Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Pandia Health Editorial Team
Summer is here, which means you might be preparing to take some time off in the near future. Most people with uteri would argree that if they could turn off their periods, specifically for vacation, they would.
Thankfully, this is possible!
Keep reading on for tips on how to manage period symptoms or even schedule your bleeding for a more convenient time. You’ll be hula-ing all your stress away in no time!
How to stop your period from coming using the birth control pill
Did you know that you can avoid getting your period during your vacation (or really any time)? If you aren’t planning on becoming pregnant, there is no need for you to have a period every single month — or at all. If you’re on the birth control pill or ring, you have the autonomy to choose whether or not you get your period. For the pill, simply skip the row of placebo pills after you finish the three rows of active pills and go straight into the next pack. If you’re on the ring, change it after 28-30 days instead of taking it out after 21 days, leaving you with a week of bleeding while it’s out.
How to stop your period indefinitely
While skipping your period is possible for individuals who take the pill or use the ring, breakthrough bleeding, or spotting between periods, may occur. If this happens, stop taking the pill or keep your ring out for five days and then restart your birth control on day six. You might have to do this for a few months in a row until the spotting stops.
Tips for traveling while on your period
Stock up on travel-sized tampons
Let’s face it, tampons are not the most discreet product. The good news is that some brands make pocket-sized, retractable tampons. Check out U by Kotex’s click tampons or Lola’s 100% organic compact tampons. Not only are these tampons typically better for the environment because they do not require as much material, but they also take up less space (a.k.a more room in your bag for clothes, shoes, and other fun items).
Try a Menstrual Cup
Menstrual cups like the DivaCup or the Lena Cup are great options in general, but even more so for travel. Most cups are made with medical-grade silicone and can be left in your vagina for up to 12 hours (note: this does vary based on flow). Putting the cup in and taking it out does take some time to get used to (just like any period protection), but the initial confusion may be worth it in the long run.
Don’t forget anti-inflammatories
Anti-inflammatory medications are painkillers that are typically sold over-the-counter. They are often recommended to people with uteri, as they inhibit the production of prostaglandins (the hormone that causes your uterus to contract), which in turn, leads to fewer cramps. Another perk of this option (specifically Ibuprofen) is that it can decrease the heaviness of your flow. If you want to make your period lighter, take about 600 milligrams of Ibuprofen at the very beginning of your cycle (note: consult a doctor before trying this method regularly).
Remember your to take your birth control
In order to skip your period (and prevent unplanned pregnancy), you need your birth control. Whether or not you choose to take this path, it is nonetheless important to stay on track with your prescription. Many people with uteri note that when they do get their period while on birth control, it is typically much easier to manage.
Check out period-friendly panties
If you’re going on a longer trip, you may want to opt for period panties. Check out Thinx, Dear Kate, Modi Bodi, or Panty Prop. These brands make underwear that absorbs up to two tampons’ worth of period blood. To top it off, they are also made out of thin, breathable fabric that looks and feels like underwear — no obnoxious, visible panty lines.
At Pandia Health, we are big proponents of redefining the term “bikini body” to mean healthy and happy. However, bloating is a common period symptom that can be very uncomfortable. This can put a damper on even the most self-confident individuals.
Period-related bloating is caused by changes in estrogen and progesterone, which cause the body to retain more water and salt. While this may be unavoidable, there are certain steps you can take to minimize other contributing factors. For instance, staying hydrated, eating foods that are high in potassium, and exercising may help regulate the body’s fluid levels.
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 relax. After all your preparation, you deserve to make the most of your time. Go ahead and have a cocktail, put your feet in the sand, kick back by the lake, or do whatever it is that your heart desires. It’s okay to cut yourself some slack.
How can Pandia Health help?
Should you decide to make your #periodsoptional (vacation or not) Pandia Health has your back! Not only do we offer a variety of birth control options, but we also have a ton of resources that can help you decide which method works best for your lifestyle. If you choose to take the pill, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE delivery service, so you can #SkipTheTrip the pharmacy and get your prescription shipped right to your mailbox.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I delay my period for vacation?
If you take the birth control pill, only take the rows of active pills and skip the row of placebo pills. If you use the ring, keep it in for 28-30 days and then put your next one in right away. For individuals who do not use birth control, another option is to take Ibuprofen or any other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. While this method does not stop your period altogether, it can decrease the heaviness of your flow.
How can I speed up my period?
While the length of your period may vary regardless of what you do, there are some methods that can help decrease the intensity of symptoms. For instance, getting plenty of rest, drinking enough water, and engaging in self-care are often recommended as natural remedies for managing period pains.
What is norethisterone?
Norethisterone is a type of progestin that is very similar to the female hormone progesterone. Its common uses are for heavy or painful periods, but it can also be prescribed to delay a period for a length of time. During menstruation, a drop in progesterone levels causes the uterine lining to shed. However, if a progesterone (in this case norethisterone) is taken throughout your period, those levels do not drop, thus, preventing menstruation.
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. 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.