The symptoms of menopause — irregular periods, vaginal dryness, extreme fluctuations in body temperature, sleep disruptions and changes in mood — are, putting it mildly, no picnic at all. And if you’re planning to travel this summer while enduring any of these symptoms, you might be feeling more than a little overwhelmed. HuffPost spoke to some OB-GYNs who recommended products that can help make your journey a little easier.
Dr. Leah Millheiser, an OB-GYN in Redwood City, California and the chief medical officer over at Evernow, said that increased levels of stress — say from rushing to an airport gate or trying to find your footing an area you’ve never been to — can trigger hot flashes, dryness, fatigue and make it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
Though you may want to party hardy on vacation, Millheiser suggests drinking alcohol in moderation and avoiding super heavy meals late at night. “Alcohol can potentially worsen hot flushes and sleep quality, so make sure to drink in moderation while traveling,” Millheiser told HuffPost.
Dr. Jessica Shepherd, OB-GYN based in Chicago, Illinois, adds that traveling can irritate the vaginal area due to decreased estrogenization of the vaginal tissue.
“Moving around when traveling or being in different environments can cause increased irritation, soreness and itching,” Shepherd told HuffPost.
To keep you comfortable as you travel this summer, the doctors break down all the products you need when traveling while menopausal.
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If your vacation includes a lot of exploring new places and being mobile on foot, Millheiser suggests grabbing some ice-towels before you go to cool down. "If exercising in the heat, carry a small towel that has been soaked in ice water and keep it around your neck," Millheiser said.
This pack of four microfiber cooling towels will stay chilled for up to three hours after being placed in cold water.
Millheiser shared another tip to minimizing menopause symptoms when traveling is to ensure you're staying hydrated. This 20-ounce silicone water bottle comes in six colors and can roll into a super packable little roll to help you bring a bottle with you on the go.
If you're planning on getting a little frisky on vacay, Millheiser recommended bringing a silicone lubricant. "Lubricant is a must for a woman going through menopause," Millheiser said. "Oftentimes, sexual intimacy occurs more often while traveling with a loved one and we want to make sure that a woman is able to enjoy every moment without feeling chafed. Silicone-based lubricants reduce friction better than water-based lubricants during sex and they also last longer and can be used in water."
To give you a little glide and let the fun keep coming, this silicone lube is here to ensure your comfort and pleasure.
For folks ongoing menopause, Millheiser suggests protecting your skin from the sun. "Sun damage increases the appearance of aging and increases the risk of skin cancer," Millheiser said. "Wear a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 whenever you go outside and remember to reapply as needed."
"If you experience some leakage of urine with walking, running or exercising, always carry an extra pair of underwear with you and panty liners," Millheiser said. If you're planning on hiking or biking on your vacay, or if your just tend to experience leakage, Millheiser suggested keeping some extra panties in your purse or carrying liners.
Cora Ultra Thin liners come in a 73 pack and are made from fragrance-free organic cotton and don't feel super bulky or uncomfortable. Additionally, the Amazon Essential women's underwear come in packs of 6 or 10 pairs from sizes XS-3XL.
Millheiser continued that menopause can worsen sleep quality and make it harder to fall asleep. To help with this, she suggests taking a sleep mask with you on your trip.
"Bring a sleep (eye) mask with you to keep the light out of your eyes on the plane," Millheiser said. "If you're trying to sleep in your hotel room, you won’t know how well those shades work until you get there."
This black-out eye mask has over 30,000 positive reviews. It comes in 25 colors and is make from hypoallergenic mulberry silk that’s easy on delicate skin around the eyes.