4 tips for managing your period on your wedding night
The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding night is your period. But, as many period-havers know, your cycle seems to have a sixth sense for lining up with big events… vacations, exams, road trips. We’ve all been there.
In some cases, you can use a cycle tracking app to guesstimate your period’s arrival over the next few months and *try* to plan around it. Or maybe you’re one of the lucky ones with a cycle so regular, you barely even need an app to know which days to block off. But if you’re planning your wedding over a year in advance, this idea becomes a bit less realistic.
Worried about your period stressing you out and disrupting the fun on your big day? We’ve got you covered. Here are five tips for keeping your period under control on your wedding night.
1. Track your cycle
We hinted at this one above, but one of the best ways to cope with a potential period-wedding day clash is by tracking your cycle in the months leading up to the big day.
Your period is just one part of your menstrual cycle and, luckily, there are many free tools available to help take note of when you’re entering each cycle phase. Ultimately, this will help you figure out when your next period is coming.
While sources say that the average menstrual cycle is between 21 and 35 days long, and the average period is 2 to 7 days—we know that every body is different. (1) Get to know your cycle by keeping tabs on your period in an app, on a website, or on paper. Not only will you benefit from the prediction power, you’ll also learn how your body and mood changes around ovulation, for instance, or in the days leading up to your period.
Even if you can’t stop the menstrual stars from aligning around your wedding date, by tracking your cycle, you’ll be able to make a game plan for your period well in advance. And a solid game plan = WAY less stress about unexpected leakage on that priceless white dress. Which brings us to tip #2…
2. Try a menstrual disc (or cup)
We all love to blame our periods (and hence, our bodies) for the annoyance that is monthly vaginal bleeding. But what if it’s not our periods that are the problem, but our period products?
After all, a tampon has to be changed every six or so hours—and that’s if you don’t have a super heavy flow. They’re uncomfortable, leak-prone, and have strings that inevitably get pee-soaked when you have to make a rushed trip to the bathroom. And pads? If you ask us, we’re not super into that damp diaper feeling, especially in social settings. Same goes for period underwear.
Thankfully, there’s been a decent amount of innovation in the menstrual products industry over the past few years. Today, we’ve got magical things like menstrual cups and discs that offer stress-free, ultra-comfortable wear for (wait for it…) A FULL 12 HOURS. So you can make it from the dressing room, through the ceremony, to the reception, and all the way to late-night drinks and dancing without changing your product once.
It’s not just 12 hours for people with a barely-there flow. Flex Disc (a disposable, single use product that sits further back in the vaginal canal, in a place called the vaginal fornix) holds up to six teaspoons of period blood—as much as three super tampons. Flex Cup can handle about the same, plus it’s 100% reusable.
Struggling to decide between a menstrual cup and a disc for your wedding? We’d say it mostly comes down to personal preference—but that a disc might just be your BFF if you want to get frisky at the end of the night.
With a disc, you can skip the towel on the bed when the dress comes off. Flex Disc’s placement in the vaginal fornix leaves the rest of your vaginal canal completely unobstructed for foreplay, penetrative sex, or any wedding night fantasy you’ve been dying to live out. A cup, on the other hand, blocks your vaginal canal (so you’d have to remove it before having penetrative sex).
If you’re not sure if a menstrual disc is right for you, try one out before your wedding day. There can be a bit of a learning curve to get the positioning right, but once you get the hang of it, your period will be a distant memory on your wedding day.
3. Pack the necessities
Think of it as your period go-bag. If you do find yourself on your period during your wedding, don’t just prep for the bleeding—make sure you have all the other tools in your toolkit to tackle cramps, bloating, headaches, or fatigue. Here’s a handy list of items to keep on hand for any mishaps or general ickiness that can come with your period (or wedding):
- Ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol)—for really bad cramps, you can take both!
- A heating pad (or disposable heat wrap)
- Extra period products for backup: Liners, a pad or two, extra Flex Discs, or even a pair of period underwear to wear as backup
- A drink with electrolytes (like coconut water or Gatorade)
- An easy-to-digest snack like a granola bar or some dried fruit
- Anti-nausea medication (like Nauzene or Emetrol)
- Tums and/or Pepto-Bismol
- Flex Wipes for quick and easy period cleanup during product changes
- Flex Foaming Cup Wash if you’re using a menstrual cup (to clean your cup between changes)
- Bobbie pins
- Safety pins
- Fabric tape
What you eat and drink throughout the day can have a big impact on how you feel, especially with all the nerves and stressors of a wedding on top of having your period. Try a green smoothie with ginger for breakfast to soothe your stomach or sip on some herbal tea while you get ready. We’re definitely not saying you have to skip the champagne—just listen to your body and do your best to stay hydrated.
Lastly, don’t forget to talk with your maid of honor, best man, parents, in-laws–whoever, just to make sure someone has the essentials packed and on hand.
4. Just skip it (your period, not your wedding!)
If your goal is to prevent your period on your wedding day altogether, you’re in luck: There are, in fact, options for you to skip your period on your big day—but they take some planning (and a trip to your OB/GYN) first.
There are types of medication that can be used to “reschedule” your period, but they’re only available via prescription and might not work for everyone. Typically, the medication used is a form of hormonal birth control. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn more about the options available to you.
Pro tip: The sooner you can make a plan with your doctor, the better, since it can take your body anywhere from three weeks up to a couple of months to acclimate to certain hormonal contraceptives.
Keep in mind, there are some possible side effects of skipping your period with birth control. You may experience “breakthrough bleeding” or spotting as your body adjusts to the hormones. And some individuals notice mood changes, headaches, or fluctuations in body weight when starting a new contraceptive.
Already on the pill (a.k.a. oral contraceptives)? Here’s how to safely skip your period for your wedding.
When taking monophasic birth control pills:
- 28-day oral contraceptive (OC) pack users: When you reach the end of the active hormonal pills in a pack (the first 21 or 24 pills), begin the next set of active pills, skipping the inactive (placebo pills) from the previous package
- 21-day OC pack users: Instead of going through the pill-free week, start a new pack of active pills the day after finishing your last one
When taking multiphasic birth control pills:
- When you reach the end of the three weeks of active hormonal pills, take the next month’s third week of pills immediately
- Be aware that skipping a period using multi-phasic birth control pills may be more complicated and it may also lead to breakthrough bleeding: Talk to your healthcare provider before proceeding
What about the NuvaRing?
- Leave the NuvaRing in for four weeks before removing it, and then immediately replace with a new one
No matter what, if you decide to skip your period for your wedding, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about all the options to figure out which one will work best for you as an individual.
Surviving your period on your wedding day: Key takeaways
There’s a reason you picked certain people to stand beside you on your big day—they’re there to make sure things go smoothly, keep the drama to a minimum, and ensure that you walk off into happily-wedded bliss.
Between your wedding and your period, you’ve already got a lot to focus on. Let your MOH, mom, or other trusted friend take some of the stress off your shoulders. Let them know you’ll be on your period so they can swoop in with that extra menstrual disc or pack of wipes at just the right moment.
Your wedding day is supposed to be a happy occasion: Don’t let your period ruin it! While it may seem like a big deal on top of an already BIG deal, at the end of the day…it’s just your period. Looking back on your anniversaries to come, you can laugh about it with your partner. And with the right products (ahem, Flex Disc), the photos won’t show a thing.
This article is informational only and is not offered as medical advice, nor does it substitute for a consultation with your physician. If you have any gynecological/medical concerns or conditions, please consult your physician.
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