Why Choose to Delay Your Period?*

That time of the month is near but a manic lifestyle has you juggling many deadlines and commitments that are coming to a head this month. Often having to deal with your period is another problem you could do without. Other reasons for choosing to postpone your period include: going on holiday, attending a special event, or wanting to spend quality time with your partner.

Periods can be minor inconveniences, or they can come with serious health concerns. Health issues range from headaches, cramping, painful periods, heavy bleeding, endometriosis, anaemia, asthma, migraines, epilepsy or mood swings.

Whatever the personal or lifestyle reason being able to delay your period is a welcome relief at times and there are options available for extending your menstrual cycle.

(Photo by Naomi August on Unsplash)

The combined oral contraceptive also known as the “the pill” is most commonly used as a form of birth control. It can also be similarly applied to delay your period. The pill includes oestrogen and a progestogen used to artificially generate the hormone that lines the uterus, so that when your period is due the lining does not fall. The pill comes in several variations which affects how you take the pill. The examples include: monophasic 21-day pills, everyday pills and phasic 21-day pills. Monophasic 21-day and ED pills are similar in consumption method in that you take them on a continuous basis and skip any breaks or dummy pills. The phasic 21-day pills are slightly different because there are different types of pills in each pack containing varying levels of the hormones. This necessitates them to be consumed in the correct order.

The skin patch and the vaginal ring are traditionally used for birth control and period delays much like the pill. The patch itself is an adhesive, small square that is applied to the skin. The contraceptive vaginal ring is a flexible, lightweight device that is inserted into the vagina. Both methods contain the hormones oestrogen and progestogen — also found in the pill — that are released into the blood stream. As these methods do not require a daily dose they can be used more consistently.

Norethisterone is a synthetic hormone used to stop the uterus from bleeding. It is designed to mimic the natural hormone progestogen which maintains the lining of the uterus and falls just before a period starts. Taking norethisterone tablets artificially maintains a high level of progestogen so that a period does not start. The major advantage of these tablets is that they do not need to be taken weeks in advance to come into effect. However, there are risks associated with norethistorene; therefore consult a doctor regarding its suitability for you.

Have you used any of these methods to delay your period? Feel free to share your experiences below.

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