Who among us hasn't suddenly realized that — shoot — we were still going to have our period during that trip, or our sisters' wedding, or on our anniversary? Whether your period is relatively free of symptoms like moodiness, cramps, and bloating or it's, um, not, there are still some days we'd rather be finished with the whole ordeal. If you're on the pill, you can delay or skip your period altogether. But if not, you've probably wondered if there was a way to start your period a little earlier so you can hopefully finish it earlier too.
If you Google the topic, you might find sources that say exercising, drinking herbal teas, relaxing, or even orgasming can hasten your period's arrival. While we certainly wouldn't discourage anyone from doing any of these things (within reason), as for their ability to shift your menstrual cycle? The jury's out.
None of them have been scientifically proven to alter your period's schedule. Mother Nature's call can't be manipulated... naturally, at least.
"There really isn't anything that will work other than hormonal manipulation," says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine.
She's talking about the pill. Hormonal contraceptives are pretty much the only fool-proof way of manipulating your period. If you're on a traditional birth control pill, you can just stop taking it when you would like to and within a few days your period should just start. But consult your doctor before trying this.
On the flip side, if you don't want your period to come at all, you can skip your entire week's worth of placebo pills and start the first week of your new pack instead. Since you're not ovulating while taking hormonal birth control, there's no reason for you to bleed — but some people like to get their period because it feels more natural, or lets them know if they may have accidentally gotten pregnant or not.
For those of you that want to have your period start at a certain date or time so it comes, say, before your wedding, Minkin advises that you speak to your gynecologist a few months in advance so you can work out a plan together using birth control pills. If you're not on the pill, you may be out of luck.