We’ve all been there. You realise your period is due just as you’re heading out on that vacation you’ve been waiting for all year - and your heart sinks. That week you hoped was going to be full of sun, sea and fun now looks like it might be spent holding up in your hotel room trying to navigate period pain and PMS. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are our top tips on managing your period on vacation
- Your period doesn’t have to ruin your holiday!
- There are lots of ways to reduce the impact of period symptoms - from staying hydrated to being aware of what you’re eating and drinking
- Delaying your period is possible, but not always advisable - and is something you should always talk to a doctor about
How to manage period pain on holiday
If you struggle with painful periods on a day-to-day basis, you’ll know how much it can impact your quality of life - and you don’t want to take that stress on holiday with you. Here are a few tips for reducing period pain on vacation.
Pain Relief That Works
Finding a pain relief solution that works for you - and remembering to take it with you! - is key. If painkillers are your thing, make sure you are fully stocked. There’s nothing worse than having to explain you’re struggling with period pain via Google Translate to a poor, confused pharmacist in another country! If you tend to use a hot water bottle, bring it with you, although if you’re jetting off to hotter climes, it might not be the best option.
The Myoovi kit is another great option for instant, natural pain relief. The electrical pulses interrupt pain signals to the brain and 92% of our customers said it significantly reduces their period pain! It’s also perfect for travelling. Small and compact it won’t take up much room in your luggage and the discreet, wire-free design means you can wear it without ruining any of your holiday looks.
Be Careful With Alcohol
Many of us like to enjoy a cocktail or two on holiday - and that’s okay! But remember that excessive alcohol consumption can actually make your period symptoms worse. The cramps we experience during our period are caused by prostaglandins and drinking lots of alcohol can increase the levels of prostaglandins in the body - making our cramps more intense. Alcohol is also a diuretic, which means it increases the amount you pee which can lead to dehydration - which isn’t great for menstrual cramping.
Aside from period pain, alcohol can also exacerbate symptoms of PMS, thanks to the fact it’s technically a depressant. Ever feel super down and anxious when hungover? Well when that’s coupled with the hormonal changes happening around our period, it can really take its toll on your mental wellbeing. Now, we’re not saying you have to avoid alcohol for your entire trip, but try to drink in moderation and get plenty of (non-alcoholic) fluids in you too!
Speaking of fluids, it’s really important to stay hydrated whilst on vacation, especially if you’re somewhere hot and sunny! Of course, drinking plenty of water is essential for our overall health, and will help you avoid things like sunstroke, but it will also help to reduce the intensity of your period pains. When we are dehydrated it can impact circulation and reduce blood flow to and from the uterus. If things can’t flow the way they should, your uterus will cramp more intensely to get things moving.
Drinking plenty of water can also help to reduce bloating, fatigue and headaches - which are all issues many people struggle with around their period. The usual advice is to drink around 2.7 litres of water a day, but if you’re in a hot country where you’re sweating a lot, you might want to increase that. Invest in a water bottle you can keep with you at all times and try to match every alcoholic beverage with a glass of water!
Look At What You’re Eating
We all love to sample the local cuisine when we’re on vacation - but if you struggle with period pain, it pays to be mindful of what you’re eating. Certain foods can make period pain worse and some are known to improve cramping.
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to avoid inflammatory foods - foods that are high in fat or sugar and some spicy foods - as these can add to the inflammation already happening in the body and also impact our digestion, which can often suffer around this time of the month. Try to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables whilst you’re away. Not only are they great for supporting your overall health, but they can also help you have a happier period. Dark leafy greens in particular are awesome as they are full of iron and magnesium that can help to reduce cramping.
You can read more about Nutrition and Period Pain here.
Obviously, a vacation is all about relaxing, but if you do nothing but sunbathe all day, it could make your period symptoms worse! During our period the muscles around our uterus can become tight, which can make period cramps feel even more intense. Staying active can help to relieve this muscle tension in your pelvis and keep your blood flow moving healthily.
Gentle exercise will also release endorphins - aka your body’s natural pain reliever - into the body. Endorphins are also great mood boosters, perfect for beating PMS.
Try to incorporate a little light exercise into each day - whether that’s swimming in the sea or going for a picturesque walk exploring your surroundings.
Is it safe to delay my period for my holiday?
If you really can’t face the idea of being on your period during your vacation, you might be considering taking contraceptives or medications to delay your period. There are a couple of ways to do this. If you are on the combined contraceptive pill you can skip your ‘break’ where you would usually have a withdrawal bleed and continue taking your next pack straight away. Alternatively, there are medications - norethisterone is one commonly used here in the UK - that will temporarily pause your cycle.
Whilst the idea of skipping your period might be tempting, it’s important to remember that you’re playing with powerful hormones. Whilst safe in theory, disrupting your natural cycle can have a knock-on impact which could lead to irregular cycles or potentially more pain when your period comes back. If this is something you’re interested in, you should always consult your doctor first.
Holiday Period Packing List
If it looks like your period is going to be your travel buddy this Summer - here are some packing essentials that will help ensure it won’t cramp your style.
Menstrual cups are the perfect period care solution if you’re planning on doing lots of swimming - they also hold around 2-3 tampons worth of blood so can last almost a whole day without you needing to change them. Saalt is a trusted brand that uses medical-grade silicone and their packaging is pure holiday vibes.
Another holiday-friendly period care option is period underwear. Not only are they better for the planet but they are also super comfortable and will last you all day. We love NIXI Body as their VPL-free designs mean they can’t be seen, even under the tightest of summer dresses.
The combination of your period and a hot, sweaty day can leave you feeling less than fresh. These Intimate Wipes from Lunette are perfect for cooling you down and the natural ingredients mean they’re safe to use anywhere on your body - including your vulva - without messing with its PH balance.
Staying hydrated is key to staying happy and healthy on holiday - and it will help your period cramps too. This insulated bottle from Chilly’s not only looks good but it will keep your water cold all day - even in the hottest of holiday destinations!
We couldn’t leave ourselves out! Our customers love how discreet the Myoovi kit is and the fact that once they turn it on, they don’t have to give their period pain a second thought. The most powerful and natural way to deal with period pain, our Myoovi kit should definitely be in your luggage!