Many women report that when they want to travel, menstruation appears just before or during the trip and it bothers us, a complication when we least need it!
In this video you will find all the information you need:
The reason why it happens is probably because we are living beings, we are affected by many things (even if we don’t think we are that sensitive).
As this can happen, I have created a guide so that you can be prepared for your next trip and if your period comes, don’t feel it will be a problem.
Don’t cancel a trip because of your period.
Travelling with a period shouldn’t be a problem for anyone, even if you’ve felt that way up until now. I’m sure that after reading this article, everything will seem easier.
It is true that, as with everything, every country or culture has its own traditions, practices or even “rules”. And just the act of menstruating can be infinitely different in the United States or in Pakistan, for example. It can even become a monthly nightmare for many women.
However, even if you are travelling in an idyllic place with all the goods and services at your fingertips, being away from home can make you feel a little uncomfortable and out of place. This is sometimes intensified if you are also travelling with your period or if it coincides with that long-awaited holiday, especially if you haven’t learned to experience it in a positive way.
How to combat menstrual symptoms while travelling?
When we are at home, our period is low, we can to some extent have control of our movements, menstrual pain. If we feel tired; we can always stretch out on the couch, watch a movie, read, listen to a podcast or just rest. You can also decide to be active and walk, even play sports close to home. If you feel it’s too much you can pick yourself up to your corner quickly, in short you have some control.
But when we travel, it can be a bit more complicated and not so accessible to have this kind of routine. That’s why it’s important that we know how to relieve or combat menstrual symptoms away from home, so that we can enjoy both travel and menstruation.
There are multiple analgesics to reduce menstrual pain. It is advisable that you mention to your gynaecologist that you would like to buy them, they will know better than anyone what is right for you.
Another highly recommended thing to do if you suffer from a lot of menstrual discomfort is to carry a hot water bottle with you. They don’t need to be big, but a baby bag will do (they are small and don’t take up much space in your suitcase). The warmth can be very soothing after a full day’s activity.
And finally, of course, as long as the rule of travelling with menstruation is met, we can put in the suitcase one or two soothing and anti-inflammatory infusions … They are perfect to take with you at any time and are good allies during our menstrual phase.
During our menstruation, we can also suffer from fluid retention and this can affect us and intensify (especially) when travelling by plane. This is usually caused by the fluctuation of our hormones. To combat this, it is very, very important that we stay hydrated, as this will help us to eliminate the excess fluid we have retained.
In this respect, our diet is also very important. In the days leading up to menstruation, this is when the phenomenon of fluid retention usually begins. Add the right foods to your diet: fruits (pineapple is brutal), vegetables (they are very rich in water and electrolytes), foods rich in fibre (they help reduce oestrogen levels), foods rich in vitamin B6 (wholegrain cereals, green leafy vegetables…) and, above all, try to eliminate as much salt as possible, which acts by favouring the retention of liquids in our body. Nor is the consumption of sugar or alcohol recommended.
Bloating or gas
A few days before your period, you may tend to be more bloated than usual, and this intensifies during travel.
Gas and bloating are also symptoms that menstruating people experience every month. For this, an anti-inflammatory tea is a very good solution. Moreover, as I mentioned before, it is very easy to carry with you and does not take up space…
When we are menstruating, there is a lot of activity inside our body, and the intestine contracts and relaxes and this can generate more gas, and can even cause diarrhoea. When we spend more time than usual sitting, for example, travelling in a train or on a plane, the belly becomes very bloated. This happens to many women as well. It is advisable, as long as it is a time when you are not forced to wear your seatbelt on the plane, to walk a little in the aisle. You will find that this will help to reduce the feeling.
What are the most comfortable hygiene products for travelling with your period?
Pads and tampons are a real nightmare. You have to make sure you don’t spend more than 6 hours with them. If you’re travelling by plane, horror! Even though they have tried to make them comfortable, they are not! The worst thing is when during a long flight you want to go in the morning, you will find an endless queue. With a menstrual cup you can be much more relaxed as being able to use it for 12 hours will make your life easier.
