We don’t talk about it very often but I’m going to. Getting your period when you have a race/long run scheduled can be uncomfortable and extremely inconvenient….and in some cases painful and can cancel the run/race.
I thought I’d write about a solution I found. I usually just deal with it, I generally don’t get huge pains so in the past I have just put up with it and made use of portaloos when its been that time of the month on longer races I’ve done.
In November last year I did the Nepal Marathon. Unfortunately I was due on the week I would be spending out there….in mountains….with hole in the floor toilets…..I was a bit worried how I’d deal with this. I’d heard about some pills that could delay your period but that is all I knew so I asked the wonderful Dr. Juliet for some advice and she told me
The tablets contain progesterone. There are different ones but a common one is called norethisterone. You need to start it 2 or 3 days before your period is due and continue taking it 3 times a day, until it’s ok for you to bleed. Elite athletes don’t use it as it can sometimes affect performance – just in case you’re hoping for major PB! Most women are fine if a little bloated. You usually bleed on stopping it but you can’t be sure when your next period will come so if the second marathon is quite close it might be difficult to gauge it. It is a prescription only med (just to check any health reasons why it’s not safe for you to use) so you need to consult a doctor but I know there are some online services with Boots, Superdrug and Lloyds pharmacy. The cost will be more than a prescription but possibly worth the convenience.
I did some research and read that many women use it for various reasons such as important dates (weddings etc) or not seeing their other half very often so they can delay their period to make the most of their time. Everything I read was positive and women seemed happy with using it. I looked at a couple of websites and found it on Boots & Superdrug websites- it was cheaper in Boots so I went for that. The drug is called Utovlan. You fill in a form online here as part of the online prescription service, mainly to make sure it is safe for you to take the medication, then the prices start at £14.90 as you can get different amounts depending on how many days you want to cover.
I took it from a few days before I was due. I didn’t have any side effects from using it. i was very grateful for it whilst I was out in Nepal- I think it would have been stressful to deal with my period there. You take 3 tablets a day, which I soon got into the habit of doing, until you’re ready for your period to come on, so I took it till I was back in the UK.
Would I use it again?
Definitely. If i had a long race or a big event I would use it again. I would recommend it- as long as you are able to take it. If you’re in a country with hole in the floor toilets or you’re running a race/ultra etc and could do without it you should definitely check it out.
Dr. Juliet has a new book out ‘Sorted: The active woman guide to active health”, there is a whole chapter on periods. Plus the whole book is full of fab advice for active women. I have my copy & would recommend getting one yourself x
Have you got any experiences of taking this? Share your experiences/ views/ questions below x