According to the Access Project, menstrual periods can be shortened through birth control pills, herbs to balance hormones, exercise, sexual stimulation, and proper hydration. Access Project notes that a typical period lasts between three and seven days, and these techniques should only be used in the event of prolonged days of discharge.
The Access Project states that birth control pills are an effective way of shortening periods because they are designed to stop the process of ovulation. This may reduce bleeding as well as reduce the duration of a menstrual period. Hormone-balancing herbs can be effective because they help to balance progesterone and normalize hormonal levels, reducing periods caused by hormonal imbalance.
Exercising before and during menstruation helps to reduce period length and amount of discharge. Access Project notes that running, sports and other cardiovascular activities work best. Sexual stimulation and orgasm may serve to reduce periods due to vaginal contractions in the uterus and genital region that naturally speed up discharge.
As for proper hydration, drinking at least eight glasses of water a day maintains good water balance within the body. Water balance and hormonal balance can help shorten periods. Access Project notes that sweetened drinks, caffeine, and alcohol are ineffective in maintaining proper water balance.