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    Don’t let mother nature ruin your holiday plans

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      Woman on beach in bikini

      So, you’ve finally booked a holiday, work have agreed your time off, but it’s dawned on you that you’ll be on your period while you’re away, and that’s put a real downer on things.

      While for some women periods are simply an inconvenience, for others painful cramps, low mood and tiredness can cause a real problem. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just put your period off for a few weeks until your long-awaited holiday is over? With the period delay pill, Norethisterone, you can!

      How long can you delay your period?

      You’ll need to start taking Norethisterone pills 3 times a day, three days before your period is due. You can then continue to take them for up to 20 days, meaning that you can delay your period for up to 17 days.

      How do Norethisterone pills work?

      These period delay tablets contain a synthetic version of the female hormone progesterone, working to prevent the lining of the womb from shedding as it does during your period. You will typically get your period then 2-3 days after stopping Norethisterone.

      Is a period delay tablet safe?

      Norethisterone is medically approved and the only tablet specifically designed to ensure women can control the start and end date of their periods.

      The treatment is safe and can be obtained without having to see a doctor face to face, but it is not a form of contraception and won’t work as such.

      The medication works by mimicking the effect of progesterone in the female body, preventing it from shedding the lining of the womb as is normal at the start of menstruation. The period delay tablets mean that the lining of the womb is sustained until the medication is over.

      Considering treatment?

      Visit period delay clinic

      Do Norethisterone pills act as a contraceptive?

      It’s really important to note that while they do delay your period, Norethisterone pills don’t prevent pregnancy, so you’ll need to use contraception while you’re taking them. Some women also experience breakthrough bleeding or spotting, but this is more likely to happen if you don’t take the tablets as prescribed, or if you don’t start taking them three days before your period is due. 

      Is it just a holiday fix?

      This medicine to delay periods isn’t only for women heading off on holiday. People who play competitive sport also appreciate being able to put off cramps and period-related fatigue for an important race or fixture. It can also be really useful for people who need to be free from period distraction to focus on important things such as exams, a job interview or a big presentation at work. Periods can be an inconvenience but there’s no need to let them get in the way. Use Norethisterone to safely delay your time of the month to a time that works for you.

      What if I’m already taking the contraceptive pill, or using a patch or vaginal ring?

      If you’re taking a contraceptive pill that has a 7-day break, normally, you can skip your 7-day gap and continue straight onto the next pill packet. This will allow you to miss your period while retaining full contraceptive cover.

      The same applies to women who use a contraceptive patch or vaginal ring and have a 7-day break followed by 21-day contraceptive cover. You should only miss your 7-day gap when required and no more than three times in a row. You may, as a consequence, also find that when you do have your next break, your period will be heavier than usual.

      It’s really important that you read the patient information leaflet that comes with your pill and consult a healthcare professional before you start taking Norethisterone, as not all contraceptives are the same. You may not be able to take your specific pill packet ‘back to back’, and even if you are able to do so, you shouldn’t exceed the recommended three packets in a row without consulting a doctor.

      Are there any long-term solutions to delaying painful periods?

      If you experience heavy or painful periods, there are plenty of options. You may want to consider trying a contraceptive that reduces your flow, or even a contraceptive that’ll reduce your bleeding to occasional spotting or nothing at all. The hormonal coil, for example, reduces bleeding and can stay in place for as long as 5 years.

      Different women will bleed different amounts when they use contraceptives such as the coil, but they can be a good option for people looking for a consistent approach to avoiding heavy periods. LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor has more information on choosing the right contraceptive for you.

      VideoGP by LloydsPharmacy

      LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

      This service operates in the United Kingdom only

      LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

      This service operates in the United Kingdom only

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