• Menstrual suppression
  • Menstrual suppression

Menstrual suppression

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Delaying your period can be beneficial for different reasons. You may want to delay or skip your period because they’re painful, you’re going on holiday or have an important event. You can use hormonal contraception, such as the pill, to delay your period.

Safety and side effects

Delaying your period with extended or continuous use of your birth control pill is generally safe, but it can cause side effects, such as breakthrough bleeding, headaches, mood swings and breast tenderness. It's important to follow your doctor's instructions and report any side effects you may experience.

Reasons for delaying your period

Although periods are natural, there are benefits to skipping them. Some women want to plan special occasions, such as a wedding, holiday or sports event, around their periods. Others choose to delay their periods because they are so painful that they want to reduce their symptoms.

Does menstrual suppression affect fertility?

Using a hormonal contraceptive for menstrual suppression does not affect a woman's ability to have a baby later. When a woman stops her medication, periods will return and she will regain her fertility. However, it is important to note that after stopping your medication, it can take several months for your menstrual cycle to recover and your chances of pregnancy to return to normal. This is because the body needs time to restore hormonal balance after the use of contraceptives. The actual timing can vary from person to person, but in general it is recommended to wait at least three menstrual cycles before trying to conceive.

Safe information on using contraception for menstrual suppression

It's OK to delay or skip your period, as long as you do it safely and with your doctor’s guidance. It is important to follow the medication's dosage and timing instructions carefully, and to discuss any side effects or concerns with your doctor. You should also remember that hormonal contraception only delays your period and does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Always use an additional barrier method, such as condoms, to protect yourself against STIs.


  1. Less severe menstrual symptoms: For some women, menstrual suppression can reduce the severity of some symptoms, such as pain, cramps or other menstrual concerns. 
  2. Planning of important events: Knowing that your period won’t interrupt important events like holidays, weddings or sports activities, can be a huge relief. 
  3. Improved quality of life: Severe menstrual symptoms can limit a woman's quality of life. Delaying or skipping periods can reduce the impact of these symptoms on daily activities, improving quality of life. 


  1. Breakthrough bleeding: Using a hormonal contraceptive for menstrual suppression can, in some women, cause breakthrough bleeding, vaginal bleeding or spotting that occurs between menstrual periods. 
  2. Side effects: Using a hormonal contraceptive for menstrual suppression can, in some women, cause side effects, such as headache, mood swings, breast tenderness and nausea. 
  3. Unknown long-term effects: Although delaying your period is generally considered safe in the short term, the long-term effects of the continuous use of hormonal contraception for menstrual suppression are not fully known and require further research. 

Methods and hormonal options for menstrual suppression

There are several methods to delay your period, depending on what hormonal contraceptive you are using:

Oral contraceptive pill, vaginal ring or skin patch:

  • A monophasic (one-phase) combined oral contraceptive pill, vaginal ring or skin patch can be used without a seven-day break in which you have a withdrawal bleed. 
  • Simply start a new strip or apply the ring or patch on the following day without skipping a week. 
  • Oral contraceptive pills can be taken back-to-back for a maximum of one year. Vaginal rings and contraceptive skin patches can be used continuously for up to six weeks. 

(Note: the above does not apply mini pills.

No hormonal contraceptive:

  • If you are not using a hormonal contraceptive, you can take hormones (progestin) to delay your period. 
  • Medications such as lynestrenol or norethisterone are typically used for this purpose. 


Having an understanding of your menstrual cycle and addressing potential causes of your irregular periods in a timely manner is essential for maintaining good health. By being alert to changes in your menstrual cycle and seeking timely medical attention if you experience persistent symptoms, you can proactively take care of your well-being, identify any underlying health issues and address them promptly. Stay on top of any changes and don't take unnecessary risks when it comes to your health! 

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