There is nothing worse than getting your period, except perhaps getting your period when on holiday. The cramps, pain, and bleeding that accompany periods are often debilitating inconveniences that can ruin a holiday experience that was meant to be perfect. Fortunately, there are ways to delay your period that will allow you to enjoy your holidays, so you can travel, explore, swim, trek, or relax to your heart’s content without the fear of being held back by pain or bleeding. In addition, for those that can't or won't take medication, there is period swimwear as well as period underwear that can help you feel comfortable, confident, and relaxed whilst enjoying your time away.
The menstrual cycle
Before we get into the particulars of period delay and the best ways to do it, we should first understand the mechanisms and the importance of periods as well as the risks associated with delaying them for too long. The female menstrual cycle is a complex arrangement of hormonal changes that take place over a twenty-eight day time period. The part of this cycle that we refer to as the ‘period’ is the part when the lining of the uterus is breaking down. In order to detoxify and rid the body of this broken down lining, the body bleeds. Cramps and pain often accompany this bleeding as the abdominal muscles contract to remove the broken down lining from the body.
The extreme hormonal changes that accompany this two to seven day period are what make women more susceptible to mood swings and intensified emotions. While many hormones and various cycles are involved in this process, one of the main chemicals that control the breaking down and upkeep of the uterine lining is progesterone. This is a hormone that prevents the lining of the walls of the uterus from breaking down, and when the levels of progesterone fall, these linings break down, resulting in periods. Most methods for delaying periods, therefore, are based upon regulating and increasing levels of progesterone in the body and maintaining relatively stable hormonal levels.
Period delay can come about inadvertently as a result of stress, diet, exercise, or even changes in your routine. There are also a few natural ways that are said to be useful for delaying periods. For example, some foods are said to have period delaying capabilities. Apple cider vinegar, cucumbers, watermelons, and even gelatin are rumoured to have the power to delay your period for a couple of hours up to a week. Higher internal body temperatures make bodies more susceptible to menstruation, and so foods that have cooling effects that work to try and lower body temperatures may allow women to delay their periods.
Additionally, there are more, scientifically-proven ways to delay your periods. The first are contraceptive pills. These pill packets often come with seven days’ worth of ‘placebo pills’ that allow women to menstruate and renew their uterine walls before they start retaking them. Women can skip a period by simply taking two packets of contraceptive pills. What this does is it raises and maintains the levels of progesterone in the body to prevent women from bleeding. It is, however, common for women to experience ‘spotting’, or periodic breakthrough bleeding through this method, and it is, therefore, risky. Furthermore, while it is safe for women to take up to three packets of contraceptive pills back to back, taking any more could prove to be dangerous. It is also pertinent to mention that women seeking to pursue this method of delaying their periods consult their physicians before making any decisions.
The second method of delaying your period, and the one that experts at Click Pharmacy believe is more reliable and safer, is using Norethisterone. Norethisterone comes in pills that contain a synthetic version of progesterone, which keeps uterine walls from breaking down and delays periods. Norethisterone comes in 5mg and 10mg tablets which are prescribed by General Practitioners for treating various period-related problems. To delay your period for a one-off occasion, a 5mg packet can be used. Norethisterone, due to the very nature of it being a hormonal treatment, should be taken before its results are to be expected. Thus, experts at Click Pharmacy recommend that you start taking 5mg pills three days before you expect to have your periods. These pills should be taken three times a day at regular intervals and can be used for delaying your period for up to seventeen (17) days.
It should be noted; however, that norethisterone is not a contraceptive pill and does not necessarily prevent pregnancy. So it is recommended that sexually active women using norethisterone to delay their periods who wish to avoid pregnancy also use other forms of contraception to avoid it. Women wanting to fall pregnant can rest assured that norethisterone does not affect fertility and after having delayed their period, their menstrual cycle should go back to normal. Regular periods should begin occurring around three days after you stop taking norethisterone.
Norethisterone, like most other drugs, can have various side effects, including dizziness, nausea, and depression, among others. It is highly recommended that anyone considering taking norethisterone to consult a physician or a General Practitioner first to understand the risks and mechanisms involved with the consumption of norethisterone and the proper instructions on how to use it.
Holidays are, of course, crucial times for all of us. We look forward to them for months, and we work so hard to be able to enjoy them to the fullest. We save up our money, we plan our itineraries, we work hard at the gym to get the perfect body for pictures, and some of us even turn our phones off to avoid any distractions from the relaxation we have worked so hard for. To have all that ruined by the inconvenience of period cramps and bleeding can ruin our favourite holidays and all the planning effort. That is why so many women choose to delay their periods when their periods coincide with the holidays they have planned.