Menstruation, periods, chums, menses, the scarlet wave, or ‘that time of the month’, it has many names. Period gives us women a serious headache, literally and metaphorically. From period cramps, nausea, headaches and cravings are something that every girl faces right up to her 50s, to having to break out head over buying the right product and food. Periods are no joke! So, here is a guide to help you navigate through your periods with expert inputs from doctors.

6 Vital Things You Need To Know About Period Pills

Periods can be a pain. For some people, a nasty period can disrupt their personal and professional lives for a few days a month, which, over time, can result in a build-up of dread every time your period approaches. But, there are ways to regulate and control your period beyond taking the contraceptive pill. Period delay medication can give you control over your menstrual cycle, so it doesn’t have to get in the way of holidays, a stressful time at work or a special occasion that you would rather be able to experience without the hassle of a period.

To understand more about period delaying pills, TC46 connected with Dr Sushma Tomar, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology, Fortis Hospital Mumbai. She sheds light on common queries about period delaying pills.

1. Taking a period pill prevents the uterine layer from falling apart and delays menstruation

During the luteal phase of a menstrual cycle, the ovaries release Progesterone, and the female hormone Estrogen and cause thickening of the endometrium layer (lining of the uterus) to prepare the body for pregnancy. However, when a woman is menstruating, the hormone levels are low, which causes the endometrium to break down and shed, leading to bleeding. Taking a period pill, ie. Norethisterone, a Progestogen (a synthetic form of Progesterone), raises the hormone level, thereby preventing the uterine layer from falling apart and delaying menstruation.

2. Take the pill after consulting your gynaecologist 

You’re supposed to have the pill three days before your period begins. The pill is a strictly prescription-only drug. They can cause serious health risks in certain people, and one should only take them after consulting with a Gynaecologist. You’re supposed to begin the medication three days before your period starts. You’ve to take the pill thrice a day: once in the morning, midday, and evening.

3. Long-term usage can lead to life-threatening conditions

We don’t recommend taking period delaying pills frequently. It can have severe health concerns in the future and be detrimental to one’s menstrual cycle. Continuing period delay medication will make your cycle irregular, and bring about many other conditions in the long run. Long-term usage can lead to life-threatening conditions like a clot in veins (Thrombosis), Pulmonary Embolism, etc.

4. Side effects of period delaying pill

Some of the common side-effects include:

  • Irregular and heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Cramps & abdominal discomfort
  • Diarrhoea
  • Acne

5. Period should start three days after you stop taking the pill

Ideally, you will get your period in three days after you stop taking the pill. If the period doesn’t start even after stopping the pill, it could be an indication of pregnancy. It would be best to get a pregnancy test done to confirm the situation and consult a doctor. 

In PCOS patients, the menses date is not fixed. So, these patients, if they take the pill to postpone menses, they will also get their menses within 8 days.

6. Period delaying pills do not have any effect on pregnancy

Period delaying pills don’t prevent an individual from getting pregnant. If one engages in sexual intercourse while on the menstruation delay pill, pregnancy chances are the same as when not on the drug.

10 Possible Reasons Why You Missed Your Periods

  1. Thyroid: Thyroid can really throw your periods out of whack, as this thyroid produces many hormones. And the regularity of periods is also affected by the hormone levels in the body.
  2. Excessive Exercise: Suddenly exercising too much can also impact your menstrual cycle. You may see spots, irregular bleeding, or completely absent periods. So, have a balance and do not overdo anything.
  3. Medications: New medications can impact the body in different ways and having absent or late periods is one impact of the new medication. Medications such as blood pressure pills, antidepressants, and even antibiotics may impact your menses.
  4. Stress: It has come to light that stress also plays a role in delaying periods. Stress releases a particular hormone that may end up constraining ovulation in the body.
  5. Obese/Overweight: Being overweight plays a big role in one’s periods of being absent or irregular. Obese women carrying extra fat cells may have an impact on estrogen levels.
  6. PCOS/PCOD: This is one of the most common reasons why a woman experiences irregularities in the menstrual cycle. This is a condition where a woman has more follicles in the ovary and is caused due to imbalance in the hormones.
  7. Change In Schedules: Sudden change in routine can affect your menstrual cycle hence the body gets acclimatized to that situation, the body impacts the menstrual cycle indirectly.
  8. Underweight: Being underweight can also cause absent or delayed periods. It is not healthy to be too lean.
  9. TB/Diabetes: Tuberculosis and diabetes may also cause a woman to see irregular periods.
  10. Perimenopause: This is the time when one is transitioning from being procreative to being non-procreative. In this time your periods may be erratic, and one may see abnormal bleeding.

