Is it safe to take a pill to delay my period ?

Postponing a period for an adventure trip, a religious event, a wedding or honeymoon is one of the commonest requests made to a gynae.

There are several factors that you and your doctor need to take into account. If you are already on an oral contraceptive pill then you can continue the next pack without the usual break to get a withdrawal bleed. However, avoid taking more than two packs at a stretch. Do keep in mind the type of oral contracep- tive pill you are on:

■ With the monophasic 21-day pill, you take a combined pill for 21 days, followed by 7 days without pills, when you bleed. To delay your period, start a new packet of pills straight after you finish the first one, and skip the 7-day break.

■ With the every day pill, you take a combined pill daily. The first 21 pills are active pills, and the next 7 days are inactive or dummy pills, when you have your period. To delay your period, discard the dummy pills and start with the active pills in a new packet.

■ With a triphasic pill you can start with the 7th-day pill in the new pack.

How the oral contraceptive pill works: 
Women on the pill have withdrawal bleeds which occur when the oral hormones are withdrawn. The hormones in the pill help to sustain the uterine lining. The withdrawal bleed will not normally occur until the pill is stopped and the level of the hormones in the body fall (usually in the 7-day break between pill packs).

How the progesterone hormonal pill works: 
If you are not on the contraceptive pill, then a progester- one hormonal pill called Norethisterone, may be prescribed (dose: 5 mg, thrice daily, starting at least 3 to 4 days before a period is due; can be continued for upto 2 weeks). Your period will begin 2 to 3 days after the tablets are stopped. Progestogens sustain the lining of the uterus. These tablets sustain the uterine lining until they are stopped. Do remember that these are not contraceptive pills.

Never self medicate. Consult your gynae for advice, as pills are not suitable in some situations (if you have a history of migraine, breast lumps and a few other conditions) and there may be some side effects (bloating, reduced libido, an upset stomach, among others).

DR KIRAN COELHO coordinator, Dept of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai
Powered by Blogger.