The modern woman gets to choose if and when she menstruates, thanks to medicine's understanding of the human hormonal systems. This means that should you have an important event like a wedding or vacation, you can use hormones to delay your menstrual cycle. This process, called menstrual manipulation, is perfectly safe, according to the Mayo Clinic. Menstrual manipulation also helps prevent symptoms for women who have menstrual disorders, like painful periods or endometriosis. Each woman's body reacts differently, so you may still experience spotting or PMS-like symptoms.
Stack Your Birth Control
If you're taking standard monthly hormonal birth control, like the pill, the patch or the ring, you can stack your birth control to avoid your monthly period. Stacking means skipping the fourth week of your regimen and starting the first week on your next month of protection. For example, if you take the pill, you would take the first three weeks of active pills, throw your pack away and immediately begin a new pack. If you're using the ring or the patch, you'd skip the week when you don't use the product and simply apply or insert a new one. This process works, according to the Mayo Clinic, because it's the withdrawal of hormones during your inactive week that causes menstruation. If you keep those hormone levels up, you won't experience that withdrawal and won't start your period.
Use Natural Progesterone Cream
Progesterone is the hormone that rises during the first half of your cycle, then decreases during the second half. The dip in progesterone signals your period to start. If you just need to buy yourself a few days, you can keep your progesterone levels up with natural progesterone cream. NPC is available at health food stores; different manufacturers make creams with different concentrations. Starting at ovulation, or at the midpoint of your cycle, apply one-fourth of a teaspoon of the cream two times per day, according to John R. Lee, M.D., of the International Center for Nutritional Research. When you are ready for your period, stop using the cream. The withdrawal of progesterone will cause your period to start.
Start a New Form of Birth Control
Several brands of birth control allow you to have a period once every three months or once a year. These brands work on the same principle as stacking your regular birth control but come in packaging that helps you remember what day you're on and doesn't include unnecessary inactive pills. If you'd like to delay your menstrual period for a long time, starting this method of birth control will do it for you.
A Jill-of-all-trades, Lillian Downey is a certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, certified clinical phlebotomist and a certified non-profit administrator. She's also written extensively on gardening and cooking. She also authors blogs on nail art blog and women's self esteem.