Proven Ways to Delay Your Period

Proven Ways to Delay Your Period

Getting your period when it's inconvenient, like during a vacation or major event, can be annoying and disruptive. While you can't eliminate your period altogether, there are clinically proven, safe methods to temporarily delay your menstrual cycle by a few days to a week. Let's explore scientifically-backed techniques to postpone menstruation, along with key context on how periods work.

Menstrual Cycle Basics

First, a quick overview of the menstrual cycle provides helpful context:
  • The length of a menstrual cycle is calculated from the first day of one period to the first day of the next period.
  • Cycle length averages 28 days but can range from 21 to 35 days and still be considered normal.
  • Menstruation itself lasts about 2-7 days.
  • Ovulation occurs around day 14 in a 28-day cycle, when an egg is released from the ovaries.
  • The uterus builds up a lining each cycle to prepare for potential pregnancy. If fertilization doesn't occur, the lining sheds through the vagina as your period.
Knowing where you are in your menstrual cycle timeline helps determine if and how you can safely delay your upcoming period.

Can I Delay My Period?

  • Delaying your period is possible, but only by up to 1 week maximum.
  • You cannot permanently stop having periods without adverse effects on hormones and health.
  • It's easier to delay periods that have not started yet versus stopping a current period.
  • Delay methods are less effective the closer you already are to starting your next period.
  • Techniques to delay menstruation work best within the first 7 days after you ovulate.
With reasonable expectations on what's achievable, let’s examine scientifically proven methods to temporarily postpone your cycle.

Clinically Proven Ways to Delay Your Period

1. Contraceptive Pills
Hormonal birth control pills can delay the start of your next period, especially if you don't take the placebo pills that trigger withdrawal bleeding. Skipping placebos and starting a new pill pack is safe for most women.

How it works:
  • Prevents the drop in hormones that causes a period. Remaining on active pills maintains hormonal levels.
  • You can safely skip periods up to 3 months in a row if desired.
  • Talk to your gynecologist before changing your pill schedule.

2. NSAIDs like Ibuprofen
Anti-inflammatory drugs called NSAIDs can temporarily delay your period by a few days to a week if taken early enough in your cycle.

How it works:
  • NSAIDs suppress production of hormones called prostaglandins that trigger uterine lining shedding.
  • Start taking ibuprofen or other NSAIDs 1-2 days before expecting your period.
  • NSAIDs may lead to spotting if started too late into the cycle when prostaglandin levels have already risen.
3. Birth Control Shot
The Depo Provera birth control injection contains progestin and can significantly delay periods for up to 3 months.

How it works:
  • Mimics pregnancy hormone levels to pause menstruation cycles.
  • Causes amenorrhea (lack of periods) in 50% of users after the first year.
  • Provides contraception for 12-14 weeks per shot.
  • Can be used short-term 2-3 months consecutively to delay periods.
4. Birth Control Implant

The Nexplanon implant releases steady progestin to delay menses for up to 1 year.
How it works:
  • Suppresses cyclical menstrual bleeding by prohibiting follicle growth and ovulation.
  • Up to 22% of Nexplanon users experience no periods after 1 year.
  • Provides contraception for up to 5 years when implanted under the skin.
5. Progesterone Supplements

Over-the-counter progesterone creams, pills or suppositories can temporarily halt menstruation when used strategically.

How it works:
  • Progesterone counteracts estrogen, preventing the shedding of your uterine lining.
  • Apply progesterone cream daily or insert vaginal suppositories beginning right after ovulation.
  • Use for no more than 10-14 days to delay your period up to 1 week.

Alternative Techniques with Less Evidence

Some natural supplements claim to help delay periods but have less scientific support:
  1. Vitamin C - May inhibit prostaglandins when taken at high 500-1000 mg doses.
  2. Ginger - Has anti-inflammatory properties that may inhibit menstrual flow.
  3. Turmeric - May decrease menstrual cramps and bleeding due to anti-inflammatory effects.
  4. Cinnamon - Can reduce heavy menstrual bleeding when taken regularly.
  5. Apple cider vinegar -thought to help hormone regulation and reduce prostaglandins.
Most alternative remedies lack quality clinical trials proving efficacy and safety for delaying periods. Speak to your doctor before using unverified natural supplements.

Safe Periods for Delaying Menstruation

  1. Delay methods work best when started soon after ovulation up until 7 days before your expected period start date.
  2. Trying to delay your period after it has already begun is not effective. At that point, focus on managing flow and symptoms through your current period.
  3. Avoid stopping your period for more than 3 consecutive cycles, which can disrupt the uterine lining growth and shed process.
  4. Don't delay menstruation if you could be pregnant, as retaining uterine lining raises miscarriage risk. Take a pregnancy test first.

When to Avoid Attempting to Delay Your Period

Check with your gynecologist before trying to delay your period if:
  1. Your periods are irregular. Delay methods depend on a predictable cycle.
  2. You have medical conditions like endometriosis, fibroids, polyps or cancers.
  3. You use an IUD for contraception.
  4. You are currently trying to conceive.
  5. You experience adverse reactions to any delay methods.
  6. You have concerns about prolonged menstrual suppression.
For most women, temporary menstrual delay using clinically proven techniques is safe if done occasionally for convenience purposes. But take care to follow medical guidance based on your unique reproductive health status.

Conclusion of Proven Ways to Delay Your Period

While you cannot permanently eliminate or drastically alter your period, safe temporary delay of up to 1 week is achievable using methods like birth control pills, the Depo Provera shot, Nexplanon implant, NSAIDs, or progesterone. These medically approved techniques can provide convenience if you need to postpone menstruation for an event or vacation. Always consult your gynecologist to choose the right delay approach based on your menstrual cycle health, underlying conditions, and contraceptive needs. With smart strategy and planning, you can take some control over your cycle's timing when the need arises.