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There's no guaranteed way to delay your period, but it may be possible if you take the combined contraceptive pill.
If you take a combined contraceptive pill, you can delay your period by taking 2 packets back-to-back. How you do this will depend on which pill you take.
If you're not sure which pill you're on or which pills in the packet to miss out, speak to your pharmacist, community contraception clinic or doctor.
Avoid taking more than 2 packs without a break, unless your doctor says you can – there's a risk you could experience side effects, such as:
If you're taking a progestogen-only contraceptive pill, you can't delay your period by taking 2 packets back-to-back.
However, you may be able to switch to the combined contraceptive pill or take another medication to delay your period.
If you're not sure which type of pill you're taking, always check with your pharmacist or doctor before taking 2 packets back-to-back.
See your doctor for advice if you want to delay your period and you're not taking the combined contraceptive pill.
They might be able to prescribe medication called norethisterone to delay your period. Your GP will advise you when to take norethisterone and for how long.
You'll usually be prescribed 3 norethisterone tablets a day, starting 3 to 4 days before you expect your period to begin. Your period should arrive 2 to 3 days after you stop taking the medication.
However, it's important to be aware that norethisterone doesn't act as a contraceptive when used in this way, and it may not be suitable if you have a history of blood clots.
How well it works in delaying periods also varies between women. Some women taking norethisterone have reported side effects, such as:
If you currently use another type of contraception, switching to the combined contraceptive pill will allow you to delay your period. You may also be able to start taking the combined pill if you don't already use contraception.
However, you may need to start this pill several weeks before the time when you want to delay your period, and it's not suitable for everyone.
If you're switching to or starting the combined contraceptive pill, you might need to use additional contraception during the first few days of taking it.
Ask your pharmacist, community contraception clinic or doctor for more information and advice.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.