One of the troubling times for women is the menstrual periods. It is true periods can at times prove very inconvenient for women, especially when they have some great plans on outing, holiday trip or any function to attend. So, it is very much obvious that many women must be looking for various ways to delay their period. One of the major and quick ways to delay periods is delaying periods with medicines. But how far is it safe? This is what the concern is for every woman who wants to delay her periods with medicines. So, here in this article we will talk about if it is safe to delay periods with medicines.

Is it Safe to Delay Periods with Medicines?

Is it Safe to Delay Periods with Medicines?

"Safety is always the first concern." So, is it safe enough to delay periods with medicines? Here we exactly come to our topic. Some doctors consider that suppressing the period occasionally is fine for healthy women, especially for those who are comfortable with taking birth control pills. However, it is important to note how long one is delaying her periods with the help of medicine. That is the reason not all doctor recommend taking these medicines for suppressing the menstruation or delaying the period. Your doctor would provide the best advice on this by examining your health condition, your previous medical history and family history.

However in general when we talk about the safety taking medicines including the Norethisterone and the oral contraceptives; for many women they come up with certain side effects, especially when taken for long period of time. Usually there is breast tenderness, blood clots, headaches and nausea with these medicines. (We will talk more about the side effects in the later part).

It must be mentioned that women who are in to smoking have a greater risk of side effects taking the medicines for delaying their periods. Apart from this, there are additional concerns on safety with regard to adolescent girls and the young women who go for menstrual suppression or delay their periods.

Role of Norethisterone Medicine in Delaying Periods:

Norethisterone is a female hormone that belongs to a series of medication known as Progestogens. It helps in delaying the periods in women and thus the period delaying medicines contain Norethisterone in them. Usually Norethisterone comes in the tablet form and in general the 5mg of tablet, three times in a day, taken three days prior to the period date is relevant enough for delaying the periods.

As mentioned earlier that Norethisterone aids in delaying periods because of the progesterone hormone it contains in it. It naturally keeps the progesterone hormone level up and thus aids your womb or uterus from shedding off its lining and thus prevents the menstruation to begin. Usually Norethisterone tablets are safe to take on occasional basis. However, they must not be taken regularly and also women with certain health issues and family histories of some medical conditions must avoid taking the same.

Various Medicines Used to Delay Periods:

  1. Primolut N: A drug produced by Bayer which helps in delaying periods is known as Primolut N. This is a medicine that helps in delaying your periods but it must be noted that Primolut N should not be used as a contraceptive alternative as it cannot help you prevent pregnancies from occurring. The drug comprises of Norethisterone which aids in delaying periods. Apart from being used as a period delaying medicine, Primolut N can also be used to treat irregular periods, endometriosis and various premenstrual symptoms.
  2. Oral Contraceptives: Femilone, Mala D etc. are some of the oral contraceptives which can be used in delaying your periods. Usually Femilone is the contraceptive pill that is used by most women for delaying periods. Though there are side effects of taking oral contraceptives for delaying periods; the contraceptive pill named Femilone, is considered to have less number of side effects on women taking occasionally. Make sure you talk to your doctor before taking the pills.
    Oral contraceptive pills along with a mix of two hormones estrogen and progesterone are usually used for this purpose of delaying periods. We will know more about this in our following arrays.
  3. Mini Pill/Progesterone Only Pill: Mini pills are also known as progesterone only pills which are also used to delay periods in women. It must be informed that though these medicines help in delaying your periods; they should not be taken for one reason and that is that about 20% of the women taking mill pills are known never to have their periods. However, in case you have been prescribed by the doctor to take mini pills then you may go for it.

Side Effects of Delaying Periods with Medicines

Here we shall be talking about some possible side effects of using medicines for delaying your periods.

Side Effects of Primolut N/Norethisterone:

  • Headaches, dizziness and nausea are most common side effects of taking Primolut N for delaying periods.
  • One more side effects of taking Primolut N include changes in bleeding during the period cycle; i.e. irregular or stopped bleeding.
  • Weight gain, fluid retention, bloating etc are other side effects of taking Primolut N for delaying periods.
  • Hair loss or excessive growth of hair may be other side effects of Primolut N
  • Depressed mood, insomnia or sleepiness may be some side effects on mental health caused due to delaying periods with medicine.
  • There may be disturbances in liver function due to delaying periods using Primolut N.
  • You may feel discomfort in the breasts because of taking Primolut N for delaying your periods.
  • There may be a decreased or increased sex drive because of Primolut N.
  • Rashes and itching are most common side effects of taking Norethisterone.

