Every year when vacation season starts, I always get that
same question: “How do I keep from
having my period on vacation?” And there
is an answer for most women--it may be easier than you think!
Timing your period
with the pill
Birth control pills enable the easiest way to manipulate the
timing of your period. There are two different
ways to approach this.
The first way is to simply take the first 3 weeks of your
pills continuously (skipping the last week of pills) through 2 packs of pills. This enables you to skip your period
completely that month. However, I find
the risk with this is that some women will have breakthrough bleeding during
The second way is to actually modify (or move) the week that
you experience your period. I recommend
that you try to plan a few months in advance so that it’s taken care of by the
time you go on vacation. You’ll need the
straight forward monthly pills (none of the 3 month versions). If you aren’t already taking a birth control pill,
you’ll need to call your provider and get a prescription (making sure you are a
candidate for pills). Then take these
steps a couple of months before vacation:
Start your pack of new pills.
Take the first 3 weeks of that pack.
Do not take the last week of that pack (keep the
pack). Instead start a brand new pack.
Take 1 to 2 weeks of pills from the new pack
(depending on how many weeks you want to delay your period). Put the left over pills away in case you want
to do this again!
Go back to the first pack and take the last week
Then start another brand new pack and take as
directed from then on through vacation.
Voilà--you have a period that’s a week or two
Either way, your provider will need to help you out with a
prescription for the extra pack of pills and you may need to pay out of pocket
since “moving period for vacation” isn’t usually a covered expense on most
insurance plans. And always verify that
you are a candidate for safe pill use!
But that’s a later discussion.