How Safe Are Period Delay Tablets?

Our periods come each month and while many of us would prefer they don’t come at all, there are times when having your period is the absolute last thing you need. This is why many women choose to occasionally delay their period through period delay treatment.

Period delay treatment won’t permanently stop your period. Instead, it can pause your menstrual cycle long enough for you to attend that special event or go on holiday without having to deal with cramps.

A Normal Menstrual Cycle

Your menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones. Each cycle, your hormone levels increase as your body prepares itself for pregnancy. During the first half, the hormone oestrogen causes your ovaries to release an egg and your womb lining will thicken. During the second half of your cycle, the hormone progesterone helps the womb prepare for the egg to become fertilised.

If you don’t become pregnant by the end of your cycle, your hormone levels will fall and the womb lining that had built up will begin to shed, creating your period.

Period Delay Treatment

Norethisterone, also known as period delay tablets, are safe for most women to use on an occasional basis. Missing a period from time to time doesn’t cause any long-term impacts on your menstrual cycle or fertility. However, like any medication there may be mild side effects such as:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of libido
  • Acne
  • Abdominal pain
How Do They Work?

Norethisterone uses synthetic versions of progesterone so when you take it, your progesterone levels won’t drop and your period won’t start.

You have to start taking norethisterone three days before your period is due then continue taking it three times a day for up to 20 days. Your period will begin again 2-4 days after you stop taking the pills.

How Are They Different Than Other Pills?

Unless you want to become pregnant, you should continue using contraception as period delay treatment isn’t the same as birth control pills.

If you do take the combined birth control pill, you can delay your period by changing how you take them. Normally you take a week of placebo pills, but if you take your pills back to back without a break, your period shouldn’t start.