Norethisterone 5mg
  • Norethisterone 5mg

Norethisterone 5mg

Medication features

Norethisterone is a synthetic hormone used to delay periods. It is typically taken three days before the expected start of your period. It effectively postpones menstruation for upto 17 days.

  • For occasional period delay
  • Used to delay period for up to 17 days
  • Generic version of Utovlan


Norethisterone Period Delay Tablets Online

You can buy Norethisterone online from our UK online doctor service. After completing your assessment and order, our doctors can review the order to make sure the medication is suitable for you. If approved, the order will be dispatched by our UK registered online pharmacy. 

Sometimes your period can come at the worst time, and coincide with a special occasion. If you are taking the combined oral contraceptive, most brands allow the delay of your period by continuing straight onto your next pack. If you are not taking an oral contraceptive, then Utovlan or Norethisterone 5mg can be an ideal way to delay your period when you need to.

What is Norethisterone?

Norethisterone is a synthetic hormone which mimics the effect of the body’s naturally occurring hormone progesterone. It can have multiple uses such as treating breast cancer or endometriosis. However, it is often used as a tablet to delay periods. Norethisterone comes as a 5mg tablet and can be taken to delay periods for up to 17 days.

Norethisterone is NOT a method of contraception. It is therefore important that you should continue to use contraceptive methods if you do not want to become pregnant. Norethisterone should also not be taken if you are already taking the combined contraceptive pill. You can, however, take it while taking the mini pill. 

Norethisterone is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Using Norethisterone for Period Delay

If you are taking it to delay your period, there are a few things you should know. Firstly, it's important that you can predict when your period is due. You should start taking it three days before you expect your period to start. One 5mg tablet is taken THREE times a day.

When you want your period to start, simply stop taking the medication. After stopping, your period should start 2-3 days later. You can take Norethisterone for up to 20 days in total, meaning that you can delay your period for around 17 days.

Norethisterone Dosage

To delay your period: Take ONE tablet THREE times daily, starting 3 days before your period is due. Continue taking until period delay is no longer required. Do not take it for more than 20 days (17 days of period delay). You should take it exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Side Effects of Norethisterone

Norethisterone is generally a well-tolerated medication, and most women will not experience side effects.

With any medication you take however, there is always a risk of side effects occurring. Some are more common than others. Side effects are more likely if you take the medicine for a long period of time. If the side effects do not subside, you should report them to us, or your GP.

Possible Side Effects:

  • Breakthrough bleeding or spotting between periods
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Changes in vaginal discharge
  • Breast tenderness
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Visual disturbances 
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach problems such as being sick, nausea, constipation or diarrhoea
  • Dry mouth
  • Liver problems
  • Water retention
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in sex drive

The side effects listed below are more serious. If experience them you should stop taking Norethisterone, and seek medical attention immediately:

  • Itchy skin rash
  • Facial swelling/tongue swelling
  • Swelling of hands and feet
  • Wheezing
  • Feeling faint
  • Difficulty breathing

Norethisterone and blood clotting:

Norethisterone can increase your risk of developing a blood clot or thrombosis. You must STOP taking this medication and visit a health care professional or A+E immediately if you experience symptoms of a blood clot. This includes coughing blood, shortness of breath, a swollen leg, calf, or foot, and sudden sharp pain in your chest. These symptoms can be signs of a blood clot and must not be ignored.

For a full list of side effects, please read the patient information leaflet.

Norethisterone Alternatives

If you are already taking a combined contraceptive pill such as Microgynon, you can delay your period without the need for Norethisterone or Utovlan.

You will need to have taken the pill for at least a whole month prior to your current menstrual cycle. To delay your period, simply take two months of your combined pill back to back, without having a 7 day pill-free break, or using your inactive pills.

NOTE: This method does not work with other hormonal contraceptives like the ‘mini-pill’ (progestogen only pills), such as Cerazette.

Norethisterone Summary

Norethisterone dose

Take one tablet three times a day for up to 20 days


Not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women

How it works

Delays shedding of the womb lining to delay your period

When to take

Start three days before your period is due

Norethisterone Prices

30 tablets


60 tablets




  • How do I take norethisterone?

    To delay your period, Norethisterone should be taken three days before your period is due. It should be taken three times daily for each day you want to delay your period. This should be done for a maximum period of 17 days. After you stop taking it, your period should start 2-3 days after.

  • How does norethisterone work?

    It works by keeping levels of the female hormone, progesterone, in the body high. This, in turn, stops your womb lining from shedding, and so delays your period. Norethisterone is a synthetic version of progesterone.

  • When will my period start again?

    Your period should start around 2-3 days after you stop taking the tablets.

  • Can I use norethisterone for heavy periods?

    No. Norethisterone supply is intended only to delay your period temporarily. You should speak to your GP if you require regular treatment for heavy periods.

  • What is norethisterone?

    Norethisterone is a synthetic version of progesterone, which is a sex hormone produced by the body.

  • Can I become pregnant when using period delay tablets?

    Yes. Norethisterone is not a contraceptive, so you should use a method of birth control in order to avoid becoming pregnant.

    Content Reviewed: 16/12/2020


Treatment Comparison

UtovlanNorethisteroneCombine Oral Contraceptive
Active IngredientNorethisterone 5mgNorethisterone 5mgVarious
Period Delay DoseStart three days before your period is due to start, and take it three times a day for upto 17daysStart three days before your period is due to start, and take it three times a day for upto 17daysIf already on the pill, do not take your pill free break
Mechanism Prevents your womb lining from shedding Prevents your womb lining from shedding Prevents your womb lining from shedding


Info Leaflet

If you have been prescribed norethisterone, it is important you read the Patient Information Leaflet. You can find information leaflets for your medicines by typing them into the search bar at, or by contacting us.

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Norethisterone 5mg

Medication Simple Online Pharmacy
60 - Tablets (Up to 17 Days of Period Delay) £21.95
30 Tablets (Up to 7 Days of Period Delay) £13.95

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Medication Simple Online Pharmacy
60 Tablets (Up to 17 days of period delay) £21.99
30 Tablets (Up to 7 days of period delay) £14.50

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