Traveling can be an exhilarating and enriching experience. However, as amazing as it can be, traveling can also bring about unexpected changes to your period. While this may not be the most glamorous aspect of your adventures, understanding how and why your menstrual cycle is affected by travel can help you better prepare and manage any surprises along the way.
In today’s post we’ll share:
- How does traveling affect your period?
- How to regulate your period while you travel + Birth control tips
Without further ado, let’s begin!
How Does Traveling Affect Your Period?
The one million dollar question is: “Can travel affect your period?” the answer, indeed, is yes. There are numerous factors that can influence your menstrual cycle while traveling, including:
- Sleep deprivation
- Diet changes
Let’s zoom in on each of them, shall we?
Stress can affect your period by disrupting the hormonal balance in your body, and so cause changes in your menstrual cycle. And although vacations offer a much-needed escape and can be incredibly enjoyable, the reality of traveling isn’t always smooth sailing.
The stress of managing all the details can be overwhelming, including:
- Booking flights and accommodations
- Creating itineraries
- Ensuring that you have all the necessary documents
- Packing everything you need
- Arriving at the airport on time
Moreover, a missing connection flight or lost luggage can disrupt your experience too.
However, not everything is bad stress, sometimes just the fact of being in an unfamiliar environment, or overly excited can affect your hormonal levels as well.
Traveling can disrupt your sleeping habits for a variety of reasons, including:
- Jet lag
- Uncomfortable sleeping environments
- Schedule changes
- Lengthy trip
- Motion sickness
As a result, your circadian rhythm is affected by this change in sleeping habits. Especially if you travel through timezones.
The circadian rhythm is your body’s internal 24-hour clock that regulates various physiological processes, such as:
- Sleep-wake cycles
- Hormone release
It reacts to light and darkness, so when you traverse time zones, your body strives to readjust and return to its normal schedule. This adaptive process can potentially lead to alterations in your hormonal release and so in your menstrual cycle.
Diet & Exercise Changes
During vacations, it’s common to indulge in new cuisines, enjoy late nights out, sleep in, and perhaps take a break from your regular exercise routine.
While it’s perfectly fine to embrace these experiences when traveling, your menstrual cycle might be caught off-guard by these changes and respond with unexpected alterations or irregularities. At the end of the day, all these changes only add up to “positive” body stress.
How To Regulate Your Period While You Travel + Birth Control Tips
Alterations in your menstrual cycle caused by traveling are generally not a major cause for concern. Typically, your cycle will return to normal once you settle back into your routine. Therefore, it’s best not to let any changes to your periods dampen your spirits or cause undue stress while you’re enjoying your travels.
Nevertheless, there are some strategies you can follow to mitigate changes in your menstrual cycle, such as:
- Maintaining good sleep hygiene habits to reduce sleep disruptions
- Adjusting your sleep schedule at home to prepare for jet lag
- Staying hydrated while traveling by drinking enough water
- Taking time to meditate to relieve stress
- Keeping your meal schedule consistent
- Staying active (especially if you’re a regular gym-goer)
- Making sure you sleep for at least eight hours so your internal body clock isn’t thrown off
- Not going overboard with alcoholic drinks.
Additionally, if you’re on birth control we advise you to take your daily dose according to your home schedule. If your scheduled time for taking the pill is inconvenient, delaying the dose by a couple of hours is generally fine.
However, for time-sensitive pills like progestin, it’s crucial to take them within three hours of the usual time to avoid missing a dose.
Additionally, be aware that some birth control brands may not be as effective when combined with alcohol. To ensure proper protection, it’s best to consult the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Traveling can indeed cause disruptions to your menstrual cycle, but there’s no need to stress over it. Nonetheless, if the changes persist even after you’ve resumed your normal routine, you should consult a gynecologist for professional advice and guidance.
Want to get COVID tested before your next adventure? No matter where you are, or what type of test you need, find testing locations near you with our global directory.