Last month, I visited Finland and got my period mid-flight. Literally, I felt blood exit my vagina during some turbulence. Pretty wild, right? Luckily, I came prepared. This isn’t the first time my period has tried to catch me off guard. I was late the month before so who knew when it was going to arrive. It was due on a Wednesday and we flew out Monday. I had a feeling she was going to arrive early, so I packed some stuff in my hand luggage.
When I was younger, getting my period on holiday would have completely ruined it for me. In fact, I used to make sure it didn’t happen at all. When I was a teenager, I used to take the pill back to back. There was a time where I visited two countries in the space of two months and I didn’t have a break from the pill for three months. For those of you who aren’t aware: most pills are supposed to be taken for twenty one days, when the packet ends you wait seven days before starting your next packet. During this time, you should have your period.
As I get older, I find discussing birth control a bit more difficult. I have some pretty strong feelings towards it, but I would never tell a woman what to do with her body. In the past, I think I have definitely let my own personal feelings get in the way of a rational discussion. It’s important to remember that menstruation, sex, birth control, all these experiences are unique to us. What doesn’t work for you could transform somebody else’s life. However, taking the pill for three months was a fucking abysmal decision for me.
During these three months, I was a complete mess. My hormones were all over the place and I had no control over my body. I was miserable and the mood swings were unbearable. I ended up having a breakdown on one of those holidays, which was worse than any PMS I had ever experienced.
I’ve been birth control free, or condom-only, for over two years now. It was the best decision I ever made for myself; I feel empowered and my mental health has improved dramatically. During this time, I have somehow avoided having a period whilst I was away from home. Part of me was happy to experience a period abroad. I very much feel like a period shouldn’t stop you from living your life. I know this isn’t the case for everyone though, especially those who suffer from endometriosis and such. But personally, I think I should definitely push myself to do more whilst I bleed. Here’s how I enjoyed my holiday anyway…
I layered up
On my way to Finland, I completely bled through my tights and knickers. I put a cloth pad on once we landed, but the train ride and walk to the hotel was a little uncomfortable. Luckily, the trip required layering up anyway so I had lots with me. On my heaviest day, I wore two pairs of knickers, tights and leggings.
I planned toilet breaks
This sounds unrealistic, but it kind of worked. Where we were only in Finland for three days, we had a lot planned. There was a lot of walking involved, so between A and B I’d make time for a toilet break. Luckily as I was wearing a cup, I didn’t always need to change. This is a good tip if you’re using pads or tampons though.
I made myself sit down every now and then
Whenever there was a spare moment, I made sure I sat down and rested for a bit. I can get so low on energy when I’m on my period, especially when I’m heavy. If Iain was looking up directions, I’d sit somewhere and take some painkillers or something. I would be knackered by the time we got back to the hotel, but those little breaks sure helped.
I carried snacks
If you’re going to do any of these, make it this one! Iain threw a chocolate bar at me when I whined 😛
I made sure I didn’t overdo it
This was my main concern because we had a lot planned. On the last day, I was so heavy and low on energy. I was in good spirits, but my body was just not cooperating. We ended up cancelling our day plans and headed straight for the airport. We had a really good carb-loaded lunch there and I had a little nap on the plane. Again, this really helped. I also took a little power nap on a ferry at some point too.
I reminded myself of one thing
Ultimately, I tried to remind myself I came on this trip to have fun. I didn’t want to miss out and luckily I didn’t have to! I think I definitely got lucky this month and I’m so grateful I did. Although if our trip was any longer, I’m not sure how I would have held up. This period was definitely one of the worse ones, pain-wise.
See what we got up to here:
I know this isn’t a reality for everyone, but I’m really glad I was able to kind of prove myself wrong.