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Can Taking Supplements Delay a Period?

by
author image Derek Buckner
Derek Buckner has been writing professionally since 2005, specializing in diet, nutrition and general health. He has been published in "Today's Dietitian," "Food Essentials" and "Eating Well Magazine," among others. Buckner is a registered dietitian and holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and food science from Drexel University.
Can Taking Supplements Delay a Period?
Certain supplements can help you start your period. Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Taking certain medications, such as birth control pills, can delay your period, but not any particular supplements that you can purchase over the counter. Some supplements, such as iron, can actually help your menstrual cycle if you have anemia. If your periods are not regular or you want to delay them, speak to your doctor about your options as certain medications can help either instance.

Iron Supplements

If you have anemia due to low iron levels, your periods may be delayed or stop altogether. This is the only supplement that can help bring on or cause your periods to start again or become regular. Of course it's always better to receive your nutrition from food rather than a bottle, but sometimes it's necessary. Include more iron-rich foods in your diet such as dark, leafy green vegetables, enriched macaroni, rye bread, oysters, clams, watermelon and beef. Talk to your physician before you take any supplements, as too much iron can cause constipation.

Birth Control

While some birth control pills can help regulate your periods so that you know exactly when to prepare for that time of the month, certain birth control pills can delay your cycle so that you only have one period every three months --- which is much longer than a typical one-month supply of birth control pills. Stopping birth control pills can also cause a delayed period. Other forms of birth control, such as the Depo-Provera shot, will cause your period to be absent until it is time for your next shot. As long as you continue to receive your shots in a timely manner, you may not have another period until you discontinue the shot. Other forms of birth control, such as an intra-uterine device, or IUD, may also cause your periods to become absent.

Other Causes of Delayed Periods

You may have a delayed period if you are under a lot of stress or have thyroid conditions, ovarian cysts or other conditions that could affect your hormone levels. Gaining or losing a rapid amount of weight will also affect your menstrual cycle as well as eating disorders such as anorexia, according to TeensHealth. Excessive exercising can also cause your body to delay your period.

Considerations

With so many reasons as to why your period is often late or why you may want to delay your periods, it's best to speak to a licensed health care professional. Your doctor can offer a variety of options, from certain types of birth control to advising you to take iron supplements or changing your diet.

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