It can be truly challenging to possess a vagina while traveling. Vaginas/uteri (the legit plural form of uterus) are very touchy. Balance is thrown off so easily that if something is going to go wonky and become extremely uncomfortable it will probably happen while away from home. It’s cruel, but true. Prevention is the best way to handle this with loads of Auto-Immune care before, during, and after your travels.
But despite our best efforts sometimes things transpire downstairs that ruin our vacay.
And can we talk about bleeding while traveling? I was going to say, “I used to hate getting my period while traveling.” And then go on to talk about the products that are the reason I don’t hate it any more. But I mean, I still hate it. So here’s a revised statement, “There are a few products that make getting my period while on the road less miserable.” That’s more like it. Because it’s true. There are several items in my arsenal that make being fertile at least less inconvenient while traipsing around on whatever adventure is at hand.
- Diva Cup
Obviously I was going to talk about this. But it’s just so true. I’m going to give you two perspectives on this item though. Because while I was on the Mongol Rally one of my lovely team mates made a totally valid case AGAINST a menstrual cup while traveling.I’m in Mongolia. I know I’m due to start my period. I’ve had a few rumblings in my baby maker that it’s coming. And I’m about to get in the car and drive all night to Ulan-Bataar. What do I do? I wash my hands with soap bottled water and covertly pop my cup in while standing at the drivers side door. A few hours later I started bleeding. I know this because that was also when the body wracking, vomit inducing cramps started. Thanks, body. Real nice. BUT how thankful was I to know I wasn’t bleeding all over the place? SO THANKFUL.The oddest place I emptied and re-inserted my cup was hands down the random field between Ulan-Bataar and the Mongolia/Russia border. The challenge there was that I was only able to wipe out my cup but not able to do a full wash for a 24 hour span of time. I basically just really prayed over my cup. “Dear Immune System, please be super successful.”Which brings me to the point against the cup! My team mate said that it’s too inconvenient to sanitize the cup between insertions. This is a totally fair point. Especially if you are a woman with a delicate vaginal eco-system. Keep that in mind if you have to be vigilant in your lady cave balance and will be traveling with your cup.This TRULY comes back to the strength of your immune system. Your vag is actually a wonderful barometer for your immune health. If the “good bacteria” is in full strength then you may have irritation, but no resulting infection. But if you have a chink in your armor (which can be cause by SO MANY things, but particularly lack of sleep and stress, i.e. travel) you could wind up needing to treat an infection. If you DO end up with this situation please read on!
Pro: easy and convenient to pack and use no matter where or what you’re dong.
Con: could present a sanitary challenge if hot water and soap are not easily accessible.
Have you ever heard or read about women using yogurt to heal a vaginal infection? Yeah? I had, too and was EXTREMELY skeptical. BUT my dear friend (the same who hears Marcel the Shell saying, “Compared to WHAT?”) recently shared her yogurt/vagina story with me and I’m pleasantly shocked. She was suddenly struck down with a yeast infection!! Dun-dun-dun! So, let’s pretend that she was in Turkmenistan when that happened. What the what! How is one going to manage that?? YOGURT. I had visions of shoving yogurt up my love canal with a finger when she made a very logical comment, “You just coat a tampon in the yogurt and let it do it’s thing.” That sounds more reasonable.And it WORKED. Guess what product is available around the entire world? YOGURT. Yup. So whether you’re on a romantic weekend away in Santa Barbara or trekking across Turkey you’ve got a viable solution for any bacterial imbalance/infection happening in your nether regions!IMPORTANT NOTE: you MUST MUST MUST use ONLY un-sweetened, un-flavored, yogurt with actual cultures or this won’t work. Gooping some Yoplait Key-Lime Pie will make the issue worse. Plain Greek yogurt? Usually better. Just read the label! And if you can’t read the label because it’s in a foreign language you can either ask or use Google translate. Or, just assume that because you’re in a country that is not the United States that it’s almost assuredly the real deal. (I’m scowling at you, USFDA.)Pro: cures your lady biz no matter where you are and can be purchased any where in the world.
Con: the only one I can think of is that you need tampons to get the job done and those CAN be tricky to come by in parts of the world.
WONDER OF WONDERS. Stain proof panties you can confidently bleed in with zero leakage. And the hand wash/air dry feature is pretty great, too. I washed mine in a river in Mongolia and dried them on the headrest. You can’t make this up. I have 2 pairs of the thong and they are the PERFECT first line of defense against a surprise start period. As soon as I noticed I was a few days within my normal cycle length I donned my panties and carried on. Because they are so easy to wash and dry I was able to always have one pair on and one pair drying. Thank the sweet Lord my period held off several extra days until we were closer to civilization.
The other perk about these panties? Well, without grossing you out too much we were peeing in a lot of fields during this trek and I didn’t always have TP to handle the dripping. Enter, absorbent undies. Truly it made the situation much simpler. I know that Thinx makes a pee panty version, but I didn’t have them. And I found that these genuinely managed to handle a few rogue drips.
Pro: wear and pack just like normal undies except they cover you in potentially inconvenient situations.
Con: the only con is if you only have one pair and have to wash it.
- Essential Oils
I usually travel with doTerra ClaryCalm, a soothing blend of oils created specifically to relieve PMS and period symptoms. In a giant lapse of judgement I chose to omit this from my oil collection while packing for the Mongol Rally. It was a mistake born of over-confidence. Because I have had low-grade cramps recently I thought, “Eh, I won’t bother with the extra bottle.” Oh, Tabitha. The first two cycles I had were fine, actually quite easy, but that last one. Holy tuna salad. The pain made me puke just before entering Ulan-Bataar.
I’ve taken this blend with me on most other trips and am always thankful. I will never leave it at home again!
Advil ended up being my friend. I don’t like to take any pain killers because of their affect on my gut and therefor my immune system. But let’s level, if I only take them once in a while it’s totally worth it. Those cramps were REAL, ladies. If that’s a shadow of what child birth is like I’m not having a baby.
Pro: makes you less likely to hurt others and/or yourself while adventuring.
Con: means you have to pack another tiny bottle. NBD.