Late period while traveling? You’re not alone!
Travel affects loads of things in your life, but one thing you might not expect is your period.
Many women travelers find their usual menstrual cycle changes or even stops while they’re on the road. Just scroll down to the comments on this post (or add your own) if you don’t believe us!
There’s little way to know exactly how travel might affect your period. But first and foremost, you can avoid panic or worry just by knowing that there might be some anomalies.
The trick here is being well-armed with a little info and a lot of awareness.
Why would traveling make you miss your period?
The broad answer is that your body and its regular rhythms and functions are all involved with, or dependent on, your situation and environment. When you’re in a new place or on the go, there’s bound to be some noticeable affects.
Here are a few things that often change when you travel, which can certainly cause or affect a late period:
Whether you’re eating your way around the world, or suddenly you’re forgetting breakfast because there are too many places to explore in a day, your eating habits will probably change quite a bit while traveling.
And it’s not just a flux in calorie quantity that could affect your period. You’ll be in new places with new menus and ingredients. You’re switching up the nutrients you usually eat, so it’s not surprising that this changes how your body feels and functions.
Physical activity is another thing that often changes when you travel. Many people have set routines for exercise at home, but being on the road doesn’t always allow for regularly scheduled runs or reps.
On the other hand, now that you’re outward bound, climbing those mountains and walking for hours through unfamiliar streets will be a jumpstart to your system.
Increased exercise and weight loss often causes women’s periods to stop or skip cycles. Weight gain can do the same. If you have any weight loss plans, then consider some professional help.
Just like at home, you may find that sometimes you feel worried or anxious while on a trip. And stress can put a different spin on your menstrual cycle, bringing you the dreaded late period.
But remember: Stress doesn’t only come from bad situations.
New sights, sounds, smells, experiences, and people swirl around you with an overwhelming frequency when you’re on a trip. While your mind may be thinking “Woohoo, this is great!” your body may be a little overtaxed coping with all the stimulation.
Jetlag, new sleep schedules, or the lack of 9 to 5 routine can affect your body’s clockwork. And in fact, the schedule shake-up can be one more stressor that puts a little strain on your body.
When you’re not on a regular schedule, sometimes your period isn’t either.
All of these factors affect different women in different ways – you might find traveling is a whirlwind of ups, downs, and other surprises but that your period remains constant. Just travel prepared.
Taking care of yourself on the road isn’t that different from taking care of yourself at home.
It might feel harder, but give a little attention to getting healthy food, good doses of exercise, relaxation and plenty of sleep. While this won’t guarantee your period will stay the course, it’ll make you feel better and less prone to PMS symptoms that are harder to predict on an irregular cycle.
Ultimately to take care of your body, you have to be mindful of how you’re treating it and how you’re feeling.
Can travel affect your period, even if you’re on birth control?
Oh yeah. Though it’s less common, moving around and the stress of travel can surpass your birth control pills, making you miss a period. If you’re on a type of birth control that allows you to skip a period while traveling, and you choose to do so, you may find it takes more than 30 days to return to a fully regular cycle with no spotting.
When to start worrying
We know it’s hard to keep your mind calm when your period is late, but deep breaths. If you’re more than two weeks late, and you’re sexually active, it’s probably time to take a pregnancy test.
Just a few days? There’s probably nothing to worry about. The comments on this post are proof of that — remember that this has happened to literally hundreds of women before you.
A few final tips:
#1. Know when to see a doctor
If you’re on the road and utterly perplexed as to why your period might be erratic, know that it could just be the effect of traveling.
But if you’re really worried about the changes, or they persist, try to plan for a trip to get it checked up on by a doctor. This will banish fears and ensure your changes aren’t linked with any other health problems or changes.
#2. Be safe!
A late period or an erratic period that starts and stops doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for considering the consequences of sexual activity. Even when you’re not getting your period, you can still become pregnant. Use protection while traveling if you’re not trying to become pregnant.
#3. Be prepared!
Travel with the usual period-supplies you’re used to. These could include things like menstrual cups (we like Lunette) or tampons brought from home (they can be hard to find in some places).
You might use them with a different frequency on the road, but it’s nice to have things on hand when you need them. If your cycle is irregular while traveling, it’s more than worth investing in a few pairs of leakproof period panties like these. We also love period-proof underwear from Thinx.
If you need to restock on the road but don’t know where to go, remember, there are loads of women who live here. Don’t be shy to ask for advice on where to get things like tampons, cramp-relief meds or heating pads or just a nice dose of something sweet to knock off those PMS cravings.
Happy travels, ladies!
Had some experience with late periods while traveling? Do you have other health-related queries or qualms? Talking it through and asking for as much info as you can is the quickest step to healthy, happy travels: let us know what’s on your mind about your body!