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Period delaying pills - everything you need to know

Here are frequently asked questions (FAQs) on period delaying pills answered by an expert!

In many communities in India, menstruating women don't participate in religious functions or visit a temple. During such events or even before going on a vacation, getting your periods can come as a dampener.

Period delaying pills - some woman take these to postpone their periods. But have you ever wondered if they are really effective? Of all the pills available in the market, which one should you take? Is it safe to take these pills?

If you are planning to take period delaying pills, here are few things you should know. Our expert Dr Uma Vaidyanathan, Consultant Gynaecologist and Unit Head at Max Hospital, New Delhi sheds light on common queries about period delaying pills. Also, read about 10 commonly asked questions about periods answered.

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1. What are period delaying pills?

Period delaying pills are pills that contain the hormone progesterone, which when taken around 3 4 days prior to your expected date helps in postponing the periods. You can also read about natural remedies to prepone your periods.

2. What are different types of period delaying pills?

There are different types of period delaying pills available in the market. However, progesterone pills are commonly used as they are effective and safer compared to other pills. The other commonly available period delaying pills are combined contraceptive pill (which are not usually recommended in routine OPD) and norethisterone (a type of progesterone pill). Although you can find phasic pills online, these pills are out of circulation and not used currently.

3. How do these pills work?

The hormone estrogen is produced in the 1st half of the menstrual cycle, which stimulates the growth of the uterine lining. The hormone progesterone is produced during the 2nd half of the cycle, which aids in the growth of the uterus lining. So when progesterone decreases, the uteral lining sheds, leading to periods. But when you take period delaying pills, which contain progesterone hormone, the external progesterone does not allow the lining of the uterus to bleed thereby delaying periods.

4. How and when should one take pills?

If you want to delay your periods, you have to start taking these pills around three - four days before your expected date of periods and continue till you want to postpone your periods. However, one should always consult a gynaecologist before taking these pills. As per your body weight, menstrual irregularities and other health problems, your doctor will decide the right dose of the pills. Also, read about 8 things your gynaecologist wants you to know.

5. Will I get periods after I stop taking pills?

When you stop taking pills, there is a sudden withdrawal of hormones, which causes your body to bleed. In some cases, you can get your periods immediately (within few hours) after you stop taking the pills, however, in some, it might take 10 15 days to get your periods. It varies from person to person. However, if you do not get periods even after 15 days of not taking pills, then consult your doctor immediately to know the exact cause of it.

6. Is it safe to use these pills to delay periods? How long can you use it?

According to Dr Uma, single time use of period delaying pills is perfectly fine. However, one should not make it a habit of using these pills quite often as these pills suppress the natural hormonal cycle of the body. One should use it till their purpose is served and get back to their routine as early as possible. Also, delayed periods can lead to severe pain. Here are 5 expert tips to ease pain during periods.

7. Are period delaying pills the same as birth control pills?

Most people believe that period delaying pills and birth control pills are the same, which is not true. Birth control pills, commonly known as contraceptive pills, may not allow ovulation, and hence prevent unwanted pregnancy. Unlike birth control pills, period delaying pills act on the uterine lining and have no effect on ovulation, thereby not offering protection against unwanted pregnancies.

8. Do these pills have any side-effects?

As period delaying pills contain progesterone, the side-effects of these pills are the same as caused due to excess progesterone. These include bloating or feeling of fullness, development of acne and mood swings due to hormonal imbalance in the body.

9. Do these pills always work?

Well, in most cases, these pills have been found to postpone your periods without any complications. No cases have been reported on the inefficiency of period delaying pills. However, always consult your gynaecologist before taking these pills to know about its health effects and when to stop taking these pills to avoid complications.

10. When should you consult a gynaecologist?

It is wise to consult a gynaecologist at least a week or 10 days prior to your periods. Do not take these medications over the counter as these pills have various side-effects on the body. Also, if your periods don t come after 10 15 days of taking these pills then consult your gynaecologist without fail to know the cause. Remember these are period delaying pills and not birth control pills.

Read this in Hindi.

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