The Pros and Cons of Period Delay Using Medications

Senior woman taking medication from pill box in bed
Medical prescription. Senior woman taking medication from pill box in bed, panorama with empty space

There are many reasons you might want to delay your period – maybe you’ve planned a vacation, or will be attending a wedding or other big event. Or perhaps you just want to painful conditions like fibroids, endometriosis, or heavy monthly bleeding.

Either way, medication to delay your period is a safe and effective way to exert some control over this aspect of your life. However, delaying periods has its share of disadvantages too. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of postponing periods.

The Benefits of Period Delay Medication

Many women go through excessive bleeding when their periods begin. One of the major advantages of period delay medication is that it reduces bleeding and cramping, which reduces one’s risk of anemia.

Another benefit of delaying periods is to help combat the pain that’s associated with menstruation for many women. Some women complain of severe pain during the onset, with such experiences being very uncomfortable and affecting the quality of life.

Some women have ovarian cysts which occur more frequently when they are going through their periods. Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop on the ovaries. In most cases, these cysts are harmless and usually disappear on their own.

However, occasionally, these cysts rupture or bleed, and this can be quite a painful experience. Therefore, for some women, putting monthly periods on hold helps to reduce the effects of ovarian cysts.

Endometriosis occurs when uterine tissue starts to grow outside the uterus. The growth attaches itself to the ovaries or other organs and will bleed during menstruation.

This heavy bleeding is painful and may also make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. For some women, skipping periods helps reduce the symptoms of endometriosis.

Delaying periods can help lower one’s risk of pelvic inflammatory disease. This is an infection of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or uterus, which is often attributed to bacterial infections such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. If it is left untreated, PID may result in scar tissue in your pelvic organs and even cause infertility or other complications.

Ectopic pregnancy is a condition where a fertilized egg does not grow in the uterus but in other areas instead, like in the fallopian tube. This condition is also referred to as tubal pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy can lead to life-threatening bleeding and, therefore, needs to be treated immediately. One of the benefits of monthly period delays is that it reduces a woman’s risk of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy.

The Downsides of Delaying Periods

One of the side effects of period delay treatment is that it affects the body’s menstrual period mechanism. Some women have a difficult time going back to their regular menstrual routine.

Another downside of period delay is that the treatment may lead to the production of more estrogen. Patches are mainly associated with high levels of estrogen, which slightly increases the likelihood of blood clots. This risk is higher among smokers.

Taking period delay medication may also result in low libido and disturbances in mood. A few studies have linked the use of norethisterone or similar treatments with anxiety and depression in some women.

While some medications used to delay periods may prevent unwanted pregnancies, these treatments do not provide protection against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. So it is recommended that you practice safe sex even when taking medication for delaying periods.

Postponing periods can be highly beneficial to women who experience painful periods or heavy bleeding every month. It can also help offset or reduce the symptoms of conditions such as ovarian cysts and endometriosis. However, these treatments are not without their side effects.

Therefore, it’s recommended that you carefully weigh the pros and cons while following the advice of your doctor before you start any treatment.

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