Is It Dangerous to Delay Your Period?
There are many different reasons as to why a woman may wish to delay her period. There are two ways in which delaying a period can be done safely – by taking period delay tablets, and by taking back-to-back packets of the combined pill. Here’s everything you need to know about both ways, as well as how period delay tablets work.
How To Delay Your Period Using Norethisterone – And Is It Safe?
Norethisterone is a synthetic version of progesterone – a hormone that participates in regulating the female menstrual cycle. Progesterone levels will fluctuate throughout the course of the month, decreasing in their levels towards the end of the month. It is this drop in progesterone levels that causes the lining of the womb to break down, which is then removed from the body in the form of a period.
Acting as a synthetic version of this hormone, Norethisterone artificially keeps progesterone levels raised – resulting in the womb not being broken down. This is why a period will not occur when Norethisterone is taken. The drug can be used to delay a period for up to 17 days, and is designed to be taken 3 days before your period is due, for a maximum of 20 days. Once you have stopped taking Norethisterone, your period will resume 2 to 3 days later.
While the medication is safe for the majority of women, it should only be taken on a short-term basis, and is not suitable for everyone. For women who have diabetes, high blood pressure or are prone to blood clots, Norethisterone will not be suitable. It’s important that whether you have an underlying health condition or not, you check with your doctor or healthcare professional to ensure you are safe and eligible to be taking the medication.
How To Delay Your Period Using The Combined Contraceptive Pill – And Is It Safe?
The way in which the combined contraceptive pill can be used to delay a period is by taking two packets back-to-back. The combined pill is designed to be taken with a 7-day break, known as the pill free interval – this break will include a breakthrough bleed. By taking two packets in a row, you can skip the interval altogether and miss the breakthrough bleed.
For many pills such as Cilest, Yasmin and Microgynon, this is a safe practice that causes no harm. For women who take everyday pills, the same principle applies – with the first 21 tablets being taken as active pills as usual, and the 7 dummy pills being skipped, to continue with the active pills in the next pack. The contraceptive pill works by stopping the thickening of the lining of the womb – which is needed in preparation for the fertilised egg. This results in no period being experienced, as no lining is expelled from the body.
Due to the bleed that is experienced during the 7-day pill free interval not being a natural period (it is instead a withdrawal of the synthetic hormones within the pill that mimics a period), taking 2 packets back-to-back is safe to do, as no actual period is being disrupted.
While it is possible for women to take 3 packets back-to-back with one another, it’s recommended that you speak to your doctor or healthcare professional if you’re looking to take more than 2 packs consecutively. Likewise, a doctor needs to be consulted before delaying a period for women using a phasic pill, as these contain different hormone quantities within their formulas, and it may not be safe or appropriate for them to be taken so closely together.
Why Am I Not Experiencing A Period On The Mini Pill?
Periods occur when the lining of the womb is shed, however when women take the mini pill, the pill is preventing the development of the lining of the womb, which in turn means there is nothing to shed. For the majority of women, the mini pill will not result in bleeding throughout the duration of the course, however some may experience irregular bleeds or spotting. This will vary from each individual, and not having any bleeding at all is nothing to worry about.
Is It Dangerous To Delay A Period?
Delaying a period through both the consumption of Norethisterone and through the use of the combined contraceptive pill is safe to do for the majority of women. Regardless of your reasons for wanting to delay your period, both these practices are harmless when done briefly for a short period of time. They should not, however, be done for long stretches of time, as this may cause health implications. If you need to delay your period for a long stretch of time, it is best to consult your doctor for advice.