How To Delay Or Skip Your Period, Because Sometimes Vacations Are Poorly Timed

It seems as though just about every woman ever has wondered is it safe to delay my period? at some point in her life, and the internet is full of opinions as to how best to pull this off. Of course, if you're on birth control, there are plenty of options — some harder on your body than others. But even if you're au natural, there are some things you can do in an attempt to delay your period. They aren't guaranteed, and some of them are kind of weird, but I suppose you can't lose anything by giving them a try. That said, none of these are suggested by a doctor, and if you're thinking of trying any of them out — especially the ones related to hormonal birth control — be sure to consult with your general practitioner or gynecologist first.

Some of these range from suspicious to downright bizarre, which leads me to another thought: It's OK to let your body bleed whenever it plans to do so. You're a woman. You will have a monthly menstrual cycle. This is just the way it is. I'm all about embracing whatever is, as opposed to scrambling to change things to fit the way I think things "should be." You can eat boring food, guzzle water and gobble lentils by the handful — or mess with your hormones by taking nonstop birth control pills — but anecdotal evidence shows that this kind of thing can cause more harm than good (for example, see the comments section here). Do you, but again, be sure to pay a visit to your doctor before you do anything.

If You're On Birth Control:

Columbia University's Go Ask Alice online health resource breaks period rescheduling down like this:

There are other options, such as extended-cycle birth control pills and Depo-Provera. For most of these options, spotting between periods is fairly likely, so be advised that there may still be some blood to contend with here and there. But you already know how I feel about that.

It's safe to skip periods, says the Mayo Clinic:

If your doctor says it's OK for you to take birth control pills, it's probably safe to use them to delay your period. Not all doctors think it's a good idea to delay menstruation, however. Even those who support the option may not mention it unless you bring up the topic. If you want to try delaying your period, you may have to take the lead. Ask your doctor which option might work for you.

If You're Not On Birth Control, Here's What Affects The Timing Of Your Period:

Exercise

If you put extra physical stress on your body, it's more likely to hold off on bleeding for an extra few days. It's not a guarantee, but it may be a way to buy some time if you're going on a vacation or have some other reason to hope for a late period.

Stress

I wouldn't recommend this one, but emotional stress can also delay a period. If you're going through something particularly challenging at work, school, in your personal relationships, or the like, it's possible your body will wait to bleed for a little while.

Living With A Woman

Likely related to pheromones, women who live together often begin to have the same hormonal cycles. Obviously no one is going to go stay with a friend just in the hopes of delaying a cycle (no matter how much hell your period gives you), but if you live with a woman, there's a chance your cycles will be in sync.

Weight Change

Hormone levels can be altered by weight loss or gain, says the University of Michigan Health System. That said, your cycle will likely only be affected if the change on the scale is sudden, so this one isn't advised.

Eating Gram Lentils

This one sounds like an old wives' tale, but supposedly eating a bunch of gram lentils the week before your period can delay it. Fry them until they're soft, grind them into a fine powder, and throw them into a soup.

Eating Spices

Avoid spicy curries and the like if you're hoping to push your cycle back: Spicy food is said to bring on a period faster, so go bland if you're hoping to hold off.

Drinking Water

Flooding your body with water might give you a few extra days without a period. Probably not, but water is healthy for you anyway, so there's not much to lose.

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