No one wants a special evening to turn into a ménage à trois with Aunt Flo.
But as frustrating as it can be to have your period coincide with your plans, there’s no reliable way to stop your period for a single night after it’s already started.
You’ve probably come across all kinds of claims that doing this or taking that will stop your period on command. Using apple cider vinegar or gelatin are popular ones that come up a lot. But, alas, these are purely anecdotal and not backed by science.
While there’s no way to stop your period for a night after it’s already begun, there are ways to end your period faster. And with some notice, you can alter your cycle and skip a period.
When your period coincides with your plans, you may be able to make it end faster.
The following tips may help by inducing uterine contractions, which can help your uterus shed its endometrial lining.
But it’s unclear if they can end your period noticeably faster. Still, they’re worth a shot.
Have an orgasm
Doesn’t sound all that bad, does it?
Uterine muscle contractions during orgasm can help remove blood from the uterus. Having an orgasm through masturbation or any other type of sexual contact that gets you there may help your uterus shed blood faster.
However, it’s unclear if having an orgasm will make your period noticeably shorter.
Take ibuprofen or naproxen
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve), can wreak havoc on your stomach’s lining, so your doctor is unlikely to recommend that you do this too often, if at all.
But, according to the Cleveland Clinic, high doses of these NSAIDs can slow heavy menstrual flow by about 10 to 20 percent.
To completely stop a period, you’d need a much higher dose than what’s recommended with any over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs. This method isn’t safe for everyone and should be avoided by people with certain conditions, including ulcers. Talk to your doctor before using NSAIDs to make your period end faster.
You may not be able to stop your period for a night, but there are ways to get your period symptoms under control to keep them from putting too much of a damper on your plans.
Give the following a try:
- Ibuprofen. Taking OTC ibuprofen can help relieve cramps for a few hours at a time. It may also help reduce blood loss. Naproxen (Aleve) and aspirin also work. Try taking them about an hour before you head out.
- Menstrual cups. You can skip pads and tampons and use a menstrual cup instead. Menstrual cups are worn inside the vagina and catch your period blood. They can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time and are reusable. If sex is on the agenda, menstrual cups can also be worn during intercourse and other between-the-sheets fun.
- Period panties. These absorbent undergarments can be worn with tampons and pads as backup prevention for leaks or worn on their own. They’re designed to comfortably absorb the equivalent of two tampons’ worth of blood.
- Heating pad. It won’t slow your flow, but a heating pad can work wonders on cramps in a pinch. Before you go out, apply one to your lower abdomen for 15 to 20 minutes at a time for relief.
- Masturbation. A quick masturbation sesh is an easy and enjoyable way to control your period symptoms. Let your fingers or a sex toy do the walking and give yourself an orgasm before heading out to relieve menstrual cramps and slow your flow.
With a bit of advance notice, you can try skipping a period next time you have plans and a period just won’t do.
Hormonal birth control pills can safely reduce or eliminate periods in most people, but it’s still a good idea to check with your healthcare provider first to make sure there’s no medical reason for you to keep your cycle as is.
How you skip a period with your birth control pills depends on the type you’re using. Keep in mind this method can still result in some breakthrough bleeding, especially in the beginning.
Combination pills contain three weeks of active pills, which contain hormones that prevent your period. The final week, which is when you get your period, consists of placebo pills.
Taking only the active pills in your pack and skipping the week of placebo pills will allow you to skip a period.
Continuous cycle pills
Extended-cycle or continuous birth control pills are designed to skip or eliminate your period. Depending on the brand you take, you’ll have a period once every 3 or 12 months.
It may not be possible to stop your period for a night after it’s started, but there are things you can do to manage your bleeding and symptoms to minimize their impact on your symptoms.
With a bit of planning with your healthcare provider, you may be able to postpone or even skip a period altogether the next time you have big plans.