Postponing Periods!

Happy new year everyone and yes, you read me right you can postpone your periods… I can imagine some smiles appearing on many faces (both females and males😉.

During the last holiday season, I found out that a lot of of my female friends were not very impressed that their periods usually occur during their holiday trips. It then occurred to me that so many females are unaware that they can actually prevent their periods from showing up when they don’t want it around for example, during travels, special anniversaries, exams etc.

Women not taking the combined oral contraceptive pill

This can be achieved by the use of prescription-only tablet Norethisterone 5mg three times daily starting 3 days before your next normal anticipated onset of menstruation. Your period will normally begin 2-3 days after stopping the norethisterone. Note that it can be taken for up to 3-4 weeks if necessary.

This should be used only on an occasional basis – for special events, rather than regular usage. It has to be prescribed by a doctor to make sure it is safe for you to have it because in a very limited number of people it may be unsafe to take these tablets for numerous reasons, or not advised at a particular time. These include women who are overweight, smokers, have liver disease, taking some other medications, or any other woman at risk of clotting – developing clots due to different reasons or medications or who have clotting disorders and some other relevant personal or family history.

This medication should only be taken on the advice of a doctor as these checks are not exhaustive and prescription is on individualised basis. Again, it is generally safe and widely prescribed for most women and I frequently prescribe it in my everyday practice.
Medroxyprogesterone acetate 10mgs twice or thrice daily is the alternative medication for those for which norethisterone is unsafe.

Women taking the combined oral contraceptive pill

If you are taking a fixed-combined oral contraceptive pill you can simply start the next pack without the usual seven-day break. It is safe to take two packs back-to-back in this way if done occasionally. You still only need to have A seven-day break at the end of these two packets.

If you are taking a triphasic or biphasic type of pill then you will need to take the last phase of the pills from the second pack immediately after finishing the first pack. Alternatively, you can change to a fixed-dose pill.

You should see your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure which pill you are taking. The pills most commonly used are fixed-dose. If it is triphasic or biphasic usually the colour of the pill or the packet will not be the same throughout the month.

So, no more period worries for those memorable or stressful times! 😊
For these medications, always consult your doctor and always read the information leaflet that comes with your medicine .
Hope this helps and I am happy to answer your questions.
Best Wishes,
Dr Adeola.


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