PERIODS can arrive at the most inconvenient time – usually when you’re about to jet off on holiday.
But now women can buy an over-the-counter the pill on the high street to delay mother nature until they get back.
Superdrug today announced its the first retailer to offer the period delay pill, known as norethisterone, to customers as a walk-in service at its pharmacies.
Until now, the drug has only been available as a prescription only medicine.
But now women over the age of 18 will be able to have an in-store consultation so they don’t have to go to see their GP.
It needs to be taken three days before the expected period begins and then delays it until three days after the last tablet.
Superdrug offers packs of 30 (£29), 60 (£45) and 90 (£59) pills, which last for 10, 20 and 30 days.
However, how to delay your period depends on whether you are taking the contraceptive pill or not.
Women who are not taking a contraceptive pill can use norethisterone tablets to postpone their period, if medically appropriate.
Norethisterone is the synthetic version of a sex hormone, which naturally occurs in the human body.
It belongs to a group of hormones called progestogens – also found in mini pills and combined contraceptive pills.
However, taking norethisterone tablets to delay your period will not protect you against pregnancy, so you still need to use a method of contraception, such as a condom.
If you’re already taking the combined contraceptive pill then you don’t need to buy the period delay pill.
Instead of taking the seven day break, you will need to start the new blister pack straight away.
This way, your period will be delayed until the end of the second blister pack. Some women may experience breakthrough bleeding or spotting when delaying their period this way.
Michael Henry, Superdrug’s healthcare director, said: “We continue to look for ways to bring accessible healthcare to our customers on the high street.
“The Period Delay Pill has been available on our Online Doctor service previously and now introducing it in our pharmacies and nurse clinics with a consultation and questionnaire allows women to make the choice easily and quickly should they choose to delay their period.”
Dr Pixie McKenna, Superdrug’s Health Ambassador, added: “The Period Delay Pill offers women more choice when it comes to their periods.
“Before taking any medication, a patient should always read the patient information leaflet and I’d always recommend talking any concerns or questions through with a healthcare professional.
“It is, however, not a contraceptive so if you are thinking of having sex, always use a condom.”