Stay in control of your body on your terms.
Menstruation is a natural part of the feminine cycle, but it’s not always convenient, especially when it threatens to interrupt a special occasion or a holiday. However, these days we aren’t totally at the mercy of mother nature, and prescription period delay medications as well as the pill can safely help delay your period for a couple of days or weeks.
Norethisterone is a period delay treatment for women who aren’t currently using a combined hormonal contraceptive. It contains a form of artificial progestogen that is able to mimic your natural hormones in order to manipulate your cycle so that your period starts later.
The beginning of your period is dependent on the level of hormones being released in your body. This differs at different points in your cycle. Period delay methods work by supplementing the body with artificial hormones which the body interprets similarly to the hormones being released naturally.
When you take a period delay treatment like Norethisterone, it supplies your body with a high dose of artificial progestogen. This artificial version of the hormone is able to influence your body in a similar way to the natural version released during your cycle.
Progestogen is responsible for helping the womb lining grow so that it can prepare it to receive an egg. Just before your period the level of progestogen drops, which causes the womb lining to be shed and your period to start. Taking Norethisteron keeps the level of progestogen constant, so that your body keeps on encouraging the womb lining to grow.
When you take a version of the pill to help delay your period, you simply take two pill strips back-to-back without having a seven day break in-between. During your seven day break from the pill, you don't have your period like normal, because it inhibits many of your cycle's regular activities, such as ovulation and a thickening of the womb lining. The bleeding you experience during your seven day break from the pill is a withdrawal bleed, which is when your body rids itself from the artificial contraceptive hormones you've been taking. Taking the pill without this seven-day break simply stops the withdrawal bleed until you reach your next pill-free days.
Period delay isn't just extremely convenient, but it can also have other benefits for your health. Medication to delay your period may be prescribed to women who experience periods that are heavy and painful, especially right before menopause. It's also a way to help women who experience intense premenstrual symptoms that are disruptive to their lives and women with conditions like endometriosis, asthma, epilepsy or migraines that become amplified right before menstruation.
Period delay isn't normally dangerous, as long as it's not done over a prolonged period of time without instructions from your doctor. Just like any prescription medication, even the pill and Norethisterone can cause side effects that you need to be aware of. Most commonly they are likely to cause bloating, stomach pains, nausea, breast tenderness and a lower sex drive. Should you notice anything more serious or persistent, it's best to speak to a medical professional. Make sure that you don't take these medications if you are allergic or sensitive to their active ingredients.
If you are taking a version of the combined oral contraceptive such as the everyday, phasic or monophasic pills, you can speak to your doctor about ways in which you can delay your period. If you aren't taking a combined oral contraceptive and you are not currently using the mini-pill, Norethisterone can be used to delay your period for a couple of days or weeks.
Norethisterone – You should start taking Norethisterone at least three days before your period is about to start and it can be used to delay your period for up to two weeks. It's not recommended to delay your period for longer than two weeks.
Monophasic combined oral contraceptives – Just take your pill back-to-back without a seven day break between pills strips.
Phasic combined oral contraceptives – Similarly to monophasic pills, phasic pill packs can be taken without a break inbetween. However, to make sure that you use the correct hormone levels at the correct time, it's best to ask your doctor for clear instructions on how to do this.
ED (everyday) versions of the pill – These pills should also be taken without a break inbetween strips, however, the dummy pills should be left out completely.