• Highly effective at treating a number of conditions such as delaying periods
  • Can be used to delay your period for special occasions
  • Most effective when used for short delays (up to 10 days)
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Provera period delay tablets

Special events such as weddings and holidays can often coincide with your period. If you want to delay your period, provera tablets can effectively delay your period for up to 17 days when taken 3 days before your period is expected to start.

Provera tablets can effectively and safely delay your period and can be purchased from Medicine Direct following an online consultation with one of our UK prescribers.

What is Provera?

Provera tablets contain a medicine called medroxyprogesterone acetate, which belongs to a class of drugs known as progestogens; these are similar in nature to the natural female hormone, progesterone. It can be taken by adults over the age of 18.

Provera is used to treat a number of problems that can occur in a woman’s menstrual cycle. It is also used as an off-label treatment for delaying periods. An off-label treatment is one which is not covered by the manufacturer’s license, which means a doctor will be responsible for prescribing Provera for this purpose.

You must have a prescription to buy Provera tablets.

What is Provera used to treat?

Provera has several different functions, but it is widely prescribed to prevent women from starting their period.

Women should not delay their period on a permanent basis, but if you are going on holiday or are getting married, you may wish to stop your period from arriving on an inopportune day.

Aside from delaying periods, Provera is also prescribed to treat:

  • Painful periods
  • Heavy periods
  • Irregular periods
  • Endometriosis
  • No periods

Why delay your period?

It is perfectly natural for a woman to have a monthly period; this is an important and natural part of your menstrual cycle. However, sometimes your period can coincide with an important occasion such as a wedding, honeymoon, holiday and more. There is no specific reason that is needed to delay your period, sometimes it may even be down to convenience.

Provera tablets are designed to be taken for one off events. They should not be used to permanently prevent your period from occurring.

Provera must be taken 3 days before your period is due to start, it will not delay your period if it has already started.


How does Provera work?

Provera contains the active ingredient medroxyprogesterone acetate, which is a synthetic form of the female hormone progesterone. Each month, a woman's progesterone levels drop, which triggers the uterus to shed the lining, making women experience a period. Provera works by keeping the progesterone levels high, therefore delaying a period.

Provera dose

How much Provera you should take will depend on the reason why you are taking it. It is important that you always take the dose your doctor has prescribed for you.

The table below demonstrates the usual recommended dose depending on your condition. Follow your doctor’s instructions if they differ to these:



Delay your period

10mg 3 times a day, starting 3 days before your period is due

Heavy or irregular bleeding

2.5mg – 10mg for 5 – 10 days, starting 16 to 21 days after your last period

Amenorrhoea (no periods)

2.5mg – 10mg for 5 – 10 days,  starting between what is calculated as the 16th and 21st days of your menstrual cycle


10mg 3 times a day for 3 months, starting on the first day of your period

How to take Provera

To delay your period:

  1. Begin taking Provera 3 days before your period is due.
  2. Take 10mg three times a day. Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water.
  3. Your period will start after around 3 days of your treatment ending.

Please refer to the patient information leaflet for a full list of instructions before you start taking it.

Who can take Provera?

Provera may not be suitable for everyone to use. You should inform your doctor before taking this medication if you have any of the below conditions:

  • You have epilepsy
  • You suffer from migraine headaches
  • You have any heart problems
  • You have diabetes
  • You suffer with depression or have a history of depression
  • You have any liver problems
  • You have gallstones
  • You have any hearing problems
  • You have asthma
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have systemic lupus erythematosus
  • You have just had an operation or are due to have one
  • You have an intolerance to some sugars
  • You have breast cancer or have had it in the past
  • You have porphyria
  • You have or have had blood clots forming in your veins or arteries
  • You are allergic to medroxyprogesterone acetate, any of the ingredients contained in Provera, or any other hormone medicines

This list may not be exhaustive. Always read the patient information leaflet for a full list of reasons why Provera may not be suitable for you to take.

Can you buy Provera over the counter?

Provera tablets are not for sale over the counter. You must have a prescription to purchase this medication.

Can you buy Provera online in the UK?

Yes, you can buy Provera online from Medicine Direct. Provera tablets are only available on prescription, so before we can sell you this medication, we must first ask you to complete a confidential online consultation. This involves answering a questionnaire about your condition and medical history, which will be assessed by a certified prescriber to make sure Provera is safe for you to take.

Medicine Direct is fully regulated by all the necessary UK medical authorities, to ensure we sell only genuine and safe medicine from our online pharmacy. Never buy any type of medicine online from anywhere other than regulated UK pharmacies. See our About Us page for further details.

Provera alternatives

Norethisterone is a medicine that is used to delay periods and is another commonly prescribed medicine that is available to buy from our online pharmacy.

Utovlan is the branded version of Norethisterone, which is also available to buy from Medicine Direct after an online consultation. 

Provera Dosage

Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Provera.

Always follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. Always ensure you read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before taking any medicine. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure of anything.

The usual dose for Provera is 10 mg. You should take Provera 3 times a day; these times should be consistent, such as in the morning, afternoon and evening.

You will need to start the course 2-3 days before your period is due to begin. After completing your course of treatment, you should get your period in about 3 days.

What if I take more than I am supposed to?

If you accidentally take more than the prescribed dose, you should seek medical attention soon as possible.

What if I forget to take it?

If you forget to take the medication, just take it as soon as you remember and then continue to take Provera as usual.

