Worried about the irregularity of your periods? Can eating some foods make your periods come early? What does science say about this? Let’s find out.
Thinking of cancelling an event due to your periods being due? Have you also been wondering if you can eat something to make sure your periods come early so you could be done with them? Find out if there is such a thing as food to get periods early.
Are Your Periods Irregular?
Generally, the length of a menstrual cycle is about 28 days, but it can vary between 21 days to 35 days. If your periods are shorter than 21 days or longer than 35 days, they are termed irregular periods.
There are many factors that can contribute to irregular periods. Changes in your body’s hormone levels, especially the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, can disturb the normal pattern of your menstrual cycle.
Know the Reasons Behind Your Irregular Periods
There are many reasons that may cause irregular periods.
Pregnancy is one of the most common reasons behind a missed period. Once a pregnancy is established, ovulation (release of eggs from the ovaries) does not occur and there is no shedding of the menstrual lining, thus no period.
A lot of women have irregular periods while breastfeeding. This is because prolactin, the hormone that produces breast milk, stops ovulation, thus resulting in the absence of a period.
3. Premature Menopause
Menopause, or the permanent stopping of your periods, usually occurs between the ages of 45 to 55. Premature menopause, also called premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), is a condition where normal ovarian function is lost in women under the age of 40. This results in menopause-like symptoms, such as an end to your periods.
4. Thyroid Disorder
The thyroid gland plays a major role in controlling metabolism and reproductive health. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland interact indirectly with sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), a protein that attaches to reproductive hormones so they can move through the body. Thus, if the thyroid gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism), it can affect your hormones and cause irregular periods.
Chronic stress (stress that continues for a long time) can cause fluctuations in your hormonal levels. Your body makes a hormone called cortisol, when under stress. Depending on the stress levels and how much cortisol your body produces, the hormonal balance in your body can get disrupted and lead to delayed, light periods, or no period at all.
Stress can also lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices such as poor dietary habits, lack of exercise, and inadequate sleep, leading to sudden weight gain or weight loss. All of these factors can disrupt your hormonal balance and lead to irregular periods.
Excess body weight can lead to the production of high levels of estrogen, one of the main female reproductive hormones, and affect the regularity of your menstrual cycle. Obesity can cause irregular periods and also completely stop your periods.
7. Too Much Exercise
Excessive physical activity can cause irregular periods. When your body burns more calories through exercise than you consume in the form of food, it causes a shortage of energy required to produce an adequate amount of reproductive hormones to cause ovulation. No ovulation means no periods.
8. Nutritional Deficiency
Your body needs a sufficient variety and amount of nutrients to function properly. Studies suggest that nutrient deficiency such as vitamin D deficiency may result in irregular periods. Similarly, iron deficiency can cause anaemia, which may also result in irregular periods.
9. Low Body Weight
If you lose too much weight because of not eating enough or exercising excessively, it may cause a drop in your estrogen levels, which can prevent ovulation and result in irregular periods.
10. Uncontrolled Diabetes
Poorly managed diabetes can result in higher than normal blood sugar levels, which can disrupt your hormonal balance. Persistently high blood sugar levels can result in an imbalance in estrogen and progesterone levels and increase the risk of disrupted ovulation and irregular periods.
11. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is considered one of the most common causes of irregular periods. PCOS is a hormonal imbalance becoming increasingly common among women of reproductive age.
In women with PCOS, the ovaries produce an abnormal amount of male hormones called androgens (specifically testosterone). The hormonal imbalance can cause problems with ovulation, which causes irregular menstrual cycles and other PCOS symptoms.
If your periods are irregular due to PCOS, the management of PCOS with medications and/or lifestyle changes can help with getting your periods back on track. Consult a doctor about the best management options of PCOS.
Now, is there anything you can eat to make your periods come faster? Let’s find out in this blog.
But first, if your periods are delayed and you want to try and induce a period, always consult a doctor first and ensure that you are not pregnant. If the reason behind your delayed period is pregnancy, it is not advisable to try to induce a period with any substance or action that may harm your pregnancy.
Wondering Whether There Are Any Foods to Get Your Periods Faster?
There may have been many instances where you would have been advised to eat this or that to make sure your periods come soon, if they are late. Whether it is your grandmother giving caring advice or a well-meaning friend repeating what they may have read or heard somewhere, there are a lot of anecdotes about hundreds of period-inducing foods. However, there is no scientific evidence to back any of these claims. No foods have been proven by research to make your periods come early.
