One considers a typical menstrual cycle to be 21 to 35 days. The absence of menstruation is called amenorrhea. Girls who haven't gotten their periods by the age of 15 and women who have missed three or more periods in a row have amenorrhea.
There are several possible causes of delayed or missing periods:
- Low or high body weight
- Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS
- Hormonal contraceptives
- Chronic conditions such as diabetes or celiac disease
- Thyroid issues
There are various reasons why a woman wishes to induce her menstrual cycle. Perhaps she wants to get her period over before a holiday or a special occasion. Maybe she has an irregular cycle and wants more predictability so that she can plan a pregnancy. Or her period could be delayed, causing her to feel stressed or worried.
Also Read: Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Foods To Induce Period
Apart from being pregnant, several reasons lead to delayed or irregular periods. Modern lifestyle, stressful work scenarios, high body weight, menopause, thyroid issues are common reasons for delayed periods. Delayed periods often lead to irritable moods, causing more stress. If this cycle continues, it turns into a vicious cycle of troubles.
However, nature's basket has many things to offer us. From getting rid of the irregular period to curing PCOS symptoms, healthy foods to induce periods are the best option. Here is the list of some nutrients and foods to induce period:
Ginger is an emmenagogue, which means it stimulates the menstrual flow. Drinking the brewed tea containing grated ginger and a tablespoon of honey provides a soothing effect to the body. When honey combines with ginger, it accelerates the latter's impact while enhancing the body's internal heat.
Increased internal heat around the uterus leads to contraction, causing menstruation. If you face the issues of irregular periods, consume enough ginger (not more than one teaspoon a day).
Jaggery is a popular heat-generating food in winters. Jaggery helps maintain the iron level in the body, inducing the haemoglobin content in the blood.
Mix half a teaspoon each of sesame seeds, turmeric, ginger, carom seeds, and a tablespoon of ginger. Chew the mixture and consume it with warm water. Jaggery is one of the foods to induce period or even prepone it.
Beetroot is the storehouse of vital minerals like calcium, iron, and folic acids. It helps reduce bloating and water retention, which women often experience during periods.
Moreover, iron content helps enhance blood circulation around the uterus. Eating a medium-sized beetroot or consuming one medium-glass beetroot juice would help induce a period earlier.
Pineapples contain bromelain that affects the uterus lining. It softens the uterine lining and helps to shed.
It helps enhance the production of RBCs and WBCs, leading to increased blood flow. A study shows that bromelain content in pineapple reduces inflammation.
5. Coriander Seeds
The emmenagogue property of coriander seeds helps deal with irregular periods. Boil one teaspoon coriander seeds in 2 cups of water until the mixture reduces to one cup. Separate the coriander seeds from the mixture using a strainer.
Drink the mixture thrice a day, especially 4-5 days before the period. It helps generate heat near the uterus, causing uterine contraction or onset of menstruation.
Parsley contains apiol, and high amounts of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps stimulate uterine contraction. However, apiol can be toxic if consumed more. Pregnant and breastfeeding women or those having kidney issues should avoid parsley tea.
Pour a cup of boiling water on two-three tablespoons of fresh parsley. Let it steep for approx 5 minutes before you start drinking.
Turmeric is an age-old Ayurvedic or traditional remedy having emmenagogue properties. It impacts progesterone and oestrogen levels in the body while enhancing its production. Moreover, its antispasmodic effect helps expand the uterus, signalling the period onset.
You can consume turmeric in several ways, like mixing a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of milk. One can even add it in curries, vegetable dishes, or rice.
8. Vitamin C rich fruits
Vitamin C helps trigger the hormonal level, enhancing the level of oestrogen. Better hormonal levels help solve irregular period issues. Hence, increased oestrogen levels and reduced progesterone levels induce uterine contraction, causing menstruation.
One can consume Vitamin C foods to induce periods. One can include citrus fruits like black currants, oranges, berries, black currants, or Vitamin C-rich vegetables like spinach, green and red peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, etc.
Eating raw papaya is one of the effective ways of inducing or preponing the period. Raw papaya helps stimulate contraction, allowing a better flow of blood. Carotene content in papaya triggers oestrogen level, causing period onset.
One can consume raw papaya at least twice a day or consider papaya juice. Having a bowl of raw papaya or approx 200 ml of papaya juice amidst the menstrual cycle ensures better flow.
Cinnamon is a period inducing food as its components help warm up the body, especially near the uterus, regulating your period cycle. One can consume milk containing a teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
11. Fennel Seeds
One can make fragrant tea from fennel seeds. Moreover, having it on an empty stomach helps regulate the period cycle and ensures healthy menstrual flow.
Add two teaspoons of fennel seeds to a cup of water and leave it overnight. Strain the mixture and drink in the morning.
It contains carotene, an enzyme that helps induce period early. It helps relax the abdominal muscles and dilate blood capillaries around the uterus. It helps prepone the menstrual cycle. One can include carrots in their diet as salads, juice, soups, or meals.
However, consuming raw carrots would be a better option. If you face acidic or gastric issues due to carrots, limit their use and switch to other foods to induce period.
Reasons Why Your Period Might Be Delayed
Pregnancy is the first thing that pops our minds when one misses the period. However, other reasons also contribute to the delayed period. Take a look at it:
1. Extreme Exercise
Heavy exercising causes changes in the pituitary and thyroid hormones, eventually impacting the menstrual cycle. Mild exercise for one to two hours daily is sufficient. Even if extreme exercise is crucial, consult sports professionals.