Do not take two doses at once and never double dose any medication to try and make up for missing an earlier dose.

How long can I take Provera?

If you have been prescribed Provera to treat a medical problem, you should take it for as long as your doctor tells you. However, if you take it to delay your period, it should not be used more than two or three times a year. To delay your period, you should not take it more than once every three months.

Can I get pregnant while taking Provera?

Yes, Provera is not a contraceptive and does not prevent pregnancy.

Can I gain weight while taking Provera?

Weight gain is a common side effect of Provera and may occur in up to 1 in 10 users. Weight loss is an uncommon side effect that may affect 1 in 100 women who take it.

Does Provera alter your mood?

Depression is a common side effect of taking this medicine, as is nervousness. Speak to your doctor if you feel like Provera is altering your mood.

How long does Provera take to work?

As a period delay treatment, Provera takes a couple of days to work, which is why you should take it three days before you are due to start your period.

Can Provera still cause bleeding?

Unusual bleeding or spotting is a very common side effect of Provera. If this becomes an issue, speak to your doctor.

Will it make my hair fall out?

Some women report hair loss while taking a progesterone medicine like Provera. Tell your doctor if you notice a significant amount of hair loss while taking this medication.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Provera, take it as soon as you remember and then continue to take the medicine at your normal times. Never take a double dose to make up for missing a previous one.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Provera?

Yes, you can drink alcohol moderately while taking this medication.

How long will it stop my bleeding for?

You should get your period about three days after you stop taking Provera tablets.

Provera Side Effects

The more common adverse effects of taking Provera can be found on the main page.

There are various adverse reactions associated with Provera, which can be found below. If you experience any of these, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Severe allergic reaction

In some cases, you may experience a severe allergic reaction to this medicine and require urgent treatment in hospital. You should either go to A&E or call 999 straight away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • You are wheezing
  • You have swelling in the mouth, throat, face, tongue or lips
  • You are finding it hard to speak or breathe
  • You have a skin rash that is swollen, red, itchy, blistered or peeling
  • You have tightness in the chest or throat

Symptoms of blood clots in the lungs

These symptoms may occur separately or together:

  • Coughing up blood
  • Sudden sharp pain in your chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased heartbeat

Symptoms of blood clots in the brain (stroke)

  • Difficulty speaking
  • You feel faint or collapse
  • You have a severe or long headache
  • You have numbness in any part of your body
  • Your sight is affected

Symptoms of deep-vein thrombosis

  • Severe tenderness or pain in your calf, foot or ankle
  • Purple discolouration of the skin on your leg, which may become red and warm to the touch

Uncommon side effects

  • Swelling in the veins from blood clots
  • Cervix abnormalities
  • Facial hair growth
  • Milky discharge from the breast when not pregnant/breastfeeding
  • Oedema/fluid retention
  • Rash
  • Delayed egg releases and a longer menstrual cycle
  • Drowsiness
  • Stopping or extended breaks between periods
  • Decreased sugar tolerance
  • Losing weight

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should report them to your doctor immediately.

This list may not be exhaustive; always read the patient information leaflet thoroughly, for a full list of side effects.

If you have any concerns or questions at all, we strongly advise you to speak to your doctor before taking this medicine.

Provera Warnings and drug interactions

Provera may interact with certain other medications, hindering its effectiveness and possibly increasing your risk of experiencing adverse reactions.

You should always make sure your doctor is aware of any other medication you may be taking. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medicine, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.

In particular, you should let them know if you are currently taking:

  • Aminoglutethimide
  • Any remedies containing St. John's Wort
  • Ritonavir or nelfinavir
  • Any medications used to treat infections, such as rifampicin, rifabutin or nevirapine
  • Any medications used to treat convulsions, such as phenytoin and carbamazepine
  • Medicines to thin your blood, such as Warfarin

If you have any concerns or questions, we advise you to discuss these with your doctor before you start to take this medication.

Only ever order medicine online if it is with a pharmacy registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC), such as Medicine Direct.

We are able to offer our customers next day delivery when they place an order with us before 2pm.

Risk of Venous Thromboembolism

For all women, there is the small chance of having a blood clot in the veins of the leg, lung or other part of the body. When taking Provera or any other hormone medicine, your risk of getting a blood clot is slightly raised. This is even more likely if:

  • You are heavily overweight
  • You have relatives who have/had blood clots
  • You have a serious injury or have major surgery
  • You have had a blood clot in the veins or lungs before
  • You have a history of repeated miscarriages

You are unable to move for a long period of time, such as after an operation

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

You must not take Provera if you are pregnant; hormonal medicines can affect your baby's development. If you are currently pregnant, are trying to get pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, you must inform your doctor.

If you get pregnant while taking this course of medicine, you should inform your doctor immediately.

The medicine can be transferred into your breast milk, so you should wait for at least 6 weeks after your baby is born before you start to use Provera. Once again, you should inform your doctor if you are currently breastfeeding.

Provera Ingredients

The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Medroxyprogesterone acetate

For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
Royal Mail UK Delivery Standard UK Tracked £2.99 3 - 4 Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Delivery - Tracked £5.95 Order by 2pm (subject to Dr approval) Next Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Tracked Morning Delivery by 12:00pm £12.95 Next Working Day Morning Delivery by 12:00pm
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Tracked Saturday Delivery £9.95

Delivery specified for Saturday

Order Friday by 2pm (subject to Dr approval)

Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

Published on: 04/06/2021

Updated on: 27/09/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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