Women's Health Friday February 5, 2016

How To Delay Your Period

There are numerous reasons why a woman may want to delay her period, including exams, holidays, a wedding, honeymoons and travel. If you have a big event coming up, you will want to be sure that your period won't ruin it.

Delaying your period not only prevents bleeding, it holds off menstrual symptoms such as breast tenderness, emotional changes, cramps and headaches, leaving you free to enjoy your special occasion without these issues.

What is period delay?

Period delay refers to postponing your period by medical means. It doesn't mean your period will disappear; it will simply be delayed until you stop taking the medications preventing it.

Is it safe to delay your period?

It is safe and many women choose to delay their period occasionally. There are two ways to delay your period:

Are you on the combined pill?

If so, you can take it without a break. Simply skip the seven days you'd normally have off by taking the second packet straight away.

Here are the three types of combined pill:

Monophasic 21 day pill: Continue to take this pill without the break.

Phasic 21 day pill: Because this pill contains different levels of hormone throughout the month, you should ask your doctor which ones to skip.

The everyday pill: This pill has seven days worth of dummy pills, which you need to skip and go straight to a new pack.

If you take the mini pill it's not possible to delay your period this way.

If you're not taking the combined pill

If you're not on the combined pill you can take Norethisterone to delay your period. It's a course of tablets that you take three days before the beginning of your period; so if you're planning a delay make sure you're aware of your cycle.

It works by boosting the level of progesterone, which stops the womb lining from shedding. It's temporary hormone control.

Norethisterone is a prescription drug because it is not suitable for some women to take. You can ask your doctor for Norethisterone or order it from an online pharmacy that dispenses prescriptions.

Remember that all Norethisterone does is delay your period. It does not provide any contraception. And condoms are the only contraception that provides protection against STIs.

How long can I delay my period for?

For two weeks maximum. If you need longer your doctor may prescribe a higher dosage.

Will delaying my period upset my cycle afterwards?

No, it doesn't change the date of ovulation. The following month will be business as usual.

Will my period be heavy if I delay it?

No, Norethisterone and the combined pill don't add any extra lining to your womb; they simply keep it in place until you stop taking the medication. It'll be the same period, just at a more convenient time for you.

Some women have found it actually makes cramps less painful and they have lighter periods afterwards.

Will my period arrive as soon as I stop taking the treatment/pill?

When you stop taking Norethisterone your period will arrive 2-4 days later. The same goes for the pill.

Are there any side effects of Norethisterone?

You won't be prescribed Norethisterone if you:

  • Are breastfeeding or pregnant
  • Have a history of blood clots
  • Have had pruritus (severe itching)
  • Have had unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Have angina or have had a heart attack
  • Have liver issues
  • Are taking other medications such as cancer treatments, HIV medications, certain painkillers and antibiotics.

This is because you may experience side effects or have a bad reaction. Norethisterone is safe for most women, however, and few suffer side effects such as bloating, libido changes and stomach issues.

How often can I delay my period?

It's not recommended that Norethisterone is taken regularly. Alternative options for regular period delay are the combined pill - which can be taken without a break for several months - or a coil, which can stop periods completely in some women.

It important to remember that you should finish the whole second pack of pills to ensure contraceptive cover, and ensure you use a method of contraception if you choose to use Norethisterone to delay your period.


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