When you travel, whether you have your period or not, take your cup with you (remember that menstruation will often come early). Carry your sterile cup in a cotton pouch. As you know, you can use it during the day or at night. To sleep, to do sport or whatever you want. You put them on, wash them and put them on again.
5 steps to make travelling during your period comfortable
And while the sterile cup in its pouch is all you need to take on your trip, I’d like to give you a couple of other tips for your suitcase. A soothing herbal tea and the panties you normally use on your period days, which don’t take up much space, can come in handy if you need them.
As we sometimes don’t know if we will have access to drinking water, you should always have a small bottle of water with you. If you are travelling by plane remember that you won’t be able to pass it at the baggage check but in all airports (after the baggage check) there are machines that sell them.
Stay hydrated. It is very important to stay hydrated during your cycle. It will also help to eliminate excess fluid retention and make travel less disruptive to your menstrual cycle.
When you are travelling, try to maintain your routines as well as your meal times, this will help keep your body from going crazy. Although we shouldn’t stress, it’s okay if we can’t stick to it.
If you find it difficult to sleep outside or feel a bit uncomfortable, you can drink your own herbal teas and this will help you relax.
As I mentioned before, it would be helpful to bring your own water bottle, in case you can’t access drinking water to wash your cup in a public toilet. If you can’t access a container to sterilise it, you can always microwave it in hot water for 3-5 minutes.
What if I travel to a place with no toilet, no privacy?
In many countries, it is not normal to have access to drinking water, menstrual cups and panties, or even your own private bathroom. That is why it is important to think about all the possibilities that exist and that we can find when we travel with our period.
First of all, it is important that, as I have repeated before, we bring a bottle of water, because if we don’t have water to clean our cup, we can always empty it and wash it with our water bottle, before reinserting it.
It is also essential that you bring a towel or toilet paper, just in case. Just like when we remove our menstrual cup, we must keep our hands clean to avoid infection, so I recommend that you take a hydroalcoholic gel or cleanser, so that you can always make sure that there is no problem.
Menstrual blood is rich in nutrients, has nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, and is high in stem cells, so you don’t have to worry about where to empty your cup. If you are in the mountains, in a forest… empty it in nature, next to a plant or a tree, it will thank you.
Finally, if you are going to spend your holidays in a campsite, shelter or other place where you can’t have some privacy and your own bathroom, I advise you to empty the cup in the toilet itself and then wash it in the sink.
Also, keep in mind that women are used to seeing menstrual blood as it happens to them too, so don’t worry so much about what they might think.
Does your menstrual cycle change when you travel?
Travelling also has other complications or situations that we have to think about beforehand, apart from the places we visit or the situations that can happen to us and that can alter our menstrual cycle.
Jet lag and menstruation
Travelling to distant countries can cause our menstruation to change. Time zone differences and jetlag can even cause a delay in menstruation, although this is nothing to worry about.
Air travel affects menstruation because alterations in sleep patterns (jetlag) can also cause our menstruation to change (even the change in meal times can affect us). Additional stress (flight delays, long waits, changes in habits and new sensations) releases hormones that can alter our system and therefore our menstrual cycle. Temperatures, which we talked about in a previous post, are also great allies of menstrual and premenstrual changes.
Therefore, if we travel to a country that has a completely different climate to ours, we should be aware that our menstruation can alter very easily: that our premenstrual symptoms change, that the cycle shortens or lengthens and even that it changes colour.
But this should not worry us, as these changes are normal. For example, normally if we are in a city with a warm climate, our menstruation will be less painful and more abundant, as the heat acts as a vasodilator. On the contrary, if we are in a cold city, our menstruation may be more painful and less abundant, and our cycle may even be longer, as the cold acts as a vasoconstrictor.
Finally, I just wanted to remind you that every body is different. Each of us lives our menstruation in completely different ways and has our own routines, habits and rituals. And they are all equally valid and acceptable.
So, don’t worry so much about menstruating away from home, take it as something normal and let it happen while you enjoy your holidays.😍 🏄 🏖️