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How to delay your period

Take charge of your menstrual cycle with period delay pills

Have you ever wondered how to delay your period? Managing your period can be tough when balancing your work and personal life.

Doctors often prescribe pills, such as Norethindrone to delay your periods. This gives you the power and flexibility to decide when your period fits into your busy life.

Continue reading to learn how these medications work and what you need to know to make an informed choice about integrating them into your routine.

Dr. Adrian Rawlinson

Medically reviewed by Dr. Adrian Rawlinson

Written by our editorial team Last reviewed 04 January 2024

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What are some reasons to delay periods?

There are many reasons why some women choose to delay their periods.

Special occasions or events

Some people may want to delay their periods to avoid the stress and discomfort associated with menstruating during significant events, such as:

  • weddings or anniversaries
  • work-related commitments
  • important exams and tests
  • athletic events

Travel plans

Travelling can be stressful in itself, some people may choose to delay their period to avoid dealing with menstrual symptoms during this time. This gives you more freedom to enjoy activities without worrying about your period.

Medical conditions

Women with certain medical conditions, such as heavy menstrual bleeding or painful periods, may use hormonal medications to manage or delay their periods.

Personal convenience

Some people may choose to delay their periods for more convenience or to fit in with their busy lifestyle.

How does the menstrual cycle work?

Menstruation is part of the reproductive cycle and involves the shedding of the uterine lining. The menstrual cycle has 4 different phases, within each phase different hormones are released. These hormones send chemical messages within your body.

The length of the menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman. The average length of a cycle is 28 days; however, cycles lasting between 23 to 35 days are also normal.

The phases of the menstrual cycle

The main phases of the menstrual cycle include:

  1. Menstrual phase (days 1-5)
    This phase begins on the first day of your period. The lining of your uterus gets thicker each month to prepare for pregnancy. If an egg is not fertilized, the body sheds this lining which is seen as your period. Most people have their period for three to seven days.
  2. Follicular phase (days 1-13)
    This phase also begins on the first day of your period and lasts until ovulation (it overlaps with the menstrual phase). During this phase, a hormone called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) causes many follicles in your ovaries to develop.
    One of these follicles becomes the mature egg, as it matures, it releases estrogen. The rising estrogen levels trigger the thickening of the lining of the uterus to prepare for a potential pregnancy.
  3. Ovulation (day 14)
    Your ovary releases a mature egg during ovulation which occurs around day 14 in a 28-day menstrual cycle. This phase is triggered by a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH). The egg travels down the fallopian tube, where it can be fertilized by sperm.
  4. Luteal phase (days 15-28)
    During this phase, progesterone and a small amount of estrogen are released. This causes the lining of the uterus to thicken in case a fertilized egg implants here.
    If pregnancy doesn’t occur, estrogen and progesterone levels drop which triggers the start of your period and marks the beginning of a new menstrual cycle.

What are some ways to delay periods?

There are a few different ways you can delay your period. These may include taking hormonal contraception or Norethindrone.

Can hormonal birth control pills delay your period?

Some people use the combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP) to delay their periods. By continuing to take the active pills without taking the placebo pills or having a break between pill packs, you may be able to delay your period. How you achieve this usually depends on the type of pill you take.

For example:

  • Monophasic 21-day pills: In this regime, you take 1 pill daily for 21 days, followed by a pill-free period of 7 days (where you will get a withdrawal bleed). To delay your period, start a new pack of pills right after you finish the last pill and skip the 7-day break.
  • Everyday (ED) pills: These packs contain 21 active pills and 7 inactive pills (or a variation of this). You take 1 pill daily for 28 days and during the 7 days of taking the inactive pills, you will get a withdrawal bleed. To delay your period, don’t take the inactive pills, and start the active pills in your next packet straight away.
  • Multiphasic pills: These contain various sections within a pack, where each section contains a different amount of hormones. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist for more information on how to take these types of pills back-to-back to effectively delay your period.

If you take the progestogen-only pill (the ‘mini pill’), you cannot delay your period by skipping the 7-day break. You can ask your doctor about changing to the combined pill or taking Norethindrone to delay your periods.

Can Plan B delay your period?

Emergency contraception, also known as the Plan B pill, can delay your period. Having your period later or earlier than usual is one of the most common side effects of emergency contraception pills. Plan B should only be used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. It should not be used as a method to delay your period.

Natural ways to delay your period

Several websites talk about using natural remedies, such as lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or exercise, to delay your period. There is limited to no scientific evidence that these methods are effective, so it is best to use methods that have been proven to delay your period.

Stress can affect your body in many ways and can also affect your periods. Stress can make your body delay your period or even make you miss a period. Your periods could also be heavier or lighter when you are under stress.

What are period delay pills?

"Period delay pills" are prescription medications that can be used to postpone or delay your period. The main active ingredient in these pills, Norethindrone is a synthetic form of the female hormone progesterone. This hormone is similar to the natural progesterone produced by your ovaries.

Although Norethindrone is also used in some contraceptive pills, period delay pills are not contraceptives, and they do not protect against pregnancy. Norethindrone is sold under different brand names and is taken in a different dosage when it is used to prevent pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about finding an alternative contraceptive option if you require one.

How do period delay pills work?

Period delay pills work by changing the levels of progesterone in your body. This hormone plays a key role in regulating your menstrual cycle.

When the level of progesterone in your body drops, it triggers your period. By taking progesterone tablets, you keep your progesterone levels high enough to prevent the breakdown of your uterus lining. This ‘tricks’ your body into waiting a little longer before starting your next period.

These pills are typically taken in the days leading up to the expected start of your period. How long you take this medicine for usually depends on the desired length of the period delay.

These tablets need to be taken 3 days before your period is due to have the best chance of delaying your period. Your period will be delayed while you take this medication and will return 2 to 4 days after you stop taking it. If you do not get your period you should do a pregnancy test and contact your doctor.

Can I buy pills to delay my period online?

You can purchase Norethindrone pills to delay your period online here at SpeedyHealth. All you have to do is complete our online consultation which involves answering questions about your medical history.

Our registered doctors will then assess whether these pills are suitable for you, so you must answer all the questions fully and honestly.

If this treatment is right for you, your prescription will be sent to our pharmacy. It will then be dispensed and delivered to your chosen address.

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