Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Pandia Health Editorial Team
What time is it?! Summer time!
But with great travel comes great responsibility. And for those of us who get periods, it can be a real problem coordinating plans when you’re worried about BLOOD LEAKING OUT OF YOUR BODY. Lucky for you, I’ve designed a guide that will help you have a safe, smart, and INCREDIBLE vacation without having to meet up with Aunt Flo!
- 1. It’s good to bring an extra pill pack, patch, or ring even if you’re certain you’ll be covered the whole time you’re gone. Depending on where you’re going and how long you’re staying, it could be hard to get a prescription or to get to a pharmacy if something unexpected happens. (Hint: Pandia Health delivers up to a year’s worth of birth control to your front door for free! If you’re planning on traveling for an extended period of time, this is an excellent way to ensure you’ll be protected.)
- 2. Adjust your schedule so you take your birth control at the correct time – especially if you usually skip the placebo pills so you don’t get your period! For example, let’s say you’re going to London. If you take your pill at 8 A.M. west coast time, you would take it at 4 P.M. London time to account for the eight-hour time difference. Oh, and daylight savings time isn’t a thing at every destination, so keep that in mind as well. BTW, the ring and the patch are less time-sensitive than the pill, so your schedule for those methods shouldn’t be impacted by time zone differences of less than 24 hours. (Hint: don’t go more than three days without taking your birth control; if you do, it’ll be ineffective and you’ll need to start a new pack and use a backup method in the meantime.)
High School GIF from High GIFs3. Give your body time to adjust. You’re going to be in a new destination whether it’s a 5 hour drive away or a 10 hour flight across the world so your hormones, sleep schedule, eating habits, and exercise regime are going to be out of whack for a bit – and that’s okay! Everyone is different and it may take you a different amount of time than your traveling partners to get used to the new location. Here’s the thing: this change can affect menstruation and birth control effectiveness (at least in the beginning); for instance, you may end up getting your period even though you’ve skipped the sugar pills for several months. But, don’t panic – everything will eventually return to normal and you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation as planned. Plus, the more you stay on track with your contraception, the smoother the transition will be 😎
- 4. Your circadian rhythms help regulate your body’s hormonal fluctuations but it can get screwed up when you’re traveling. Lack of sleep from airplane travel, late night partying, or anything else can mess with Aunt Flo so just be aware of that! On a positive note, if you’re on hormonal birth control, you probably won’t be as susceptible to these fluctuations because those hormones are typically powerful enough to override the influences that travel, stress, and illness could otherwise have on your period.
So, there you have it – my top tips for staying off your period while traveling! HAPFS! (Get it? Like HAGS but it’s period-free summer! Alright, I tried…)
The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.