Menstrual health is among the most important areas of female health. It is a central aspect of life for all women and we all want to make sure that we are in as much control of our cycle as we can be. Often, even many women are unaware of how menstruation can be influenced by many other factors in our lives. We can too often think of it as a process we just have to ensure and that we cannot engage with other than passively.
In fact, there are many things we can do as women to influence our cycles. The timing and length of our menstrual cycles can be impacted by many factors in our behaviors, our diet, our mental health, and our stress levels, to name just a few of the areas we can work to adapt and control more actively.
In this article we set out to show you that your period need not be a burden to you and that you can in fact take control of your lifestyle and your body in ways that enable you to influence your menstrual cycle’s timing, so that you can bring on your period in ways that better suit your lifestyle or personal wishes.
Understand your menstrual cycle and how it works
Many women will have had a situation where they wished their period would come earlier than usual. Before we look at ways to assist in that process, it is important to understand your menstrual cycle and how it works.
The menstrual cycle is the vital series of changes a woman’s body goes through in preparation for the possibility of pregnancy. It usually lasts between 28-32 days and is divided into three phases. The follicular phase. The ovulatory phase. And the luteal phase. Many women remain unaware of these phases, so here is a simple overview.
Overview of the phases of your menstrual cycle
In the follicular phase, this is when your estrogen levels rise, which stimulates your egg follicles to mature. In the ovulatory phase, this is the time when an egg is released from one of your ovaries. The luteal phase is when your progesterone levels increase, which assists in preparing the uterus for potential pregnancy. If a pregnancy does not occur, progesterone levels will drop, and your period will start.
Understanding your menstrual cycle can therefore help you pinpoint when your period is most likely to start. If you are a woman with a partner, you may find it helpful to share this information with him or her, as a lot of people remain unaware of these phases.
Manage your stress levels
It is hard to overstate the importance of stress in making a body well or ill. Stress is certainly a very significant factor in the timing of your menstrual cycle. That’s why it’s important to manage your stress levels in order to have more control over the timing of your period.
For many women, common stress management routines work. These can include taking a hot bath, listening to music, or practicing yoga and meditation. Incorporating activities into your daily routine that reduce your stress can help get your period back on track and enable you to prompt it to come sooner. These methods and approaches might even make the experience of your period less uncomfortable, so they are worth considering.
Eat a healthy diet
Diet matters so much when it comes to our health, and certainly when it comes to your menstrual cycle. Make sure that you try to eat a variety of fresh vegetables and lots of fruits. Avoid high sugar snacks and heavily salted foods, and make sure you eat lean proteins and foods with whole grains. A good diet ensures you get the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that helps keep your body running optimally. These foods also help to regulate your hormones and this means greater likelihood of a comfortable and effective menstrual cycle. To start your journey, start by swapping out processed foods with healthier options. Then try adding in one or two extra servings of vegetables and fruits per day. Good habits will soon form and develop.
One of the true benefits of exercise and an active lifestyle is that it can help regulate your body’s hormones and balance your menstrual cycle. Additionally, physical activity can help reduce stress, which in turn can help your period come quicker. You don’t need to be excessive. Even
moderate exercise like a thirty minute walk at lunchtime, or a bit of nightly yoga a few days a week, can have a positive impact on your period.
You may not initially think of acupuncture for this issue of medical wellbeing, but it is a very useful approach to the regulation of any menstrual cycle. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique that involves inserting thin needles into various parts of the body to stimulate specific muscular areas and nerves. It may sound painful, but it is not, and in fact many people find it a comforting experience. The needles stimulate the release of endorphins, which have been proven to help with the nausea and cramps associated with periods. Admittedly the science is not entirely clear on there being a direct causal connection between acupuncture and periods arriving earlier, but many women consider acupuncture to be a real help, and there certainly seems enough evidence to suggest a correlation. The acupuncture needles can also help improve circulation to the pelvic area, which greatly assists in releasing any tension or blockages which may be triggering irregular periods.
