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Norethisterone is a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone. By keeping levels of this hormone up, it stops your womb from shedding its lining, and can delay your period by up to 17 days.

Norethisterone 5mg | from £1.70 per day delay


Key Features
  • Can delay your period for up to 17 days
  • A synthetic version of the female hormone progesterone
  • The only medicine specifically designed to delay your period

A 7 Days Delay pack contains 30 pills, and a 17 Days Delay pack contains 60.

You will take 3 pills a day, starting 3 days before your period is due to start. This means that to delay your period for 17 days, you will take Norethisterone for a total of 20 days.
Dr Gigi Taguri

Key Information

The medicine

Norethisterone 5mg, a progesterone hormone. Our doctors can only prescribe enough tablets to delay your period for a maximum of 17 days.

How to take it

Take 1 tablet 3 times a day starting 3 days before your next period is due. Norethisterone should be taken for no longer than 20 days.

Taking Norethisterone

Norethisterone is not a method of contraception and will therefore not prevent pregnancy, so you should continue to use contraceptive methods. You should not take Norethisterone if you are already taking the combined contraceptive pill, although it is fine to take with the mini pill. It is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.


When taken properly, Norethisterone will normally delay your period and once you stop taking it, you will have your period within a couple of days. Some women may experience light bleeding whilst taking Norethisterone, but most will experience none at all.

Side effects

Uncommon at this strength, but you may experience nausea, breast tenderness, fatigue or headache. Rarely, it can cause a worsening of some chronic diseases or interact with some medicines, but one of our doctors will give you more information if necessary. Please also see the manufacturer's leaflet that accompanies your medicine for a full list of side effects.

Alternative treatments

The combined contraceptive pill can be used to prevent or delay your period, but you need to have taken it for at least 1 month previously. For further advice, see your GP.

Taking Norethisterone

How quickly does Norethisterone take effect?

Norethisterone should be taken 3 days before you expect your next period to begin, and should become effective immediately. It can delay your period by up to 17 days if all 20 days worth of pills are taken. It requires you to take 3 pills a day, and once you stop taking them, your period should start after a couple of days.

How does Norethisterone delay my period?

Norethisterone is a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone. Rather than allowing for the natural fall in progesterone during your period, Norethisterone keeps your progesterone levels up. This delays the shedding of your womb lining, and therefore delays your period.

Alternative Treatments

Norethisterone is the only period delay treatment we offer. The only alternative method of delaying your period is to take 2 months worth of contraceptive pills back-to-back, i.e. without the 7 day break in-between.

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