Nervous Your “Time of the Month” Will Land on Your Wedding Day?

Here are your options.
by Sophie Ross

If you're a woman, you can probably recall several inconvenient times for your "time of the month" to arrive throughout your life—maybe starting with prom, and then senior spring break, and then that weekend getaway with your friends, and your first big beach vacation with your significant other. And you probably also know the dread that comes with it as you stress out—for weeks in advance—about the thought of having to deal with it.

And for future brides, the idea of your period coinciding with your wedding day is likely near nightmarish (not to be alarmists, because there are, of course, way worse things that could happen). We don't blame you. After all, you'll likely be distracted all day (who has time to think about changing your feminine hygiene product?), trying to enjoy yourself (no cramps, please) and wearing an expensive white gown (this one speaks for itself). The good news is, you don't have to suffer through your period on your wedding day if you don't want to.

According to Jaime Knopman, MD, an endocrinologist, you do have some options when it comes to manipulating your menstrual cycle that you might have already tried before.

"You can take hormonal contraception, like the pill, the patch or Depo-Provera," she says. If you're already taking one of those things, you're halfway there. If not, and if you're concerned about your period falling on your wedding day, your best bet is to pay a visit to your gynecologist to determine one that's right for you.

But this certainly isn't something you can pull off last minute. "If you're not already taking the pill or on any other contraception, if you start a new one prior to your wedding in order to control your cycle, you need to give yourself lead time," Knopman says. "At least three months so you can see how you react to it. You might take it, hate it and spot from it." And if you've taken the pill before and disliked how you reacted to it, you wouldn't be the first. "Simply let your ob-gyn know which one you were on before so they can get you on track with the right one."

Once you have a birth control you know you do well on, you should practice skipping your periods in advance. (Odds are, you won't successfully skip your first period spot free, if you will.) To skip a period, simply take your next cycle of birth control pills in place of the placebo or sugar pills. So if this is something you plan on doing for your wedding day, your body will be trained and acclimated by the time your wedding rolls around.

If you don't have enough time to obtain the right birth control or successfully disrupt the cadence of your cycle by the time your wedding day rolls around, that's okay too. You'll be just fine—we promise. Take your usual remedy to ease your cramps (like ibuprofen), and in terms of getting through the day, Knopman recommends tampons over pads to hold you over (and if you are on the pill, your period should be light anyway). Some women will choose to use a menstrual cup—Knopman says this is another thing you should test in advance if you're interested in using one in order to avoid having one "stuck in your vagina on your wedding night." That's a real nightmare scenario.

Regardless of whether or not Aunt Flo decides to crash your wedding uninvited, we're confident you'll have the best night of your life—and certainly won't even remember that aspect when you look back. We doubt you let your period ruin your senior spring break, so you shouldn't let it put a damper on your wedding night either.

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