Let’s have a look at some foods that are popular as period-inducing foods.
Papaya is frequently cited as a home remedy to induce periods. People believe that raw papaya stimulates contractions in your uterus and can thus help in inducing periods.
It is also stated that carotene, a pigment present in papaya, stimulates estrogen hormone and induces an early period. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to back this claim about papaya.
Ginger is another widely used home remedy to get your periods. It is believed to have some anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have shown that it can help ease menstrual pain and control menstrual bleeding.
It is also believed to cause uterine contraction and thus induce periods. However, there is a lack of scientific research to prove these effects of ginger on your period.
Turmeric or haldi is traditionally believed to be an emmenagogue, a herb that stimulates blood flow to the pelvic area and uterus, thereby helping you menstruate. It is also stated to help induce periods by affecting estrogen and progesterone levels in women.
Further, studies suggest that curcumin, a compound present in turmeric, may help decrease insulin resistance, which may be beneficial for women with PCOS. However, it is reiterated that there is not enough scientific evidence for the claim that turmeric can help your periods arrive early.
Pineapple is a good source of bromelain, an enzyme that is believed to affect estrogen levels and thus affect your periods. It may also help reduce inflammation and thus may help resolve irregular periods related to inflammation.
This may help in conditions such as PCOS, which are associated with low-grade inflammation. Still, there is not sufficient scientific evidence to support the use of pineapple to induce your periods.
5. Vitamin C-Containing Foods
Many people also believe that consuming vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruits, kiwis, strawberries, guavas, and lychees can induce your period. It is believed that vitamin C or ascorbic acid can elevate your estrogen levels and lower progesterone levels.
This could cause the uterus to contract and the uterus lining to break down, leading to menstrual bleeding. Again, though vitamin C is highly beneficial for your health, its period-inducing properties are not backed by solid scientific evidence.
6. Sesame Seeds
You may have heard that consuming sesame seeds can help get your periods early. Among its supposed health benefits, there are claims that it may improve estrogen functioning and insulin sensitivity, and help with weight loss.
Sesame seeds may also reduce inflammation, cholesterol levels, and the risk of heart conditions. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of sesame seeds for inducing periods.
You may have heard of similar advice regarding carom seeds for regulating periods. While they may have multiple health benefits, there is no established scientific evidence to prove these claims about carom seeds (ajwain).
If you are experiencing irregular periods, it is always advisable to visit a doctor and act on their recommendations, which will be based on your specific symptoms, medical history, and diagnosis.
Do not try to induce periods on your own by eating or doing things you believe could help, as such acts could prove to be detrimental to your health.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- If your periods are shorter than 21 days or longer than 35 days, they are termed irregular periods.
- There can be many reasons for irregular periods, including pregnancy, breastfeeding, thyroid disorders, stress, obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- There are many anecdotes about period-inducing foods such as papaya, pineapple, turmeric, ginger, sesame seeds, and vitamin C-rich foods. However, there is no scientific evidence behind this and no foods have been proven to make your periods come early.
- If you have been dealing with irregular periods, visit a doctor and act on their recommendations. Do not try to induce your period on your own.
- Start your PCOS management journey with Phable. Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading gynaecologists, endocrinologists, nutritionists, and dieticians; order medicines; book lab tests; and get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a PCOS Management program that provides 360º care.
Friendly Asked Questions
You can get your periods back to normal by finding out the cause for your irregular periods and treating the cause. Consult a doctor for a prompt diagnosis of the reason behind irregular periods. Follow their advice related to medication, lifestyle changes, and diet, and, with time, your periods should come back to their normal pattern.
Irregular periods are usually caused due to hormonal issues, specifically with estrogen and progesterone hormones. Conditions such as pregnancy, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, and stress could lead to irregular periods.
Dates are abundant in nutrients and good for your health. However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that dates can help with irregular periods. Consult a doctor if you have irregular periods and follow their advice.
If you have irregular periods, it may be due to an underlying health condition such as PCOS, thyroid disorder, diabetes, premature menopause, etc. Hence, it is advisable to consult your doctor and start treatment at the earliest.
There are many anecdotal home remedies that are stated to help with getting periods early. These foods include turmeric, pineapple, ginger, papaya, and sesame seeds. However, none of them has been proven beyond doubt through research to have any effect on your menstrual cycle. Instead of trying to induce a period by eating these foods, it is better to consult a doctor to identify the root cause of the irregularity and begin treatment.