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Norethisterone is a progesterone based hormonal medication recommended to delay the onset of the menstrual cycle. Norethisterone isn’t designed to be used as a contraception pill at the dose prescribed for period delay.
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Norethisterone is a progesterone based hormonal medication recommended to delay the onset of the menstrual cycle. Norethisterone isn’t designed to be used as a contraception pill at the dose prescribed for period delay.


Norethisterone 5mg tablets are short-term pills that can be used to delay periods for up to 20 days. The pill contains a synthetic progesterone hormone and is effective at delaying periods.

Although Norethisterone is present in some contraceptive pills at this dosage Norethisterone tablets do not offer protection against pregnancy.

Norethisterone is extremely effective in most cases at successfully delaying your period without any bleeding. There are some factors that may alter the effectiveness of the treatment e.g. body weight. If your BMI is over 30kg/m2 please arrange a consultation before requesting norethisterone. To ensure an effective regime it is essential you take the medicine correctly according to the prescribed instructions.

Every month a woman’s body gets ready to receive a fertilised egg and prepare for pregnancy. In women who are not pregnant, the uterine lining that was ready for the egg sheds causing a period. This shedding process is triggered when progesterone levels drop. To stop this from happening, synthetic progesterone in the Norethisterone pills prevents the body’s progesterone levels from dropping. This tricks the body into thinking that you are pregnant and stops your period until the progesterone levels drop.  

You will need to start norethisterone 3 days before you anticipate your period is due to start. This should hopefully mean that your period is successfully delayed.

You can buy Norethisterone from our online pharmacy MedsNow after completing a virtual consultation with one of our clinicians to assess your suitability and safety for the medicine. Your answers allow us to assess that the medication should be effective for you.

Norethisterone tablets can be taken with or without food. You will need to start norethisterone 3 days before you anticipate your period is due to start. You will need to take one tablet three times a day, equally spaced through the day, and at consistent times each day. This should hopefully mean that your period is successfully delayed. 

Some women may experience side effects, such as:

  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Breast soreness
  • Bloating
  • Headache

If you have side effects that are especially troublesome please discontinue treatment. If side effects persist after stopping treatment please contact your doctor to discuss further.


Norethisterone pills are not suitable for women who are on combined contraceptives.

Though Norethisterone can safely be taken alongside several medications, it may interact with a few. It’s important to tell us if you are taking any recreational drugs, over-the-counter drugs, or prescription drugs so we can make sure this medicine is safe for you.

If you forget a Norethisterone dose, take a pill as soon as you remember and the next pill at its regular time. If it’s almost time for the next dose, just skip that upcoming dose and take the following doses as per the schedule.

  1. Can Norethisterone be used as a birth control medicine?

    No, Norethisterone is not a birth control pill. There are some oral contraceptives that contain norethisterone at varying dosages as part of their composition, but this treatment is not appropriate to be used as a contraceptive; it will not be effective.

  2. Does Norethisterone disturb your cycle?

    Norethisterone usually does not disturb the menstrual cycle. Women will often get their period within three days of stopping the course.

  3. Can you bleed while taking Norethisterone?

    Norethisterone is very effective at delaying periods. However, some women may experience breakthrough bleeding or spotting. To minimise the risk of this please take the tablets in accordance with the prescribed instructions.

  4. Can I get pregnant while taking Norethisterone?

    Unprotected sex when taking Norethisterone can result in pregnancy. You should use barrier methods such as condoms if you wish to have sex whilst on this medication.

  5. Is it safe to delay your period for your holiday?

    Norethisterone to delay periods for vacation is considered safe. Some women may experience mild side effects with extended courses of norethisterone. The safest way to take norethisterone is to stick to the prescribed dosage, and avoid using the treatment for a long period of time.

  6. Can Norethisterone affect early pregnancy?

    Norethisterone should not be taken under any circumstance in pregnancy, it can affect the development of a baby.

  7. Does norethisterone delay your next period?

    There should not be any alteration in the menstrual cycle after finishing a course of norethisterone.

  8. What happens when you stop Norethisterone?

    The hormone level in the body will start to drop back to normal and the period usually starts within three days of stopping the treatment course.

  9. Can Norethisterone cause weight gain?

    Norethisterone and progesterones broadly have the potential to cause weight gain. In practice, this is unlikely as norethisterone for period delay is usually only taken for a very short course which limits the chances of weight gain, and make it unlikely.

  10. Do you have to take Norethisterone at the same time every day?

    It is suggested to take Norethisterone doses at the same times of the day each day.

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