Periods are a time when the body asks for rest, comfort and warmth. However, it is not possible to comply with the body’s request (sadly), especially in today’s fast-paced life. While it is advised to stop and rest during the menstrual cycle, certain personal and professional events make it impossible to stop.
One of these unavoidable events is travelling. Travelling during periods can be a tough task, especially due to bloating, aches, mood swings and overall low mojo. This is further added upon by the lack of facilities on a larger scale that makes menstrual practice a chore.
However, not all is lost. With a little management and lots of preparedness, it is easy to override the inconveniences thrown in the way by periods.
Challenges faced by menstruators during travelling
This section will talk about the challenges that women face when travelling, and how they can overcome them. This is a topic that is very relevant to women, especially, in their late teens, twenties and thirties who are in the workforce.
Challenge #1: The first challenge faced by women is the need to take menstruation products with them while travelling. They might not be readily available at their destination and they cannot simply go without it because of health risks.
Challenge #2: The second challenge faced by women is being able to maintain a menstrual cycle while travelling. The woman's body needs time to adjust to new surroundings which may cause hormonal imbalance and disrupt her menstrual cycle.
Challenge #3: The third challenge faced by women is managing their periods while away from home for an extended period of time, such as on an internship or a business trip for more than three weeks. Managing periods during this time can be difficult because there may be limited access to sanitary products or facilities where they can change their tampons or pads discreetly
Tips to keep in mind for healthy and hassle-free periods while travelling
It is not easy to manage periods when travelling, especially if you are on a long haul transit. It can be even more difficult if you are travelling to a country where the menstrual cycle is not widely understood.
Here are some tips that can help you manage your periods while travelling.
Pack enough tampons and sanitary pads for your trip
This goes without saying but being a little more prepared during your travel is always a safe bet. Pack n + 1 sanitary products of your choice while travelling to ensure that you don’t run out of products in the need-of-the-hour.
Carry sanitary products in your hand luggage
You need your pads or tampons or cups in an easy to reach area. This is why, ensure that you keep your products in your hand luggage instead of in the back compartment, ensuring that you can easily reach for them should you require it during your transit.
Use a menstrual cup instead of tampons or pads
This is more about convenience as well as choice. Using menstrual cups is a great way for those who do not have access to an efficient disposal system or are on the go. Users can easily discard the blood collected in the toilet bowl and insert it after washing. No disposal facility required! However, it is important that they have access to clean water in order to sanitise the cup before inserting.
Use cloth pads to avoid the hassle of disposal
However, if you are someone who cannot work with a tampon or a menstrual cup, try going for a more eco-friendly option of a cloth pad. You can use these pads for long periods and store them in leakproof storage pouch until you have the facility to wash them again. If you are going to a country with a stringent garbage management system, it saves a lot of trouble!
Periods mean cramps. However, some of the cramps are aggravated due to dehydration. This is because during dehydration, blood flow to the uterus reduces which inturn signals the organ to this ‘crisis’ by pumping more blood by squeezing too hard. This leads to painful cramps. Not having water during periods can also lead to constipation, lethargy and headaches.
Opt for comfortable clothing
Since the body is bloated and in pain (in most cases), opting for comfortable, breathable and loose clothes can help ease some pressure off and make it easier for the body to move comfortably.
Since this is a sensitive time for your body, try to grab as much rest as you can during your travels. Opt for full night sleep instead of a night out and allow your body to recuperate from the pressure of work and periods, combined.
Abstain from alcohol
Alcohol impacts the hormonal level which has a direct impact on the timeline of periods as well as its flow. When travelling, you need your periods to be on time, with regular flow, without lasting for longer time than it should be. Drinking alcohol during your periods and while travelling will throw your menstrual cycle out of whack.
Travelling during periods does not have to be a herculean task. Being prepared with extra menstrual units or going for cloth pads / menstrual cups all together can help remove panic from the equation.
Adequate water intake with proper rest whittles down the chances of period cramps and therefore, is advised to be consumed on a regular basis.
Last but not the least, periods are natural and a sign of a healthy body. Do not worry about managing it to perfection during your travel. Carry on with your business trip / vacation and let your body manage its monthly changes in the best manner it can.