10457756_10154442015155076_8827425115841774522_oMen will never truly understand what women have to put up with when they go travelling. Indeed many of us have passed up the Piña Coladas and sat out the jet skiing during pregnancy, or have had to miss out on a day of swimming due to a particularly heavy period.

Women worry about having their period during their holiday for a number of reasons. It can easily prevent you from making the most of a romantic break, and menstrual cramps can be really uncomfortable if you’re hiking or climbing on and off a boat to go snorkelling. Even if your period doesn’t specifically impact your trip, you may just want to leave the tampons behind and enjoy swimming without having to deal with it.

Norethistrone is a medication you can use to delay your period. Here we’ll explain how norethistrone works, how to take it and what the possible side effects are to help you make an informed decision on whether to take it.

What it is

A manufactured form of the female hormone progesterone, norethistrone is one of the medications included in a group called progestogens. Aside from being used for period delay, it is also used to treat very heavy, painful periods, certain forms of cancers that occur in women, PMS, and endometriosis, among other conditions.

How it works

It works by maintaining a consistent level of progesterone in the body for a certain number of days, to keep the womb from shedding its lining. This doesn’t interrupt your natural cycle, but simply delays it from occurring until you stop taking norethistrone, at which point the lowered level of progesterone signals your body to start your period.

Norethistrone is taken 4-5 days before you are due to start your period, and for as long as necessary after your normal start date. The dosage is three 5mg tablets daily.

How to obtain norethistrone for period delay

If you are in the UK, the most convenient way to receive norethistrone is often through a reputable online pharmacy. You will be asked to complete an online questionnaire, and as long as there are no contraindications the prescribing doctor can provide you with a prescription to delay your period for up to 17 days. You can also get it by private prescription and through some clinics.

Possible side effects

Norethistrone does have the potential to cause side effects although they are generally not troublesome. The most common side effects are breast tenderness, bloating, stomach pain and less desire for sex.

In rare cases it can cause an allergic reaction warranting immediate medical attention. If patients begin to experience symptoms like wheezing, difficulty breathing, faintness, swelling of the face, tongue, hands or feet, or an intense itchy rash, they should seek emergency services straight away.

You can also read more about potential side effects in the norethistrone patient information leaflet.

If you think you might want to delay your period for your holiday, norethistrone is generally safe to take, but note that it should not be prescribed more than once every four months. If you need to delay your period for longer, consult your doctor.

Also, remember that norethistrone is not a form of contraception and will not prevent pregnancy. It cannot be taken at the same time as contraceptive pills, but you can obtain more information about delaying your period when taking contraceptive pills from your doctor.

With the planning of a beautiful beach holiday come the inevitable health concerns. But if you are concerned that your period might dampen your mood, period delay is one option to help ensure you can enjoy every minute.