Four periods in a year – spring, summer, autumn, and winter – instead of bleeding every month. Is that possible? Yes, modern hormonal drugs provide such a possibility. They have been developed with women seeking effective ways to delay period in mind. How to delay menstruation?
Holiday travels, sport activities, and business trips push more and more women to decide to postpone their period. They are looking for methods to delay menstruation – the natural and hormonal ones.
Among professionally active women, popular became the slogan “blood free life”. Its proponents argue that women do not have to bleed regularly every month, especially that it has been estimated that a modern woman has many more periods in her life than her great grandmothers (who had more children and did not live as long). It is estimated that, throughout her entire life, a statistical woman bleeds for 2190 days, which amounts to six years.
Many women wonder, however, whether delaying her period can be harmful to her health. It is best that all those doubts are cleared up by a gynaecologist.
How to delay menstruation?
During menstruation, the uterus lining – endometrium – is being shed, which causes bleeding. Bleeding is not heavy, as the woman loses from 50 to 150 millilitres of blood. This process occurs every 28 days. However, the monthly cycle can be changed on demand using tablets to delay menstruation. The tablets contain synthetic hormones. If hormonal tablets are well tolerated, they can be taken without interruption for three cycles.
How to delay period by several days? It is easier when the woman is already taking contraceptives. If she uses monophasic contraceptive pills – having finished one package, she needs to start taking another package without any interruption. Menstruation will occur after the second package is used up, which means that bleeding can be delayed by 21 days. If you want to shift the time of bleeding by several days, you can just accelerate it by starting a new package of pills early. The next bleeding will occur earlier by the same amount of days.
Drugs to delay menstruation – one period in a quarter
Drugstores already sell hormonal contraceptives which are taken without interruption for 91 days. Each package consists of 84 pink tablets containing small amounts of two female hormones: levonorgestrel and ethinylestradiol, and 7 white tablets containing a small amount of the female hormone – ethinylestradiol.
During the period of taking the drug, the woman will experience only 4 planned periods in a year (bleeding while taking the 7 white tablets). Each bleeding will last probably 3 days. Remember that at the beginning of using the drug, unplanned bleedings might occur.
Tablets to delay menstruation are available on prescription only, as not every woman can use them. Contraindications include:
blood clots (thrombosis) forming in the vessels of the lower limbs, lungs (pulmonary embolus), or other organs,
heart failure or stroke,
coronary heart disease,
high blood lipid levels,
blood clotting disorders,
migraines (with the so-called focal neurological signs),
breast or genital cancer,
unexplained vaginal bleeding,
using herbal products containing St John’s wort.
How to delay period – adverse effects
If you are delaying menstruation using hormonal pills, you need to be aware that harmless but annoying undesirable effects can occur. You may suffer from nausea, headaches or breast pain. It might turn out that the bleeding occurs in the least expected moment.
Many women ask themselves a question whether it is safe to delay menstruation. In the United States, studies were conducted with pills taken for three months in a row and they demonstrated that delaying period even for six months has no adverse effects on the woman’s health, nor does it impact her further fertility.
What factors delay menstruation?
However, not always are women happy about late period. If the woman did not try to become pregnant and indeed is not pregnant but her period does not occur for 3 months, we are dealing with secondary amenorrhea, which can be caused by:
extreme physical strain, e.g. very intensive workout,
inappropriate diet – when a woman rapidly loses or gains weight, the hormonal balance in her body becomes disturbed,
changing climate zones and the so-called holiday stress,
diseases: Cushing's disease, thyroid function disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome, tuberculosis, anaemia, cystic fibrosis, colitis, renal diseases, reproductive system diseases, ovarian tumours,
therapies: chemotherapy, radiotherapy.
Can stress delay menstruation? Definitely yes, especially if it involves long-term and very intense mental stress that accompanies difficult situations, such as being laid off work, divorce, final exams.
Secondary amenorrhea (absent menstruation) can also appear after withdrawal from contraceptive pills.
Can an antibiotic delay menstruation?
It is not clear whether every antibiotic delays menstruation, nevertheless it can turn out that both the infection and the drug prescribed to treat it influence the menstrual cycle length and the time of menstruation.
Additionally, absent menstruation during an antibiotic therapy can arise from pregnancy, especially if the patient took antibiotics and contraceptive pills simultaneously. It is good to know that the former reduces the effects of the latter.
How to delay menstruation using homemade methods?
Hot baths, sex, common yarrow infusion – these are homemade methods to accelerate your period by several to a dozen or so hours. However, these are not very effective methods. On the Internet, you can also find many ways to postpone period with vitamin C.
According to some women, taking 5000 mg of vitamin C during the luteal phase can prevent bleeding. However, the method is not scientifically proven, while its popularity may stem from the fact that menstruation disorders can occur during such infections as common cold, when the use of vitamin C is recommended. Remember that too high a dose of vitamin C can have a negative impact on your health and lead to kidney stones.
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