Menstruation is part of a natural cycle, however there is no doubt that for many women having a period can sometimes be inconvenient, in particular if it is due to start during a trip or special occasion. Norethisterone is a treatment which can be used to delay your monthly cycle.
PharmaDoctor can provide you with an online prescription for period delay medication following an online consultation with our GMC and EU-registered doctors.
What is it?
Utovlan is a treatment containing the active ingredient norethisterone. Norethisterone is available in tablet form and is a man-made hormone which is similar to the female sex hormone progesterone.
Norethisterone is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.
How does it work?
Progesterone plays a key role in developing a healthy womb lining capable of receiving a fertilized egg. Levels of progesterone vary during the month, and if no egg is fertilized, progesterone levels decrease triggering the menstrual period. Norethisterone mimics the role progesterone plays by fooling the body and by taking this treatment you can artificially trick the body into lengthening the menstrual cycle and delaying the start of your period.
Take one tablet three times a daily, starting three days before your period is due. Continue taking the tablets until you are happy to start your period (do not exceed 2 weeks). Your period should start 2-3 days after you stop treatment.
Main points to consider
- Norethisterone is not a contraceptive and taking it will not prevent pregnancy.
- Norethisterone is not suitable for patients women who are breast feeding.
- Women who are already taking the contraceptive pill can delay their period by running two packs back-to-back.
- You should not suppress your period by more than 2 weeks using Norethisterone.
Having periods is a normal part of the female reproductive cycle and for most women they last from about 3-7 days. A period occurs roughly every 28 days if a woman does not conceive. During menstruation, the lining of the womb is shed and a small amount of blood is lost through the vagina.
For women menstruation is a natural part of life and is a sign that their body is functioning normally. Assuming everything is functioning properly, a healthy woman with regular periods is capable of conceiving during ovulation. During the menstrual cycle different hormones are produced at different stages and these are responsible for controlling the menstrual cycle. Your menstrual cycle starts on the first day of your period and usually lasts an average of around 28 days. In some women cycles can be slightly shorter or slightly longer, and this is perfectly fine.
The rise and fall of levels of hormones during the month control the menstrual cycle.
Hormones regulate the menstrual cycle. During the first half oestrogen levels rise and encourage the lining of the womb to grow and thicken. Oestrogen also prompts the ovary to develop and release an egg about half way through the cycle – this is known as ovulation. During the ovulation period, the egg travels down the fallopian tubes where sperm can fertilise it. If fertilisation does not occur the levels of oestrogen and progesterone fall, initiating the menstrual period and shedding of the womb lining.