We offer two types of period delay tablets. Each one contains a different type of hormone. Utovlan and Generic Norethisterone contain ‘norethisterone’ and Provera contains medroxyprogesterone acetate.
To order pills to delay your period you need to answer a few questions on our brief questionnaire. Our online doctors will make sure that you can take the tablets before your medication is sent out. Prescription and delivery are included.
There are two possible ways of delaying your period. Women who regularly take a combined contraceptive pill can use it to delay their menstruation by missing their ‘pill free break’. Women who are not using a hormone based contraceptive can take norethisterone or medroxyprogesterone tablets to delay the date of their next period.
Norethisterone is a synthetic version of progesterone, a hormone which naturally occurs in the human body. Norethisterone is often prescribed to treat menstrual disorders such as heavy periods or severe period pain. ZAVA only prescribes it for the use as period delay tablets. Speak to your GP if you require the tablets for any other purpose.
Medroxyprogesterone is the active ingredient in the medication Provera. Like Norethisterone, Provera is also used to treat menstrual disorders such as heavy periods or period pains.
Please note that period delay is an ‘off-label’ use for Provera.
All the medications that we offer are fully licensed within the UK. Some medications, like this one, we prescribe for conditions or circumstances that are outside of the licence (also known as ‘off-label’). Prescribing ‘off-label’ is common practice by healthcare professionals to ensure a medication can safely benefit as many patients as possible. This is always based on updated information and evidence since the product first became available.
You need to take norethisterone three times a day in order for the treatment to be effective. One tablet needs to be taken in the morning, one around midday and one in the evening, ideally at the same time every day. Each tablet contains 5mg of the active ingredient norethisterone. We offer three pack sizes of 30, 60 or 90 tablets suitable for delaying your period by 10, 20 or 30 days. You will have your next period within three days after you have stopped taking period delay pills. If you do not have a period after using norethisterone tablets and have had sex in the meantime you need to go to a doctor and check whether you might be pregnant.
For Provera tablets, start taking your tablets 2-3 days before your period is due. One tablet needs to be taken three times a day at regular intervals. Keep taking the tablets for as long as you need to delay your period for. Once you stop taking Provera, then your period should return in 1-2 days. Like with norethisterone tablets, if your period doesn’t return and you had sex during treatment then consider if you might be pregnant.
Most women who are not taking a contraceptive pill can use period delay tablets to control their menstruation. However, the tablets are not suitable for women with an increased risk of blood clots and deep vein thrombosis. Provera can be a safer alternative for these women if they want to delay their periods. They are also not prescribed to women who suffer or have suffered from unexplained vaginal bleeding (other than a period) or those allergic to one of the ingredients.
Period delay tablets are not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or patients with liver or heart problems. Women who have suffered from jaundice or an itchy rash called pemphigoid during pregnancy can also not take norethisterone. The same applies if you have the blood condition porphyria or a generalised itching called pruritus. Provera may also not be suitable if you have disease of the arteries, porphyria, unexplained vaginal bleeding, or breast cancer.
Period delay tablets can interact with other medications. Make sure you tell your prescribing doctor about any medication you are currently taking or have recently taken before you start taking norethisterone or Provera. This includes any herbal or non-prescription medication. For more information about drug interactions, visit our pages about Utovlan, generic norethisterone, or Provera.
If you would like to get personalised advice on how to delay your period you can book a telephone consultation with one of our doctors.
If you are taking a combined oral contraceptive you can use it to delay your period. Instead of taking a seven day break after one blister pack you need to continue with the next blister pack straight away. Take the 21 tablets in the new blister pack over the course of the following three weeks as usual. If you skip the pill-free week, your period will be delayed until the end of the new pack. Some women experience minor breakthrough bleeding or spotting when using their contraceptive pill to delay a period. You will experience your next period within 2 - 3 days after finishing the second blister pack. You can find further information about skipping your pill break on the patient information leaflet for your specific contraceptive pill.
Norethisterone tablets can cause side effects. Most women tolerate the tablets well. The following side effects are possible:
- bleeding or spotting between period
- changes in discharge from the vagina
- unusual vagial bleeding
- cervical erosions (may show when you have a smear test)
- breast tenderness, breast pain
- discharge from the breasts
- dizziness, headache, depression and other side effects relating to the nervous system
- feeling or being sick, diarrhoea and constipation
- jaundice and liver problems
- changes in your blood fat levels and blood sugar levels
- visual disturbances, sugar in your urine
- blood clots and swellings in your veins
- cardiovascular side effects including increased blood pressure, palpitations, heart attack and stroke
- acne, rash
- increase in body hair and hair loss
- fluid retention
- changes in appetite
- changes in sex drive
- increase in your blood levels of calcium
Provera side effects can include:
- breast discomfort
- changes in sex drive
- mood swings
- feeling sick
- gaining weight
Period delay with the contraceptive pill can cause:
- bleeding or spotting between periods
The contraceptive pill can cause a range of other side effects.