We’ve all been there: your summer holiday is FINALLY just around the corner, and yep, you guessed it… so is your period! Whether you’re due smack bang in the middle of your holiday, or you just know you’re going to start the minute you clip that seatbelt in, there’s no denying the fact that having your period on holiday is a pain. But what if we told you it really does’t need to be? Even the heaviest of flows can be managed easily on holiday, honestly.
Here are ten tips that might just save the day this summer!
Be prepared- track your cycle
If you log your symptoms, you can quickly spot when your period is likely to make an appearance- even if it was due three days ago! It also helps to remember that stress can affect your period too, making it either later or early- so if your impending holiday is impacting your stress levels, there’s a chance it could turn up while you’re away, even if it’s not officially due.
Ultimately, knowing the signs that your period is on the way is always a god idea, and that’s why we always advocate for cycle tracking.
Plan for your travelling time
If you know (or suspect) your period is due during your travel times, it’s a really good idea to plan for this. Make sure your travel bag (or hand luggage) is packed with enough period pants to see you through to your destination, and then throw in a couple more just to be safe.
We recommend Super Heavy or Heavy Flow period pants because they can be worn longer thanks to the super absorbent gusset; they’re really soft and breathable too, so won’t cause irritation while you travel.
If you know you’re going to be sitting around for long periods of time while you travel, then comfort is a must. Our Stretch Seamless period pants are a great option because they stretch gently to accommodate any bloating you might experience, and the high waisted style will keep you feeling secure and supported too.
Plan your itinerary
If you know that PMS always has you feeling irritable, tired and less than patient, it just makes sense to tweak your daily plans a little if you can. Simple things like booking ahead at the restaurant to make sure you have a table, organising a slow day by the pool or a gentle boat trip for the tail end of your period, and making sure your taxi is ready to meet you at the airport can make all the difference.
If you know you’re going to want to take it easy for a few days, factor that in to your itinerary now so you can relax about it when you get there. Save the water-skiing and scuba diving for the days where you know your energy levels will be right back up there!
Pack comfortable clothes
It goes without saying, but comfort is key when your period is heavy and your tummy is cramping. High waisted, loose clothing is a great idea- and go for breathable fabrics such as cotton to minimise sweating.
For period pants, we recommend high waisted styles to keep you feeling supported, and our Stretch or Flex collection because they’re multi-sized and will adjust to any bloating you might experience. Make sure you go for the right absorbency too- if your flow is heavy, have some Heavy Flow pants ready to go in your case, as well as in your hand luggage.
Pack pain relief options
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination in the early hours with a raging headache or tummy cramps, only to realise the local pharmacy is well and truly closed. Bring enough pain relief to see you through a few days at least, to give yourself time to figure out where and how to buy more if you need to.
Pack period swimwear
Who wants to sit on the sidelines, just because of their period? If swimming is your thing (and let’s face it, is there anything more refreshing when you’re on holiday in a hot country?!) then make sure your period swimwear is the first thing you pack this summer.
Our period swimwear is made with a very special gusset- designed to absorb your flow, while at the same time keeping sea or pool water out. It does this via three unique layers. The first layer sits next to your skin and is soft and breathable. The middle layer is highly absorbent and will lock the blood in and away from your body. The final layer is made from water repellent material, which will prevent the water from entering the gusset and period flow from leaking out.
We recommend period swimwear for your lighter days- so if your flow is heavy or medium, a menstrual cup is a great idea. And yes, you can wear your bikini bottoms or suit to sit around the pool in too. Your period does NOT need to stop you from having fun!
Take a menstrual cup or reusable pad as a back up
Following on from our last point, packing some reusable pads and a menstrual cup is a good idea when you go away- especially if you want to swim on heavier days, or if you just don’t have time to wash and dry your pants. It never hurts to have more options!
There are two things guaranteed to bring on the bloat- hot weather, and your period. Why?
During your period, levels of oestrogen and progesterone are low, and this can result in water retention, aka period bloating. This water retention can also occur when your body temperature rises too, which is why you could experience bloating or swelling due to hot weather on holiday. The answer? Drink plenty of water.
Rather than making water retention worse, staying hydrated actually helps to flush excess water from the body- not to mention the fact it can help with painful cramps and headaches too. So if your period is heavy, keep a reusable water bottle handy and stay on top of your intake.
It goes without saying, but eating well is vital for not just menstrual health, but physical and emotional wellbeing too. Make the most of being in a new place and venture beyond your normal diet for a while. And that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on holiday treats, either. Sometimes the ice cream and other local delicacies are just as vital for your mental health too.
Consider delaying your period
Potentially controversial, and totally dependent on you and how you feel about it- but some people consider taking a Norethisterone pill to delay or stop their period for the time that they’re away on holiday.
Norethisterone tablets are synthetic progesterone pills that can be taken three days before your period is due, and you continue taking them for 14 days afterwards too. Your period is delayed due to the high levels of progesterone in the body, but this is temporary- so when you stop taking the tablets, hormone levels resume and your period will return as normal too.
There are some potential side effects when you take period delay pills, including spotting, irregular bleeding, sore breasts and an upset tummy. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist to discuss whether or not this is an option for you.
The bottom line on dealing with heavy periods on holiday
You probably already know that we believe nothing should hold you back in life- especially your period. But we won’t minimise the impact that heavy periods can have on your life, whether on holiday or not. The tips we’ve shared to help you manage your period are appropriate for any stage of your life, be it on holiday or not. But the most important thing is to know what is normal for you.
If your period is suddenly very heavy and painful, or you pass clots that are bigger than a 10p coin- there could be something else going on that needs investigation. Be empowered, take control of your own health and wellbeing, and speak to your doctor if you feel something isn’t right. You know your flow best, and the idea that heavy and painful periods should just be endured is simply wrong. Always make an appointment with a doctor to chat through youth symptoms if you’re concerned.
Why is my period worse on holiday?
Travelling can affect your period, thanks to changes in your body temperature, sleep patterns and diet changes. Stress and excitement can also affect your period, which again can occur due to being on holiday.
Many find that their period is either early or a little late due to travelling, and in some cases cramps can be more intense too. The good news is that things should return to normal by your next cycle- but speak to your doctor if you’re concerned.
Why is my period heavier on holiday?
Being on holiday is a change to your normal routine, and your menstrual cycle can be affected because of these changes. For some, this can result in a heavier flow than usual, but things should return to normal by the next cycle. Speak to your doctor if you’re concerned.
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