For women, having a period each month can be an inconvenient occurrence for a number of reasons.

Menstrual bleeding can lead to feelings of discomfort, self consciousness and pain.

If you combine this with the need to frequently change sanitary products it can add up to a less than ideal situation in everyday life; particularly if you have a significant event planned such as a holiday, wedding or sporting activity.

However, one option for someone looking to delay or lessen the effects of their period is the combined pill.

The type of pill you are taking, and the length of time for which you want to delay your period, will determine how you administer it in order to avert a menstrual bleed.

You should always speak to your doctor before making any changes to your administration so that you can make sure you stay protected against pregnancy, and do not increase the risk of side effects; but below, we have supplied a brief introductory guide for those looking to delay their period with the combined pill:

(Please note that it is not possible to delay your period with the mini pill, although some versions, such as Cerazette, may cause bleeding to stop altogether)

The monophasic pill (21 day)

This particular type of contraceptive pill is taken consecutively for 21 days followed by seven pill-free days.

Most women will experience a period-like bleed during the seven pill-free days. In order for menstruation to be avoided you should start the next pack of pills immediately after you finish the pack you are currently taking, thus missing the seven day break.

The everyday (ED) pill (28 day)

The everyday pill is exactly that: a pill which you take every day of the month. However, only the first 21 pills are active and the last seven pills are inactive or dummy pills.

If you want to delay your period whilst using this type of contraception you should throw away the dummy pills and start the active section of a new pack straight away.

Phasic pill (21 day)

Each pill in a pack contains a different mix of hormones and so for contraceptive cover the pills have to be taken in a certain order according to the phase of your cycle.

Therefore if you would like to delay your period when using this particular type of pill you should speak to your doctor who can advise which pills you should take for the desired effect.

Extra pills for holidays

If you’re going on holiday and don’t want your period to get in the way of having fun, you can use your combined pill to delay your period.

In order to do this you should check to see how many packets of pills you have available as you may need a new prescription in order to cover the time you are away.

Plan ahead and make an appointment with your doctor to request extra pills to cover your holiday, or use our online consultation service and have your pills delivered direct to your door.

Page last reviewed:  19/09/2017