A woman’s life is affected by a number of things, including the menstrual cycle. If you are like most women, you might find that your period is greatly affected monthly especially if you do a lot of traveling. It is common for the normal menstrual cycle of most women to stop or change when they are on the road. If this is something that you can relate to, then keep reading below to know about the effects of travel on your menstrual cycle.
Traveling, like other lifestyle changes, can have an effect on your period monthly because it disrupts your normal routine, even though it is just a temporary occurrence. This disruption can cause problems such as missed and delayed periods due to eating habits, stress, and other things. You feel the greater effects from international traveling as your body will go through more shock.
The Effects of Travel on Your Menstrual Cycle
Your body, along with its normal rhythms and functions, is generally involved with or dependent on your situation and environment. As a result, you will see obvious effects whenever you are in a new environment or on the go. During your travels, especially to overseas or a faraway city, the change in time zone is going to affect your normal internal circadian rhythm or biological clock. This is called jet lag. Traveling rapidly through air across different time zones could lead to many problems, ranging from irritability, exhaustion, fatigue, lack of appetite and stomach issues.
Research shows that women experiences sleep disturbances about 70% of the time following the crossing of a time zone. Once again, this accounts for major disruptions in the circadian rhythm and ultimately problems with the menstrual cycle.
Your circadian rhythm can influence the release of hormone and various other important bodily functions. When the rhythm is off, it will also throw off the hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which plays a vital role in your ovulation and menstrual cycles. Estrogen could increase to trigger ovulation or changes in the circadian rhythm could delay the increase and cause your menstrual flow to be delayed.
The following are some of the other things that could affect and change your period while you are traveling:
Eating habits: It is highly likely that you are going to change your eating habits when you are traveling since you will be exploring many different places. Your monthly period will be affected by the fluctuation in your intake of calorie as you eat just about everything or start to miss breakfast abruptly. You are going to be in new locations where the menus and ingredients are different from the nutrients that you eat normally, so all of these things will affect how your body feels and functions.
Stress: The menstrual cycle is extremely sensitive to stressful situations. Traveling in itself can be fun, but it can also be stressful on the body. You are going to start stressing from the moment you decide to travel, and this will continue as you decide on the things to pack, and when to leave home in order to arrive on time at the airport.
Schedule: Leaving your nine to five schedules behind or sleeping on new schedules can affect your body’s clockwork. Your period can be affected in the same way. As a matter of fact, any disruption in your schedule can be a stressor that causes more strain on the body.
Exercise: Traveling can cause changes in your body if you are not exercising or not doing sufficient physical activities. You may have a set exercise routine at home like most people, but this might change whenever you are on the road. Alternatively, traveling may involve long hours of walking on unfamiliar roads or climbing mountains, all of which could kick-start your system. The spike in your exercise routines, and maybe weight loss could cause your periods to stop or there might be missed cycles.
It is important to point out that the factors above will affect women in different ways. When you are doing a lot of traveling, your period could remain constant or go out of whack completely.
The key thing here is for you to take good care of your body. This might be difficult to do, but you need to try and eat healthy, relax, get enough sleep, and do some exercises. This won’t guarantee that your monthly period will not be disrupted, but you are certain to feel better and become less vulnerable to premenstrual symptoms.
The bottom line
You could have problems with missed or delayed periods if you are traveling because of jet lag, change in your diet, and stress. Now that you are aware of the effects of travel on your menstrual cycle, you don’t have to be too worried if you are always on the road.