Traveling can affect your period
Monday, August 8, 2022
Are you planning a much-needed vacation or need to travel for work? While getting to your destination and relaxing can be an exciting experience, the traveling part might have some unexpected effects.
In fact, traveling, and the stresses that accompany it, can disrupt the woman body’s hormonal balance and potentially delay ovulation and your period. Travel involves stress for many women. Stress operates by affecting your hypothalamus, which in turn, can affect all of your hormone levels.
Cycle-related symptoms of jet lag might include :
• A cycle that is longer than usual (when your period comes late).
• A cycle that is shorter than usual (when your period comes early).
• A skipped period.
• Periods that are longer or shorter.
• Periods that are heavier or lighter.
It all depends on when you travel and whether you have ovulated or not. This can therefore also affect the fertility window. This usually leads to more painful menstrual periods.
What Does Flying Do To Your Period?
Understanding the role of stress and hormone levels on our body and our periods is the first step in understanding the relationship between flying and your period.
we know that there are numerous hormones involved in the regulation of your period, but two of which tend to be directly associated with flying; melatonin and cortisol.
It’s nearly inevitable that you will have to take an overnight or early morning flight in your travels at some point. Combining that and flying through time zones can be a lot more impactful on your cycle than you might realize. Any changes to your natural sleeping cycle can directly impact your levels of melatonin, ultimately shifting your ovulation schedule.
In addition to melatonin, increased stress levels cause fluctuations in your cortisol levels. In some, the stress might be evident in flying, while it might be a bit hidden for others. We naturally tend to overlook some of the common stressors associated with flight, when sometimes it begins before you even get to the airport.
Tips to Stay Regular
While we appreciate individuality when it comes to periods, I think it’s safe to say we all want to stay as regular as possible, whatever that may mean to us. That being said, here are a few tips to help you prepare for your next flight and staying as regular as can be:
• Maintain your sleep habits.
• If you are on the pill, take it at the same time every day.
• Take care of your digestive system, by taking supplements that support gut health and digestion such as fiber and probiotics.
• Stick to healthy eating and exercise.
• Stay hydrated, it’s best to drink water or herbal tea to avoid dehydration. Stay away from caffeine though, as it messes with your hormone health.
• Track Ovulation, when traveling, your cycle can fluctuate as you adapt to new environments, potentially making it harder to track ovulation. This is especially important if you and your partner are trying to conceive.
If you’re not a flight attendant—but are a very frequent flier who is trying to get pregnant—it is worth talking to a doctor or specialist about the fertility implications of spending lots of time in the air.