Period Delay

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Period Delay

Period Delay

Sometimes your period is due at an inconvenient time of the month that collides with a big event such as a holiday or a celebration.

If this is the case, you may want to delay your period.

Using a hormone tablet called norethisterone you can usually delay your period for up to three weeks. There are a few circumstances where norethisterone is not suitable to take, these are addressed below.

We cannot guarantee that a period will be delayed.

Taking A Contraceptive Pill

Combined Oral Contraceptive (COC) – If you are taking a fixed dose COC then norethisterone is not required to delay your period. This can be achieved by simply starting your next pack and not taking the 7-day break. It is advisable to have a break after the back-to-back packs. This is a safe method if it is done occasionally.

The Consultation

During the consultation you will be asked some questions about your past medical history and current medication that you take. You may also need to have your blood pressure checked and your BMI calculated to make sure the treatment is suitable.


The tablet used is a progesterone hormone called Norethisterone which helps the body maintain the womb lining. When the progesterone levels drop your body will shed the lining of the womb resulting in a period.

Important – Norethisterone does not act as a contraceptive. Alternative contraception must be used to avoid pregnancy. It should only be used on an occasional basis and for a maximum of 3 weeks at a time.

Risk Factors                                                                                                                                                                       

Norethisterone can have oestrogenic effects which results in an increased risk of developing blood clots.

If you have a medical history with any of the following issues, then treatment with Norethisterone is not suitable:

  • If you are at risk for blood clots
  • A personal history of blood clots
  • A strong family history of blood clots
  • If you are overweight (BMI >30)
  • If you are immobile or wheelchair bound
  • A carrier of thrombophilia
  • If you are pregnant
  • Liver disease
  • History of breast cancer
  • Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
  • Genital tract cancer
  • At high risk for arterial disease
  • Suffer with migraines with aura


Do not take Norethisterone if you are currently using the combined contraceptive pill. If you are taking the mini pill (progesterone only pill) then you are fine to use Norethisterone to delay your period.

If you are taking any of the following medication, then you should not use Norethisterone. These medications may reduce the efficacy.

  • St John’s Wort
  • Rifampicin and rifabutin
  • Epilepsy drugs – carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone and topiramate.
  • Ulipristal – ellaone (emergency contraception) and Esmya (fibroids)

Side Effects

Common side effects include:

  • Bloating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Spotting bleeding

These side effects should ease as your body gets used to the medication.


Appointments are available at the pharmacy, please use the booking calendar below