Travelling can be a pain – literally – when you’re having your period. Painful cramps and heavy bleeding definitely take the joy out of travelling and make your life miserable. So, it’s best to delay your period when you’re travelling.
How do we do that?
In the past, our mothers and grandmothers had to rely on home remedies like vinegar, tamarind and coriander seeds. These were unpredictable methods, as they were only effective at times.
Fast forward to the present, you can ask your doctor for birth control pills to delay your period. Below is a general overview of how to use these pills, but do check with your doctor or pharmacist before you commence. Different brands of birth control pills may come with different instructions.
The regular birth control pills come in packs of 28 pills each. Twenty-one of these pills are ‘active’ as they contain hormones that prevent the release of an egg from your ovary. (This is why you are unable to become pregnant when you take these pills).
The remaining 7 pills are ‘inactive’ and do not contain any hormones. Just skip these pills and take the active pills from the next pack instead.
With advice from your doctor, you may continue taking active pills for 6 weeks. Then, take the inactive pills for 3 or 4 days during week 7. You may even take the active pills for 9 weeks in the next cycle and for 12 weeks in the following cycle.
You must continue taking the pills as per your doctor’s instruction – preferably, at the same time everyday. Do quit smoking before you take birth control pills to prevent blood clots and breakthrough bleeding.
No more periods!
Just a minute! Although you don’t get your period when you take the active pills continuously, you may have some spotting. Do not be alarmed. This is normal in the first few months. Your body will adjust over time and the spotting will slowly reduce. If you have unexpected bleeding or other side effects like bloating and stomach pains, consult your doctor.
Other than birth control pills, your doctor may also suggest you take norethisterone to delay your period. You need to take 3 norethisterone pills a day, starting 3 days before you get your period. So, you have to continue taking 3 pills a day for as long as you need to delay your period. You will get your period 2 to 3 days after you stop taking the pills.
You should be aware that norethisterone does not prevent pregnancy. You must also discuss with your doctor if this medication is suitable for you due to risk of blood clots, varying efficacy and side effects.
References: 1. Mayo Clinic. Available at www.mayoclinic.org 2. Natural Fitness Tips. Available at www.nftips.com 3. NHS. Available at www.nhs.uk