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Down There Care

Is It Possible to Delay Your Period?

By Lizzie De La Cruz

Periods and all the inconveniences that come along with them are a normal part of most of our lives and they can often come at less-than-ideal times. Fortunately, with a bit of planning, there is now a way to manipulate your period to delay its arrival and hold off all the annoying side effects that come with it. This delay can be really convenient if you suffer from painful periods or bad PMS and have a big event, vacation, or competition coming up.

How to Delay Your Period

Delaying your period is called menstrual manipulation or menstrual suppression—basically, postponing your period. There are a variety of different products that claim to do this, both natural and medicinal. While the effectiveness of natural remedies remains to be proven, there are hormonal options that have been shown to be highly effective at putting a stop to your period. Norethindrone is one such option that can be prescribed by your doctor. Mimicking the effects of the body’s naturally produced progesterone, it is a type of synthetic progesterone. During a normal menstrual cycle, your body decreases levels of both progesterone and estrogen, sending a signal to your uterus to start your period. Norethindrone artificially boosts your levels of progesterone so the signal to begin your period isn't sent. No signal means a delay of your period. Norethindrone comes in the form of tablets which must initially be taken three days before your period is supposed to start. Three tablets a day are taken for the duration of time you wish to delay your period. The tablets can be taken for a maximum of 20 days, which will delay your period for at least 17 days. Your skipped period will resume 2-4 days after the norethindrone is stopped.

What Is The Most Important Information I Should Know About Norethindrone?

Safety is number one when it comes to any medication, so if you have any of the following health concerns, you shouldn't take norethindrone until you consult with a doctor in person.

  • Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding

  • Breast cancer

  • Liver disease or a liver tumor

  • If you have ever had a heart attack, a stroke, or blood clot

These conditions may make it dangerous for you to take norethindrone.

Important Things To Keep In Mind:

  • This is a temporary solution — norethindrone is not recommended for long-term use.

  • The tablets must be taken at the same time every day. They cannot be doubled up on, if forgotten.

  • The effectiveness of norethindrone relies on your period being regular, allowing you to predict when it should start.

  • This is NOT a form of contraception; some form of birth control must still be used.

  • You must be in general good health.

  • You must not be pregnant.

  • Be sure to let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding — in some cases, you may not be able to take norethindrone if you are.

Is Norethindrone Safe?

For most people who are looking to occasionally delay their period for a special event, norethindrone is a safe option. It is not intended to be a long-term solution for painful periods (you can consult with a wisp doctor for that!). As with any medication, there is the possibility of some side effects. Most of the side effects are relatively minor such as mood swings, breast tenderness, headaches, and loss of libido. In exceedingly rare cases, there can be more serious side effects. To determine if norethindrone will work for you, consult with your doctor prior to use.

Is Norethindrone The Same As Birth Control?

Norethindrone is a medicine that can be used as birth control (wisp offers it for contraception under the brand name Errin). However, the way you take norethindrone to prevent pregnancy and the way you take it to delay your period is very different. To prevent pregnancy, it's best to begin taking norethindrone on the first day of your period, and to continue to take it at the same time every day for as long as you want to continue preventing pregnancy. If you begin taking it on any other day, use an additional form of non-hormonal birth control (such as condoms, spermicide) for the first 48 hours to prevent pregnancy until the medication has enough time to work.

These instructions for using norethindrone to prevent pregnancy are very different than the instructions for using norethindrone to suppress your period. Remember, to delay your period you take three norethindrone tablets three days before your period is supposed to start. Three tablets a day are taken for the duration of time you wish to delay your period, and you can continue to take them for a maximum of 17 days. It's all about using the right dose at the right time!

Many of us have been annoyed by the start of a period at an inconvenient time. If you've ever wished you could postpone your period until after that trip, party, or date, norethindrone is here to help! With wisp, delaying your period is now easier than ever to do — order from the comfort of home and get norethindrone shipped directly to your door. Period.

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