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period-delay-tablets

Period Delay

Have you ever felt irritated to have menstruation when you have a very special occasion? If yes, you will appreciate a period delay tablets, which can postpone your menstruation for up to 17 days. Period delay tablets contain norethisterone - a hormon, that can delay menstruation for several weeks. Women can choose between a 10, 20 or 30 day course.

Medication

There are many reasons for a woman to want to delay her period, from marriage, vacations or to avoid the menstrual symptoms such as heavy bleeding and or pain that comes with it. There are many debates between gynecologists whether it is safe or not to delay a period, but the majority agree that there are no adverse or dangerous effects of altering your period from time to time. 

There are different ways in which you can alter your period, be it you want it to occur before or delay it. 

What are some of the reasons to delay your period?

  • Vacations
  • Important dates: Weddings
  • Menstrual alterations:
  • Painful cramps
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Menstrual migraine headaches
  • Hematological alterations: Bleeding disorders in which too much loss of blood can occur and have a negative effect on your body such as hemophilia or von Willebrand disease.
  • Endometriosis: Is the presence of endometrial cells, which are cells that are normally found in your uterus or womb and are found somewhere else in your body. Mostly ovaries, or Fallopian tubes.
  • Fibroid tumors 

What is the menstrual cycle? 

The menstrual cycle is the normal process in which women’s hormones fluctuate to prepare the body for a possible pregnancy. It begins from the first day you start to bleed or have your period up to the first day of your next period. In every period, tow hormones: estrogen and progesterone levels change and are in charge of all the changes that happen to your body so that ovulation can occur. 

How long do menstrual cycles last? 

Regular menstrual cycles last from 21 to 35 days long, being a typical menstrual cycle 28 days long. If your menstrual cycle lasts less or more than these days, it is important for you to check with a GP or a specialist to root out problems. 

What is ovulation? 

Ovulation is the process in which an ovary releases a mature egg so that it can be fertilized by the sperm of a man. At this stage, the lining of the uterus thickens so that fertilization can occur. 

What are the hormones in charge of the menstrual cycle?

Normally, estrogen, which is a steroid hormone is in charge of various functions in your body. It is known to play a role in bone resorption. Estrogen, in adequate amounts is needed to prevent bone loss. It also has an effect on the vagina and the female bladder, maintaining the vagina lubricated and preventing urine leaking from the bladder. 

At earlier ages, it is responsible for the development of female sex characteristics such as growth of breasts. 

Progesterone is a hormone produced after ovulation.  It regulates the inner lining of the uterus so that when an egg has been fertilized it will prepare the uterus for a pregnancy. It is produced 14 days after ovulation and will decrease if there is no pregnancy. In counterpart from estrogen, progesterone decreases the cell growth of breasts which is important in the prevention of cancer. If estrogen is in charge of reabsorbing bone, progesterone will act producing new bone cells to replace the old ones. 

Progesterone also plays an important role in the brain. It decreases symptoms of insomnia and depression acting as a natural antidepressant. 

Are there any risks by delaying your period? 

According to recent studies, delaying or eliminating your period by using artificial means such as contraceptive pills is as safe as using the contraception pills to avoid a pregnancy. 

How can you delay your period?

There are many ways to delay your period depending on the type of contraceptive you are using. If you use contraceptive pills, then depending on the tye you use you can take them back to back to avoid getting your period. 

Combined pills such as Cilest 

There are 21 pills in the blister pack. Each pill should be taken every day at the same time without interruption. After finishing the 21 pills, you will have 7 free day tablets. At this period, 2 to 4 days after the free day tablets have passed, your period will commence. After those 7 days have passed, you have to start a new package even if you are still bleeding or not. If you want to delay your period, start a new package after you have finished the blister. If the contraceptive pill you use comes with a 28 pilled blister pack, discard the placebo pills and only take the active pills so that you can delay your period. 

Who should consider other options over Cilest?

