"Are you on your Period? You should not travel in that condition."
Sound familiar? If this statement rings a bell, read along because it already happened to us and we are here to offer advice on how to deal with your Periods while traveling.
Everyone who has a Period, Period! Periods can be one of the most uncomfortable and limiting situations for a women, especially when you're traveling or going about your day-to-day life activities. There are times when you need to use public restrooms that might not have toilet paper or soap and then there's also taking care of Periods when you're out camping. Periods can also cause a lot of inconvenience and limit one's outdoor activities, no matter how active the woman is or used to be.
There are many women who don't want to talk about Periods, but it is important for all girls and women to know that Periods are nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about; they are a natural occurrence. Periods start as early as age 9 and last around 3-7 days on average. Period blood flows from the uterus through the cervix and vagina for menstruation (the medical term for Period). A period usually lasts between 2-8 days and during this time you will experience painful cramps in your lower abdomen which causes bloating and mood swings too. Periods can also cause fatigue, back pain, nausea and diarrhea.
If you are on Periods when you travel or go outdoors, Period blood can get all over your clothes, underwear and affect women's confidence levels in social situations where they feel unhygienic and uncomfortable. Period blood stains your clothes if it is not kept in check especially when hiking or camping outdoors with family members who might feel embarrassed by the sight of Period Blood on their pants.
So how do we control our Periods while traveling? Below are some tips that should help:
Use baby wipes instead of dry toilet paper to clean yourself up after using a public bathroom. It is best to carry wet wipes with you at all times for hygiene purposes as it can prevent Period Blood from getting on your undergarments. Carry extra pairs of panties and pants with you when going out in public to avoid stained garments, or if you need to change into another pair right away. Period blood tends to get smelly and attracts stray dogs and monkeys so be aware of that!
Wear dark colored clothes during Periods because it is easier to hide Period stains than lighter clothing colors such as white. Wear comfortable cotton leggings and cotton underwear during Periods since they do not stick to the skin and will help absorb Period blood better than synthetic materials which also take a long time to dry and become uncomfortable against the skin. If possible, wear loose fitting clothing made of fibers like linen instead for comfort reasons and to avoid Period Blood from staining your clothes. Period blood also stains other fabrics such as silk, satin and polyester so steer clear of those if possible.
Pack deodorant wipes to clean yourself up after using the bathroom or for Period care before going outdoors; it eliminates odor and cleans Period Blood too. If you do not have access to wet wipes or deodorant wipes while outdoors , make sure to at least pack extra sanitary pads and tampons in case you need them during Periods and keep a spare change of clothes with you because Period Blood takes at least 3 hours to dry completely on fabrics like cotton which can stain badly even when dried. Avoid wearing white pants, dresses etc. if Period is heavy since the blood gets absorbed by the fabric and takes a long time to come out in case Period ends up staining your clothes.
Wearing dark colored panty liners during Periods is better than wearing sanitary pads because panty liners can be worn discreetly under light-colored clothing as you do not feel them as much as when wearing sanitary towels which stick to the skin. Panty liners are also easier to dispose of compared to washing and drying sanitary towels before throwing them into the trash. Period blood tends to take several days before it comes off fabrics such as cotton too, so if possible, wear pants or leggings instead of skirts if Period Blood might stain them. Keep an extra pair of panties or leggings.
In conclusion , Periods do not have to ruin your day when traveling. Period blood is a natural occurrence which cannot be stopped and you should feel free and open to shower, change and dispose of Period products in public restrooms confidently without feeling embarrassed or ashamed of Periods. Remember that Periods are nothing to be embarrassed about and every woman goes through it!