Late period after traveling? Don’t panic just yet!

If you’re about to go on a vacation, you’re probably wondering if the trip will have anything to do with your late period. Perhaps you’re on birth control, and you want to know if going away will somehow intervene with your normal menstrual cycle. Can traveling affect your period? Very easily, but it’s important to understand exactly how and why. If your period is late after a vacation, don’t get alarmed about pregnancy just yet. Here are a couple of possible reasons why travel affects period:

Environment change

Wherever you go on a trip, be it for only a weekend or for an entire month, you’re changing your environment. You’re changing the climate, eating different foods, and your sleeping patterns might get interrupted as well. Because of all the changes a trip imposes on a body, your body will respond with a slight imbalance hormone and other brain chemicals as a way to adjust to new circumstances. Since travel is mainly short-term, coming back home will reset all of the internal, biological changes, and your body will again shift sleeping patterns, and brain chemicals to adapt to new circumstances. The menstrual cycle is highly sensitive to internal changes, so it’s possible for your ovulation to delay (and your period with it).

Sleep & Circadian rhythm

Travel disrupts your normal sleeping patterns in numerous ways:

Jet lag

Jet lag is one of the obvious reasons for your sleep (and menstrual cycle) to get disrupted. Switching time zones affects your sleep, which directly impacts hormonal balance. This impact is different for every individual woman, so it might happen that your period delays, or on the other hand, comes too early.

Irregular sleep

Vacations are often the times when women break regular sleep patterns and spend nighttime hours doing entertaining activities. Going out late at night and sleeping in might sound like a good time, but it’s very stressful for your body.

Change in microenvironment

Your body might respond to changes in the location, as well as the diet. If you’re one of the people who depend on a stable environment which includes eating only certain types of meals and sleeping in one location, your entire biorhythm can be disrupted due to travel. You might have trouble sleeping in your new hotel room, and the local cuisine might not sit well with your stomach. All of these changes can disrupt your metabolism and biorhythms, resulting in hormonal imbalance. Once your biorhythm becomes disrupted, it’s possible for your period to delay.

Post-trip adjustment

Your body goes through major changes to adjust to a new climate and environment when you’re traveling, but it also goes through drastic changes to re-adjust to your home environment. Your body will work to regain previous sleep and metabolic patterns once you come back home, which can also delay your period.

If your period is slightly late after a trip, don’t get alarmed. If you suspect pregnancy, it’s always safe to do a pregnancy test. The best way to prevent drastic changes in your menstrual cycle after travel is to try and maintain normal eating and sleeping and sleeping patterns. Your body goes through positive stress with every environmental change, so being careful and taking good care of your body is recommended to avoid disrupting your menstrual cycle.

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