Are period delay tablets safe?

Menstruation is an inconvenient fact of life. It’s not just painful and uncomfortable, but it can also cause major disruptions to your plans. You may find it difficult to attend and enjoy certain events during periods, such as weddings, honeymoons, or other physically demanding activities.

Rather than continuing to suffer in silence, many women choose to skip or delay their periods. They take certain contraceptives or other treatments, often making an ill-informed decision. The questions remain, ‘Are these treatments effective?’ or ‘Is it safe to delay your periods?’

This article will shed some light on the safety and efficacy of the most popular period delay treatment options. Read them to make an informed decision.

How do period delay tablets work?

Period delay tablets are just as revolutionary for women as Viagra is for men. These period delay medications work to delay your menstruation for a certain time. Your period resumes normally once you stop taking the pills.

The period delay tablet works by mimicking the effects of progesterone in our bodies. A menstrual cycle is usually triggered when progesterone levels fall. Period delay tablets keep progesterone levels from falling, thus preventing bleeding.

The following period delay treatment options are available in the UK on prescription: 

Why delay your periods?

There could be any number of reasons you may want to delay your periods,

  • Weddings, honeymoons, or other romantic events
  • Events that involve swimming, especially in public
  • Wearing dresses or costumes that are incompatible with periods
  • Sporting events requiring vigorous physical activity, like dancing, horse riding, football, etc.
  • Cultural or religious events, like Valentine’s Day or going on a pilgrimage
  • Having a disability
  • Medical conditions, such as dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, or certain types of cancer

Whether it’s to stop your period for a holiday, illness, or a sporting event, the fact remains that taking period delay into your own hands can be very empowering for women.

How long can I delay my periods for?

It depends on the method how long can you delay periods safely.

  • Period delay pills can safely help you delay menstruation for up to 17 days. You will start menstruating normally within two or three days after stopping the treatment.
  • Using hormonal IUDs, contraceptive injections, or contraceptive implants can help you delay your periods for longer.

Depending on your requirements, your doctor can offer the best options for you to delay your periods.

Risks to consider when delaying your periods

Most period delay methods, including the pills, are pretty safe and fully tested. But they can still pose some risks that you may need to consider,

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Spotting or breakthrough vaginal bleeding
  • Hormonal imbalance in the body
  • Disruption to the normal menstruation schedule
  • Decrease in sexual desire
  • Breast pain
  • Blood clots
  • Nausea
  • Headaches

These risks may increase if you misuse period delay tablets or take them for longer than recommended. Please consult your doctor for the best period delay option for your needs to minimise the risks.

Using Norethisterone to delay periods

Using Norethisterone to delay your periods is a very efficient method. It is a prescription drug that can help safely delay your period for up to 17 days. Norethisterone is similar to the hormone progestogen. Progestogen levels typically drop during periods, which initiates the bleeding. Norethisterone works by keeping progestogen levels up in your body, stopping the lining from shedding in your womb.

Norethisterone dosage instructions

  • Start taking Norethisterone tablets three days before your periods start.
  • Take one tablet of Norethisterone 5mg three times a day
  • Continue taking it every day for up to 20 days.

Your periods will restart naturally within 2-3 days of stopping the Norethisterone.

Side effects of Norethisterone

These are the side effects you may need to keep in mind when taking Norethisterone for periods delay treatment,

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Acne
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating sensation in the stomach
  • Mood swings

Norethisterone may also cause allergy symptoms if you are allergic to its components. For a complete list of side effects, please consult the patient information leaflet here.

Who should not take Norethisterone?

Norethisterone may cause blood clots. Do not take this medicine if you or someone in your family has a history of blood clot problems, such as deep vein thrombosis.

You may also want to avoid taking Norethisterone if you have,

  • Breast cancer
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • History of vaginal bleeding

Please consult your doctor or a certified healthcare professional to determine if taking Norethisterone is safe for you.

