How to Reset or Delay Your Period

Have a trip or big event coming up and don’t want to deal with your period? With NETA or MPA pills, there are two main options you can consider: you can delay your period for after, or you can reset your cycle so that your period happens before the event. In this post, we’ll look at both choices and discuss the benefits and risks of each.

Option 1: Delay Your Period

Delaying your period has the lowest risk of spotting and is relatively straight forward:

  1. Start pills 3 days before your departure date.
  2. Continue on the pills for the entire duration of your trip.
  3. Stop the pills on your return home.
  4. Experience a period bleed 1-3 days after stopping your pills.

Option 2: Reset Your Cycle

Assuming there's enough lead time, this option is for those who would like to avoid taking medication during the event or trip and most effective if you have a predictable cycle length. (See “start date” below for lead time calculation.)

This method involves initiating a bleed before your travel, which means you won’t need medication while away. However, it's important to note that this does not fully guarantee that you won't experience any bleeding or spotting.

To figure out how to use pills to reset your cycle, you’ll need to know the following:

  • Cycle Length (CL): This is the average time of the 1st-day of bleeding of your current cycle to the 1st-day of leading to the next cycle (Example: 28 days)
  • Prescription Length (PL): The number of days to take the pills, given by the physician during your consult. (Example: 10 days)
  • Bleeding Duration (BD): This is the average number of days you experience menstrual flow (Example: 5 days)
  • Withdrawal Period (WP): This is the number of days you bleed after stopping the pills (Example: 3 days)
  • Grace Period (GP): This is a few extra days in case your bleeding duration is longer than usual (Example: 2 days)
  • Start Date (SD): This is the number of days prior to departing that you should take your pills. SD = PL + BD + WP + GP
  • Expected Menses (EM): This is the expected date of your next period, based on your cycle length, assuming your cycles return to their regular pattern of bleeding.


Jenna wishes to leave for vacation on January 21. She has regular menstrual cycles that are 28 days long and bleeds on average for 5 days with each cycle. When should she start her pills if she is interested in avoiding pills while away?

  • Cycle Length (CL): 28 days
  • Prescription Length (PL): 10 days
  • Bleeding Duration (BD): 5 days
  • Withdrawal Period (WP): 3 days
  • Grace Period (GP): 2 days
  • Start Date (SD) = 10 + 5 + 3 + 2 = 20 days

Knowing start date needs to be 20 days prior, Jenna would need to start taking her pills on January 1.

  • Departure Date: January 21
  • Start Pills: January 21 - 20 days = January 1
  • Stop Pills: January 11 [January 1 + PL]
  • Bleeding Expected to Start: January 14 [January 11 + WP]
  • Bleeding Expected to Stop: January 19 [January 14 + BD]
  • Expected Date of Next Cycle: February 11 [January 14 + CL]

Which is Right for You?

Managing your menstrual cycle with NETA or MPA pills provides a convenient way to ensure your period doesn’t interfere with your upcoming trip or major event. The right option ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you do not mind taking pills during your trip, delaying your period has a lower risk of bleeding. Regardless whether you choose to delay your period until after the event or adjust your cycle so that it occurs before, our physicians can provide you with the appropriate prescription. By understanding the benefits of each, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs and allows you to enjoy your special occasion worry-free.

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider for personal health concerns.