By Jana Abelovska
When going for a vacation, have you ever wondered how to delay your period and continue having fun? In a perfect world, we would all have a big red button with a period ‘start/stop’ option. Are you comfortable with starting your period? Press ‘start’. Are you getting ready for a romantic date? Press ‘stop’. Enjoy a spot-less day whenever you want … like a dream come true!
But the reality does not always conform to our wishes. It’s an ugly tragedy that the law of Murphy kicks in when it’s most inconvenient. Mother Nature kicks in when we least want it. Fortunately, we are not as helpless against nature as you may believe. It is in a human’s nature to defy nature, and defying natural period occurrence is one of the easiest things to do with modern medicine. While there are several ways to naturally delay your periods, not everyone can afford to make such drastic lifestyle changes. Therefore, pharmaceutical help is ideal in such situations.
This article seeks to highlight the amazing convenience of pills that delay your period, how they work, and of course, their safety!
How to delay your period?
Medically speaking, there are two ways to delay your period safely;
- Hormonal contraceptive pill, like the mini pill
- Period delay medicine, like Norethisterone
You may use the pills to delay your period for as long as you need, up to 30 days at a time. It can be incredibly useful when going on a holiday, planning a date, or a special occasion. The hormonal contraception methods also work to stop your periods, but they aren’t usually used for the short term.
Hormonal contraception methods to stop your periods
- A combined contraceptive pill can help delay your period for a longer time spell, but you may still get light bleeding (also called spotting) if you do not take a 7-day break every month.
- Mini pill can also stop for a more extended spell, but there is still a risk of spotting.
- A hormonal coil can help stop your periods, but it may take a few months to stop them completely.
- Contraceptive injection stops the period in about half the people that take it.
- The contraceptive implant stops period in about a third of the people that take it, but it may take a year to stop them completely.
Tablets that help delay your period and their types in the UK
Tablets to delay your period work to stop your period for a time (up to 30 days). Please keep in mind that these tablets are not contraceptives; they do not work to protect against unwanted pregnancies. These are the main period delay pills available in the UK;
- Norethisterone 5mg Tablets
- Utovlan (Norethisterone) Tablets
- Provera (Medroxyprogesterone Acetate) 10mg Tablets
How do tablets delay your period?
Norethisterone and Medroxyprogesterone both use a version of Progesterone. This hormone helps your body time your periods. Basically, your body takes a drop in Progesterone level as a signal to initiate the period. These tablets work to trick your body into believing this hormone is still at a high level; ergo, your body waits a little longer to initiate the next period.
Norethisterone is licensed explicitly for period delay for up to 17 days, whereas Medroxyprogesterone helps delay period for up to 10 days. From a medical point of view, both these drugs are safe to use for the period delay.
Can you get medicines to delay your period via NHS?
Yes, if you wish to go through your GP to get your period delay medication, you can. You will need to make an appointment with your GP, who will present you with the options at your disposal and prescribe the most suitable treatment for you. Then, you may take this prescription to get filled at Click Pharmacy.
A GP can give you an NHS prescription for your period delay tablets. However, not all GPs may do it. If you succeed in getting your NHS prescription via your GP, you need only pay the flat NHS prescription charges. If not, you may get a private prescription that will require you to pay in full for your medicine.
Are period delay drugs available over the counter?
No, such medicines are only available with a prescription in the UK. There are some severe health risks associated with progesterone medicines for certain people. That’s why it is essential you get your GP to ensure it is safe for you.
Even if you need your doctor to give you a prescription for the period-delay medicines, you may not have to do it in person. With online services like Click Pharmacy, you may get checked online with a quick and easy procedure. So you see, it is not a question of how to delay your period, but which method to apply.
How effective is Norethisterone?
The majority of women find that Norethisterone prevents them from starting their period until they stop taking the tablets. However, some women may have minor bleeding (spotting) when taking Norethisterone. Please keep in mind that starting a course of Norethisterone less than three days before your period increases the risk of spotting.
As a rule of thumb, you should not take Norethisterone if you have a;
- Preexisting liver condition
- Personal or family history of blood clots (thrombosis)
- History of heart attack or angina
How effective is Provera?
When taking Provera (Medroxyprogesterone), it stops your period with the same effectiveness as a contraceptive pill. So if you cannot use a contraceptive pill for some medical or personal reason, Provera is a good alternative.
How long can I take Norethisterone?
You may take Norethisterone for however long your doctor or pharmacist prescribes to delay your period. The maximum amount of time you may take Norethisterone depends on its dosage. A 7-day delay packet contains 30 tablets; whereas, a 17-day delay packet contains 60 tablets. Therefore, the choice is yours on how long you wish to remain period-free.
Usually, you may start taking 3 pills of Norethisterone a day three days before your period begins for the period delay. Your period will restart two to three days after you stop taking Norethisterone.
How long can I take Provera?
Provera Tablet is suitable for only a short, up to 10-day time period. If you require period delay medication for a longer time, you may need to discuss appropriate options with your GP.
At the end of the day, the effectiveness of a period delay pill varies with each person and how to delay your period is one of the most straightforward questions to answer. However, Norethisterone works for the majority of the people. If it does not, you can always take Provera. If even that doesn’t work, then you may discuss your options with your GP or a health expert at Click Pharmacy.