Are you going on a beach holiday that you have been looking forward to a long time? Maybe you are running a marathon, or perhaps have a special occasion coming up. No matter how much the stigma regarding periods might have shifted lately, there are still some situations where being on your period can be inconvenient or troublesome.

In this article, we will cover some measures you can take to try to delay your period for a short amount of time. These methods are not completely dependable as they don’t guarantee results, but it is possible to delay your period with different forms of hormones.

What’s on this page?

How does it work?

Delaying your period can be done differently depending on if you already on the pill or not. Below we have listed different methods you can delay your period with. Note that they might not always be effective in delaying your period, but they will not hamper with their potency as contraceptives.

The period is essentially the process of the body getting rid of the thickened mucous membrane that will be built up during ovulation. If you have not become fertilized during this phase, the body rids itself of the excess products and you will have your period. When you are taking hormonal contraceptive pills, the pills prevent the womb lining from shedding and thus the period will not start until you take your sugar pills or have you weeklong break.

You might still experience breakthrough bleeding or spotting, especially if you are delaying your period for more than one cycle. It is not recommended to delay your period more than two cycles in a row without consulting a GP, midwife or gynaecologist since this can give you side effects.

Combined birth control pill

A combined pill can work differently depending on how many sequences it has. Some pills have the same amount of hormones all of the days, while some have different amounts depending on where in the cycle you are in.

You know that you have the monophasic 21-day pills if you are taking the same pills for three weeks and in the fourth week, you don’t take anything at all. If you want to delay your period with these forms of pills, you should just continue with a new pack of pills as soon as you finish the first one and not take a seven-day break from the pills.1

If you are taking a pill every day, but the pills of the fourth week are dummies, you are on the everyday pills (ED pills). To try to delay your period on these contraceptives, you can simply skip the dummy pills and start a new pack of pills.

Sequenced or phasic 21-day pills are the pills that have different amounts of hormones depending on what part of the cycle you are in. The pills often have different colours so that you can see the difference between them. You should not skip any parts of the cycle before consulting a medical professional or a pharmacist.

Progesterone only pill

The progesterone only pill contains only one form of hormones and should be taken every day of the month. It is unfortunately not possible to skip your period with these pills since they don’t have a break where you don’t take pills or take sugar pills.

In some cases, it is possible to temporarily change to a combined pill for your special occasion, if you can use oestrogen. This might give you an array of side effects, so it might be worth looking into other period delay methods first.

Not normally on the pill – Norethisterone

If you are not normally using a hormonal pill as a form of contraception, it is sometimes possible to prescribe hormones specifically for this specific occasion. The hormone that might be of question is norethisterone that will be taken three times a day three-four days before you expect your period. It will stop the womb lining from shedding, which is what happens during your period.

Norethisterone does not work as a contraceptive but works solely to prevent menstruation. This drug can delay your period for up to 17 days and your bleeding will start some days after you stop taking the medicine.2 If you previously have not used a combined pill that you are planning to take it as a delaying drug, you might have to start taking the pill quite a few weeks before you are planning to skip the period, since the body needs some time to adapt.

Buying period delay pills

These pharmaceuticals are not available over-the-counter, which means that you will have to book in an appointment with a GP, gynaecologist or midwife to get a prescription. Many times you can do this online so that you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home.

Most online clinics offer various forms of consultations with a doctor – from live chat apps to customized questionnaires, all these methods are there to help the doctor employed by the online clinic to make an informed decision about your suitability for the treatment, based on your medical profile and history. If you get the go-ahead from the doctor, they will issue a prescription that you can use immediately to send the pills straight to your doorstep.

You might have to take a blood pressure test to see that you are not at risk for some of the side effects, so in some cases, you might have to see a medical professional in person, but some online clinics have deals with pharmacies so that you can have your blood pressure taken at your convenience.


  1. More about the pills – NSH
  2. More about the technique – Lloyds Pharmacy