Periods, the monthlies or menstrual cycle are a perfectly normal and healthy part of being a woman. The menstrual cycle provides the body with important chemicals and hormones to keep you healthy. It also prepares the body for the most important task of any woman – bearing children. Periods should be considered a wonderful thing, but as many girls and women find out, they often occur at the worst time, throwing your plans out the window, and leaving you bracing yourself for the cramps, bloating, sore breasts and mood swings ahead. Since periods tend to occur at the most inconvenient time possible, here, we are going to take a look at a few ways in which women can delay their period.

Here's everything you need to know

Here's everything you need to know

And just in case you were wondering. Yes, it is safe.

What causes periods?

Periods occur as a result of hormones being released from the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. These hormones case an egg to be released, while at the same time, the lining of the uterus is preparing to receive the egg by getting thicker. If the girl has sex during this period (no pun intended), she stands a good chance of getting pregnant, unless of course, she is using some sort of contraceptive. If she does not have sex, then the egg doesn’t get fertilized and the uterus lining starts to break down. The blood and tissue that’s discharged from this lining is released through the vagina. This takes place over the course of a few days and is known as periods.

In most women or girls, their periods begin between the ages of nine and 16, but this may vary from person to person. Periods or the menstrual cycle begins once the body has gone through transformative effects of puberty, as in, the development of the breasts and growth of pubic hair. While at first, periods may seem to be irregular, but with time, it comes around every 28 days.

Is it safe to skip your period?

According to research, no significant harmful health effects have been found because of skipping a period. It should be noted here that the long-term medical repercussions of continually skipping one’s periods have not been examined, since they have not been any medical studies examining the safety of continually skipping periods.

What are the side effects of skipping periods?

The main side effects of skipping one’s periods is an increase in unpredictable breakthrough of bleeding, but the good news is, the frequency of mid-cycle bleeding decreases with time. However, there is another concern that not having a regular period leads to the woman losing a monthly confirmation they aren’t pregnant.

What about taking the pill?

Contrary to popular belief, taking the pill will not result to your getting backed up, as you won’t be having regular periods. One thing to keep in mind is when a person is on the pill, they do not have a normal period. That’s because, taking a birth control pill stops the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus from growing thicker as it would, which is why the withdrawal bleeding during pill periods are much lighter as compared to natural periods. Even if you skip a cycle because of the pill, the continuous exposure to synthetic hormones still helps maintain the endometrium at the same suppressed level.

How does the pill cycle work?

Delaying one’s periods by using a contraceptive pill is a tried and tested method, and does not lead to any adverse side effects. The method is simple and easy. Once you get to the end of your normal pill cycle, simply take another round of the pill back to back, rather than waiting for seven days until you have a period. While you might experience spotting or some breakthrough bleeding, you should be able to skip the menstrual cycle altogether. Other ways of delaying a period is by using contraceptives such as a patch or ring. All you have to do is miss your week-long break and insert a new ring to skip the period. Regardless of the type of contraceptives you use to help you skip a period, it is important to remember not to keep skipping your periods for any longer than three months. You might also want to consult with a doctor to get familiar with monophasic birth control pills and multiphasic pills.

What if I'm not on a contraceptive pill?

Those who aren’t on the pill could find it a bit difficult to skip their period, but it is not impossible. If you find that your period coming, by recognizing the signs, then you can delay it by using Norethisterone, which is a well-known pill which is used to delay a period. You will need to get a doctor’s prescription to purchase Norethisterone. The medication is to be taken three times a day, beginning three days before your period is due, and then continuing for as many days as it is required. A few days after you stop taking Norethisterone, your periods should start again.

“Questionable” ways of stopping one's period naturally?

While the methods of delaying a period naturally have been debated to a great extent, according to some individuals, it is possible for a person to delay their period by simple drinking lots of water, lowering their levels of stress and regular exercise. There are also some complex ways to delay a period naturally, such as cutting spicy foods out of one’s diet, or eating lemons, gram lentils and apple cider vinegar regularly. However, if you are unsure about using these “natural” methods or other methods to delay your period then it is always best to consult with a doctor first before using any method which could lead to uncomfortable side effects.

It is perfectly okay if you want to skip a period on the pill, but since there are so many variants in pill dosage in birth control pills it is advised to consult with a doctor first to make sure you know all your options.

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