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Home / Period Delay / How To Delay Your Period

How To Delay Your Period

You can’t always plan for life - luckily, you can plan your period.

Getting your period is never fun. Especially if you have big plans coming up. Whether a holiday, wedding or work event, a painful or heavy period can ruin a special day with little warning. Fortunately, whatever the reason, there are ways of safely and temporarily delaying menstruation.

Read on to learn about the different methods of period delay as well as the treatments euroClinix offers to help.

Young woman with a calendar in one hand and sanitary pad in other hand

Can I use home remedies to delay my period?

There are many ingredients that you can find around the kitchen purported to delay periods. But (and this is a big “but”) none of these are backed by the medical community. You may find that natural remedies have some effect on your cycle, but that may equally be down to other unknown factors.

The following have all been proposed as beneficial (again, there is no research to back this):

gelatin gelatin lime_juice lime and lemon juice apple apple cider vinegar (ACV) lentils lentils cucumber cucumber

It may also be that the consumption of these do more harm than good. The juice of citrus fruits, along with apple cider vinegar, is incredibly acidic, meaning the consumption of large volumes can damage your teeth, throat and gut health. Even cucumber can lead to digestive issues if too much is eaten in a short period. For this reason, it is important to consult with a medical professional before starting any new health regime.

For methods backed by doctors and other healthcare professionals, please read on.

Can I delay my period with hormonal contraception?

Perhaps the easiest way to delay your period is to use your existing contraception. However, for this, you must be taking the oral contraceptive pill. Other methods of contraception, including certain hormonal contraceptive methods (like the coil or implant), cannot be used this way.

So how do I do it?

How you delay your period with hormonal contraceptives depends on the type of birth control pill it is. There are three different kinds of combined contraceptive pill (containing both progestogen and oestrogen) that allow for delayed menstruation. These are:

  1. Everyday - in a pack you can expect 21 active pills and seven placebo pills (containing no active ingredients) to help you remember to take a daily dose
  2. Monophasic - for this version, you take pills for 21 days, followed by a 7-day break
  3. Phasic - these pills all contain different amounts of active ingredients so it is important you take them in sequence (the pack will usually be ordered and divided by colour)

It is important that you first get the advice of your doctor before delaying your period with contraception. You should also not take more than two packs of contraception consecutively without a break (unless your doctor approves).

Doctor with blister pack in her hand

To delay your period with an everyday pill, take all of the pills up until the placebo pills (these will usually be a different colour), which you should throw away. Then continue immediately with the next pack. Common everyday pills include:

If you are using a monophasic pill, you can delay your period by skipping the break between packs. Just finish your current pack, and start the next one the following day. Common monophasic pills include:

If you’re using a phasic pill, it is very important to take these pills in the correct order. It is recommended that you speak to a doctor about how to delay your period, or else you risk the contraceptive effects being lessened. Common phasic pills include:

What if I’m taking the progesterone-only pill (POP)?

Unfortunately, if you’re taking the POP, otherwise known as the “mini pill”, you cannot delay your period by taking two packs back-to-back.

You should ask your doctor about switching to the combined pill if you need to delay your period regularly - do not start taking it without a review.

However, many women use the POP for health purposes, (as the combined pill poses a higher risk for them) so it may be better advised to use a medication containing norethisterone.

How does Noretherisone (period delay tablets) work?

Norethisterone, also known as norethindrone, is a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone - a similar chemical to that contained in the mini pill.

Throughout your menstrual cycle, progesterone levels fluctuate. As you near the end of your cycle, levels drop, which is what causes the lining of your uterus to shed. By taking Norethisterone, you artificially increase these levels, delaying shedding until you finish a course.

You should start taking the medication 3 days before you expect menstruation to start, and continue taking it until you are ready to have your period. However, you should not take it for more than 14 days straight. You should also be prepared for some breakthrough bleeding when using Norethisterone. This is not serious, however, if vaginal bleeding is excessive, or if you experience any other side effects (e.g. breast tenderness), contact your doctor.

It is very important to remember, Norethisterone is not a contraceptive. You can still get pregnant while taking it, even though it contains progestogen. If you plan to have sex while using this medication, you should use another form of contraception, such as a condom.

Is all period delay good?

As with all health issues, if you experience any unexplained changes to your body, you should report them to a healthcare professional.

Not all period delay is intentional. A few days late or early isn’t uncommon. However, if you are expecting your period but find it is more than a few days late, especially if you are normally regular, you should contact your doctor. It is not necessarily a cause for alarm, but it is a cause for concern. It is also a good idea to take a pregnancy test if you are sexually active.

The most likely causes for an unintentional delay to menstruation include:

pregnancy pregnancy stress stress wi weight loss/being underweight obesity obesity pcos polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
endometriosis endometriosis diabetes diabetes menopause menopause exercise too much exercise contraception contraception side effects (e.g. combined pills, IUD, etc.)

Some of these have the potential to become serious conditions, which is why it is important to get the advice of a medical professional.

Where can I order contraception and treatments?

For all forms of hormonal contraception, you need to have a doctor consultation. Usually, this involves making an appointment with your GP and going to the doctor’s office - this is so they can assess and monitor your health, to ensure you don’t suffer serious side effects (e.g. blood clots).

If you have completed a consultation and been prescribed a contraceptive, it is possible to reorder from an online pharmacy such as euroClinix. We ask that you complete an online doctor questionnaire and may forward your consultation to your GP (for your safety).

If our doctors are happy with your answers, you can then order your contraceptive - it will be delivered straight to your front door the very next day. Assuming there are no complications, the entire process can take under 48 hours.

We also offer norethisterone to order. You do not need to have a previous prescription for this as it is not used long-term. Complete your order today and receive delivery tomorrow.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana Written by our editorial team Last reviewed 12-01-2024
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Further reading

Understanding the menstrual cycle

Understanding the menstrual cycle

Reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana
What are the causes of irregular periods?

What are the causes of irregular periods?

Reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana
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