What is Norethisterone?
Norethisterone is a synthetic version of progestogen, which is a hormone naturally produced in the body. The branded version of this medication is called Utovlan. Norethisterone can be used by women to delay their period (and stop ovulation from occurring) in special circumstances.
How does Norethisterone work?
Progestogens are hormones that sustain the lining of the uterus. The levels of progestogens usually fall before a period is due causing the lining of the uterus to shed and menstration to start. Norethisterone can therefore help maintain the lining of the uterus and delay it from shedding and causing a menstrual period.
How do I take Norethisterone?
In special cases e.g. travel, Norethestirone can be used to postpone menstration by taking it at a low 5mg dose three times a day, starting three days before the expected onset of menstration. A normal period should take place two to three days after stopping the medication. It is important to note that Norethisterone tablets taken this way will not exert any contraceptive action.
What are the cautions related to using Norethisterone?
Although Norethisterone is commonly used for period delay, it is important to check if the medication is suitable for you. Norethisterone should not be used by people suffering with certain conditions or those using certain medications. Long-term use of Norethisterone is not recommended as it can disturb hormonal balance and result in adverse effects. You should always read the patient information leaflet (PIL) for Norethisterone before taking this medication to ensure it is safe for you to use.
Can I use Norethisterone for Period Delay if I’m using contraceptive tablets?
Although some contraceptives tablets can be used as means for period delay, they would need to be taken for up to a month. Women taking ‘the pill’ (combined oral contraceptive pill) do not have normal periods and can control their periods through omitting what is called a ‘pill free period’ and should not take Norethisterone tablets for period delay. If you are taking oral contraceptives we recommend that you speak to your doctor for alternate methods for delaying your period.
What are the side effects of Norethisterone?
Like all medicines, Norethisterone can cause side effects, although not everyone will experience them.
Although side effects rarely occur at this dose, please stop taking this medication and tell your doctor immediately if you develop:
- A rise in blood pressure
- Migraine type headaches
Norethisterone side effects also include feeling dizzy, drowsy or affect your vision so please make sure you are not affected before driving or operating machinery. For further information about the side-effects associated with this medication please refer to the patient information leaflet or contact us.
Where can I find more information on Norethisterone?
Please refer to the patient information leaflet for further information on Norethisterone.
Why would I need to delay my period?
Women may want to delay their menstrual cycle (period) for many different reasons. This may be the case when going on holiday and not wanting to be worried about wearing a bikini or doing any activities. Even despite meticulous planning, correctly timing the onset of your period is sometimes uncontrollable and many women are inconvenienced by this problem at important times of their life, turning an enjoyable event into an uncomfortable experience. More and more women these days are successfully delaying their periods when required through means of short term treatment with hormonal tablets.
Is it safe to delay my period?
Yes, most women find they are able to use hormonal treatments such as norethisterone to delay their period successfully and without any adverse effects. Having said that, it is always important to check with your GP or another healthcare professional if it is safe for you to use medications such as norethisterone. Women with certain conditions including migraines or a personal or family history of blood clots affecting the legs or lungs, should not use hormonal treatments such as norethisterone or oral contraceptives.
At PostMyMeds, all patients need to undergo an online consultation to ensure they are able to safely use norethisterone. All period delay treatments should be used on an occasional basis and not regularly.
Which treatments can I use to delay my period?
There are a number of different hormonal treatments available to help delay your period, including norethisterone, medroxyprogesterone and oral contraceptives. All of these treatments work by artificially elevating the levels of progesterone in the body, which stops the lining of your womb from shedding and therefore delaying the onset of your period.
How do I take Norethisterone to delay my period?
Norethisterone 5mg is taken three times a day, starting 3 days before the expected onset of your period. You then continue for up to a maximum of 27 days and your period will begin within 2-3 days of stopping treatment with norethisterone. It should be remembered that norethisterone does not provide any contraceptive cover when it is used at this dosage.