Let’s start by stating the obvious: DO NOT DO THIS.
It’s one thing to skip your placebo week of birth control so that you miss a period, but apparently some women are taking drastic measures to make sure their monthly visitor doesn’t overstay her welcome. A nurse recently tweeted that she’s seen multiple cases of women taking vacuum cleaners to their vaginas in an attempt to speed up the bleeding and shorten period. Yes, household vacuum cleaners.
Obviously, this is an incredibly unsafe thing to do, and the nurse’s (now-private) tweet urges women not to do this. “Ladies…please stop using your vacuum hose to end your period early. You’re gonna wind up sucking out a lot more than blood! There were 2 cases of this so far this week, and both women had to be admitted. Just…STOP!” her tweet read.
A slew of concerned women replied to the thread, expressing their horror and confusion, prompting the original poster to follow up with further explanation: “Your period has a steady flow of its own,” she wrote. “A vacuum increases that flow x1000 times. Your body can’t adjust to that speed and sudden loss of blood and you go into shock.”
Not only is this a dangerous technique, but Shazia Malik, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist at The Portland Hospital for Women and Children in London, told Vice that despite your best efforts, this tactic simply won’t work. “Menstrual blood comes from the womb lining, so hoovering or putting anything in the vagina wouldn’t change the length of your period,” she explained. “The amount of blood that comes out would be the same as what you’d get on a tampon or pad. You can’t speed it up.”
She went on to say that this method of menstrual extraction is extremely unsafe, calling it “downright dangerous,” and that it could lead to genital trauma, infection, or damage to the cervix.
Look, we get it: Periods can be a major pain. But while you don’t necessarily need to have one every month to remain a healthy individual, you should never, under any circumstances, attempt to stop it with dangerous DIY techniques.