Using Provera to delay periods

Provera is one of the safest period delay medications in the UK. It works as intended while rarely causing any side effects to the user. Provera can help delay your periods for up to 10 days. Provera consists of medroxyprogesterone chemical as a base ingredient. It works like a synthetic form of the naturally occurring hormone called progestogen. Provera keeps the levels of progestogen up in your body, which helps effectively delay bleeding and menstruation.

Provera dosage instructions

  • Start taking Provera tablets three days before your periods start.
  • Take one tablet of Provera 10mg three times a day
  • Continue taking it every day for up to 10-14 days.

Your periods will restart naturally within 2-3 days of stopping the Provera.

Side effects of Provera

These are the side effects you may need to keep in mind when taking Provera for periods delay treatment,

  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Spotting or vaginal bleeding
  • Depression
  • Mood swings

For a complete list of side effects of Provera, please consult the patient information leaflet here.

Where to get period delay tablets?

Period delay tablets are prescription medicines which are available via NHS in the UK. You can freely talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional to issue a prescription for you.

If you have no time to delay then order period-delay tablets online for next-day delivery. You can buy period delay tablets from Click Pharmacy. It is legal, safe, and efficient.

Is using contraceptives safe to delay your period?

Contraceptives are often prescribed off-label for period delay purposes by many UK doctors. It is safe to use them for this purpose with little to no side effects as long as your doctor recommends. Your menstruation will start as usual within 3 days to a week of stopping the contraceptives.

Using Vaginal rings to delay your period

Vaginal rings work by mimicking a natural menstrual cycle. They are typically left in place for three weeks and taken out for one week. However, you can skip the ‘free’ week and insert a new vaginal ring immediately after three weeks to help delay your periods.

It is perfectly safe to use vaginal rings to delay your periods. They are mainly used for contraception, but period delay is a popular off-label use for them.

Using Combined contraceptive pill to delay your period

Taking 2 packs of combined contraceptive pill back-to-back works as an effective contraceptive. However, you may take up to 3 packs back-to-back for period-delay. In this manner, you will gain 4-7 days of break from your periods.

It is safe to take upto 3 packs of combined contraceptive pills, but exceeding this dose may cause you spotting or vaginal bleeding. Consult your doctor to determine if using a combined pill for period-delay is the best option for you.

Using Phasic pills to delay your period

Phasic combined contraceptive pills carry a different amount of hormone in each pill. You must take them in the right order for 21 days for contraception purposes. Taking a 7-day break after this cycle is customary.

That’s why using phasic pills back-to-back for period-delay is not as simple as doing the same with combined pills. You may need to speak to your doctor about the best dosing schedule if you wish to use phasic pills for period delay purposes.

Using Progestogen-only pill (mini-pill) to delay your period

Taking a mini-pill will make your period bleeding lighter and eventually stop. However, it affects each woman differently. You may find your periods stopping, becoming irregular, or more frequent after taking the progestogen-only contraceptive pill to stop periods.

If you find the mini-pill stopping your periods effectively then you may continue to use it for this purpose. However, your doctor may recommend some other more effective method for a period delay because of the unpredictable nature of mini-pills in this matter.

Can taking the morning after-pill delay your period?

Yes, taking the morning after-pill for contraception may delay your period for a day up to a week.

Alternative ways to delay your periods

Taking contraceptives as alternatives to Norethisterone is a suitable method for period delay. But if you are tired of popping pills, you may use these natural ways to delay your periods instead,

  • Drink apple cider vinegar after mixing it with water or another liquid a few days before your periods
  • Take gram lentil powder in a soup or a smoothie form in the days leading to your periods
  • Drink lemon juice
  • Drink gelatin after dissolving it in warm water
  • Heavy exercise may also delay your periods for a few days


Delaying your periods is an effective way to make your life more enjoyable. You can use period delay medicines specifically designed for this purpose or hormonal contraceptives. Both are effective treatments for short-term period delay.

Consult with our certified healthcare professional to determine which period delay method works best for you.


Patient information leaflet:

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