Whether it is going on a surfari, travelling for several hours on a bus or overland, or hiking through the mountains, it is Sod’s Law that your period will surprise you right at the beginning of one of these holidays. Or any holiday, really. Between fine-tuning all the details of packing and organising a trip, it is easy for something like your period to be forgotten somewhere between visa paperwork and ensuring your vaccinations are up to date. Yet the unexpected arrival of your period is enough to cause serious predicaments whilst on the road, or the mountains, or the sea…you get the idea.
Whilst we might be used to every convenience store in the West offering a decent supply of tampons and pads, not all parts of the world are as readily-equipped. If you plan on travelling to remote villages or spending your time sparingly in cities, prepare ahead and pack several boxes of tampons and pads. You might begrudge using up so much precious bag space, but when faced with the dilemma of a four-hour drive to the nearest store, packing those extra necessities won’t seem so inconsequential. Even if you plan on spending most of your travels in metropolitan areas, be prepared to find that tampons won’t be as readily available as pads in some parts of the world. That said, remember to pack a few pairs of pants that are compatible with pads.
If you would rather not bother with the hassle of packing or searching for hygiene products, the ‘mooncup’ is also a good option. Whilst some might balk at the idea of inserting a silicon cup to collect their menstrual blood, it has several benefits over conventional hygiene products. The reusable silicone means it is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly, and is even compatible with sports like swimming.
For those that, put simply, cannot be bothered with the hassle of packing and searching for female hygiene products, the contraceptive pill is the method of choice for avoiding their period. However this approach should be used with caution, as taking multiple pills in a row can cause multiple illnesses like kidney infection. Seek advice from your doctor beforehand, as some pills cannot be used several times in a row. Strictly speaking, only monophasic pills can be used in a row; these pills are taken once a day for twenty-one days, with a seven-day break between starting the next packet. There are other contraceptive treatments available that do not have a break for menstrual bleeding, but these should be discussed with your doctor before taking them.
What have you done about your period whilst on the road?