How To Stop Your Period

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Do you need to stop your period for a special occasion?

Stop your period for up to 17 days

Periods… they always seem to come at the wrong time! (Then again, is there ever a good time to have a period?) Whether you have a special occasion planned such as a wedding or party, you’re running a marathon, you’re excited by a romantic weekend away, or you’re jetting away on holiday to the Caribbean. You can almost bank on your period coming just when you don’t want it.

So, you might be wondering, can you stop your period for a day or more? Can you temporarily stop your period? Are there even any ways to stop a period completely? Are there ways to speed up your period or make it stop once it has started? These are all questions we frequently get asked by members of the public. So, let’s take a look at how you can stop your period.


Pills to stop your period

The good news is that there are pills that can safely stop your periods temporarily. There are two ways of doing this. You can use the period delay tablet called norethisterone, or you can take 2 packets of the combined pill back-to-back. These methods do not guarantee to delay your period but they do have a high success rate for suppressing menstrual cycles. How well they work in delaying periods varies from woman to woman.

Let’s take a look at these 2 options in more detail.

Norethisterone tablets to stop periods

These tablets contain a manufactured version of the female hormone called progesterone, which is involved in regulating a woman’s menstrual cycle. It is more commonly known as Utovlan.

During the month, a woman’s progesterone levels change. They drop towards the end of her cycle. When progesterone levels drop, the womb lining breaks down and is released by the body. This causes a period.

Norethisterone works by keeping your progesterone levels topped up. This prevents the lining of the womb from breaking down, stopping periods from occurring. You can stop your period for up to 17 days by using norethisterone. To stop your period, take norethisterone 3 days before your expected period date. The dose is one tablet to be taken three times a day, for as long as you want to be without your period, for a maximum of 20 days. (You take the tablets for 20 days, but because you start 3 days before your period starts, the maximum amount of time you can delay your period is for 17 days).

You can get norethisterone on prescription from your GP. You can also conveniently buy norethisterone tablets from online pharmacies including Chemist Click. You simply complete a medical questionnaire that is reviewed by our medical team to determine your suitability.

Norethisterone is not suitable for everyone. You cannot take it if you have liver problems, certain heart conditions, or if you have a personal or family history of blood clots. It cannot be taken alongside the contraceptive pill and other medications, such as some antivirals and antiepileptics.

At Chemist Click, norethisterone tablets cost less than £10 for 30 tablets that will delay your period for up to 7 days.

How to use the contraceptive pill to stop your period

You can take the combined contraceptive pill to stop your period temporarily by taking 2 packets back-to-back. Avoiding the 7-day break from the pill should mean you miss the withdrawal bleed that occurs during this time. The withdrawal bleed will return after completion of the second pack.

The combined contraceptive pill contains the hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which help to suppress ovulation and keep the lining of your uterus thin. If you skip the pill-free week and begin a new pack your body receives a constant amount of hormones and this should prevent your period from occurring.

You can safely take up to three packets back-to-back. If you do this, you might have some breakthrough bleeding or spotting and you may feel bloated. This is nothing to worry about. If you have taken your pills correctly, you will still be protected against pregnancy

Does the mini pill stop periods?

The mini pill or progesterone-only pill is taken every day and generally stops periods. Light bleeding, known as ‘spotting’, may happen when taking the mini-pill. Because the mini pill stops bleeds for a majority of women, there isn’t usually a requirement to stop periods in those using this form of contraception. However, some women still do have bleeds with the mini pill.

With the progestogen-only contraceptive pill, you cannot delay your period by changing the way you take your tablets. If you take the mini pill and experience bleeding, you may be able to change to the combined contraceptive pill temporarily, or, you can stop taking the pill and use norethisterone. If you are considering any of these options, remember that you may need to make the switch a few weeks in advance.


How to stop your period for a day… or night

You can stop your period for a day or night, by taking norethisterone tablets, starting 3 days before you expect your period to start. Remember, it is important to start 3 days before your expected onset of period, in order for period delay tablets to work. Even if you want to stop your period for one day, which happens to fall around the same time as your period, you will need to be prepared and take the pills three days before your period is due.

Alternatively, you can take the combined pill but you must be prepared to miss out on the interval free week and take 2 packets back-to-back. Both methods will temporarily stop your period.


Can you stop your period once it’s started?

Can norethisterone stop a period once it’s started? Unfortunately, it is not possible to stop your period once it starts. This is because the shedding process of your uterus lining has already started due to a drop in progesterone levels. This leads to the bleeding that occurs during a period.

So, norethisterone cannot stop your period once it starts. Similarly, taking your combined contraceptive pills once you begin bleeding won’t stop your period once it’s started. In fact, there are no pills to stop menstruation immediately.


Is it possible to stop periods immediately?

It is not possible for your period to stop immediately, once it has started. Some women do report that norethisterone has helped to stop a period once it has started, however, treatment is licensed to be taken three days before a period is due. If you take norethisterone once your period has started, it is not likely to work


Can you stop your period permanently?

You can stop your periods in the long term by using hormonal birth control. This is called “menstrual suppression”.

A hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) is a more long-term approach to stopping periods. IUD is a contraception device that is inserted into your uterus through your cervix. It needs replacing after 3 to 10 years depending on the exact type and brand. It can be removed early if you want to become pregnant or you do not get on with it. Once removed, the menstrual cycle returns to normal.

Surgical procedures such as a hysterectomy or endometrial ablation can stop periods forever. These procedures are permanent and irreversible. Therefore, they are usually only performed on women with high risk factors and medically related reasons, such as endometrial cancer or cervical cancer.


Can you stop your period naturally?

There is no research to support natural methods of stopping periods. There are suggestions that natural remedies such as lemon juice, gelatin and excessive exercise may help to stop your period naturally. But none of these natural options are proven to work in stopping your period.


Will ibuprofen stop my period?

There is much debate around whether taking ibuprofen can stop periods. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, known as NSAID. It reduces the production of chemicals called prostaglandins, that cause your uterus to contract and shed its uterine lining monthly. By reducing prostaglandin levels, it is possible to reduce menstrual flow.

Some studies suggest that ibuprofen may be able to delay a period by 1 to 2 days. However, a higher dose than what is licensed over the counter is required. This higher dose carries side effects, the main one being stomach irritation, including stomach ulcers. Research is necessary to determine the effectiveness of ibuprofen to stop periods, and it is currently not a licensed medication to stop periods. It should therefore be avoided for this reason.


How to make your period end faster

If you take your combined contraceptive pills when you have started your period it may make it end faster. However, this won’t stop your period once it’s started. The period delay tablet, norethisterone, cannot stop your period once it starts. However, it may make the bleed less intense.


Is it safe to stop my period?

It is safe to delay or stop your period occasionally. Norethisterone is safe for most women to use on occasion, when they want to skip a period. It should not be used regularly for this reason and is only licensed for long term use when used to treat other conditions. For some women, norethisterone may not be safe. For example, if you have breast cancer, acute porphyria’s, and a history during pregnancy of jaundice, autoimmune complications and severe itching. It is important to check with your doctor before starting it. Norethisterone reviews also suggest that the product is not only effective, but has a low side effect profile. 

It is safe to take your combined contraceptive pill packs back-to-back. You can take up to three packets back-to-back with safety. However, if you do this and take the pill constantly, you might find that you get breakthrough bleeding or spotting.

Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.