Boo. Your period decided to show up at the same time as the festival that you’ve been counting down the days for.
Firstly, I’m so sorry that your uterus has decided to punish you. What a c**t.
- How to manage period cramps at a festival
- How to manage period products at a festival
- How to manage irritability during your period at a festival
- How to manage personal hygiene on your period at a festival
- Should you Take Hormonal Pills to Delay your Period?
- Periods & Festivals: Conclusion
On the other hand, you’ve likely been having periods for many years already and you’ve got through it because you’re strong.
Periods affect each person differently, many of us share some common symptoms such as cramps, muscle aches, fatigue and irritability that do not have a big impact on our lives, whereas for others, the symptoms can be extremely debilitating.
It can also vary from month to month, I’ve had some terrible periods that made me feel like death, and others where I’ve barely noticed. Sometimes our bodies just like to throw us curve balls and the rest of the world just expect us to carry on like nothing is happening.
There is no one method that works as a cure-all for every single one of us who menstruates, I’m afraid.
I’ll do my best to share my own personal advice on how to cope with your period at a music festival. This article is for anyone who menstruates, regardless of your gender.
How to manage period cramps at a festival
If painkillers work safely for you, then bring a stash of Paracetamol & Ibuprofen with you – don’t buy it at the festival shop or you’ll pay a premium!
Period tax is bad enough without adding festival tax on top of that.
Make sure you keep the blister packs inside their boxes incase you’re searched at the gate.
Hot water bottle
If cramps bother you at night when you’re trying to sleep, bring a hot water bottle with you. You’ll be able to buy hot water from a vendor selling tea or coffee.
Hot water bottles are an old-fashioned way to treat period cramps and menstrual pain. They’re also a great way to take the chill out of a cold night. A hot water bottle will help relax the muscles in your abdomen and lower back area where menstrual cramps usually start. This will help reduce any inflammation that may be causing the pain in these areas.
This mini hot water bottle from Amazon is a good choice because it’s small and light enough to fit in your backpack.
This is the recommended option if you’ve got your period at a festival because they’re discreet and can be used under your clothes. A heat pad is a device that warms up and provides heat therapy to the body. Heat pads are often used for treating period cramps, back pain, and muscle aches and pains.
They come in all different shapes and sizes, so it’s easy to find one that fits your needs. Make sure you get one that can be activated without needing electricity! This one is re-chargable by USB so will last for a good few days. If you’ve got a portable power bank for charging your phone then you can keep this charged at the same time!
For a totally power-free option, these heat pads are activated with a click, but they can only be used once before you have to “reset” them at home in a pan of boiling water.
Deep Heat Spray
Deep Heat Spray can relax the muscles and helps to relieve menstrual pain and discomfort.
If you’ve never used it before, deep heat spray is a type of topical analgesic that uses a formula of menthol and other ingredients to provide an effective form of pain relief for muscle aches, sprains and strains. It’s also commonly used to relieve back pain, neck pain and joint pain.
The heat penetrates deep into the muscles, relaxing tense muscles and easing stiffness and cramps.
The spray also contains menthol which has a cooling effect on the skin, providing instant relief from hot flushes too.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day, if you’re dehydrated, your cramps will feel worse.
Cramps are caused by a lack of blood flow to the uterus. If there is not enough blood flow, then it can cause pain and discomfort.
The best way to deal with this is by staying hydrated. The more water you drink, the more your body will be able to flush out toxins and help reduce period cramps and menstrual pain.
Visit the healing area
The healing area at a music festival is an opportunity to take a break from the madness, and focus on your body. If you’re struggling with period cramps, there may be some healers offering services that can help ease the pain. Massage, reflexology, guided meditation and more.
The Red Sea Travel Agency
At Shambala, they have a dedicated space for people to feel safe while on their period at the event. Check out the Red Sea Travel Agency for more information.
How to manage period products at a festival
The first step is to make sure you have all the supplies you need to stay healthy and comfortable during the festival. If you don’t have a period kit, make one before you leave for the festival.
