The sudden arrival of your period can ruin plans & essential events and leave you frustrated. Have you ever wondered if there was a way to get rid of your period for a prolonged time (or altogether)? Although there are no sure set ways to get rid of your period immediately once it has started, there are various methods you can try to shorten it and some long-term solutions to change your menstrual cycle.
As they are an inevitable part of being a woman, they don’t have to be unpleasant or uncomfortable, so here are some ways you need to know on “How to get rid of your period!”
1. Once Started: How To Get Rid of Your Period or Minimize Your Period Symptoms?
Once it has begun, there is no stopping overnight period, and you will have to allow it to run its course. But you can adopt some ways to make your period journey much easier and prevent your plans from being dampened.
Over-the-counter medicines like Ibuprofen, Naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin can relieve the period-associated pain caused by the cramping of the uterus during a period.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that Ibuprofen (Advil) can help lessen cramps and menstrual bleeding. Still, it might also have an adverse effect and poses the risk of increasing the bleeding, making the situation worse.
These medications are a form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are widely used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. They lessen the effect of the substance that causes your uterine lining to start shedding and trigger your period, called prostaglandins, which are pro-inflammatory. However, these medicines can irritate the lining of the stomach; therefore, a doctor should be consulted before using NSAIDs.
1.2. Application of Heat
The heat and warmth provided by a heating pad, hot pack, or warm bath are very effective in lessening the impact of menstrual cramps. A heating pad on the lower abdominal region for 15-20 minutes will soothe the uterus and the adjoining areas.
There is no evidence to support that applying heat reduces the flow of your period. Still, it will provide natural cramp relief, and it is very convenient for people looking for alternatives to pain medication.
Although, a word of caution: the heating device or equipment should not be too hot and should not be used in direct contact with the skin as it may irritate the skin and may also lead to burning.
1.3. Herbal Alternative: “LADY’S MANTLE.”
Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) is widely used in traditional medicine because it is laden with properties that regulate the body’s progesterone levels. Due to this, the consumption of lady’s mantle can prove very useful for people who often suffer from excessive and heavy menstrual bleeding.
It also has anti-spasmodic and pain-relieving effects, so, it can be used as a natural method to relieve menstrual cramps.
It is available in the form of a powder or can be ingested in the form of tea. Lady’s Mantle tea can be easily bought online.
1.4. Menstrual Cups
Menstrual cups are a good alternative to using single-use pads and tampons. They are made out of silicone or rubber and can be reused for up to 10 years (if looked after properly). A cup is inserted inside the vagina, where it collects all the period blood from inside the vaginal canal. Easy to insert, they can be safely worn for up to 12 hours.
Though menstrual cups will not ease period cramps or affect your menstrual flow in any way, they are much easier to use and can effectively prevent leaks when used properly. Not to mention that they are also very eco-friendly as there is zero waste produced in using a cup, contrary to pads and tampons.
If you have an IUD (intrauterine device), it is recommended to consult with your doctor before switching to a cup, as there is a possibility that the cup might pull on the string or dislodge it, though a study done in 2012 found no evidence supporting this belief.
Menstrual cups might not be the best option for people with silicone or rubber-related allergies or conditions like vaginismus.
An alternative to the cup, the menstrual disc can also be used to have period sex, though it will not act as a contraception, hence using a condom along with it is recommended.
1.5. Period Panties
Period panties are undergarments made of super absorbent materials and can be worn instead of normal underwear. They are designed to absorb period blood for up to the capacity of two tampons. Most people use them as added protection to pads or tampons to prevent leaks, but they can also be used as the primary period product.
They are reusable, once full a period panty can simply be washed with water and mild detergent and be worn again when dry. Good quality period panties can last several years if looked after properly.
1.6. Light Exercise
Exercising leads to the release of endorphins in the body, which is a chemical that naturally relieves pain, reduces stress, and improves mood. Walking or other light cardio exercises can prove beneficial in reducing menstrual cramps.