2. Birth Control
Birth control pills contain synthetic hormones that help alter the hormonal level, stopping ovulation. It even changes the quality of cervical mucus, thinning the uterine lining, making implantation quite difficult. Taking such pills regularly interferes with the menstrual cycle frequency, causing irregular or delayed periods.
3. Weight Changes
Changes in weight, whether slight or drastic, impacts the menstrual cycle. For instance, obesity influences progesterone and oestrogen levels, causing fertility issues. In such situations, losing weight might help regulate the menstrual cycle. Similarly, being underweight also impacts the menstrual cycle. It is due to a lack of nutrients that boosts hormonal production.
Stress interferes with the production of the gonadotropin hormone, which is responsible for regulating ovulation and the menstrual cycle. If you miss one or more periods due to stress, it isn't an issue. However, if prolonged stress and anxiety cause irregular periods, it is crucial to consult a gynaecologist.
Specific medications like anticonvulsants, chemotherapy medicines, thyroid medicines, antipsychotics lead to no or delayed periods. Consequently, different contraceptives affect the menstrual cycle differently. Some may cause heavy or light periods, and some amenorrhea (condition of no period for 3-4 months in a row).
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder caused due to excess male hormones (called androgens). Women even produce androgens. However, its excess production causes ovarian malfunction, inhibiting ovulation. Due to the inability to ovulate, a woman might face irregular periods.
Dangers of Foods That Induce Periods
Substances that can help induce a period are called Emmenagogues. Be aware that some emmenagogues are also Abortifacients. An Abortifacient is a substance that can cause miscarriages in pregnancy.
Irregular periods are medically known as Oligomenorrhea, which one considers to be a common problem among women. What are some of its causes? Weight loss, medical conditions and lifestyle issues, lack of progesterone rich food in the diet, to name a few.
This results in unwarranted stress and tension, leading us to look around for safe and natural solutions. And guess what, we found them in nature's basket.
Nature has provided us with a basket-full of home remedies to treat irregular and late monthly cycles.
How to Induce Menstruation in a Day?
There is no way to induce menstruation in a day, but here are some things that you can do to induce your period:
1. Period Inducing Food
Including foods like ginger, turmeric, Vitamin C-rich fruits, papaya, parsley ensures body warming, especially in the uterus. It activates the process of uterine contraction, helping cause periods.
2. Warm Bath
Warm baths help relax the tight muscles and relieve emotional stress. Applying a hot water bottle over the abdomen helps enhance the blood flow in the area, allowing gentle acceleration of the menstrual cycle.
Indulging in sexual activity also helps trigger the period. Orgasm while having sex helps dilate the cervix. It creates a vacuum, prompting the menstrual blood to flow down. One can achieve orgasm either through penetrative or non-penetrative sex. Moreover, regular sex helps reduce stress, promoting better hormonal balance.
Does A Change in Diet Affect Periods?
The food you eat and your menstrual cycle have a complementary relationship. Your diet can affect how your reproductive system functions, while menstruation affects your need and use of micronutrients.
Can Iron Tablets Stop Periods?
It's important to remember that iron supplements and food changes won't affect an underlying cause of excess bleeding. If heavy periods are behind your iron-deficiency anemia, your doctor may prescribe a birth control pill to help control your heavy flow.
It's important to remember that missing or delayed periods may be symptoms of an underlying problem. You should seek medical advice if:
- You are experiencing pregnancy symptoms.
- If it has been three months and there is no period in sight.
- You stop menstruating altogether before 45 years of age.
- You still menstruate, and you're past 55 years of age.
- If you frequently bleed after sexual intercourse or in between periods
- Your period flow is heavy, alters without notice, and is more erratic.
- You experience postmenopausal bleeding. What is this? When you bleed for over 12 months after you have stopped menstruating completely
- If you are on hormone replacement therapy and experience bleeding.
Papaya For Periods
Papaya is a rich source of Vitamin B1, C, B3, B5, E, and K, minerals, phytochemicals, fibres, enzymes, and proteins. Research even shows that it contains bioactive components. But is it beneficial for periods?
Unripe papaya contains a papain enzyme that causes spasmodic contraction in the uterus and helps induce periods. Hence, one should avoid it during pregnancy or heavy periods as it causes the risk of miscarriage or severe cramps, respectively. However, ripe papaya does not cause such harm to the uterus or the growing foetus.
Does Garlic Induce Period?
Garlic contains natural and medicinal remedies that help reduce the tension from uterine contraction. It prompts the uterus to move the menstrual blood out of the womb, causing periods.
If every cycle brings heavy cramps, it indicates a high oestrogen level. Garlic-rich foods help balance the body's hormones. It helps provide relief from premenstrual symptoms.
Summing Up on Foods to Induce Period
Several reasons cause delayed or missed periods. Hence, it is crucial to figure out the causes and work on them. Foods help induce periods, but it is not a magical weapon to show instant results.
Including period inducing foods in your diet helps regulate the menstrual cycle in natural ways. The rich nutrients in these foods aid the better flow of blood and cause uterine contraction.
Marzieh Rostami Dovom, Fahimeh Ramezani Tehrani (2016) Menstrual Cycle Irregularity and Metabolic Disorders: A Population-Based Prospective Study (U.S. National Library of Medicine) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5161370/