If you aren’t using hormonal contraception, you may be able to induce your menstrual period naturally. Modifying your exercise routine, taking steps to relieve stress, some fruits and vegetables, and even orgasm may help kickstart menstruation.
Whether you want to get it out of the way before a special occasion or are experiencing an unexpected delay, there are things you can do to help start your period sooner rather than later.
But there are a few caveats:
- It’s impossible to induce your first-ever period (menarche)
- Herbal methods aren’t recommended for people who may be pregnant or are nursing a newborn
- Delayed or missed periods caused by an underlying condition are unlikely to resolve without treatment
It’s also important to note that the research around natural remedies for inducing menstruation is limited. None of these methods are guaranteed to work.
Long-term hormonal birth control use is the only surefire way to regulate your menstrual cycle.
Some methods allow you to skip your period entirely or significantly reduce your symptoms, while others help create a set timeline for menstruation.
If you haven’t already, developing a regular movement practice may help regulate your reproductive hormones and lead to more long-term predictability in your menstrual cycle.
You know your body best, so what this looks like for you may be different than what it looks like for someone else.
According to the
If this sounds familiar, you might consider reaching out to a sports medicine doctor to discuss your current training regimen and the potential impact on your overall hormone levels.
It almost goes without saying that concerns about a delayed or potentially missed period can add to your stress. Managing stress — especially when it relates to factors outside of your control – is also easier said than done.
It’s important to acknowledge and honor this while still finding ways, however small, to take time for yourself. This might look like like:
- Taking a few moments to stretch or try 4-7-8 breathing
- Making a cup of tea and sipping with intention
- Going for a quick stroll around the block
- Picking one area of clutter (like the silverware drawer) to tidy up
- Drawing a warm bubble bath or a steamy shower
- Blocking out time on your calendar for masturbation or partnered sex
Anecdotal reports suggest that applying heat may help relax tense abdominal muscles and increase blood flow to the area. This could accelerate your menstrual cycle, but research is needed to support this.
The same may also be said for sexual activity, which can cause your uterine muscles to contract and release with climax. This might spur the start of menstruation if you’re at that point in your overall cycle.
Just be sure to use a condom if you want to prevent pregnancy during penis-in-vagina sex.
If you’re worried that you may be pregnant and don’t want to be, eating unripe or semi-ripe papaya is unlikely to result in successful termination. Learn more about the harms associated with “home remedies” for abortion.
For most folks, there’s little harm in eating more pineapple. Bromelain breaks down during the canning process, so stick to fresh pineapple.
Ginger, which can be eaten raw, added to dishes, or brewed as tea
Turmeric, which can be eaten raw, added to dishes, or brewed as tea
Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound known for its anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin
If you want to give papaya a shot, consider taking a pregnancy test first. Negative result? Eat up! Inconclusive or positive result? Hold off until you can consult with a healthcare professional about your options.
Vitamin C, which is found in berries, citrus fruits, and cruciferous vegetables
Vitamin C is believed to have a similar effect, however there’s no scientific evidence to support this.
All that said, there are many benefits to increased vitamin C consumption. The sky’s the limit when it comes to foods rich in vitamin C.
Many healthcare professionals advise against using black cohosh, dong quai, or parsley supplements if there’s a chance you may be pregnant or are currently nursing a newborn.
If you haven’t already taken a pregnancy test, you might consider doing so. You may also find it helpful to consult with a healthcare professional.
The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t monitor herbal supplements in the same way that they monitor and regulate over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs.
Herbal supplements aren’t tested for safety, and the quality or purity of the product is never guaranteed. Look for supplements that have been verified by a third party testing organization and awarded a Certificate of Analysis.
Black cohosh root, extract, or tea
Dong quai root, extract, or tea
Dong quai, also known as “female ginseng,” is another herb that’s believed to
It’s natural to experience a missed or late period from time to time. Infrequent delays and other irregularities generally aren’t cause for concern.
But in some cases, a missed or delayed period could be the result of an underlying health condition. Consult with with a healthcare professional if you:
- suspect you may be pregnant
- miss three or more consecutive menstrual periods
- bleed outside of your expected menstrual period
- bleed after penetrative sex or masturbation
- experience sudden changes in menstrual flow, timing, or duration
Tess Catlett is a sex and relationships editor at Healthline, covering all things sticky, scary, and sweet. Find her unpacking her inherited trauma and crying over Harry Styles on Twitter.