Intensive exercising can disturb your menstrual cycle or stop your period altogether.
You can also do yoga or Pilates instead of exercises, and you will find the same result.
Having an orgasm also leads to releasing pain-suppressing endorphins in the body. Masturbating can lessen period cramps and make you feel better. An orgasm causes the muscles in your pelvic region to contract, and this causes the uterus to shed blood faster.
Period sex, although messy, is also a way to reduce your period cramps. Menstrual discs can be used to have mess-free period sex.
2. Long-Term Solutions on “How To Get Rid of Your Period!”
For people who experience excessive menstrual bleeding or suffer from health conditions like menorrhagia, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids, methods to have a manageable monthly period might not be enough. Many young women not planning on having children also seek ways to absolve themselves of the monthly hassle of a period and effective forms of birth control.
Although most of these methods have various side effects, and it can take a very long time to figure out which method works the best for you, they are still highly effective in vastly decreasing the frequency of your period or stopping them altogether.
2.1. Combination of Birth Control Pills
Combination birth control pills are a form of oral contraceptive that contain hormones. The pills are laden with a few hormones that, when taken daily, inhibit the growth of the endometrium layer of the uterus and prevent ovulation.
These pills prevent pregnancy and are very effective if taken correctly. They can also make your period lighter because the uterine lining is thinned, and hence, lesser menstrual bleeding will be experienced.
Combination birth control pills have 3 weeks’ worth of hormonal pills. The fourth week of pills is placebo pills which provide a hormone-free window for your periods to take place. You can skip the placebo pills of your current pack and follow them with the hormone pills of a new pack. This will help you skip your period. Though light spotting might occur after the first month of skipping placebo pills, periods stop altogether after around 3 months of following this procedure.
A doctor should be consulted before skipping placebo pills because birth control pills have a lot of uncomfortable side effects, which can give rise to headaches, nausea, vomiting, or other health issues.
2.2. Extended-Cycle Or Continuous Birth Control Pills
Extended-cycle or continuous birth control pills are similar to combination birth control pills, the only difference being that they do not contain placebo pills. They are also a form of oral contraceptives to be taken every day, but they were specifically made to help people with menstrual issues like heavy menstrual bleeding or health conditions like endometriosis that cause excruciatingly painful periods, etc., to skip their period altogether.
Depending on the type, the pills can help you skip your period for 3 months or 12 months. Continuous birth control pills also have a lot of unpleasant side effects.
A medical expert should be consulted before taking extended-cycle or continuous-cycle pills.
Norethisterone is a type of hormonal medication that contains the hormone progesterone, the consumption of which prevents periods.
This medication is supposed to be taken 3 days before the start of your period. People are usually prescribed to take 3-4 tablets a day. The period usually starts 2-3 days after stopping the medication.
Taking norethisterone medication can have potential side effects; therefore, a doctor should be consulted before starting this hormonal medication.
2.4. Intrauterine Devices (IUD)
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are a method of contraception used to prevent pregnancy. They are small “T” shaped devices that are inserted and placed inside the uterus through the cervix by a medical or health professional. IUDs can also help safely reduce your period’s intensity and make it lighter.
There are two types of IUDs available: hormonal and non-hormonal. A hormonal IUD is made of plastic and releases hormones that prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterine lining of the uterus, thus preventing pregnancy. A non-hormonal IUD is made of a combination of copper and plastic and is a better alternative for people looking for hormone-free birth control methods.
It may take up to 6 months to a year for an IUD to completely stop your period. You may experience heavier periods during this period, accompanied by stronger cramps, but it eventually lessens and might stop altogether.
IUD insertion is a medical procedure that a specialist should perform under medical supervision. Once placed, an IUD works for 5 to 10 years, depending on the type.
2.5. Birth Control Implant
A birth control implant is a small plastic device the size of a match stick placed in the arm right underneath the skin. It releases hormones that are a form of progesterone which prevents the release of an egg.
