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Welcome to the Change the Cycle blog! We’ll be here every week, talking all things below-the-belt health – from heavy periods, to fibroids to pelvic health conditions, and more. We hope you’ll follow along to engage, learn and share with your friends and family.

Don’t Let Your Period Ruin Your Vacay With These Helpful Tips

by admin
April 12, 2018

You’re all packed and ready to go on that big trip you’ve been planning for months, but there’s one nagging detail you’ve only just considered: your period might be crashing your much-needed vacay. But don’t let your cycle throw a wrench into your plans just yet! With the following tips, you’ll be ready to tackle anything that comes your way without sacrificing an awesome time.

Pack so you’re period-ready: First things first – even if you’re not expecting your period, you should always pack the essentials, just in case. Depending on what you prefer, that might include tampons, pads, panty liners – because where you’re going might not carry what you need. If you anticipate menstrual pain, talk to your doctor about bringing over-the-counter painkillers And don’t forget those home remedies like vitamin D, chamomile tea or a heating pad, to help make any pain or discomfort more bearable. Better safe than sorry, right?

Be prepared for irregular periods: We know that traveling is stressful enough, but adjusting to a different time zone can wreak havoc to your hormones, causing your circadian rhythm–the body’s internal clock that determines when we stay awake or sleep—to go haywire.2 Fluctuations in our sleep cycle can trigger hormones that can disrupt our menstrual cycle.3   If you continue to have missed or irregular periods, you should talk to your doctor.

Combat jet lag. Jet lag is no picnic. Symptoms can surpass the obvious exhaustion to include trouble falling and staying asleep, difficulty concentrating and staying focused and digestive issues. All that adds more stress to the body which, if combined with your period, can make you feel even worse. To minimize the effects of jet lag, plan these strategies so you can better handle your period4:

  • Adjust to your destination’s time zone before takeoff. If you’re traveling east, get to bed earlier a few nights before you leave. If traveling west, try to stay up a bit later.
  • While on the plane, relax and get some rest while keeping hydrated before, during and after your flight.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol if you’re trying to adjust your sleep cycle.

Stay active. Rest and relaxation is a definite must while on vacation. But if cramps and bloating are preventing you from having a good time, you might want to squeeze in some workout time to help with your symptoms. Studies have shown that getting active during your period can help relieve cramping, reduce fatigue and improve your mood.5

When it comes down to it, we can’t always plan our travel time around our monthly cycle, so try to roll with it and have a good time – you’re on vacation, after all! Chances are, if you can take some precautionary steps to minimize its impact, you’ll hardly even mind that your period is tagging along.

For women suffering from heavy periods, however, having your period on vacation can take over the entire trip. If your period is heavily interfering with your quality-of-life, be sure to consult with your doctor to learn about potential treatment options.

References

  1. Office on Women’s Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. Period problems. https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/period-problems. Accessed February 21, 2018.
  2. Schechter A, Biovin DB. Sleep, hormones and circadian rhythms throughout the menstrual cycle in healthy women and women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Int J Endrocrinol. 2010; doi:1155/2010/259345
  3. Jehan S, Auguste E, Hussain M, et al. Sleep and premenstrual syndrome. J Sleep Med Disord. 2016;3(5): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5323065/ Accessed January 29, 2018.
  4. Choy M, Salbu RL. Jet lag: current and potential therapies. P&T. 2011;36:221-224, 231.
  5. Office on Women’s Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/premenstrual-syndrome?from=AtoZ#references. Accessed February 21, 2018.

 

In-text References:

  1. Office on Women’s Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. Period problems. https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/period-problems. Accessed February 21, 2018.

 

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