Norethisterone is a non-contraceptive, period delay drug. It works by regulating your levels of progesterone. During your menstrual cycle, a decrease in your bodily progestogen causes your period to begin. Norethisterone increases your body’s level of progesterone, temporarily preventing a period from occurring. It does not affect the egg, or the sperm fertilising the egg. Therefore, Norethisterone has no effect on conception and cannot be used as a contraceptive. Some contraceptive pills can be used for period delay. Speak to your doctor to explore your options.
Norethisterone’s only purpose is to alter your body’s level of progesterone. This can be used to delay a period. Norethisterone does not have any protective effects against HIV or other STIs. Whilst taking Norethisterone, it is important to practice safe sex to avoid pregnancy or STIs.
If you have already been taking the pill for several weeks, combined contraceptive pills e.g. Cilest, Microgynon, Rigevidon and Yasmin, can also be used for period delay. (You should not start taking the contraceptive pill shortly before your period is due to delay a period.) For those pills mentioned, you can take two packets of pills back to back, to alter your hormone levels and prevent a period. It is possible to take three packets back to back, but many women do not find this an effective method of period delay and experience spotting. It may be possible to use other pills for period delay, but you should speak to your pharmacist who can tell you which pills to miss out for period delay.
Phasic pills contain different levels of hormones in each pill and most cannot be used for period delay. Phasic contraceptive pills include: Aranelle, jenest, mircette, nelova, necon.
The Mini Pill e.g. Cerazette, involves taking a pill every day, therefore it cannot be used for period delay.