts about 28 days, but it can range from 21 to 35 days. The cycle has several phases:

  1. Corpus luteum breaks down, hormone levels drop, and the cycle starts again with menstruation. Menstrual Phase (Days 1-5): This is when the uterus sheds its lining, leading to bleeding, which is known as a period.
  2. Follicular Phase (Days 1-13): Overlaps with the menstrual phase initially. The pituitary gland releases a hormone called FSH, which stimulates the ovaries to produce follicles. One of these follicles will mature into an egg.
  3. Ovulation (Day 14): Around the middle of the cycle, the mature egg is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube, ready for fertilisation.
  4. Luteal Phase (Days 15-28): After ovulation, the empty follicle forms the corpus luteum, which releases hormones to thicken the uterine lining for a possible pregnancy. If the egg isn’t fertilised, the corpus luteum breaks down, hormone levels drop, and the cycle starts again with menstruation.

If your periods start later than expected, it is considered as a delayed menstrual cycle. If your periods start too early, or there is very heavy or light bleeding, or missing periods altogether, it is also considered irregular periods.

Causes of Irregular Periods

The Main Causes of Irregular Periods includes:

  1. Stress: High-stress levels can affect hormone balance and delay your period.
  2. Weight Changes: Significant weight loss or gain can disrupt your monthly cycle.
  3. Exercise: Excessive physical activity can also lead to irregular periods.
  4. Hormonal Imbalances: An excess of the hormones progestin or estrogen, which control the uterine lining, can cause heavy bleeding. Hormone imbalances are most common in individuals who have recently begun menstruating or are nearing menopause.
  5. Illness: Acute or chronic illnesses such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, blood disorders, and benign tumours and cancers can possibly cause menstrual irregularity.
  6. Medications: Certain medicines, including birth control, can also alter your cycle.
  7. Pregnancy: A missed period can also be the first sign of pregnancy.

Safe Methods to Induce Your Period

There are many approaches that can help regularise the menstrual cycle. Diet, exercise, and reducing stress, in combination with medicines, are the most effective ways to induce periods.

1) Exercise

Gentle exercise can relax the muscles and potentially help induce a period, though the evidence is mostly anecdotal. For those with irregular periods due to intense workout routines, moderating exercise can help restore hormonal balance and regular menstrual cycles.

2) Relaxation

High-stress levels are linked to menstrual irregularities. Reducing stress through relaxation techniques like gentle yoga, journaling, meditation, and spending time with loved ones may help induce a period if stress is causing delays or absences.

3) Orgasm

Sex and orgasms can help bring on a period. The hormonal changes and uterine contractions during orgasm can aid in dilating the cervix and initiating the shedding of the uterine lining.

4) Diet and Weight

Body weight significantly affects menstrual cycles. Low body fat can stop periods due to insufficient hormone production, while high body weight or sudden weight changes can cause irregular cycles. Maintaining a balanced diet and stable weight can help regulate periods.

5) Warm Compress or Bath

Applying a warm compress or taking a warm bath can relax the pelvic muscles and increase blood flow, which might help in inducing a period.

6) Certain Foods

Foods like pineapple, dates, ginger, papaya and vitamin C-rich items, as well as herbs like chamomile, parsley, cinnamon, rosemary, sage, and oregano, are believed to help induce periods naturally. These foods may stimulate blood flow or influence hormonal activity.

Also Read- Things to Keep in Mind while Pregnant

Medical Approaches for Inducing a Period

While natural ways to induce periods might work, medical ways are surefire ways to regulate your menstrual cycle.
Hormonal birth control
Using hormonal contraception, like birth control pills or the ring, is the only reliable way to control the menstrual cycle. The combination pill, which has both estrogen and progestin, is the most effective method for managing periods. Typically, people take the hormonal pills for 21 days, followed by a 7-day break or dummy pill, during which they have their period.
You can also stop taking the hormonal pill early to make your period come sooner. However, not following the prescribed schedule for birth control pills can make them less effective at preventing pregnancy.

Potential Risks and Safety Precautions

Most methods discussed above to induce periods are safe. If you are using herbal supplements, use them with caution. Herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so buy them from reputable sources to ensure quality and safety. Avoid them if you have known allergies to herbs, foods, or supplements. Other precautions to follow while taking treatments to induce periods is as follows:

  • Side Effects: Medications used to induce periods, such as hormonal pills, can cause side effects like nausea, vaginal bleeding, headaches, and mood swings.
  • Hormonal Imbalance: Overuse or misuse of hormonal medications can disrupt your natural hormone balance.
  • Serious Health Risks: In rare cases, hormonal medications can increase the risk of blood clots, strokes, or heart attacks, especially in smokers or those over 35.
  • Underlying Conditions: If your periods are irregular, it’s important to consult a doctor to rule out any underlying conditions before trying to induce them naturally. The birth control pill may not be safe for patients with untreated high blood pressure who have a history of heart disease, migraines, history of breast or endometrial cancer.

Discuss your medical conditions with a doctor to ensure the use of birth control pills. Always consult a doctor before taking any medication, especially if you are trying to conceive.

When to Consult with a Doctor or Other Healthcare Professional

Seek the help of a doctor if your period is consistently irregular, you miss three periods in a row without being pregnant, your periods stop before 45, or if you bleed between periods, after sex, or if you have any bleeding after menopause.

Takeaway

The menstrual cycle typically starts between ages 11 and 14 and continues until menopause around age 51. It usually lasts about 28 days but can range from 21 to 35 days. Periods typically last three to five days. Periods are considered irregular if they are shorter than 21 days or longer than 35 days.

Lifestyle changes, stress management, exercise, sexual arousal, and warm baths can help increase blood flow and potentially induce a period. Your doctor may suggest birth control pills with estrogen and progestin to regulate your cycle. Always discuss your medical history and any medications you are taking with your doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What to do if periods are not coming?

If your periods are not coming, try managing stress, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and considering gentle exercise. If the issue persists, consult a healthcare professional for advice and potential treatment options.

How do periods come early by food?

Foods like papaya, pineapple, and spicy foods may help induce early periods by stimulating uterine contractions. Additionally, herbs like parsley and ginger are believed to influence menstrual timing.

How to get periods early?

You can speed up your period with gentle exercise, relaxation techniques, and certain foods like papaya, dates and pineapple. However, always consult with a doctor before trying any method.

How do I get my first period right now?

It’s not possible to force start your first period. It is a natural process and will happen between ages 11 and 14 once you attain puberty.

How to get periods fast?

You can potentially speed up your period with gentle exercise, warm baths, and relaxation techniques.

What age period starts in a girl?

Girls typically start their period between the ages of 11 and 14, but it can begin as early as 8 or as late as 16. The exact age varies for each individual.

How to get periods overnight?

It’s not possible to start your period overnight through natural or safe methods. If you’re concerned about irregular periods, consult a doctor for advice.

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Our healthcare experts have carefully reviewed and compiled the information presented here to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness. It is important to note that this information serves as a general overview of the topic and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any health problem. This page does not establish a doctor-patient relationship, nor does it replace the advice or consultation of a registered medical practitioner. We recommend seeking guidance from your registered medical practitioner for any questions or concerns regarding your medical condition.

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