However much companies selling tampons tell us otherwise, being on your period while on holiday is a total drag.
Not to mention while at a festival; you want to spend as much time as you can in the sun without any worries, not queuing for toilets.
Luckily, besides praying to mother nature, there are a few ways you can halt your period for that once-in-a-lifetime trip away.
We asked Pink Parcel’s resident GP, Dr. Khaled Sadek, which safe methods we can pick from.
The combined pill method
If you’ve had the bravery to put up with its numerous side effects, being on the combined pill could be your ticket to a period-free trip away.
“For women already taking oral contraception, delaying their period while on holiday is relatively straightforward,” says Dr Sadek.
“The simplest method is for women taking the combined hormone contraceptive pill (e.g. Microgynon), who can omit the seven-day day pill-free period by starting the following month’s 21 tablets immediately after finishing the last.
“This method of ‘back-back’ medication is easy, and relatively risk free.”
And for women whose pill doesn’t have a seven-day break, the last seven tablets are ‘dummy’ pills, so just skip these before carrying on your next pack.
The progesterone-only pill method
“For women taking progesterone-only medication, they can switch to a combined pill in preparation ahead of travelling,” Dr Sadek suggests.
But since you weren’t taking it in the first place, you’ll need to take the usual route to get a hold of it:
“You’d need to consult with your GP before doing this,” says Dr Sadek.
So give yourself plenty of time to book an appointment pre-flight.
The norethisterone method
If you’re not taking any hormonal contraception, you could be prescribed a hormone tablet called norethisterone, which can delay a period.
“It’s usually prescribed as three tablets per day, with the course starting three days before your period, and continuing for up to 10 days,” Dr Sadek explains.
Though keep in mind that norethisterone – in fact, just like any hormonal contraceptive – comes with its potential side effects.
“Norethisterone is relatively safe, but is associated with increased risk of blood clots, Dr Sadek warns.
And don’t forget; unlike the first two options, it isn’t a contraceptive.
“Some women taking Norethisterone have reported side effects, such as bloating, headaches and nausea.”
So for those of you on a combined or progesterone-only contraceptive pill already, this will hardly be a shocking prospect.
But if you’re not used to putting hormones into your body, keep this in mind, and you’ll get to spend that Malta holiday period free.
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