Natural Remedies To Get Regular Periods

Elders in the family-like nani and dadi, recommend these desi nuskhe to help the period come naturally. These remedies are recognized and have been followed by many to get regular periods and maintain menstrual health. Although there is no such proof or concrete evidence that these remedies really help. Period cramps and pains are awful, so having a few home remedies and tricks up your sleeve is a good idea. Also, learn period pain hacks here

  1. Raw Papaya: Raw papaya (not a ripe one) relieves cramps and soothes the uterine walls.
  2. Powdery Turmeric: This helps in regulating menstrual cycles and has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities.
  3. Sugarcane Juice: Drinking sugarcane juice a week before or two weeks from your menstruation cycle helps in preponing the periods. It relieves constipation, enhances fertility, and helps women with difficult periods.
  4. Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds can be consumed to induce your period, but they should only be eaten in balance as they produce a lot of heat in the body.

Debunking Popular Myths About Your Cycle

Although menstruation has been a part of a woman’s life for nearly half her life span, there is so much confusion regarding the same. For centuries, people everywhere had stated how a woman on her period was extremely impure. Many myths, superstitions float around, hence Dr Suhasini Inamdar, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospitals, helps us debunk 5 common myths on periods. Debunk other such ridiculous myths here

1. You can pass out from period blood loss

It’s not possible to generally pass out from periods. When girls have severe pain or excessive bleeding with clots, that’s the time they may pass out. Healthy eating and regular check-ups with their gynaecologists will ensure such rare episodes don’t occur.

2. Your periods must last exactly one week each month

Periods normally last for 3-5 days and there is no such rule that it should last exactly one week each month. Period duration varies from body to body and 3-5 days duration is considered normal. So, if you are having longer periods, you should consult a doctor.

3. You cannot enter the puja room when on your periods

Our ancestors were extremely orthodox, not allowing the woman/girl to work and giving her isolation. Not going to a Puja room was one of them. Basically, this was done to provide her much needed rest during periods. But over generations, the basic idea has changed. Individuals can follow the practices as per their family preferences.

4. You cannot get pregnant if you have sex during your periods

Yes, a woman can get pregnant while she is having unprotected sex during her periods. Often period bleeding is confused with ovulation bleeding. If the ovulation is happening, that is the monthly release of an egg from a woman’s ovaries, then there are chances of her getting pregnant. Ovulation happens within a few days after a woman’s period is over. So, if a woman has unprotected sex on the last day of her period and ovulates in the next few days, the sperm may still fertilize the egg.

5. Exercising when on your periods is unhealthy and can damage the uterus

This is not true, exercising during your periods is healthy and, in some cases, physical activity can alleviate cramps and even improve mood and feelings of fatigue often associated with the menstrual cycle. Find here details about working out on your period by HRX’s Pallavi Barman.

5 Period Essentials You Need To Carry 

It has become a routine, no, more like a habit to carry an extra and an emergency sanitary napkin. Each of your bags, be it your travel or work handbag, would contain a spare pad. And along with that you also have other essentials to save your day. Carrying sanitary products are very important. Because being extra cautious is never too bad, if not you someone else might be in need.  So whether it is a cute brunch or date, your sanitiser, tissue, mints, pads, makeup and wallet, are some of your staples. If you need a better idea of what period essentials to carry, watch this video.

Periods can have you go from a crying mess to an angry person, followed by an anxiety attack. These changing emotions which seem so familiar and plague you often are known as mood swings. Here is how you can deal with them. Also, know 6 vital facts about period acne here. Now that you have all the knowledge, put it to good use and keep your health a priority!

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