Side Effects of Delaying Periods Using Oral Contraceptives:

  • Nausea, headache, etc are the common side effects of taking oral hormonal contraceptives for delaying periods.
  • Leg cramps, bloating, etc are other side effects of oral contraceptives.
  • Changes in weight, changes in mood can also be some side effects of oral contraceptives.
  • Women might feel tenderness in breasts because of oral contraceptive pills.
  • In some cases women may have pigmentation on the face.
  • One of the dangerous side effects of taking oral hormonal contraceptives include growth of blood clots in the leg and other parts of the body; which may also dislodge and travel to other important organs of the body like brain and block a blood vessel over there.

Limitations of Using Medicines for Delaying Periods:

There are certain limitations in using medicines for delaying your periods. Make sure you stop using medicines in case you experience or suffer from the following conditions:

  • If you notice abnormal bleeding of the vagina occurring apart from your period bleeding then you must stop using the medicines to delay period.
  • Period delaying medicines must not be taken in case you have a disease in the arteries that can create a clot or stroke or have a clot in the veins of the lungs or the legs.
  • These medicines for delaying your period must be avoided in case one has a history of jaundice, tumors, Porphyrias, herpes gestationis, etc.
  • Avoid taking period delaying medicines in case you have an upcoming surgery requiring a long period of immobilization.
  • Period delaying medicines like Norethisterone, Primolut N etc must also be avoided in case you are using sex hormones.
  • One must not take Primolut N for delaying periods in case she has galactose intolerance, as the medicine contains lactose in it. Women who are allergic to any ingredients present in the medicines used for delaying periods must not take them.
  • It must be noted that breastfeeding mothers must avoid taking medicines like Primolut N for delaying periods as high doses may suppress the breast milk production and also can alter the composition of the milk.
  • You must not take the oral contraceptive pills for delaying your period in case you have high blood pressure or a history of stroke or blood clot or liver disease.
  • Any woman with a family history of breast or cervical cancer must avoid taking medicines like the oral contraceptives for delaying periods.

Medications that One Must Avoid If You Intend to Delay Periods Using Medicines

Usually Norethisterone is safe enough to take in case you have an urgency of delaying your period. However one must remember that there are some other medicines which must not be taken in case one is taking Norethisterone. Below we have the list of medicines that must not be taken with Norethisterone.

  • Phenytoin
  • Carbamazepine
  • Antiviral medicines for treating HIV
  • Tetracyclines, Rifampicin, Co-trimoxazole
  • Anticancer medicines
  • Medicines for high BP
  • Herbal preparation that contains St. John's Wort
  • Ciclosporin used for supressing the immune system
  • Warfarin
  • Rifamycin
  • Griseofulvin

How Long Should the Medicines be Taken to Delay Periods?

You can use the medicines containing Norethisterone for a maximum time of 17 days so as to delay your periods. You can delay your periods safely for 17 days by taking medicines. However it is not recommended to be used for a prolonged time period, else it may cause an hormonal imbalance and also generate various other side effects. Once you stop taking the medicines for delaying your periods, you naturally start getting your periods in two or three days.

FAQs on Delaying Periods Using Medicine:

Q: Will the Norethisterone Medicines for Delaying Periods Protect Against Pregnancy?

A: It must be mentioned that thought Norethisterone medicines help in delaying periods they will not protect against pregnancy from occurring.

Q: What can be done in case one does not get period after she has stopped taking the medicines for delaying period?

A: Usually women start getting their periods in 2-3 days after withdrawal of the period delaying medicines. However, sometimes it may be delayed to few more days (in some cases). However it is advised that you must go for a pregnancy test after 7-8 days of withdrawing the medicines used for delaying periods. It must be noted that medicines containing Norethisterone used to delay periods are not contraceptives. Go for expert medical advices from your nearby doctor in case you find issues in not getting periods after 7-8 days of withdrawing the period delay medicines.

Q: Where to buy the medicines for delaying period?

A: Medicines for delaying periods may be purchased from the chemist stores. You may get the medicines online in a more convenient way.

Final Oration to the Topic, "Is it safe to delay periods with medicines?"

Now we have talked about if it is safe to delay periods with medicines, known about their side effects; it is up to you if you want to suppress your periods or delay the periods for your very own reasons or you would take a back step in interfering with the natural system that marks womanhood. Kindly consult with your physician before taking medicines for delaying your periods.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: June 28, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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