EH logo
General Fitness

4 Things to Keep in Mind for Safe and Effective Period Delay with Pills

By:
Team Elda
Published:
February 1, 2024

As menstruating women, we all have different reasons for wanting to delay our periods, whether for a special event, travel plans, or to avoid discomfort during important moments. You might have heard about period delay pills commonly advised by some well-meaning but ill-informed advisors. It's crucial to understand how they work and the potential risks to ensure we use them safely and effectively.

Please note: At Elda, we acknowledge the negative impact of period delay pills on the delicate balance of our hormones. We do not advise taking these without consultation with your doctor. However, we also acknowledge that individuals can have different needs and opinions. The resources below will help you chart the best way to consume such pills.

Why is it important to understand the science behind period delay pills?

Before taking period delay pills, let's understand the science behind them to make informed decisions about our health and well-being and avoid any potential risks associated with taking them.

Let’s get started!

What are period delay pills, and how do they work?

Period delay pills contain the synthetic hormone norethisterone that mimics your body's progesterone hormones' effects. When you consume them, norethisterone prevents the release of eggs from the ovaries and thickens the uterus's lining, the endometrium. This thickening prevents the endometrium from shedding and delays your period's onset.

However, it's important to note that period delay pills are not a form of contraception and should not be used as a substitute for regular birth control methods.

What are the different types of period delay pills available in India?

Pills specifically designed for delaying periods are Norethisterone (sold under the brand name Primolut-N) and Medroxyprogesterone acetate (sold under the brand name Deviry). Common side effects include bloating, headaches, and breast tenderness.

Other common types of period delay pills:

 

Combination pills: Combination pills contain estrogen and progestin hormones, which work together to prevent ovulation and thicken the cervical mucus. They are also used for birth control. Some common brands available in India include Mala-N and Yasmin. Side effects include nausea, headaches, and mood swings.

Progestin-only pills: Progestin-only pills, also known as mini-pills, contain only a progestin hormone. They work by thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the uterine lining, making it harder for the egg to attach to the uterus. Some common brands available in India include Cerazette and Nor-QD. Side effects include irregular bleeding and weight gain.

Emergency contraception pills: Emergency contraception or morning-after pills prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. They contain a higher dose of progestin hormones than regular birth control pills. They can also be used to delay periods. Some common brands available in India include iPill and Unwanted 72. Sside effects include nausea, vomiting, and headache.

How can you safely and effectively delay your period with pills?

Monitoring your menstrual cycle is essential so that your doctor ensures that the period-delaying pills are used safely and effectively and that any underlying health issues are identified and addressed. Do not attempt to do this without consulting with your doctor. 

Period delay pills can cause side effects like headaches, nausea, breast tenderness, and bleeding. But, if you experience severe side effects, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, or swelling, seek medical attention immediately.

What is the maximum delay you can expect after taking period delay pills?

The maximum delay you can expect after taking period delay pills depends on the type of pill and the time duration of its consumption.

Combination and progestin-only pills can delay your period for up to three weeks, while emergency contraception pills can wait up to five days.

However, it's important to note that the length of the delay can vary for each individual and may not be the same every time you take the pills.

What are the common side effects of Period Delay Pills to watch out for?

Common side effects of period delay pills may include:

  1. Nausea
  2. Headache
  3. Dizziness
  4. Breast tenderness
  5. Mood changes
  6. Weight gain
  7. Vaginal bleeding or spotting

Progestin-only pills can also cause changes in the menstrual cycle, resulting in delayed, lighter, or missed periods.

Other long-term effects of hormonal birth control include the risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and brittle, due to prolonged use of progestin-only pills, especially in postmenopausal women. Extended use of combination pills can also increase the risk of breast cancer, blood clots, and other health issues.

It is important to note that not everyone who takes period delay pills will experience these side effects, and some people may experience different ones. 

When should you seek medical attention?

Suppose you experience severe or persistent side effects, such as severe headaches, abdominal pain, or abnormal bleeding, while you’re taking period delay pills. In that case, it's important to seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage or switch you to a different type of medication to help alleviate these symptoms.

What are the 4 Things to Remember for a Safe and Effective Period Delay with Pills?

How does period delay pills impact your hormonal balance?

Period delay pills alter your hormonal balance, specifically during the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle. The luteal phase starts after ovulation and ends with the start of your period. The hormone progesterone is produced during this phase to help thicken the uterine lining in preparation for a potential pregnancy. If a pregnancy does not occur, progesterone levels drop, which triggers menstrual bleeding.

Period delay pills contain hormones that inhibit this drop in progesterone levels, meaning the body does not start to shed the uterine lining. Your period does not begin as expected.

