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Period delay for holiday freedom

Posted 18 June 2021 in Womens health

A sun-soaked young couple in a swimming pool on holidayPeriod delay...because we’ve all complained “I don’t want to have my period on holiday”.

There are many options for managing your period on holiday, but for some of us relying on a tampon during outdoor swimming season isn’t a comfortable option.

Add to this the rare opportunity to wear floaty white linen dresses and pastel-coloured shorts…

...and your period becomes mildly terrifying when your adventures take you too far away from the toilets.

The good news is there is an alternative. It’s been around for a long time but has picked up in popularity in recent years.

How period delay tablets work

Period delay tablets contain a drug called Norethisterone (also known as Primolut N). The drug has been designed to behave like the sex hormone progesterone.

The job of progesterone is to maintain a plush womb lining, ready for implantation of your baby-to-be. When progesterone levels drop, your womb lining breaks down and you get your period.

Norethisterone mimics the hormone progesterone, preventing breakdown of your womb lining. This delays your period.

When you stop taking the period delay tablets, progesterone levels drop and you’ll get your period within 2-3 days.

Period delay “pill” vs contraceptive pill

The contraceptive pill and the period delay pill are both based on sex hormones, but they are very different.

Here is the most important information you need to know about them both:

  • Norethisterone will not prevent pregnancy so you need to make sure you have effective contraception in place.
  • Women taking the combined pill for contraception have the option to take the combined pill packs “back to back” to prevent their period, so period delay medication is not needed and is not recommended.
  • Women taking the progesterone only pill cannot delay their period in the same way as women taking the combined pill, and are able to apply for the period delay tablets.

Because you cannot buy period delay medication over the counter, your doctor will advise you whether Norethisterone is a good option for you.

Here at WebMed Pharmacy we have online doctors who will assess your suitability via an online medical questionnaire at no extra cost, making this process simple, fast and affordable.

Will the period delay tablet work for my two week holiday?

Norethisterone should be taken 3 days before the start of your period. You’ll take three 5mg tablets a day for the duration of your holiday, up to a maximum of 17 days.

For a week-long holiday, a 30 pack will last you the full 7 days.

For a longer holiday, you’ll need the 60 pack.

It’s not recommended that you take this regularly. If you find you need to delay your period frequently then it’s recommended you speak to your GP to discuss longer term alternatives.

The side effects of taking period delay medication

As with all drugs, there is a risk of side effects but not everyone gets them. Potential side effects of Norethisterone are similar to the symptoms you may experience when you get your period. Things like bloating, breast swelling, breast tenderness, headaches and nausea.

I’m going on holiday in a couple of days… can I get this prescription now?!

We use DPD 24-hour discreet delivery, which means your order can be delivered to your home, place of work, the next working day, within a 1-hour allocated time slot or to one of over 5,500 pick-up shops for your convenience.

Order your period delay tablets here All you need to do is place your order and have it approved by our team of doctors before 4pm. Note that orders placed after 4pm Friday are processed Monday for delivery on Tuesday. Read more about our process here.

Author: Gemma Boak

Medically reviewed by: Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons)MRPharmS 18/06/21

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