Delaying Your Period

Is there any way I could delay my period?

Since a woman's menstrual cycle is controlled by her hormones, any alterations in their levels can influence when her period arrives. That's why factors such as stress can either speed up or delay her schedule, since they can change the production or secretion of hormones in the body.

Unless a woman is a sucker for massive amounts of physical or emotional stress, which isn't really a sure way to alter her cycle anyway, she will have to resort to an artificial hormone schedule in order to change when her period arrives. How does one do this? Birth control pills. These pills are given in a monthly cycle, and during one week of it, she either takes a sugar pill or none at all - that's when she menstruates. Generally, the Pill is started on the first day after a woman's menstruation so that the artificial hormones are in synch with her normal hormonal fluctuations. In order to delay her period, however, she may want to start the dosage of pills differently so that her period will fall at a different time.

Of course, like most things that initially sound simple, there are a few catches. For one, if a woman wants to change when her period arrives by using birth control pills, she'll have to plan really far in advance. If starting the pack of pills off cycle, the first month will tend to cause some spotting and break-through bleeding throughout the cycle, which really defeats the purpose of delaying the period. Instead, she will have to start on them a few months before she needs the effect for those side effects to disappear.

Furthermore, it may not be a good idea to just start on the Pill mid-cycle in order to alter when her period will come. Picture trying to get off of a merry-go-round. It is much easier to make that hop to the solid ground when the ride is going slower rather than faster. If that merry-go-round is moving quickly, the transition from that motion to the earth can be rather jarring - and unpleasant. The same thing goes for artificial hormones: if their introduction to the body matches a woman's normal fluctuations, the transition is much smoother than a sudden, random jolt. Doctors, for the most part, will not help you out with this. They will tell you to use the Pills as normally directed. For these reasons, she may want to consider whether it is really worth the planning and potential unpleasant side effects that go along with her attempt to change the arrival of her period, rather than just tucking a few extra items into her suit case.

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