The insertion of these contraceptive implants is quick and easy, and the procedure is less painful than an IUD insertion. Nexplanon is a commonly available birth control implant.
Birth control implants are not known to stop your period, but the hormone-release action can make your period much lighter and reduce menstrual cramps.
2.6. Vaginal Ring
A vaginal ring is a type of hormonal birth control. It is a small ring made of soft plastic placed inside the vagina. Vaginal rings release hormones into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy. They can be safely worn during sexual intercourse, but they do not provide protection from STIs.
A vaginal ring is placed inside the vagina for 3 weeks and has to be taken out in the fourth week for you to have your period. However, if you wish to get rid of or stop a period altogether, you can leave the ring inside, and it would prevent periods. Vaginal rings can also ease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and make your period lighter.
NuvaRing is a commonly available vaginal ring.
2.7. Contraceptive Patch
Another form of hormonal birth control is the contraceptive patch. These patches are stuck on the skin and release hormones (progesterone and estrogen) into the bloodstream. The release of these hormones prevents ovulation every month and thickens the mucus lining of the cervix, making it hard for the sperm to enter the uterus, thus preventing pregnancy.
A hormonal patch is worn for a week and must be changed weekly. You will have your period if the patch is not applied for the fourth week. However, if you wish to stop your period altogether, you can continue wearing the patch for consecutive weeks, which will suppress your period. It might eventually lead to its stoppage altogether, eventually.
2.8. Birth Control Shots
Birth control shots are contraception methods that are in the form of an injection. The shot contains the hormone progesterone, which is injected into the bloodstream. This inhibits the monthly release of an egg from the ovaries. The injection also makes the cervical mucus thicker, which makes it harder for the sperm to reach the egg, and thus it prevents pregnancy.
Contraceptive shots like Depo-Provera have to be taken every 3 months. Because this is a form of hormonal birth control, it can make your period lighter and can stop your period after a year or so of regular use.
2.9. Gonadotropin-releasing Hormones
The use of gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH) ceases the release of estrogen in the body, which stops the uterine lining from developing every month for the implantation of an egg. Since the uterine lining stops maturing, periods are also stopped.
A major drawback of this method is that it might cause estrogen deficiency in the body, which might cause menopause-like symptoms and lead to other health problems. This can be effectively managed by estrogen therapy.
3. Permanent Fix: How to Get Rid of Your Period Forever!
Skipping a period or two or for a few months at times might be feasible for most young women. But for people who suffer from chronic conditions like endometriosis, for whom very heavy periods and other related symptoms degrade and hinder the everyday quality of their life, more permanent ways might be a viable option to stop periods altogether.
Surgical procedures are available for such cases, though they should not be considered if you plan to get pregnant.
3.1. Endometrial Ablation
Endometrial ablation is a surgical procedure. A doctor uses medical equipment to destroy the endometrial layer or endometrium, which is the inner lining of the uterus. The types of equipment use heating or cooling effects to achieve this result. The procedure is minimally invasive, fast, and relatively painless. It is usually used to treat people who experience very heavy menstrual bleeding.
Since most of the uterine lining is destroyed, periods are very light and can even stop altogether. Your period might return after a year or two after having the procedure done, but you can opt to have it performed again, which will stop your period.
It is very risky to get pregnant after having this procedure done and can prove fatal for the mother and the fetus.
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure wherein the uterus is removed from the body. People who suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding, fibroids, pelvic pain, or any type of cancer in this region (in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, or cervix) can undergo this surgery.
You will stop getting a period for the rest of your life after having this procedure performed. Hysterectomy entails the removal of the womb, therefore, the possibilities of getting pregnant in the future are void.
There are many risks and complications associated with a hysterectomy. It is an invasive procedure with a very long recovery period, so this method should be tried after all other methods have failed.
For more details about periods, you can check here.As an Amazon Associate, Icy Health earns from qualifying purchases.