How to Shorten Your Period

By Michelle Powell-Smith

Periods are an annoying fact of life, but there are ways to reduce the inconvenience. This is true if your period is excessively long, heavy or irregular, or if you simply would prefer not to deal with it. Hormonal contraceptives, including the pill, are one choice, but there are other options as well. Consider one or more of these options if you'd like that time of the month to be a little shorter, or even to go away entirely.

Step 1

Try the pill. Oral contraceptives are the easiest and most effective way to shorten your period. Many different pills are on the market today, so it is easy to find one you can tolerate well. You an even choose a pill that is taken continuously, without placebo days, so you only have a few periods a year. Some women choose to talk to a health care provider about using this strategy with their usual birth control pill as well.

Step 2

Consider a Mirena contraceptive device. This latest incarnation of the IUD (intrauterine device) releases a very low dose of hormones into the uterine cavity. Many women have shorter, lighter periods or even skip periods with a Mirena IUD in place. Due to certain risks associated with IUDs, this is ideal only for women in a long-term, committed relationship. It does require a doctor to place the IUD, but lasts for five years.

Step 3

Look into alternative menstrual care options. Many women say that they have shorter periods when they use a menstrual cup, like a Keeper or Diva Cup, instead of tampons or sanitary pads. These cups, made of latex or silicone, are worn inside the body and emptied as needed. While there can be a slight learning curve with reusable products such as these, they may make your period less of an annoyance.

Step 4

Exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. Studies have shown that women who get regular exercise and lead a healthy overall lifestyle have shorter periods than those who do not. Regular exercise can also contribute to maintaining a healthy body weight for your frame, which can reduce menstrual problems and help with shorter, lighter periods.

Step 5

Visit your doctor. A number of treatable hormonal and physical conditions can result in menstrual problems. Your doctor can help correct these, allowing you to have shorter, lighter periods.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are experiencing excessively long or heavy periods, irregular bleeding or other concerns, visit your gynecologist.