Whilst a period is a natural part of any adult woman’s life, there are times when it may be beneficial to enforce a period delay. The reasons for this can be medical or personal and, with the right medicine, women can choose to manage the timing of their period at will.
Why Would I Need To Delay My Period?
On some occasions, woman may wish to delay their period by just a few days for a variety of reasons. One reason is medical – in a number of medical scenarios involving gynaecological examination or treatment, a woman may not want her period to be occurring at the time.
Equally, there are personal reasons that a woman may need to delay her period. For example, there may be a special planned event or trip overseas during which time her period could be a greater inconvenience.
Period Delay Treatment Options
Period delay treatment contains synthetic progesterone in a mild dose, and should generally be taken both before you expect your period start and then for up to two weeks. Naturally, the specific course of treatment depends on the specific medication that you are taking.
A popular period delay treatment is norethisterone. In the case of norethisterone, woman simply take the pill for three days before their period is due to begin, and then for up to two weeks. After they stop taking the tablet, women will notice their period starting within two or three days.
How Long Can I Delay My Period For?
Each medicine that can be prescribed for period delay has a different impact on the body, but generally it is recommended that the tablet be taken for anything up to two weeks. This is long enough to cover the majority of circumstances when a period would need to be delayed, such as a holiday.
Does Period Delay Treatment Work?
A woman’s period marks the start of her monthly menstrual cycle, but is the consequence of the events that have occurred in the previous 28 days. The female body releases an egg and thickens the womb lining approximately halfway through the menstrual cycle, to prepare for the possibility of a sperm fertilising the egg and pregnancy occurring. If fertilisation does not occur, the egg and thickened womb-lining need to be removed from the body before the next egg can be released – this is the woman’s period.
The entire menstrual process is regulated by two hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. More specifically, when a period starts, progesterone levels are dramatically lowered.
Period delay treatments contain a synthetic version of progesterone, keeping the overall level in the body high. This stops the period from beginning in 99% of cases. Then, after a maximum of two weeks, a woman can simply stop taking the medicine and expect her period within three days.
Period Delay Side Effects
In the majority of pills associated with pregnancy, contraception or menstruation, synthetic oestrogen can cause mild side effects as the woman’s body adapts to it. However, since period delay treatment does not contain oestrogen, side effects are very uncommon.
Occasionally, women observe nausea, headaches, sore breasts or decreased libido as a result of taking period delay medicine. However, these symptoms rarely persist for the full duration of taking the tablet, since the body becomes more accustomed to the synthetic progesterone.
It is not usually recommended that woman delay their period on a regular basis, unless a doctor specifically prescribed a course of treatment for this. However, for those occasional circumstances where a period needs to be delayed, period delay treatment offers a safe and effective solution.