Headed-out on a journey during “that time of the month”? Wondering what to pack for an adventure trip to a third-world? Looking for tips for staying healthy “down there” while trekking through the Himalayas?
You’ve come to the right place. We’re going to share all our tips for women wondering how to maintain intimate area health and wellness when they’re far away from home.
Let’s face it; travel may be fun and adventurous, but it often wreaks havoc on our health. Constipation, lack of hygiene and ‘modern comforts’, poor sleep, and digestive distress are just a few of the culprits. But let’s focus on the area of your body you can keep healthy with a little planning and attention.
Here is a quick list of do’s and don’ts for optimal feminine health for your next big adventure:
- Keep clean and wash daily. OK – this applies when we’re talking about more than a weekend trip to Vegas. Think more along the lines of rafting the Grand Canyon or hiking the Annapurna Circuit. We know all too well of how inconvenient backcountry hygiene can be! No bathroom, privacy, or running water, often in wet, humid, exhausting conditions. Even if it’s just a quick sitz bath in a stream or wipe from a wet washcloth, take the time to clean away daily sweat. (hint, hint--nudge, nudge--take along a travel pack of healthy hoohoo feminine wipes for a gentle clean). Avoid using harsh feminine, anti-bacterial or baby wipes that may irritate your intimate area.
- Be mindful of your clothing choices. Tight clothing can restrict pelvic area air circulation. If sweat does not have an opportunity to evaporate, it can open the door for unwanted bacteria. Your best choices include loose fitting skirts and pants and natural fiber underwear (check out our blog post on healthy underpants for our favorites). And if you can, sleep sans underpants in your sleeping bag – let ‘er breathe at night!
- For your menstrual cycle, pack your normal hygienic supplies from home. Countries often vary in their offerings of feminine products, and tampons may not be available. Here’s a fun hoohoo hint: If you’re going to be gone for several months, prepare a Ziploc bag for each month’s supplies. Include not only your tampons, pads and/or panty liners, but toss-in a fun treat to yourself. We were in Bhutan and were giggly-happy to rediscover a Theo chocolate bar and new pair of underpants we’d stashed in a Ziploc. Also be mindful of your hygienic-product footprint. By that we mean the waste you are leaving behind. If you’re in a third world or wilderness area, your best choice is to use an applicator-free tampon to avoid not leaving behind non-biodegradable packaging.
- Keep in mind that vaginal yeast infections are more common in tropical countries:
- When traveling to hot & humid destinations make sure to try and keep your intimate area dry ~ sleep sans panties and IF you have access to a blow dryer, use it on the “cool” setting to help dry after showering.
- Use of antibiotics (like the malaria medicine doxycycline) may increase your chance of getting a yeast infection, as antibiotics kill not only the “bad” bugs, but the ‘good’ ones too. These “good guys” a.k.a. vaginal flora, naturally fight off infection and protect us. You might consider carrying your own remedy such as Monistat.
- Think holistically and be mindful of drinking enough purified water, eating fresh fruit & veggies (when safe), curbing sugar consumption (no matter how tempting that second French pastry can be) and exercising. Also, taking daily doses of probiotics, or eating lots of yogurt rich in live cultures will help regulate your system in response to any new or exotic foods and drinks you may be consuming.
- Finally, learn to squat! In certain situations, like the ‘restrooms’ consisting of nothing but a hole in the floor in India, you won’t have the opportunity to sit down, which is actually a blessing in disguise! For truly unsanitary scenarios like filthy outhouses with seats (a particularly horrific one in Bhutan springs to mind) you will want to refrain from sitting down wherever possible. Keeping your bottom away from unsanitary seating will avoid the literal cesspool of bacteria on the surface and build up your quad muscles as well!
We created healthy hoohoo wipes with you in mind, after many miles, trials and our own travel nightmares! Please let us know if you have any travel questions, concerns or other great tips.Here’s to getting out there and confidently exploring this amazing world!