Period Delay FAQs
- How can I delay my period with medication?
- How long can I delay my period for?
- Is it safe for me to delay my period?
- How does the medication delay my period?
- Will the medication cause any side effects?
- Does delaying my period make it heavier?
- How long will it take for my period to go back to normal?
- If I delay my period, will I be protected against pregnancy?
- Can I take period delay tablets alongside my normal contraception?
- When should I start taking Norethisterone in my cycle to delay my period?
Your period is delayed if the hormones in your body are disrupted so the uterus does not shed its lining as normal. This disruption can be achieved by temporarily adjusting the dosage of oral contraceptives. Alternatively, the artificial progestogen Norethisterone can have the same effect.
If you want to adjust the dosage of your oral contraceptive to delay your period, you need to take two calendar packs of the medication one after the other rather than taking a seven day break in-between packs. You should consult your doctor before you do this to make sure it will be safe for you to do so. If you are not taking an oral contraceptive you can delay your period with Norethisterone. You should speak to your doctor if you are considering this.
This will depend on what medication you are using to do this. If you choose to delay your period with Norethisterone 5mg, you will be able to delay your period by up to a fortnight.
If you are using an oral contraceptive, you should be aware that you do not have a period as normal while you are on this course of treatment. The bleeding that you experience between packs is actually a withdrawal bleed. If you take two packs in a row your withdrawal bleed will be delayed by three weeks.
Delaying your period with medication is not usually unsafe, but you should make sure you take your pills, either Norethisterone or oral contraceptives, according to your doctor’s instructions.
The hormone progestogen works to maintain your womb lining. Before your period, the levels of progestogen in your body drop, leading to the shedding of the womb lining, which you experience as a period. The medication Norethisterone is a form of progestogen, so when you take it the level of progestogen in your body is kept high enough for the lining of your uterus to stay in place. The oestrogen and progestogen in the combined oral contraceptive pill have the same effect.
Norethisterone is considered a safe medication and should not cause side effects in most women. A reason for this is that it is generally only used for a very short period of time and does not stay in your system for very long. Any side effects that do occur, including itching, rashes, changes to libido, headaches, dizziness, depression or nausea, are usually mild and will pass quickly. More serious side effects are very rare but can include high blood pressure, migraines, jaundice and thrombosis.
Your period will not be heavier if you take the medication as directed. If you take the treatment for longer than the advised two weeks, or miss more than two withdrawal bleeds if you take the contraceptive pill, a heavier period could be just one consequence.
With Norethisterone, your period will usually start two to three days after you stop taking the medication. If you delay your period with contraceptive pills, you will have a withdrawal bleed during the break between the packs as normal.
If you are taking oral contraceptives correctly you will be protected against pregnancy. Norethisterone is not a contraceptive, however, and will not prevent against pregnancy.
No. Norethisterone is not suitable to be taken alongside contraceptive pills. You should speak to your doctor if you are taking contraceptive pills and wish to delay your period. If you take norethisterone, you should also use a barrier contraceptive such as condoms.
You should begin three days before you expect your next period to start and take one pill three times a day until it is convenient for your period to return, though this should not be longer than two weeks.