Women always have particular health concerns that men don’t have to think about. This doesn’t change when you leave for your travels, and managing your health when you’re away from home can be tricky.
There are certain aspects of female health you have to pay particular attention to, as well as maintaining your general level of health and fitness. You don’t have access to your usual doctor, so any problems you might have can become more difficult to deal with. Being well-prepared can definitely help, making you feel more comfortable about managing your health as you travel. Here are some concerns you might want to think about.
Staying Fit As You Travel
While keeping fit while you’re traveling isn’t an issue that’s unique to women, it’s still important to think about. It can be easy to spend a lot of your time not moving much or indulging in the local cuisine a little too much. Some trips make it easy to stay fit. If you’re planning to go on a trek or spend your time in a canoe, you’re sure to get plenty of exercise. But sometimes you have to make time to exercise and control your impulses to make sure you eat well. If you need somewhere to work out, find a gym (perhaps in your hotel) or plan a safe route for running or cycling.
Dealing with Your Period
No one enjoys dealing with their period even when they’re comfortable at home. When you’re traveling, it could mean that you’re camping or staying somewhere with very basic facilities. For some destinations, it might be best to take sanitary products like tampons with you, in case you can’t get what you need when you arrive. Some women choose to delay their period to make their travels more pleasant. Norethisterone is one method to delay your period, and you can also do it by continuing your combined pill birth control (instead of taking the placebos). If you are going to be on your period while traveling, make sure you have all your favorite supplies, including painkillers.
Sexual Health While Traveling
It’s also important to think about your sexual health when you travel, whether you’re going as a single woman or with a partner. If you take a birth control pill or use another medical contraception method, you need to ensure you have what you need to continue it while you’re traveling. For example, make sure you have enough of your birth control pills or that you get your birth control shot if you need to. It’s also important to take condoms with you, which can sometimes be best to buy at home.
The Risk of Deep-Vein Thrombosis
Deep-vein thrombosis is a risk while traveling if you carry out long journeys, particularly when flying. For women, this risk is increased when using certain contraceptives, such as patches, vaginal rings, injectable contraceptives, and oral contraceptives. Long hours without moving (more than 4 hours) can lead to deep-vein thrombosis, so reducing the risk is important. You can do this by exercising while you travel and using anti-embolism socks/stockings. Even on a plane, it’s possible to keep moving in the limited space.
Traveling When Pregnant
Some women prefer not to travel while pregnant, but some choose to and for others, it’s even a necessity. If you’re planning on taking a babymoon or you just want to go away somewhere, traveling is perfectly possible when you’re pregnant. However, there are some concerns you have to think about, depending on your general health, how far along your pregnancy is, and where you’re going. You should discuss travel plans with your doctor and research your destination before going anywhere. Take a copy of your medical records when you travel. After 36 weeks, airlines are unlikely to accept pregnant passengers.
Culture Shock and Mental Health
It’s also important to think about your emotions and mental health when you travel. One issue that might affect women, in particular, is the difference in how women can be treated around the world. Cultural attitudes toward women in some places might come as a shock if you don’t prepare yourself by doing your research. Choose your destinations carefully if culture shock is a concern for you. It’s important to be kind to yourself and look after your mental health when you travel. If you need to talk to someone or find some time to unwind, don’t try to struggle along without getting what you need.
Look after yourself when you travel to keep your body and mind healthy. Even if some things have become routine at home, don’t discount that they could be harder when you’re traveling.