Does Flying Affect Your Period?
Traveling during your perimenopause transition can already be a challenge. Between headaches, hot flashes, and mood swings alone, a trip through the airport and onto the plane can be tough enough to nearly ruin any vacation before it even begins.
But travel can also impact your hormones, including messing with a period that may already be irregular. However, the causes may be different than what you've been led to believe.
Does flying affect my period?
The short answer: No. But while there's no link between boarding a plane and suddenly getting your period, there's truth to the fact that travel itself can mess with your menstruation. What can cause unexpected menstruation is the hormone fluctuations that can come from travel stress.
Waking up early, crossing over into new time zones — all while dealing with travel anxiety and dread (or even total excitement!) — can throw a wrench in your circadian rhythms, those physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. When your circadian rhythm is disrupted, your body’s production of hormones — including melatonin and cortisol — is affected. That's what may cause your period to come late or early — which can be extra-frustrating if your period was already irregular.
Prevent travel stress during perimenopause
The stress of travel can drastically alter the chemistry of your microbiome and cause unexpected perimenopause symptoms, but that doesn’t mean you have to avoid the airport for the rest of your life.
Make sure to balance any time you spend up in the air with plenty of time for rest and relaxation. Grabbing some extra tampons for your carry-on bag may also be a good idea for the unexpected heavy flow that can happen during perimenopause.