Ways to Induce Periods

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While there are many reported ways to induce your period, very few have been backed up by scientific research. Hormonal medications, also used by those with health conditions that cause irregular periods, are the most effective ways to regulate them.

This discusses ways to induce your period and whether they've been proven effective.

Woman cutting a pineapple

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Contact a healthcare provider if you haven’t had a period for 90 days or your menstrual cycle is consistently longer than 35 days or shorter than 21 days.

Ways to Speed Up Your Period

Though many methods are widely cited as being able to induce periods, most have not been scientifically proven.

If you use methods to induce your period and are pregnant, doing so may terminate your pregnancy. See a healthcare provider if you suspect you missed your period due to pregnancy.

Hormonal Contraceptives

Hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills, can help regulate menstrual cycles, especially in women with conditions that cause irregular cycles. If you take birth control pills, you typically get a period within three to six days after discontinuing the active (non-placebo) pills. If you stop taking the active pill before the 21st day, you may start your period earlier than usual.

What Is Withdrawal Bleeding?

The period you get on birth control pills is not an actual period. The first period you get after stopping the pill is a withdrawal bleed. It occurs because your body withdraws from hormones when you stop taking active pills.


Progestins (synthetic progesterone) can restore regular cycles in women with skipped
or irregular periods. Taking progestin for seven to 10 days every three to four weeks is sometimes used to induce periods in those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and other conditions.

If you stop using hormonal birth control, you are no longer protected against unintended pregnancy unless you use another method of contraception, for example, condoms.


When taken together, Mifeprex (mifepristone), a drug that blocks progesterone, and Cytotec (misoprostol) may effectively induce periods in those with delayed menstrual cycles. However, this combination of drugs will effectively terminate early pregnancies and is used for emergency contraception.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol for ending a pregnancy up to 10 weeks after the first day of a person’s last menstrual period.


A female orgasm is known to cause uterine contractions. Some people experience spotting or bleeding after intercourse, usually due to irritation of the vaginal wall or cervix. Although it's widely reported that having sex can induce periods, there is no scientific research that supports this claim.


Intense exercise over prolonged periods, such as training done by athletes, can cause periods to be irregular or stop altogether. Overexertion can sometimes trigger spotting, breakthrough bleeding, or even blood in the urine (hematuria). However, breakthrough bleeding or spotting is different from an actual period.

Vitamin C

Although vitamin C is often cited anecdotally (based on personal accounts rather than scientific fact) as inducing periods by decreasing progesterone levels, no scientific evidence supports these claims. In fact, one study found that vitamin C increased progesterone levels in the blood.


Like vitamin C, pineapple is often said to induce periods due to its high levels of the enzyme bromelain. And, as with vitamin C, there is no scientific evidence to back up these claims.

One study found that supplements with bromelain had anti-inflammatory effects equal to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and that the supplements could also rarely result in unusual menstrual bleeding.


Although some herbs, such as ginger, turmeric, and parsley, are often said to induce periods, no studies have backed up these claims.

Amenorrhea is when a person who usually gets a monthly period but is not pregnant does not have a period for three months. Oligomenorrhea refers to irregular or infrequent periods more than 35 days apart.

Stress Delays Menstruation

Menstrual irregularities are known to be higher among people who experience constant stress during their cycles. Emotional, nutritional, or physical stress can disrupt hormone production and lead to late periods.

While most people’s periods will return once the stress is reduced, anyone experiencing irregular cycles or going without a period for more than three to six months should see a healthcare provider.

Reasons Why You’d Want to Induce Your Period

While there are multiple reasons for wanting to induce your period, the most common are:

  • Intense stress of unintended pregnancy
  • Medical conditions causing irregular periods that can lead to a buildup of the uterine lining
  • Not wanting to have your period for a big event, such as a wedding or vacation

Safety Considerations

Taking medications to induce periods without consulting a healthcare provider can harm your health. It is also not a good idea to try to induce periods with supplements or herbs, as they are unregulated and can cause serious side effects in high doses or if you have underlying health conditions.

For example, taking too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, and serious health problems in people with hemochromatosis or undergoing specific cancer treatments. There are also rare reports of bromelain supplements causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic reaction, and unusual menstrual bleeding.

Medical Conditions That Can Cause Cycle Irregularities

Medical conditions that can cause irregular menstrual cycles include:

Deciding to Use Birth Control

The decision to use birth control is highly personal and should be made with a healthcare
provider based on your needs and health history. In addition to preventing unwanted pregnancy, hormonal birth control can help regulate the menstrual cycle and treat conditions such as endometriosis, PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and acne.

While serious side effects are rare, hormonal contraception can cause headaches, weight gain, irregular periods, nausea, acne, mood changes, and other side effects.


While many methods have been reported to induce periods, only a few have been proven to do so safely and effectively. It's also known that stress and strenuous exercise can delay periods. Some medical conditions cause irregular menstrual cycles, which can be managed with certain medications.

Working with a healthcare provider is important if you're looking for ways to safely induce your period. Taking medications or supplements on your own can be dangerous.

22 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Cathy Nelson
Cathy Nelson has worked as a writer and editor covering health and wellness for more than two decades. Her work has appeared in print and online in numerous outlets, including the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News.