Combination pills contain synthetic versions of estrogen and progestin hormones, which work together to suppress the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland. This prevents ovulation, meaning there is no egg available for fertilization. Additionally, the lining of the uterus does not thicken in preparation for a potential pregnancy. As a result, the body does not need to shed the uterine lining, which causes periods.

Progestin-only pills work by thickening cervical mucus, which makes it harder for sperm to reach the uterus, and by thinning the lining of the uterus, which can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. Although less reliable than combination pills, they can also suppress ovulation. These pills decrease estrogen and progesterone levels while increasing FSH and LH levels, stimulating the ovaries to produce more testosterone, leading to symptoms such as hormonal acne and hair growth. The effects of these pills are generally temporary, as with combination pills.

How is your natural menstrual cycle affected by period delay pills? 

It is essential to note that the hormonal shift caused by these pills not only delays the onset of menstrual bleeding but may also impact the timing of the next menstrual cycle. As a result, the intensity and duration of bleeding during the following period may also be affected. 

Your doctor can help determine whether taking period delay pills is appropriate for you based on your medical history and current health status.

Are birth control tools effective in delaying your periods?

Birth control pills, patches, and the intrauterine hormonal device (IUD) are some methods that can delay your periods. These methods work by regulating the levels of hormones in the body, which can help slow the shedding of the uterine lining and prevent menstruation from occurring.

However, not all types of birth control can delay periods. For example, barrier methods of birth control like condoms and diaphragms do not contain hormones. They do not affect the menstrual cycle, so they cannot be used to delay periods.

Why might natural remedies not be the best solution for an adequate period delay?

While natural remedies are often perceived as a safe and healthy option for delaying periods, it is important to note that they might not always be the best solution. Natural remedies like drinking vinegar, consuming parsley, or eating papaya have been used for centuries to delay periods. Still, there needs to be more scientific evidence to back their effectiveness.

Using natural remedies to delay periods is controversial. Some experts argue that it can interfere with the body's natural rhythm and lead to adverse health consequences. While others argue that they are a safer and less invasive alternative to synthetic hormones, often used to delay periods.

It is also important to note that the dosage and preparation of these remedies are not regulated, which can lead to inconsistencies in their effectiveness. Additionally, natural remedies can interact with other medications you might be taking, resulting in unwanted side effects.

What necessary steps should you take before taking period delay pills?

Consult with your healthcare provider

Before taking any period delay pills, consult your healthcare provider about your medical history, current medications, and any underlying conditions. They can help you choose the right pill and dosage based on your needs and health status.

Choose the right type of pill

Different pills are available for delaying periods, including hormonal birth control pills and medications such as norethisterone. Your healthcare provider can help you choose the right type of pill based on your medical history, current medications, and individual preferences.

Follow the dosage instructions carefully

It is essential to carefully follow the dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider or on the pill packaging. Taking too many pills or taking them at the wrong time can lead to unwanted side effects and health risks.

Watch out for side effects

Although most period delay pills are safe and effective, they can cause side effects such as nausea, headaches, and irregular bleeding. Therefore, it's important to watch out for any side effects and report them to your healthcare provider if they persist or worsen.

Don't rely on Period delay pills as a long-term solution

Period delay pills should not be a long-term solution for irregular periods or other menstrual issues. It is important to address any underlying health conditions that may be causing irregular periods and to work with your healthcare provider to find a long-term solution.

Key Points

  1. Period delay pills contain synthetic hormones that mimic your body's natural hormones to prevent ovulation and delay the onset of menstruation.

  1. It is important to understand how period delays pills work and their potential risks.

  1. Different period delay pills include Norethisterone, Medroxyprogesterone acetate, combination, progestin-only, and emergency contraception pills.

  1. Monitoring your menstrual cycle is essential so your doctor can ensure that period-delaying pills are used safely and effectively.

  1. Common side effects of period delay pills may include nausea, headache, dizziness, breast tenderness, mood changes, weight gain, and vaginal bleeding or spotting.

  1. You must seek medical attention if you experience severe or persistent side effects while taking period delay pills.

  1. The maximum delay you can expect after taking period delay pills depends on the type of pill and the time duration of its consumption.

  1. Period delay pills can impact your hormonal balance and alter the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle.

  1. It's important to note that period delay pills are not a form of contraception and should not be used as a substitute for regular birth control methods.

  1. Making informed decisions about your health and well-being is essential when considering period delay pills.

Before taking period delay pills, let's understand the science behind them to make informed decisions about our health and well-being and avoid any potential risks associated with taking them.