Many herbs have powerful effects on the body. Some common herbs that may help induce your period sooner include ginger, parsley, rosemary, and turmeric. Ginger has been known to reduce menstrual cramping and even to help regulate your menstrual cycle. It is always worth adding some ginger to a herbal tea. Parsley can also help stimulate your uterus and act as a mild diuretic, while rosemary can increase circulation and ensure your body feels more at one with itself. Turmeric is also an amazing ingredient and has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Used well, these and other herbs can contribute to a better regulated and controlled menstrual cycle.
Speak to a herbalist
It may be a good idea to seek professional advice if you’re looking for specific home remedies or natural methods. Do not underestimate the efficacy or wisdom of these approaches. A herbalist can provide information on many different herbs and supplements that may help regulate your cycle. They can also ensure these herbs are incorporated into a wider lifestyle reassessment, so that your body becomes more in-sync with its natural rhythms. As part of a wider set of approaches, it is certainly worth discussing the power of natural remedies and stimulants in assisting in controlling your menstrual cycle.
Consider using herbs such as black cohosh, ginger, and sarsaparilla
Prior to seeing a herbalist, you may wish to investigate these specific herbs, as they are reputed to help expedite the processes of periods. Black cohosh can help regulate hormones and improve circulation in the uterus. It is widely available as a supplement in good health stores. Ginger is available in raw forms, or as an ingredient in many teas and infusions, and it is a wonderful anti-inflammatory that can stimulate blood flow in ways that could speed up the onset of menstruation. Sarsaparilla is less well known, but it is worth investigating, as it can help balance the hormones that cause menstruation in the first place.
Understand Your Menstrual Cycle
Identify the average length of your menstrual cycle
Not every menstrual cycle is the same length. This is important to remember. A cycle can last between 21 and 35 days. The length of your menstrual cycle can actually vary significantly from month to month, so it’s important to track your cycles over several months to get an accurate estimate. Additionally, some people have cycles that can be as short as 24 days or as long as 45 days. This means that there is quite a lot of flex in the menstrual cycle that means you can try to make it come quicker.
So to get a sense of how long your cycle usually is, start by tracking the first day of your period for a few months. Once you’ve kept track for several months, you can then calculate the average length. It’s also important to note other physical and emotional symptoms you experience during your cycle, as this can give you insight into your overall health. Remember that there are menstrual tracking apps available that can help you to gather and review all the data you’ve collected. They are worth looking into.
Note any irregularities in your menstrual cycle
You may perhaps have noticed irregularities in your menstrual cycle. It could be that your period comes earlier than usual, or is delayed. You may find that it is heavy one month and light the next, or you may not get it at all. If that’s the case, it’s important to pay attention and visit your doctor if you have any concerns. If you’re experiencing a shift in your cycle, understanding what’s causing it can help you determine if it’s harmless or potentially something more serious.
This is another reason why it is useful to keep a record of your cycle, as it can help you identify any irregularities or abnormalities more quickly, and allow you to seek medical advice sooner.
Manage Stress Levels
Take time out for yourself
Stress control matters for a good menstrual cycle. It’s important to ensure you have sufficient rest, so prioritize getting enough sleep. This is key. Focus on self-care. Engage in activities that bring pleasure. If you are under pressure, spend time in nature, and have regular walks. In addition, take part in some holistic low-impact exercise, such as yoga. It’s important that the body and mind are at ease if you are trying to bring forward your period.
Practice yoga or meditation
As we said, these are really great habits to get into. By calming and focusing your mind, yoga and meditation can balance the hormones in your body, helping to bring on your menstrual cycle. They also offer wider health benefits, so make them a part of your life. You can practice them in the controlled environment of your own home, so there needn’t be any additional routines to add. All you need is a quiet space and some comfortable clothing.
Talk to someone
Stress can really impact the timing of your period, so we need to take steps to ensure we are in a great frame of mind. It’s important to remember that if you need help, support, or advice, there is no shame in talking to someone you trust. Whether it’s a family member, a close friend, or a healthcare professional, having a conversation about the issue can be incredibly informative and helpful. Never be afraid to talk, and never have any shame about having a difficult menstrual experience. It is a major bodily process and you should give yourself as much support as you need.
