Are you planning a much-needed vacation or need to travel for work? While getting to your destination and finally kicking back and relaxing can be an exciting experience, the traveling part might have some unexpected effects. In fact, traveling, and the stresses that accompany it, can affect our bodies, especially women’s cycles.
How Travel Impacts Your Body
For most of us, the opportunity to travel is exciting and provides something to look forward to outside of our daily routine. Travel allows us to experience new places and meet new people which has a positive impact on the body and mind. Many people travel to increase happiness, but that doesn’t mean it comes without stress, especially if you are trying to conceive. When traveling your sleep schedule changes, you might stay up later, eat different foods, and drink more alcohol than normal, all of which can increase stress on your body.
In fact, have you noticed that after you travel, your menstruation and ovulation cycles seem to be all out of whack?! According to Dr. Peter Rizk, OB-GYN and head of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of South Alabama, the stress of travel can disrupt the body’s hormonal balance and potentially delay ovulation and your period - "If you're really feeling the stress of travel, you may even skip ovulation altogether.”
How to Stay on Top of Your Health and Ovulation
If you’re trying to conceive, it can be upsetting if you’re not ovulating at your normal time or have skipped ovulation altogether. However, knowing a potential cause for this change - such as traveling - can help you better prepare or possibly expect this can happen. Regardless of why you are traveling, there are ways to help reduce stress to try to reduce the impact that your trip may have on your ovulation cycle. Trying these tips below may help to not only make your trip and traveling experience more enjoyable but also help you remain in control of your fertility.
Rest and Relax: It can be difficult to relax when you are stressed out or anxious. You might go on vacation to rest and relax, but if you’re adjusting to a new time zone or getting less sleep than normal it can disrupt your circadian rhythm. Not sure what that means? Simply put, your circadian rhythm is like an internal clock that helps regulate sleep patterns and how your body works, including hormones, body temperature, and eating habits. Any change in your circadian rhythm, including jet lag or sleep deprivation, can alter your hormone balance which is needed for ovulation.
If you’re going on vacation and tend to feel tense while traveling (or are already feeling tense - hence the vacation!), stick close to your regular sleep schedule and try using your time away to truly mellow out and relax. Finding ways to ease your mind and be peaceful - such as through medication, reading a good book, or simply soaking up some sun - will make traveling more enjoyable, reduce stress on your body and hopefully keep your cycles in check. This much-needed break from demanding schedules and the hectic everyday life can be a good way to disconnect from the rest of the world and just focus on yourself.
Reduce Stress: Stress can have various effects on your body including headaches, pain, trouble sleeping, or even changes in menstruation. Then adding trying to conceive to the mix, makes it all the more difficult to prioritize yourself and your wellbeing. We know it may be difficult to reduce stress, especially when you are outside of your normal routine, but there are things you can do to try to help, including meditation, sharing your feelings with others, expertizing, and prioritizing yourself. Read a recent blog to hear more from experts on how to reduce stress.
Stay Hydrated: Are you drinking enough water? Staying hydrated can have a number of benefits, including regulating body temperature, preventing infections, delivering nutrients to body cells, as well as improving sleep quality and your mood. No matter the situation you are in, make sure you are drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
Track Ovulation: When traveling, your cycle can fluctuate as you adapt to new environments, potentially making it harder to track ovulation. This is especially important if you and your partner are trying to conceive. Luckily, with OvuSense, this won’t be a problem! Plus, it may even be one of the smaller items that you fit in your luggage, and certainly won’t put your bag over the weight limit!
Confirming when and if you are ovulating may provide a great sense of relief, especially if you learn that you are not ovulating at your usual time of the month and can tie it to a change in routine, like traveling. In fact, 82% of women who use OvuSense say they feel less stressed and more in control of their fertility.
Feeling Off After Traveling? You’re Not Alone!
If you’ve noticed a change in your menstruation or ovulation cycles after traveling, know you are not alone. Traveling can take a toll on our bodies, but when you get home try and resume your normal schedule. Regular sleep, healthy eating, exercise, and staying hydrated can help reduce stress on the body and regulate your hormones. Finally, tracking ovulation with OvuSense once you get home from your trip can provide peace of mind and put you in control of your fertility journey!