Being a woman need not preclude you from the joys of travelling, even during your periods. You might think that a man never has to face such a situation; neither should you as a woman. Just a little planning and a level-headed approach shall see that you are up to it, like any other “normal” human being. Remember, your menstrual cycle is not your weakness, but you are a major cog in the wheel of procreation.
How do you overcome your menstrual blues for a trip in advance?
In the Indian context, you need to factor in the fact that menstruation is considered a taboo and a woman is even embarrassed to discuss it in public. Similarly in parts of Africa and South America, mentioning your period is forbidden. You are not allowed to enter places of worship or the kitchen during your periods and some areas are even more restrictive. In countries like Japan, menstruating women are not entertained in certain jobs, while in Nepal they are isolated for the period. Such information helps you when are simply planning a trip on your period.
How do you prepare for travel?
Knowing your destination of travel in advance will help you to prepare yourself in coping with your periods while travelling. The places you propose to travel will give you insight into the things you will pack. You can even skip your period if it clashes with your travel dates, with the help of contraceptive pills. There is another little-used option of using an IUD to stop menstruation during travel. If these are not viable options, you have to equip yourself adequately to meet the obvious eventuality.
What all do you need to carry with your period in mind?
You must compulsorily pack these specific menstrual products during travel. You can decide on the quantum depending on the duration of travel.
- Pads: These are a must and the most comfortable menstrual product. These are commonly referred to as sanitary napkins, and there are many kinds of products available. Pick your chosen brand in sufficient quantities. You have a choice of many such products in the market, even biodegradable pad which is compostable and therefore eco-friendly. The normal disposable sanitary napkins contain highly absorbent polymers and may not be an easy item to discard in every place you travel.
- Tampons: These are internal protection menstrual products that are very useful if you are planning to indulge in physical activities during your periods on the trip. Swimming is one activity when the use of tampons may be ideal.
- Liners: For some specific times when your menstrual flow is low, panty liners are an ideal choice to carry during the trip.
- Reusable pads: You must pack sufficient eco-friendly reusable pads while you travel to obviate the necessity of disposal. You can rinse them and reuse. To top it, this comes in different sizes that will suit you to a tee.
- Menstrual cups: These cups suit you if your travel is for a long period and your menstruation likely to occur in between. They have longevity spanning several years. Simply wash and insert and be comfortable for up to twelve hours at a stretch. You will cope fabulously with these cups in your outdoor activities during travel where you cannot change pads/tampons for a stretch.
- Menstrual innerwear: This is practical enough underwear that you can use without the addition of other period products and a comfortable alternative at that. The choice of your customized size and design is an added attraction.
What medications and aids do you need to carry to travel during periods?
The travel during periods may give rise to minor medical conditions. You must factor in some medicines and aids to counter these issues to travel comfortably. Painkillers are a must during travel. You may also try natural anti-inflammatory chamomile tea as an alternative. If you are flying during menstruation, carrying a heating pad is a good idea to beat the cramps that sometimes crop up at the unlikeliest of times. Additionally, this will also give you the healing touch when you undergo abdominal and back pain.
Can you preclude comfortable apparel?
Travel during period demands wearing comfortable clothes that will not constrict your movements. Loose tops and palazzo pants and maxi attire are all perfect for travel on days you are going through the pangs of your menstrual cycle.
Aren’t menstrual hygiene products necessary?
Maintenance of menstrual hygiene is extremely necessary during your menses, whether traveling or not. Carrying your ready stock of menstrual products like sanitary napkins and tampons is sufficient quantity is as much necessary as your other washing and cleansing items, as your choice brand may not be available at all the places of your travel. You have to carry sufficient stock to last your entire period of travel, including the days of menstruation.
How about some additional tips for travelling on your period?
A long trip during your period is sure to impact you with various discomforts. How about considering these to counter them?
- When you travel for long and across time zones, your menstrual cycle too is likely to go haywire. Keep a back-up of pills in your handbag to regulate your cycle.
- When you are on a long haul flight, a long train journey or in a car on the road for hours together, you are likely to suffer from discomfort. On a flight, it is a good idea to take a walk once in a while to keep your blood flowing. Same applies to long train journeys and car journeys.
- On long trips, changing your menstrual product and disposing them is a real hassle. In such a situation use of a tampon or a cup is more useful. Carry some disposable plastic bags to dump your used menstrual product.
- Drink lots of water or other liquids to keep yourself adequately hydrated during a long journey on your period. This will increase your comfort level and mitigate your period blues during travel.
You are not restricted from travel during periods. Plan well in advance, and be well prepared to face any emergency. Nobody knows your body better than you. With adequate measures travel during periods becom