Fact Check: Can you induce menstrual periods early with home remedies?-thip

Quick Take

A number of social media posts claims that home remedies can help a woman to induce menstrual periods early. Some of them are claimed to induce periods in “just one hour”. We fact checked and found all such claims to be Mostly False.

The Claim

Posts titled “Get Periods Faster” have flooded the social media in recent days. The most common home-made recipes suggested in most blogs are drinks made from ginger, cumin seeds, and fenugreek. Such posts can be seen here and here.

Fact Check

Can you rely only on diet to induce menstrual periods early?

There is no known foolproof dietary plan that can help induce periods early. Similarly there is no recommended diet to stop periods or end it early.

But available evidence shows that a healthy diet is important to have a regular menstrual cycle each month. Eating an unhealthy diet, limiting calorie intake or dieting can lead to hormonal imbalance causing various health problems. 

Do Ginger, Cumin Seeds and Fenugreek have any relation to periods?

There is no medical basis of this claim. Ginger, Cumin Seeds and Fenugreek cannot induce early periods. 

However, these ingredients are known for their benefits to alleviate pain during periods. In one research done in 2014, Ginger has been found to be effective in reducing period pains. In a similar research done in 2014, Fenugreek proved to be ineffective in managing period pains. Another research done in 2019 shows that ginger is effective but cumin has no role in reducing period pains.

None of these studies proved anything about any of these ingredients having any effect on inducing periods early.

We also referred to Dietician Nidhi Sarin to understand the role of diet in regulating periods. To this, she said “Diet plays a very important role in maintaining good health during menstruation. Some foods can stimulate hormones in the body to regulate normal periods and relax the period pain. But it is essential to understand that superfoods are only a catalyst to help reduce the severity of the condition. It is not a remedy or treatment for irregular periods.”

Is it possible to induce menstrual periods early?

Yes. A reliable hormonal birth control medicine can help you induce periods early.

Dr. Anita Gupta, Gynecologist and Associate Director at Fortis La Femme, New Delhi confirmed, “Doctors often prescribe hormones to induce periods early or postpone after properly analyzing their patients’ history. Generally sports women prefer this to avoid any kind of distraction during final matches.”

Dr. Gupta also warned against excessive use of hormones. She said “Once in a while, preponing or postponing a menstrual cycle usually doesn’t create problems. But if one tries to keep changing dates every month then it can lead to hormonal imbalance.” 

Besides this, there are some other ways to manage various period symptoms like flow, pain, etc. A study done in 2015 has shown that NSAID type medicines like Ibuprofen can reduce heavy menstrual flow by about 28 to 49 per cent.

What is a menstrual cycle?

The menstrual cycle is a series of events that prepares a female body every month for the possibility of pregnancy. Menstrual cycle can last in length from 21 to 35 days. 

The hormonal changes initiate the first stage, called the menses phase. This stage sheds the lining of the uterus through the vagina if no pregnancy occurs. 

The next stage of the follicular phase increases estrogen levels to grow the lining of the uterus. During this stage, follicle-stimulating hormone grows follicles in the ovaries to produce an egg. 

This stage is followed by the ovulation phase, in which the level of luteinizing hormone increases to release the egg, which travels through the fallopian tube to reach the uterus. This stage is called the luteal phase and is recognized by increased levels of progesterone which prepares the uterus for pregnancy. But in the absence of sperm, the estrogen and progesterone levels drop to shed the lining of the uterus and start the menses phase again.

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