Norethisterone, which also goes by its branded name Utovlan, is a period delay medication that is regulated for short term use, up to 20 days. Think about it, no need to hassle with your period when you’re about to go on a long weekend away or if you have a long week of endless exams and the last thing you need stressing you, even more, is your period. There has been a lot of safety concerns that have emerged with this drug. Does norethisterone affect your fertility? Does it have unwanted effects on the body and fertility? How does it affect your blood pressure?


Norethisterone contains norethisterone and is the key active ingredient in this medication. It delays periods by duping your body into thinking you are pregnant by increasing progesterone levels in the body. These high levels of progesterone prevent the womb lining from breaking down and shedding as a period. Norethisterone is a synthetic form of progesterone, which is a naturally occurring hormone in our body. When higher level of progesterone is detected in the body, the womb lining thickens as it prepares for the implantation of a fertilised egg. If there is a lack of increase in progesterone levels after ovulation, the body understands that it is not now pregnant and hence sheds the lining of the womb and you get your periods. So by maintaining the high level of progesterone in the body, the womb remains lining intact and you do not get your period.

Norethisterone is not for everyday use and can only be used for a one off occasion. It has a maximum prescription of 20 days if used for period delay needs unless otherwise stated by your doctor. Norethisterone is also not a form of contraception, so using alternative forms of contraception is required if having sexual intercourse. 


Just like norethisterone, Utovlan contains norethisterone and is just a branded version of norethisterone. By taking Utovlan, you introduce a one-off surge of norethisterone in your body. Again, just like above, Utlovan is only allowed for a maximum of 20 days and cannot be substituted as a form of birth control. If you are taking Utovlan, please continue to use effective and safe birth control.

Safety first

I don’t know about you but i regard my period as a nuisance, an unwanted visitor that greets me once a month. However, periods can actually tell us a lot about our fertility. Getting our period once a month is a good sign that we are ovulating indicating that we are ovulating once a month. Delaying your period might make it seem as though you are delaying your fertility, which is understandable work. Period delay medication is only recommended for up to 20 days so it does not have an effect on fertility. After coming off norethisterone, the levels of synthetic progesterone diminishes and the levels of natural hormone in your body should go back to normal. If you take norethisterone for a long time, you are continually adding these synthetic hormones into your body which can increase your risk of getting side effects. This is why the regulated use is for a  maximum of 20 days unless otherwise prescribed by doctors.

Blood pressure

There might seem like there is a clear link between stopping periods and blood pressure. Since norethisterone delivers a high dose of progesterone to the body, this progesterone is metabolised into estradiol (an oestrogenic hormone). If left untreated this can increase the risk to the heart and kidneys. 

Your safety is always paramount and that is why your doctor or pharmacist will take your blood pressure, height and weight before prescribing you the medication. High blood pressure is silent and most people who have it do not know they do. Taking your blood pressure as well as height and weight is to ensure your blood pressure falls within the normal parameters. 

Norethisterone is contraindicated in people with active or recent health conditions such as myocardial infarction on angina. 

Dr Felix 

We here at Dr Felix can offer you Norethisterone (generic version) and Utovlan (branded version) for your period delay needs. We have a dedicated page to help you get a better understanding of the period delay tablets that we provide. 

Do not need to let your period ruin your special occasions such as weddings or holidays. Talk to your doctor about the period delay today.