Yes, we bleed and we trek!

In this age, all the women are becoming more aware. Not only that, the men are also raising their hands to support women. How can we keep our ladies derived from the thrill of the Himalayas? With all the mood swings, stomach cramps, weakness, headache, and lots of blood, we always fear that these scary dates will ruin our excursion.

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However strongly we make up our mind to go on a Himalayan trek, we doubt our plans with the thought of PERIOD. Cheer up ladies; we have answers to all your questions regarding Periods and Trekking. Stay free and go to the mountains carefree. Because they are calling you...while you are bleeding!

Let’s start with, can I go for a Himalayan trek on my period? Yes of course! Only if you are confident. Many women face stomach cramps, acidity, nausea, dizziness, headache, vomiting, etc. Take precautions to avoid acidic food, coffee, and less sleep if you suspect the onset of your period. Test yourself by working out at home while you are chumming. If you are confident about yourself, you should go for your favorite trek. If you feel extremely weak and cannot manage at home, we would suggest avoiding trekking on periods.  Instead of returning back midway and causing inconvenience to the rest, it is better to postpone. You can go on your dream trek when you feel the strongest.

Yet, you still want to join your friends. You wonder shall I take medication to postpone dates. We highly recommend no medicines. This disturbs your natural menstrual cycle. It may have hazardous effects in the future. Having said that, you should always consult a doctor if you wish to take medicines.
Now that you have made up your mind to go on a trek, there are some more ambiguities,

Will blood loss affect acclimatization? No, the menstrual cycle is a normal process for our body. It must happen for the healthy being of women. Losing blood will not affect the process of acclimatization. If you feel tired, dizzy, or have cramps, drink a lot of water. More than other trekkers. The best remedy is to stay hydrated. You can use glucose drinks also.

Will I bleed more in high altitude? No, rising higher does not affect your menstruation process. You will bleed as you would at sea-level.

Will my period cycle be affected? As mentioned above, rising higher does not affect your normal body process.

Now you are lighthearted about trekking during that time of the month. You are all set to go, but the question is how to trek eco-friendly?

Firstly, what to use, pads or tampons or menstrual cups?

Based on the above points, you can choose what suits you the best.

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Whatever you decide to use, make sure to carry a lot of them. It helps in case of leakage and it might serve other female trekkers also. You can also use pads along with tampons/cups to avoid leakage.

Despite this, Some other doubts are,

How to keep it clean? Use damp toilet paper or normal tissue paper to clean yourself. Bury them after cleaning or throw them in the toilet tent pit. Later covered with mud. Do not use wet wipes, they are not biodegradable and also the added scent is not eco-friendly.

Shall I take medication for cramps or stomach pain? As we mentioned earlier, we do not recommend medication. If you think the pain is unbearable you can carry your medicines. Usually, when exercising or trekking, many women do not feel any pain. Because the mind gets diverted. If this does not apply to you, consult a doctor and take medicines.

What else can I do to relieve the pain? Drink a lot of water. In high altitude, one must drink enough water, but when chumming, you should drink even more water. Have hot drinks served at the campsite, this helps in elevating pain. Try to keep your mind busy talking to other trekkers, capturing the wonderful sights, etc. Chocolates to the rescue, carry your favorites and treat yourself!

What if I need to change midway through the trek? Ask for a pee break. Take your time. Make sure not to leave any trace, keep it eco-friendly!

Whom shall I talk to if I need help? You can talk to our trek leaders anytime. All of them are friendly and aware of the difficulties faced by you. If you are extremely shy, you can talk to other trek buddies. Try to share your dilemma well in advance, rather than facing problems later.

Finally, you can iterate this with me, what things to carry?

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  1. Enough quantity of Pads/Tampons/Menstrual Cups (whatever you choose to use)
  2. A lot of panty or panty liners to avoid smell. Preferably cotton ones.
  3. Newspaper to wrap used items
  4. Lot of plastic polythene or zip lock (Never bury in soil or throw in the mountains, Carry back in your bag or throw in lodge or guesthouse dustbins)
  5. Toilet paper/tissue paper to clean yourself. No wet wipes, please!
  6. Hand sanitizer
  7. Handkerchiefs or small towels (optional)

Some additional tips are,

  1. Eat full. Most women experience loss of appetite during periods. Despite that have a proper meal. This will keep you energized. Carry local namkeen or spices for added taste.
  2. You can use the same polythene for sanitary waste, used underwear, or socks. To avoid a lot of plastic bags.
  3. Use additional covering of plastic or newspaper in case of smell. Avoid using perfumes or deo, they are not eco-friendly.
  4. Do not burn anything in the mountains. You should not burn at home also.
  5. Always talk to our trek leader about any problem. Your health is of utmost importance to us.
  6. More than anything just keep your mind strong. If you have survived so many years with it, you can survive more 2-3 days of it!

If there is something else that is bothering you and we haven’t covered, feel free to ask us. It might help other ladies too.