Norethisterone is a tablet used to help symptoms of endometriosis or heavy periods, and it can also help to delay your period. If you have a holiday or event planned but your period is due, taking Norethisterone can help you enjoy it fully.
Norethisterone is a generic medication, so it’s cheaper than the branded version. It’s a bit different to the regular contraceptive pill, because you only take it short term.
How does Norethisterone work?
Norethisterone is a type of medication called a progestin. Progestins are lab-made versions of the natural female hormone progesterone and they work in almost the same way in the body.
Progesterone is the hormone which makes the lining of your uterus thicken to prepare for pregnancy. Your period happens when progesterone drops and this lining sheds. So taking progestins can delay your period if it hasn’t started, or make it less heavy and painful if it has.
What doses of Norethisterone are there?
Generic Norethisterone usually comes in 5mg tablets when used for endometriosis, heavy or painful periods and period delay.
There is another dose that’s used as a mini pill, called Noriday. This contains 350mcg of norethisterone so is a lower dose, but you’ll take it every day because it’s a long term contraceptive. Like most mini pills, it’s quite common to have reduced bleeding or no bleeding at all when you take it.
How to take Norethisterone
How you take Norethisterone will depend on what you’re using it for. It’s important to follow the instructions your prescriber gives you when taking it.
How to take Norethisterone for period delay
If you’re taking Norethisterone for period delay, you should take it two to three days before your period is supposed to start. To know when your period is due, you could use an app or mark your previous cycles on a calendar.
Most people need to take the tablet three times a day at around the same time. You could take one with breakfast, lunch and dinner, or set alarms on your phone. Once you’ve stopped taking Norethisterone, you’ll usually have your period three days afterwards.
How to take Norethisterone for heavy or painful periods
If you’re taking Norethisterone for heavy periods or painful periods, you’ll usually take it for between five and ten days of your cycle. This will depend on how long and heavy your bleeding is and the input from your clinician. Start taking the tablets on the fifth day of your cycle. You can measure this easily, as the start of your period is the very first day.
How to take Norethisterone for endometriosis
For endometriosis, take one tablet of Norethisterone three times a day, everyday. This is a longer-term treatment, to stop the cells from your uterus from growing in places they’re not supposed to.
Your clinician can discuss with you exactly how long to take it for. If you feel you need a higher dosage to control your symptoms, you can send us a message if you’re using our service. One of our experts will listen to your concerns and reply as soon as possible.
How long does it take Norethisterone to work?
Norethisterone starts working very quickly. It reaches peak concentration in your blood within one to three hours of taking it . Remember that if you’re taking it for period delay, it will need two to three days to work. It’ll need time for the effects to show, so make sure to take it as our clinician tells you.
What should I do if I make a mistake when taking Norethisterone?
There are a few different ways to take Norethisterone, so always take it at the advice of your clinician. If you forget to take a pill, take it as soon as you remember and then carry on your treatment as normal. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
If you take too much Norethisterone, you should seek medical attention right away. If you’re using our service, you can send us a message with any questions you have and our experts will get right back to you.
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Is Norethisterone similar to any other treatments?
There’s a branded form of Norethisterone called Utovlan. They contain the same active ingredient in the same dosage, so they work in a very similar way. Whether you use Norethisterone or Utovlan is really up to you. The main differences are that Norethisterone is usually a bit cheaper and might not always look the same.
There’s also a 350mcg injection with the same active ingredient as Norethisterone that’s used for contraception, called Noriday. This won’t be right for you if you’re looking to delay your period or control bleeding.
Which dose of Norethisterone should I use?
The dose of Norethisterone you take will depend on what you’re using it for and your symptoms. For stopping your periods, it’ll usually be one 5mg tablet three times a day. For endometriosis and heavy or painful periods, you might start on a lower dose, or raise it if your symptoms are still troubling you.
How effective is Norethisterone?
Norethisterone has shown to work for controlling heavy or painful bleeding and symptoms of endometriosis. When treating heavy periods, Norethisterone was shown to reduce bleeding by 87% . For people with endometriosis, using Norethisterone for six months reduced the abnormal growth causing their pain and bleeding by 37.2% .
In a clinical trial of women looking to delay their periods, Norethisterone was much more effective than the combined pill. Only 8% of women in the Norethisterone group had a small amount of spotting, compared to 43% of women on the combined pill. The women taking Norethisterone also preferred their treatment and were more likely to recommend it.
Can I take Norethisterone to delay my period if it’s already started?
No, once your period has started it can’t be stopped. Norethisterone can help reduce excessive bleeding or prolonged periods, but it can’t halt them if they’ve already begun. If you’re worried you’ll forget to take Norethisterone two to three days before your period, you could try tracking your period with an app and setting a reminder on your calendar.
Do I need a prescription for Norethisterone?
You will need a prescription for Norethisterone. A clinician needs to check that it’s safe and the best treatment for you. If you talk to one of our experts about your health, they can take you through the different options.
Can I get pregnant on Norethisterone?
Norethisterone isn’t a contraceptive because you only take it for a short amount of time. If you don’t want to get pregnant while taking it, you should combine Norethisterone with another method of contraception like a condom. Norethisterone doesn’t affect fertility, so it’s safe to use if you’re planning to get pregnant in the near future .
Why should I buy Norethisterone online with Treated?
Periods can be tough, but we can make dealing with them easier. If you’re interested in Norethisterone, just answer a few questions about your health. One of our trained clinicians will look over your answers and give you some treatment options. You can then order which one suits you best.
If you’re taking Norethisterone for endometriosis or heavy periods, our subscription service can make the process painless. There’s no need to remember to reorder each month, it’ll arrive in time and right at your doorstep.
If you have any problems with your treatment or any questions you want to ask, our experts are always just a message away. We’ll also check in with you to make sure everything is going well. We’re dedicated to providing treatment tailored to you.
Irvine GA, Campbell-Brown MB, Lumsden MA, Heikkilä A, Walker JJ, Cameron IT. Randomised comparative trial of the levonorgestrel intrauterine system and norethisterone for treatment of idiopathic menorrhagia. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Dean J, Kramer KJ, Akbary F, Wade S, Hüttemann M, Berman JM, Recanati MA. Norethindrone is superior to combined oral contraceptive pills in short-term delay of menses and onset of breakthrough bleeding: a randomized trial. BMC Womens Health.
2019 May 28;19(1):70. doi: 10.1186/s12905-019-0766-6. PMID: 31138184; PMCID: PMC6537409.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a doctor.
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