Period delay is when a menstrual cycle doesn’t arrive at the expected time for women who has regular monthly periods. There are a lot of factors that can cause period delay. First, if you are pregnant then there is no menstruation. A menstrual condition like secondary amenorrhea can also cause period delay. Hormonal problems and other health factors can sometimes cause period delay too. However, if you are normally regular and your period is due at an inconvenient time, such as a holiday or business travel, it can be delayed. The process is not guaranteed, but it usually works. The approach you take depends on whether you are already taking contraceptive pills or not.

If you are taking the combined oral contraceptive pill

If you are taking a fixed-dose combined pill then simply start the next pack without the usual 7-day break. Taking two packs back-to-back in this way is safe if it is done occasionally. You still only need to have a 7-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 nurse if you are not sure which pill you are taking.

If you are not taking contraceptive pills

If you are not taking the combined oral contraceptive pill, then a hormone tablet called Norethisterone can be prescribed. The dose is 5 mg three times a day starting 3-4 days before a period is due. It can be continued for up to two weeks or so until you want to have a period.

Your period will then normally begin 2-3 days after stopping it. Norethisterone is normally safe to take. Some women have side-effects such as bloating, stomach upset, breast discomfort and reduced libido (sex drive).

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