People who have or suffer:

  • Obesity with a body mass index over 30 kg/m²
  • Over the age of 35
  • Family history of strokes or heart diseases
  • Family history of thrombosis
  • Migraines
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Uncontrolled chronic diseases such as diabetes
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Chronic heavy smoker or started smoking at an older age
  • Chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis or cirrhosis
  • Breast cancer

If you suffer from these conditions it is advisable for you to consider other options and consulting with a GP before taking this medication. Always remember to inform your doctor of all health issues and doubts you have before taking any new medication. 

Norethisterone or Utovlan

Period delay: If you want to delay your period, Utovlan should be taken three days before the expected day your period will begin. The usual dosage is one tablet of 5 mg, three times a day for the period you want to delay it, for no more than 14 days. After you stop the treatment, your period will occur around two or three days you stopped taking the medication. 

Who should consider other alternatives over Utovlan?

Like all medicines, Utovlan may not be suitable for you if you suffer from the following conditions.

  • Allergic to Utovlan’s components or ingredients.
  • Family history or previous personal incidents of Thrombosis or history of blood clots
  • If you are pregnant or believe you are pregnant
  • If you had Pemphigoid gestation: Presence of jaundice (yellowish skin color)  and generalized itching that occurs while pregnant.
  • Cardiovascular disease such as previous heart attacks or angina.
  • If you suffer from liver problems
  • If you suffer from Porphyria: A rare blood disease that affects your nervous or cutaneous (skin) system.
  • Epilepsy
  • Asthma
  • Migraine headaches
  • Uncontrolled diabetes

If you suffer from these conditions it is advisable for you to consider other options and consulting with a GP before taking this medication. Always remember to inform your doctor of all health issues and doubts you have before taking any new medication. 

Mini Pill such as Cerazette:

One of the main side effects of using the mini pill or progestin only pill is the lack of menstrual periods. Recent studies have shown around 20% of women stop bleeding, therefore if you want to stop having your period this is an option you should consider talking with your GP.

Extended-Cycle or Continuous Regimen Pills

These type of pills are used to extend your period that vary from 3 months to a year. Examples are

  1. Seasonale, Quasense, Jolessa have  active pills for 12 weeks followed by a week of inactive pills. With these pills, menstrual cycles last every 3 months. Therefore, you take an active pill every day for 12 weeks followed by inactive pills or placebo for a week.
  2. Seasonique, Amethia, Ashlyna and Camrese have  active pills for 12 weeks followed by a week of low dose estrogen pills. With these pills, menstrual cycles last every 3 months. The difference over the other pills is that they include a low dose of estrogen that helps reduce some of the side effects such as bloating or bleeding.Therefore, you take an active pill every day for 12 weeks followed by low dose estrogen pills.
  3. Amethyst have active pills that will prevent menstrual cycle for 12 months. 

Who should consider other options over Extended-Cycle or Continuous Regimen Pills?

People who have or suffer:

  • Obesity with a body mass index over 30 kg/m²
  • Over the age of 35
  • Family history of strokes or heart diseases
  • Family history of thrombosis
  • Migraines
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Uncontrolled chronic diseases such as diabetes
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Chronic heavy smoker or started smoking at an older age
  • Chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis or cirrhosis
  • Breast cancer

If you suffer from these conditions it is advisable for you to consider other options and consulting with a GP before taking this medication. Always remember to inform your doctor of all health issues and doubts you have before taking any new medication.

Other long term options are:

Mirena: which is a hormonal intrauterine device that contains progesterone making bleeding less frequent or can even fade for 5 years, as long as the device is present.

Before starting a new medication, be sure to consult with your GP so that the best option that best suits you is taken. Every woman and every menstrual cycle is different, therefore not all options might work with you. Be sure to inform your doctor of any medication you are taking since there are certain interactions that might affect the effectiveness of the treatment. 

Before starting a regimen, consult your doctor to see how often you can skip your period or delay it so that no dangerous side effects occur. 

Sources:

  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/birth-control/in-depth/womens-health/art-20044044
  • https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a19985201/birth-control-to-skip-your-period/
  • https://onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com/uk/info/is-it-safe-to-delay-your-period
  • https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/travel-health/how-can-i-delay-my-period/
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/birth-control/skip-period-birth-control#9
  • https://www.phaa.com/delaying-menstrual-period-with-or-without-birth-control-pills.htm