It’s that time of year again: when many of us are rushing to get our summer holidays booked. But for a large number of women, you get all booked up only to realise that you’re going to be on your period while you’re away. While not unmanageable, many women would clearly rather not experience their usual symptoms while they are abroad. Suffering from issues such as tiredness, cramps and low mood can all detract from an otherwise enjoyable holiday.
It is for this reason that many women opt to delay the onset of their period when they head on holiday. A reliable and safe medication such as Norethisterone means that you don’t have to worry about going through your period during your travels.
However, if you’re considering delaying your period for your holiday, you probably have some questions. Luckily, we have the answers.
How long can you delay your period for?
You will need to start taking your period delay medication three times a day from three days before your period is due. You can take them three times a day for up to 20 days. This means that you can delay your period for up to 17 days, which is plenty of time to cover a week- or two-week-long holiday.
How does period delay medication work?
Norethisterone is a leading medication for period delay, and contains a synthetic version of the female hormone progesterone. The tablets work in the same way progesterone works: preventing the lining of the womb from shedding as it does during your period. Once you stop using Norethisterone, you will typically get your period as normal within two or three days.
Does period delay medication also act as a contraceptive?
One important distinction to be aware of is that Norethisterone is not a contraceptive medication. So while it will work to delay your period, it will not prevent you from getting pregnant while you’re away. This means you’ll need to use contraception while taking them in order to avoid pregnancy.
Is period delay only for going on holiday?
Period delay medication is not only used by women who are heading off on holiday. There are plenty of other circumstances in which a woman may wish to delay her period. One common example is among women who play competitive sports, as they may want to avoid symptoms like cramps and fatigue before an important race or game. Period delay medication like norethisterone can also be used by women in the build up to an important event like an exam, a job interview or a family event, when you might not want to be distracted by period-related symptoms. In short, you can use Norethisterone to delay your period safely at a time to suit you.
What if I am already taking contraceptive medication?
If you are currently taking the contraceptive pill, you may want to consult your GP before taking period delay medication. However, if you’re taking a contraceptive pill with a 7-day break, you can normally skip your 7-day gap and continue straight onto your next pill packet to miss your period while maintaining full contraceptive cover. In any situation, it’s important to read the Patient Information Leaflet contained in the medication packaging.
Is there a way to delay your period for long periods of time?
Period delay medication is not designed to be used long term, but rather for short term period delay for a matter of days or weeks. If you’re looking for something more long term, there are contraceptive options available, as well as options like hormonal coils which have been shown to help. It’s always best to consult your GP first.