Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Pandia Health Editorial Team
Summer is nearing its end, but with the most popular traveling months just around the corner, you might be prepping to go on one last vacation or weekend getaway before the chilly weather sets in. If your period just so happens to land on your vacation time, read below for tips on how to manage symptoms or move your bleeding to a more convenient date/time. You’ll be hula-ing all your stress away in no time!
Turn Off Your Period
Did you know you can avoid getting your period during your vacation? There’s really no need for you to have a period every single month — or at all, actually. If you’re on the birth control pill, just skip the sugar pills/placebo week after you’ve finished the three lines of active pills and go straight into the next pack. If you’re on the ring, change it after 28-30 days(4 wks to a month) instead of: taking it out at 21 days (3 wks), having 1 week without and bleeding, and putting in another.
If you want to skip your period indefinitely, just keep taking the active pills until you have breakthrough bleeding. When you get heavy spotting, come off the active pills or ring for 5 days to have a withdrawal bleed and pick up active pills again or ring on the sixth day whether or not you are still bleeding. You might have to do this at 3 months, then 6 months, then 9 months, until the spotting stops, but it will be worth it. Each woman is different: Some can get to no bleeding immediately.
Some people’s bodies have really strong internal hormones and may take awhile to get used to not having monthly bleeds or might need a stronger pill to take over their system to allow them to not bleed each month.
Stock Up On Travel-Sized Tampons
If you’ve ever been in the uncomfortable position of trying to be discreet on your way to the bathroom to change your tampon (though let’s face it, who has the patience or the need for that anymore?) you might have noticed that traditional tampons, which are 4 to 5 inches long, are just the opposite of that. The good news is some brands make pocket-sized, retractable tampons, like U by Kotex’s click tampons or Lola’s 100% organic compact tampons. And because they take up less space, you’ll be able to pack a larger quantity into your travel suitcase or your beach tote and not have to worry about running out.
For a longer stay, especially if you’ll have access to washer machine, you might want to consider bringing along a couple pairs of period-friendly underwear, consider brands such as Thinx, Dear Kate, Modi Bodi, or Panty Prop. These brand makes underwear that absorb up to two tampons’ worth and are made out of thin, breathable fabric that actually feels and look good. No obnoxious, visible panty lines or thick pads that bunch up this time — only pure vacation bliss.
We’re big proponents of redefining the term “bikini body” to mean healthy and happy. However, bloating is a common PMS symptom that can be very uncomfortable. This can put a damper on even the most self-confident among us.
Period-related bloating is caused by changes in your estrogen and progesterone which cause your body to retain more water and salt. For this reason, there’s no getting rid of it, but there are certain steps you can take to minimize other contributing factors. Mainly, avoid salty foods such as chips, canned soups, and if you eat out, ask the restaurant to lay low on the salt or soy sauce.
It may sound like we’re giving you a long list to check off before you can even begin to enjoy your vacation, but ultimately, this is a time to unwind and indulge. After all your preparing, you deserve to make the most of your vacation and treat yo self.
Go ahead and have a cocktail, if that’s what your heart desires. Ultimately, try to cut yourself and your body some slack. There’s no such thing as a perfect vacation, but with just a little planning, you’ll be riding that crimson wave straight into the sunset.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article intend to inform and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Pandia Health, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.