Tampons and pads
Tampons and pads are bulky to carry and difficult to dispose of, which is why they’re not a very popular choice for camping at a music festival.
However, if you’re a tampon or pad user, then you’d use them in the same way as you do at home, I’m sure you don’t need a demonstration. Try to avoid ones with plastic applicators or wrappers if possible.
Another thing to remember is that you should never leave a tampon in for more than 8 hours. You should also change your tampon every few hours if you are going to be dancing around, it’s easy to forget about it!
Moon cups are a great choice for every month, not just festivals, but they do take some practice and getting used to. A festival is not the best place to try a moon cup for the first time. If you’re interested in switching or just trying it out, do it a few months before the festival to give yourself a chance to get used to it first!
A moon cup is a flexible silicone cup that collects blood, it can be emptied, cleaned and re-inserted.
Moon cups are quite different to tampons, they sit much lower that you’d think.
Tips for using a Moon cup at a festival
- Bring a bottle of water into the toilet with you, you’ll need to rinse the moon cup before re-inserting it
- Make sure you don’t drop it down a Portaloo by accident! Bring a spare, just in case.
- Sanitise your hands before and after emptying your moon cup
- Wear a pad or use absorbent underwear for an extra layer of protection if you have a heavier period
Absorbent underwear is another great reusable option, especially during a festival. I find that these are better on lighter days and wouldn’t rely on these for the heavier days towards the start of your period.
ModiBodi is my preferred choice, they come in so many different colours, sizes and styles. They feel much more like swimwear or bikini bottoms that regular underwear.
If you’re using absorbent underwear at a festival, bring a few spares and keep a little ‘laundry bag’ for the dirty pairs. This way you can keep them separate from the rest of your clothes, ready to wash in the machine when you get home.
How to manage irritability during your period at a festival
Irritation and irritation are common during your period. It can be hard to deal with the mood swings, cramps, and other symptoms that come with menstruation. If you’re attending a festival, it can be even more difficult to manage your emotions.
Take in the view
If you’re feeling irritable, go for stroll and take it all the sights, sounds and atmosphere of the festival. There are so many wonderful things to do and see, any negative feels will soon lift away.
Find the strangest looking venue
While you’re out on your stroll, why not go into the most unusual looking tent or venue for a taste of something totally different. I usually find myself in fits of giggles after visiting the comedy tent.
Eat some nutritional comfort food
Comfort food solves (almost) everything. Fortunately, when you’re at a festival there are so many tasty food options to choose from.
How to manage personal hygiene on your period at a festival
First of all, periods ain’t dirty! But you may feel dirty if you’re bleeding. Also, if you’re like me you may sweat more during your period so feel like you need to take a shower more often.
If this is you, it’s quite easy to have a flannel wash with a bar of soap or some body wash with a bowl of water in the privacy of your own tent.
You could also use the festival showers, if they have them and the queue isn’t a million miles long.
Alternatively, there are portable camping solar showers that are pretty popular. Read our guide on the best portable camping showers for festivals.
Should you Take Hormonal Pills to Delay your Period?
In the UK, GPs can prescribe a pill called Norethisterone that can delay your period. However, there are side effects that many people find extremely unpleasant. Norethisterone is not contraception, but it has similar side effects to hormonal contraceptive pills, although they are short-lived.
Of course, if you do take combined contraceptive pills, it’s possible to run two packs back-to-back to, but you should check with your prescriber whether its safe for you, everyone is different. Contraception pills are serious medications!
There’s also medication called Tranexamic Acid that may make your period lighter for a few days.
You should ask your Doctor and Healthcare professional if you’re interested in delaying your period. Not everyone can take hormonal pills, including myself, as I have Migraines which means there is a higher risk of developing a blood clot.
Periods & Festivals: Conclusion
When it comes down to it, having your period should not be a deterrent from going to a music festival. We hope this guide helps you deal with this situation and that the next time you’re faced with it, you won’t have to worry about it.
The chances are, you’ll be too busy enjoying yourself to even notice your period!