There are a number of reasons why you might want to delay your period, ranging from an upcoming wedding or honeymoon, to going away on holiday or just plain convenience. Some women simply find that having their period during occasions like these is embarrassing and makes them uncomfortable. But by delaying your period, and pushing back your menstrual flow by two or three days, it can make these events much easier to enjoy.
Delaying your period safely and effectively generally involves the use of prescription medication, either oral hormonal contraceptives or specific treatments. While some women have reported being able to delay this part of their cycle by adjusting their diet or exercise regime, there is no scientific proof that this is an effective method.
It is also important to remember that period delay should not be seen as a way to regularly alter the body's natural cycle. It is recommended that you only delay your period once every few months and never consecutively. This is because the reproductive system works thanks to delicate hormonal balances which can be disrupted by repeated delays.
There are several types of oral contraceptive pills that can help delay a period. These kinds of medications are often used by women to make their cycles more regular and can be used for the secondary function of period delay.
Monophasic pills are contraceptives that contain only one dosage of artificial hormones that are taken for 21 days followed by a 7-day break. To delay your period when using this form of birth control, simply start a new pack instead of observing the week long break.
Everyday pills are similar to monophasic-pills but instead of the 7-day break in tablets, the packs contains an additional 7 inactive tablets which you can continue to take during your period. To delay your period while using these, begin a new pack instead of taking the inactive pills.
Biphasic, triphasic and multiphasic pills contain varying dosages of both oestrogen and progestogen, making it difficult to establish a general guideline for period delay use. The best option is to consult your GP regarding which particular pill you are using and how it would need to be taken.
Mini-pills, also referred to as progestogen-only pills, unfortunately cannot be used for this purpose.
Norethisterone is a specific medication intended for period delay. It contains a high dosage of the artificial hormone progestogen, as is found in contraceptive pills. The tablets work by stopping the womb lining from shedding, which is what is expelled from the body during a period. Norethisterone should be taken two to three days before the start of a period. After the tablets are discontinued it should take a few more days before your period begins. It is only recommended that this medication be taken for a maximum of two weeks, although this is considered the longest period of time to safely delay menstruation.
If you have any questions regarding delaying your period, remember to consult your doctor. If you have certain underlying health conditions, are taking any other prescription medications or are simply unsure if you would be suitable to delay your menstrual cycle, they will be able to provide more information and help find the best method for you.