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Norethisterone period delay treatment

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Norethisterone can be taken as a daily course of tablets to safely delay your period for up to 17 days.

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Norethisterone is the hormone progesterone in synthetic form, and when taken as a tablet it can be used to delay your period. Your period (shedding of the womb lining) occurs when progesterone levels drop. When taken daily, Norethisterone keeps your progesterone levels up which delays your period. Your period will resume when you stop taking Norethisterone.

How to take Norethisterone

Norethisterone should be taken as a daily tablet 3 times a day, beginning 3 days before your period is due to start. The amount of days you wish to delay your period is up to you, but treatment should not be taken for more than 20 days.

You can expect your period to return 2-3 days after you stop taking Norethisterone. Your cycle will continue as normal after this, however if you do not get your period you should contact your GP to rule out pregnancy or any other causes.

How effective is Norethisterone?

Norethisterone is generally effective at preventing periods in women who start the course 3 days before their period is due to start. However, some women may find that they experience spotting whilst on the medication, which shouldn’t be a cause for concern. We advise you speak with your GP if you notice any unusual changes whilst taking Norethisterone.

Alternative period delay treatments

Norethisterone is the only period delay treatment offered by LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. However, another method of period delay is using the combined contraceptive pill back-to-back. This method should be discussed with your pharmacist or GP beforehand, and they will also be able to discuss other methods of period delay treatments.

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Norethisterone frequently asked questions

  • Do I need a prescription for Norethisterone?

    Norethisterone is a prescription-only medication in the UK, meaning it cannot be purchased over the counter. Do not attempt to buy Norethisterone online without being asked to consult with a qualified clinician. Visit LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor to begin your free consultation.

  • Can Norethisterone stop a period once started?

    Norethisterone is only effective when used 3 days before your period is due to start.

  • Does Norethisterone reset your cycle?

    Your period should begin 2-3 days after stopping Norethisterone, effectively ‘resetting’ your cycle. Your cycle should continue as normal from this point.

  • How long will I bleed after taking Norethisterone?

    2-3 days after stopping Norethisterone, your period should start in its usual manner. You will bleed for however long you generally bleed on your period.

  • Will Norethisterone act as contraception?

    Norethisterone will not act as  contraception when used in a manner intended for period delay. If you’re looking for contraception, alternative methods should be used, however you should not take Norethisterone if you’re already taking the combined pill as it may reduce efficacy. Always discuss your options with your GP.

  • Does Norethisterone have any side effects?

    As with any medications, Norethisterone carries with it some potential side effects. These include nausea (feeling sick), tiredness, reduced sex drive, headache, bloating or breast tenderness.

    See the patient information leaflet for full information on side effects and correct use.