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Taking period-delaying pills? Know how these tablets work and their side effects

Have you ever taken a period-delaying pill? Well, many women take it for one reason or another but not everyone knows how it works. Here is how period delaying pills and its side effects.
View All Images Delaying pills work
Know how period delaying pills work and their side effects. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Team Health Shots Published: 1 Sep 2023, 19:00 pm IST
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As soon as puberty hits, every girl gets familiar with the inner workings of her hormones through menstrual cycle. While periods are an integral part of womanhood, they can sometimes be a hassle. Sometimes, they come either before the big event or on the day. So, women end up taking tiny pills that can help delay their period. At first, you might not think too much about those pills as long as they are doing their job just fine but you should know what exactly they do. If you’ve been wondering how period pills work, read on!

Recently, gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Anjali Kumar recently took to her Instagram to share how exactly period pills work and what it does to your body.

How do tablets that delay periods work?

Your hormones are the driving force of your menstrual cycle, and taking period pills to delay it disrupts the normal cycle. How it happens? Well, Dr Kumar explains that period-delaying pills are designed to produce synthetic hormones, which alter the natural hormones in your body. These synthetic hormones mimic your natural hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle.

The main hormones at work that manage the menstrual cycle are estrogen and progesterone. These hormones play an integral role in the process of menstruation, which happens when the lining of your uterus is shed. “Period-delaying pills contain synthetic versions of these hormones. They can be either progestin-only pills or combined pills that contain both estrogen and progestin.” explains the doctor.

Taking these pills suppresses the natural hormonal signals that lead to the shedding of the uterine lining, which causes your period to be delayed. The effects of these pills wear off once you stop using them. “Once you stop taking the pills, the hormonal suppression is lifted, and your body’s natural hormonal balance resumes,” the expert adds.

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For the period-delaying pills to work properly, you have to start taking them about three days before your period is due. Once you stop taking the pills, the natural hormones will take over. Also, they are not contraceptive pills so they will not help prevent pregnancy. Regardless of the reason, you should always consult your doctor before taking any pills, especially the ones that can affect your menstrual cycle.

period delaying pills
Period delaying pills are not contraceptive pills. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Are there any side effects of taking period-delaying pills?

Anything taken in moderation can help you, whereas if taken in excess, it can lead to some serious side effects. The constant use of any medication can have dire repercussions, especially if you take it without consulting a doctor. While period-delaying pills are not harmful as such, some women can experience certain side effects.

Some of the most common side effects of period-delaying pills include acne and skin pigmentation during periods. Studies have shown that women who take period-delaying pills may experience mood swings, loss of sexual desire, breast pain, irregular bleeding, or spotting.

It is important that you keep in mind the consequences of taking period-delaying pills to avoid any complications.

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