How can I stop my period?

Woman on holiday not having a period

Published: 07 January 2020

You can stop your period by either taking back to back packets of the combined oral contraceptive pill, or by taking a period delay tablet called norethisterone. There is no guarantee that either method will stop your period completely, but both methods do have a high success rate. 


How can I stop my period using norethisterone?

Norethisterone is a prescription only medication that works by delaying your period by up to 17 days. It comes in the form of a tablet, and needs to be taken three times a day, starting 3 days before your expected period. You should continue to take norethisterone for the length of time you wish to stop your period for. Your period will arrive a few days after you stop taking norethisterone. Norethisterone is available as a generic (non-branded) version, or as a branded version, which is called Utovlan. Both versions contain the same active ingredient, and are just as good as each other.


How does norethisterone work?

Norethisterone works by keeping progesterone levels raised, which prevents a period. Progesterone is a hormone involved in the menstrual cycle. Progesterone levels change throughout the course of the month, dropping towards the end of the menstrual cycle. A drop in progesterone breaks down the lining of the womb, which causes a period. Norethisterone is a synthetic version of progesterone, and by keeping levels raised, it prevents the lining of the womb from breaking down so that a period doesn’t occur.


Is norethisterone safe for me to take?

Norethisterone is generally considered as a safe medication to take on a short-term basis. You will need to have a consultation with a clinician, to ensure that it is safe for you to take norethisterone. There are certain medical conditions where norethisterone cannot be taken, for example, liver problems, certain heart conditions and if you have a personal or family history of blood clots. Norethisterone cannot be taken with certain medication such as certain antivirals and antiepileptics. You should make your doctor or pharmacist aware of any pre-existing medical conditions you may have, and any medication you are currently taking.


How can I get norethisterone?

If you wish to order norethisterone, you should visit your doctor who will be able to prescribe it to you. You can also buy period delay tablets online, after completing an online medical questionnaire. This will determine your suitability for norethisterone, and ensure that it is safe for you to take. Utovlan is the branded version of norethisterone, and they are medically the same drug. You are able to buy Utovlan online in the same way. 


How can I stop my period using the contraceptive pill?

If you are taking the combined contraceptive pill, you can stop your period by taking two packets back-to-back, skipping the 7-day pill-free interval. This will prevent your period, which will resume as normal a few days after you stop taking the tablets. If you are taking a phasic pill, which contains different levels of hormones in each tablet, you should consult your doctor.

You can also take the progestogen-only pill, also known as the mini-pill. This is taken every day and you will not get a period each month.


How does taking consecutive packets stop my period?

The combined contraceptive pill contains hormones which prevent you from getting pregnant. They are designed to mimic the natural menstrual cycle, so that you have a period once a month. The seven-day break gives your body a break from the hormones, and you can skip the tablet free interval to avoid having a period. This is safe to do temporarily, and common practice for those that want to delay their period.


How many packets of the combined contraceptive pill can I take in a row?

You can take up to three packets in succession. However, spotting and other side-effects such as bloating and changes in mood can increase the longer you delay your period.


Where can I get the contraceptive pill from?

You should visit your doctor to discuss going on the pill. You can also buy the contraceptive pill online, after completing an online consultation.


Can I stop my period once it has started?

It is not possible to stop your period once it has started. Taking the contraceptive pill on the first day of your period can help to shorten the length of your period, but will not stop it completely. 


Is it safe to delay my period?

For most women, it is safe to delay your period. You should seek professional medical advice and speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you wish to postpone your period.