Skipping Your Period While on Vacation!
Beach in Mexico

Have an upcoming vacation and realize it falls right in your red zone? Let me give you some ideas to talk to your doctor about to make your time away mess-free.

Have 3 or more months to plan?

Consider a hormonal IUD: Aren’t planning a pregnancy and don’t mind a long-term absence from your menstrual cycle? The hormonal Mirena IUD is a great option if you want a high likelihood of multiple months to years period-free. The cool thing about the Mirena IUD is it DOES NOT CHANGE YOUR OVULATORY FUNCTION meaning – you still have ovarian hormones being released and cycling. However, the progestin secreted from the little IUD that sits on top of the cervix stabilizes the uterine lining making it so you are unlikely to have a menstrual cycle. Now, full disclaimer, not every woman skips her cycle with the IUD, and thus if your sole purpose is to go period-free, make sure you do this with at least 2 cycles ahead of your vacay to see how this works for you.

Have 2 or fewer weeks to plan?

Consider the progestin pill norethindrone starting on day 24 of your menstrual cycle and taking through your vacay. Let me be clear. DO NOT GET THE BIRTH CONTROL PILL containing norethindrone that is 0.35mg, make sure you get the Norethindrone 5mg tablet that is prescribed for women with heavy menses and other dysfunctional uterine bleeding disorders. You may have to request this from your OBGYN as most PCPs may be unfamiliar with this strategy. This medication will stabilize the uterine lining, similar to how an IUD does, but through an oral route. It can cause some breast tenderness, heat flushing, and water retention so be aware but is a good strategy if you are weighing your options. I prescribe this to my patients for short-term menstrual cycle relief. If you are prone to migraines, especially menstrual migraines in the second ½ of your cycle, I would stay away from this option as it can worsen symptoms.

Don’t want hormones?

You won’t really skip your menstrual cycle here but if your goal is less mess and lots of sex this will work well. The flex menstrual disc. Not the cup ladies, THE DISC. It’s pretty much a female condom for your cervix but has zero birth control properties. ZERO! So don’t use it for contraception. How it works is you flex the disc into a narrow oblong shape and insert it into the vagina twice daily. It collects menstrual blood but will allow you to still have intercourse and no removal of tampon, pad, or any other foreign object is necessary. It stays in there. Once you are done, rinse yourself off, switch out your disc and you are ready for round 2. My favorite brand is “Flex”. No financial affiliation.

Alright, ladies, one day there will be more options for us but for now, these are some of your best bets from most invasive to least. Happy sexy vacationing! 

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Writer: Michelle Leary
Writer: Michelle Leary
April 27, 2022

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