Get enough sleep
You may well have noticed that when you’re exhausted your period may be a few days late. That’s because getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to make your period come faster. As a recommended schedule, aim for at least 8 hours of sleep each night, though you may find there are times when you need more. Regularly going to bed and waking up at the same time can be hugely beneficial in helping to regulate your cycle and maintaining a healthy balance, so try to get into a good nightly rhythm.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Supplement your diet with vitamins
Dietary supplements can make a difference, but the precise vitamin needs you may have can vary depending on your body, your existing diet, and your particular menstrual cycle. In general terms, however, vitamins like Vitamin C, E, and B6, in particular, may help strengthen your cycle and make it more regular and adaptable. They also have wider positive health benefits.
Choose foods that are high in iron, vitamin C and magnesium
As additional dietary advice, you can help your period by consuming foods that are high in iron, vitamin C and magnesium. Studies have shown that these three components are essential for a healthy menstrual cycle. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues, while Vitamin C can support healthy hormone levels. Magnesium is also known for playing an important role in regulating hormones related to the menstrual cycle.
To supply these minerals and vitamins to your body, make sure to eat a selection of lean red meats, such as venison or lean beef. Avoid fatty meats and processed meat products. Dark green vegetables, such as broccoli or spinach, are also great when it comes to getting the right nutrition for a period to be brought forward. Legumes, nuts seeds, and oily fish are also core ingredients of a diet focused on menstrual health.
Avoid unhealthy processed foods
Let’s be clear, these foods are generally not great for any of us, but they can be especially impactful to us if we are trying to control our menstrual cycle. They are harder to digest and the body does not always benefit at all from the high levels of sugars and salts they often contain. It is therefore essential to remember that, along with eating the right things, you need to avoid the wrong things too. These overly processed foods can affect your hormones and certainly disrupt your menstrual cycle. They are therefore best eaten either in very small amounts or avoided altogether if you want to have maximum control over your period and bring it forward.
When you engage in regular exercise you are actively supporting activities that improve your cardiovascular fitness and overall health, both of which can contribute to a healthier reproductive system. Exercise is great, because it stimulates the production of endorphins, and endorphins can affect estrogen levels, which can then influence the timing of your period and assist in expediting the processes that bring it forward.
It is therefore really worth your while investing in your lifestyle by building in some exercise to your daily life’s rhythms. In addition, make sure to track the approaches you take, so that you can have a fuller insight into your menstrual cycle month by month.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day
Don’t think of exercise as a burden, but as a pleasure. You don’t need much to make a positive difference. Just 30 minutes per day of physical activity helps to lower stress and regulate your menstrual cycle. You may not always sense it, but it is implicit in the effects of exercise on us all.
Walking, cycling, jogging or swimming a little every day in a configuration that suits your lifestyle will help to regulate your menstrual cycle.
Get plenty of rest
Ensuring sufficient rest gives your cycle a chance to restore some balance and this equilibrium is important if you are trying to regulate your cycle to bring forward your period. Rest is about sleep, but it is also about being calm when you are awake and not feeling burdened. Your body dislikes consistent pressure and stress and your hormones will be out of sync if you are constantly tired. So make sure to give your mind and body enough downtime to lower your cortisol levels and find that good feeling of being centered again.
Be aware of potential side effects
Proceed with caution
Given the importance of your period to your overall health, it is important to be aware of potential side effects before attempting to make your period come faster. Aside from the methods we have already discussed, other prescribed medications or treatments may also be used to induce menstruation. However, as with all medicines, it is crucial to consider the potential side effects, which may include headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, breast tenderness and bloating. You may also experience some skin complaints or rashes and, in rare cases, some hair loss and depression.
Though it is certainly possible to bring your period forward safely, take great care to monitor the approaches you take, so that you can be clear what works for you. Nothing is more important than your health, so never do anything to jeopardize it. If you are ever in doubt about any aspect of your menstrual cycle or period, be sure to seek professional advice.
Being positive about your period and your cycle is important. Too many women feel burdened or pressured by it and feel controlled by their period’s rhythms. In fact, as we have seen, there are many things you can do to control your cycle, and if you assert good habits over time you will find that, in the longer term, you can adapt your body and your lifestyle to influence the timing of your period and help to make it come faster as and when you might need it to.