All women experience a time when they need to delay their period, at one time or another.

Marriage is one of the leading reasons for women wishing to shift their period.

The most commonly prescribed—and best known—prescription treatment for delaying periods is Norethisterone. It allows you to delay your period for up to ten days.

The aim of the treatment is to balance the hormones in a woman’s body to prevent a period from occurring. So, if you have a wedding or a special event, you can delay the arrival of your period for a few days.

What methods exist for delaying a period?

There are many techniques to delay the arrival of menstruation available today in UK and Europe; some are natural; others require the pill.

Delay your period with the pill

Sometimes a woman may want to delay her period on special occasions such as a sports tournament or a major event. The following methods are generally effective.

If you take a combined contraceptive pill:

If you take a combination pill, you simply start a new pack without performing the usual interruption of 7 days. Taking 2 packets of pills in a row is not dangerous, as long as this remains casual. You must simply take the normal break of 7 days at the end of the 2 packets.

However, if you take a “biphasic” or “three-phase” pill, whose hormonal pill packs contain different dosages of placebo, and which are distinguished by their different colours, take the pills containing hormones every day of your cycle and skip the hormone-free interval. You can also consider switching to a fixed-dose pill, which will simplify the task. If you are not sure what type of pill was prescribed to you, or if you have any doubt about the type of pills to take to delay the period, talk to your doctor.

This method allows women to delay their period because women who take birth control pills are not having a real period. Indeed, the temporary cessation of the pill causes bleeding, but this is an artificial period, also called withdrawal bleeding. This bleeding is triggered when the woman stops taking the hormone. It does not occur if you connect one packet after another.

If you do not take a combined contraceptive pill:

If this is the case, perhaps you should consider opting for this method of contraception in the future. Thus, you should begin the combined pill a few weeks before your vacation so be sure not to have your period during your stay.

If you do not take the combination pill, there is a drug called “Norethisterone” that you may be prescribed. It is a progestin used in some combined and progestin-only pills, and it delays a period. To delay your period with Norethisterone, you must take one tablet three times a day, 3 days before the onset of menstruation. This treatment should be continued daily, for up to 12 days, until you are ready to have your period. Your period will arrive 2-3 days after stopping treatment.

If you want to delay your period, but you do not know when they fall because of an uneven cycle, start taking Norethisterone tablets 3 days before the date when the period should happen if you had a normal cycle (28 days).

When you take Norethisterone, it provides the body with progesterone and maintains the hormonal level, hence causing no bleeding to happen.

Norethisterone is not recommended for women with an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis. If you suffer from this, talk to your doctor.

Furthermore, this medicine can cause side effects such as bloating, heartburn, breast pain and a decreased libido.

Does delaying your period present any health risks?

Taking and buying Norethisterone is not hazardous to your health if the treatment is prescribed and authorised by a doctor. To maintain good health, it is recommended not to use the treatment excessively, and only on rare occasions.

How does the treatment work?

The main active ingredient of the period-delaying drug is Norethisterone. This active agent is a progestin which aims to influence the production of female hormones, namely, progesterone and oestrogen. These hormones change the balance in the body.

What are the side effects?

According to studies, the vast majority of women respond very favourably to taking hormone-based treatments. Those who are very sensitive to hormones may, however, experience certain adverse reactions:

  • Mood alteration
  • Gain or loss of weight
  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness

In order to limit these side effects as much as possible, it is imperative to talk to your doctor first.

Are women protected against the risk of getting pregnant?

Women using oral contraceptives are protected against the risk of pregnancy. In contrast, women taking Norethisterone for several days, they should use another contraceptive method such as condoms. It is important to remember that this treatment, Norethisterone, is to delay a period, and is by no means a form of contraception.

How to delay periods naturally without pills?

For all women who do not wish to use medical treatments to shift their periods, be aware that a number of techniques exist to do it naturally. Although the natural methods below are not scientifically proven, they seem to bear some fruit.

1. Delaying periods through sport

To delay your period without the pill, doctors also recommend that you practice more sport. According to various testimonies, sport is the most commonly used method to shift a period. Increasing your physical level as much as possible allows some women to prevent the arrival of their period. Warning, do not put your health at risk. It is advisable to practice a sport suited to your physical condition. The most active women will embark on playing basketball, swimming or Zumba, while calmer women may opt for dancing or brisk walking.

For effective results, please start between 2 and 4 weeks before the start of menstruation.

2. Delaying periods with food

Among the best-known and most commonly used methods, today to naturally delay one’s period is controlling your diet. Doctors advise that you avoid eating spicy food. Spicy food like garlic, pepper or ginger are all foods that, when consumed, accelerate the process of menstruation. If you avoid consuming these, your periods will be delayed without needing any pills.

Some good grandmothers’ recipes also recommend that women avoid consuming foods that increase their body temperature. Certain foods are known to raise the body temperature, like papaya, sesame, mango, pineapple and dates. To continue this approach, it is also recommended to eat lentils, or even, in the most extreme cases, consume vinegar.

Lentils should be consumed in a soup. For a better result, simply fry the lentils in cooking oil for a few minutes, to soften them. Then, use a blender to grind them to a powder. Eat the lentil soup every day for a week.

Women who drink a glass of water mixed with 3 or 4 teaspoons of vinegar may actually slow down menstruation. It is advisable to repeat this action 3 times a day in order to get suitable results.

3. Delaying your period with stress

This method is well known to delay periods. Highly stressed women often delay their menstruation. This technique, however, is not recommended, as stress can be the cause of various indirect diseases.

Warning: All of these natural methods work to delay your period, but be aware, however, that it is generally advisable to avoid them as much as possible. The same goes for the use of the pill.

If you have further questions about how to delay your period, Alfadoc invites you to ask any questions on our health forum for contraception. In the case of medical emergency, please consult your doctor.

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Medical review on March 10, 2017 by Dr. Davis Taylor


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