What Is Involved in Inducing Menstruation?


Inducing menstruation can be approached in a number of ways. Determining the best approach to induce menstruation involves analyzing the specific circumstances around the induction. Upon analysis, a lifestyle, pharmaceutical, or herbal induction can be implemented, preferably under a physician’s care. If a medically relevant reason for the amenorreah — or lack of a menstrual cycle — is present, it is recommended that a woman seek medical care in regulating her menstrual flow by treating any underlying conditions.

Many factors can cause menstruation and ovulation to become delayed or irregular in a menstruating woman. These variables, as well as cycle timing issues, are often the reason for induction. If the variable is a lifestyle issue, inducing menstruation can be approached fairly easily. Lifestyle variables that may cause a late period and can be addressed include a disproportionate body fat percentage, which can be a hindrance if it is too high or too low; prolonged high stress or anxiety; and a diet lacking in essential vitamins and minerals. Menstruation can oftentimes be induced and regulated by finding the specific balance conducive to a complete menstrual cycle.

If symptoms of irregular menstruation are worrisome, it is recommended that a woman schedule an appointment with her general practitioner or gynecologist. Blood tests can be done to check for a hormone imbalance, thyroid or pituitary dysfunction, and signs of infection. When the reason for the delay or absence of menstruation is diagnosed, inducing menstruation can be addressed with hormonal or anti-infectious drugs and various other medical interventions. Birth control pills are routinely prescribed to many women to help combat menstrual problems.

If it is appropriate for a woman to induce menstruation under her own supervision, many herbal remedies have shown to be safe and effective. Emmenagogues, or menstruation-inducing herbs, can be administered by infusion, tea, or oral capsule. Parsley and yarrow, both mild emmenagogues, are common frontline remedies. Parsley causes mild uterine contractions that help menstruation to begin, and yarrow contains sterols that mimic the action of female hormones that work to regulate menstruation.

Inducing menstruation can be as much a matter of timing as having a monthly period can. If ovulation has not occurred when a woman uses an emmenagogue, the herbal treatment will not be effective and medical intervention to induce menstruation may still be necessary. A woman wanting to induce menstruation should first discuss the matter with a physician. While some emmenagogues are relatively safe, others can go so far as to interfere with pregnancy.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.