When you're on vacation, you're likely spending more time thinking about preventing jet lag or avoiding catching a cold rather than focus on how you can look after your health. However, you might want to add protecting your sexual health to your agenda, as there are a number of surprising things OB/GYNs say not to do when traveling. In addition to creating some unsuspecting health problems, engaging in these activities can also cause discomfort — and you want to feel your most comfortable during travel.
"Being away from home may throw you off your routine," RealSelf contributor Dr. Carolyn DeLucia, OB/GYN tells Bustle. "It is important to keep up routines like taking you pill at a certain time of day."
Next time you travel, in addition to making sure you have all your luggage, you might want to make sure you're paying attention to all other areas of your health as well — even if it's not at the forefront of your mind or they don't seem as obvious. To make sure you're in optimal health in all areas, pay attention to these five surprising things that OB/GYNs warn you not to do when traveling, because they may affect your health overall.
1. Wear Pantyliners
You might be tempted to wear a pantyliner when you're out and about all day so you don't have to worry about changing your tampon, but doing so might wreak havoc down there. "Don’t wear panty liners," says Dr. DeLucia. "Wearing panty liners hold in moisture, and this can lead to infection." It can also help to wear cotton underwear as well, which allows your vagina to breathe.
2. Skip A Shower After Being In The Hot Tub
Relaxing in a hot tub sounds ideal on vacation, but proceed with caution, especially in public jacuzzis, and be sure to rinse off after any dips. "Despite these public tubs being chlorinated daily or at least checked, with warm water and lots of people, the water may get contaminated," says Dr. DeLucia. "If you do frequent a public hot tub, be sure to shower soon after getting out to avoid infections."
3. Bring Only One Birth Control Pack
Don't limit yourself to just one pack of birth control, even if you're traveling for less than a month. "It is highly recommended to bring another spare pack of birth control in addition to the current pack you are taking," Dr. Robert Michael Dean, Clerkship Director for Department of OB/GYN and Assistant Professor at Ross University School of Medicine, tells Bustle. "It’s also suggested to keep this pack in a separate compartment than your current pack — that way, if you lose one, you have another replacement pack."
4. Stay In Your Seat The Whole Time
When on any form of transportation, especially a plane, avoid staying in your seat the whole time. "To avoid the risk of blood clots in your legs, it’s important to get up, walk around and stretch your legs every hour or so," says Dr. Dean. "It can take time to readjust and become comfortable again in your seat, but this is a critical preventative measure." Wear loose clothing when traveling as well, which can help allow your vagina to breathe and protect against yeast infections.
5. Avoid Public Restrooms
Most people avoid going number two in a public restroom, but if you gotta go, listen to your body. "Don’t feel embarrassed to use the restroom to have a bowel movement," says Dr. DeLucia. "Many people feel inhibited to have bowel movements when not at home. Ignoring the natural urge to evacuate may lead to constipation, which will be very uncomfortable."
The last thing you want when you return from a trip is a health issue or infection. To avoid any problems, OB/GYNs want to make sure you steer clear of these travel habits.