Is it safe to delay your period?
You may want to delay your period because they’re painful, you’re going on holiday or have an important event. There's many ways you can delay, skip or even stop your periods altogether.
If you’d like to delay your period, you might be worried about the possible impact on your natural menstrual cycle. We’re here to give you the advice and support you need.
How to delay your period
There are a lot of ways you can delay your period. These include:
Other ways you might be able to delay your period including taking the phasic contraceptive pill and progestogen-only pill (mini pill), however the effects on periods are variable.
You might be wondering how to take period delay medication and how safe each of these methods are. We’ll take you through this below. So if you’d like to find out more, read on.
Norethisterone is a prescription medication we offer which can be used to delay your period by up to 17 days. Norethisterone is an example of a progestogen. It works by artificially keeping your progestogen levels up. This stops the lining of your womb from shedding and delays your period. It is available from your GP, or you can request it using our online period delay clinic
Taking Norethisterone to delay periods
Start Norethisterone 3 days before your period is due, and then continue to take it for up to 20 days. You will get your period 2-3 days after you stop taking Norethisterone.
Is it safe to delay my period using Norethisterone?
Norethisterone is safe for most women to use occasionally. It should not be taken regularly.
Norethisterone is not safe for some women, so it's important to check with your doctor before starting. If you request Norethisterone from us, our clinicians will make sure it's safe for you.
Please note - Norethisterone is not a contraceptive. For contraception options, visit our contraception clinic.
With most brands of the combined contraceptive pill, you can take 2 packs back-to-back. By avoiding the 7-day break you should miss the withdrawal bleed in that week. See the contraceptive pill and period delay for more information.
Taking 2 packs of the combined pill back-to-back keeps the levels of oestrogen and progestogen in your body high. This prevents your womb lining from shedding. When you finish the second pack, your hormone levels will fall and you’ll have your withdrawal bleed.
Is it safe to delay my period using the combined contraceptive pill?
It’s safe to take packs back-to-back. Some women take 3 packets in a row, and then have a 4 or 7 day break. Some women take the combined pill continuously with no break. You might find that you get breakthrough bleeding or spotting if you take the pill constantly.
Most brands of the combined contraceptive pill can be used in this way, including Microgynon, Rigevidon and Yasmin. If you use phasic pills, however, you should consult your doctor before using this method to delay your period (see below).
For more information on the different brands of the combined contraceptive pill, see our online clinic.
Phasic combined contraceptive pills contain different quantities of hormones in each pill. You can delay your period when using this pill, but it’s not as simple as taking 2 packs back-to-back. It’s best to speak to your clinician about the best way to go about this.
Is it safe to delay my period using a phasic pill?
If you have been prescribed a phasic pill brand you should talk to your doctor before attempting to delay your period.
Progestogen-only pill (mini pill)
For some women taking the mini pill, periods will become lighter and stop. In fact, around 2 in 10 women who take the mini pill will have no bleeding, 4 in 10 will have regular bleeding, and 4 in 10 will have irregular bleeding. So if you’re taking the mini pill, it’s hard to know before you try it, if your period will be delayed at all.
Is it safe to use the mini pill and never have periods?
There is no need to worry if you have found that your periods have stopped after being prescribed the mini pill. For a certain number of women, periods will stop while they take the mini pill.