What Not to Pack…Your Period

The summer months are quickly approaching, and for many, that long awaited vacation to the beach are right around the corner. But for most women, one thing remains constant as the seasons change: their period. Many women experience the anxiety of planning a vacation and then later realizing it coincides with their period. For some women this happenstance is simply annoying; for others it can mean a vacation wasted while they cope with cramping or heavy bleeding.

But keep hope alive!

Many women, particularly those already using hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, vaginal ring, or patch, may have the ability to delay their periods using a technique called menstrual suppression. Here’s how menstrual suppression works – when a women stops using her hormonal birth control method for a week out of the month, it triggers the start of her menstrual period. However, by maintaining the hormonal method throughout the month, a woman prevents her body from menstruating.

Many women like the idea of controlling or suppressing their menstrual cycle. The National Women’s Health Network supports women making this choice for them. Some women have found it convenient to use specific brands of oral contraceptives that come in packages containing a four-month supply of active pills. Occasionally these products have been marketed in ways that make menstrual periods seem dangerous. Our advice – ignore the hype, decide what’s right for you, and enjoy your summer vacation, with or without your period!  

For more information about menstrual suppression contact our Women’s Health Voice at (202) 682-2646 or by email at healthquestions@nwhn.org.