• Customer Service Team available now: Mon-Fri 8:00-17:00
  • Private & confidential service
  • Genuine medication
  • All-inclusive service - No hidden fees
  • Next day delivery

5 ways to delay your period safely

Managing your period when you're busy can be tough. You may have a big event coming up, a long-awaited vacation or you just want more control over your menstrual cycle. Or, maybe you would prefer not to deal with period symptoms like cramps, headaches, and mood swings.

There are a few proven ways to delay your period, but it is important to consult with a healthcare provider first. If you're on the birth control pill or other hormonal contraceptives, you can often skip your period without any issues. However, if not, there are other tablets available to delay your period.

Keep reading to explore different methods for delaying your period to make it more convenient for you.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana Written by our editorial team Last reviewed 13-06-2024

1. Taking Norethisterone

Norethisterone is a commonly prescribed medication to delay periods. It is a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone, which is produced by your ovaries. Progesterone has an important function in your menstrual cycle Trusted source electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) Government Source UK Government Medicine Info Site Go to source as your periods are triggered by a drop in progesterone levels.

By taking Norethisterone tablets, you keep the progesterone level in the body high so the lining of your womb doesn’t shed and you delay your period.

Image of water and pills against a yellow background

The tablets are taken a few days before your period is expected to start. Your period usually begins 2–3 days after you stop taking this medication. However, depending on your medical history, this isn’t an option for everyone.

Is it safe to take period delay tablets?

If you want to delay your period more than once with Norethisterone, you should speak to your doctor. This medication is safe to use occasionally however, it shouldn't be used on a regular basis as you may experience side effects.

2. Combined oral contraceptive pills

Combined oral contraceptive pills (COCP), or ‘the pill’, can be another useful way to delay your periods, as well as prevent pregnancy. They work by altering the hormone levels in the body, typically by providing a steady supply of synthetic hormones like oestrogen and progesterone.

Image of contraceptive pills

If you take the combined contraceptive pill (a contraceptive pill containing both an oestrogen and a progestogen), you can delay your period by taking the packets back-to-back.

These tablets are usually taken daily for 21 days, followed by a seven-day break during which no pills or inactive sugar pills are taken. You can delay your period by skipping the 7-day break or by missing out on the 7 sugar pills.

That means you’ll start your new packet of active pills straight after you finish the last pill in your 21-day packet. You can take up to three packets of the COCP back-to-back to delay your period for longer if advised by your doctor. However, this increases your risk of spotting or breakthrough bleeding.

Can I delay my periods with the progesterone-only pill (mini pill)?

The progesterone-only pill (POP) works differently to the combined pill. The POP must be taken every day, there is no 7-day break or a week of taking sugar pills. This means that there is no way to delay your period on the POP.

To delay your period, talk to your healthcare provider about switching to the COCP or taking Norethisterone.

3. Hormonal injections

Medroxyprogesterone acetate, sold under the brand names Depo-Provera and Sayana Press, is a type of contraceptive injection. It steadily releases the progestogen into the bloodstream, which prevents the release of an egg each month (ovulation).

Image of a woman receiving an injection

With hormonal injections, women may experience a change in their periods. Periods can become irregular, shorter, lighter or stop completely. After 1 year on Sayana Press, almost 57% of women Trusted source electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) Government Source UK Government Medicine Info Site Go to source reported that they did not have a period. Similar results were seen in women using Depo-Provera.

There is a chance that you may experience heavier periods, although this is rare.

Another important thing to note is that it can take up to 12 months or longer for your fertility and regular periods to return after you stop taking it.

So if you are planning to become pregnant in the near future, you may need to consider other period delay options.

4. The contraceptive patch

The contraceptive patch, known by the brand name Evra in the UK, releases the hormones oestrogen and progestogen into your body through your skin.

Image of a woman applying her contraceptive patch

Each patch only has enough hormones in it to last for 1 week (7 days). Patches must be changed once a week for 3 weeks, followed by a 7-day break.

If you want to miss your period Trusted source electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) Government Source UK Government Medicine Info Site Go to source , skip the patch-free week and start a new pack of patches on week four. However, there’s no guarantee that this will stop any breakthrough bleeding.

5. Vaginal ring

If you use the vaginal ring (NuvaRing) as your method of contraception, you also have the option of skipping your period Trusted source electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) Government Source UK Government Medicine Info Site Go to source . Usually, the vaginal ring stays in your vagina for 21 days (3 weeks) and is removed during the fourth week, which triggers your period.

Image of the vaginal ring contraceptive

You can choose to delay your period by skipping the 7-day ring-free interval and inserting a new vaginal ring immediately after you take the old one out.

You may have some bleeding or spotting when you use the ring to skip your period, this is completely normal.

Is it safe to delay your period?

As long as you consult your doctor first and it’s for a short time, it should be safe to delay your period. Your doctor can advise you on what method would be best for delaying your period according to your needs and medical history.

If you are looking to purchase pills to delay menstrual periods, book a consultation with one of our doctors here at HealthExpress. They can check to see whether period delay tablets are suitable for you.

Can delaying your period cause long-term health issues?

There's no evidence to suggest that delaying your period occasionally through the use of hormonal contraceptives or the other methods mentioned, would cause long-term health issues. However, you should not use period delay treatment long-term. If you delay your periods occasionally, you're unlikely to experience any lasting effects on your health.

How often can I safely delay my period?

Before you delay your period more than once you should speak to your doctor. Especially if you want to use period delay medication like Norethisterone. This medication is safe to use occasionally, but shouldn’t be used regularly.

Some women choose to use a combined hormonal contraceptive without any breaks for 3 months in a row. It’s advised to consult your doctor to see what works best for you.

Are there any natural methods that effectively delay menstruation?

Unfortunately, there is no clinical evidence to suggest that natural remedies can delay your period. There’s very little research into how herbal remedies or supplements can impact your cycle usually, these methods are not medically recommended.

Fill out a short
medical form
Doctor issues
Medication sent
from pharmacy