Just because you’re trying to get pregnant doesn’t mean you have to put your traveling heart on hold. Actually, before you get pregnant is a great time to travel, as doing so in your first or third trimester could be uncomfortable or not recommended at all. With some planning and precautions, you can enjoy your trip and keep your baby making plans on track.
Maintain healthy eating and exercise habits
It can be tempting to ditch your healthy eating and exercise habits when you’re traveling. After all, you’ll likely be eating out more and it may be inconvenient to do your normal workout routine. It’s ok to get a bit lax — especially if you’re on vacation. Still, in order to keep your conception journey moving forward smoothly, make sure you’re eating balanced meals and continuing to exercise in some form. You can have a drink or two if you want, but don’t go overboard (just in case!).
Be prepared for an irregular cycle
Menstrual cycles can be thrown off when flying, changing time zones, or just being jet lagged. This is due to the change in your circadian rhythm and its ability to influence the release of hormones like estrogen and progesterone. When this natural rhythm gets thrown off, your body may not menstruate or ovulate. It’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to miss a potential window of conception. If you choose to take your chances, know that your period should go back to normal in a month.
Stay as stress-free as possible
Ideally, you’ll be having a blast when you travel. But, still, travel can be stressful at times. The stress hormone, cortisol, can negatively impact fertility, potentially by reducing blood flow to the uterus and impacting the menstrual cycle. It’s the same reason stress can make you miss a period. One study tested the effects of stress on fertility and concluded that “stress significantly reduced the probability of conception each day during the fertile window.” Do your best to stay relaxed and avoid stressful situations as much as possible.
Keep track of your ovulation dates
If you’re trying to conceive, you’ve likely been tracking your ovulation dates with a basal thermometer or a conception app. Don’t stop doing this when you travel. Knowing when you’re the most fertile can help you plan travel days so that you’ll have the opportunity to have sex (instead of being stuck on a long flight). But don’t stress too much if you do miss a fertile day — that could make it harder to conceive. Just do your best!
Tips for traveling international:
If you’re traveling out of the country while trying to conceive, there is another set of precautions you should take.
- Purchase travel insurance that covers pregnancy — If you do get pregnant on your trip, having travel insurance that covers it can make seeing a care provider much easier.
- Drink bottled water — Depending on where you’re traveling to, the water may not be safe for consumption. Even if locals drink it, the bacteria it contains could make you sick so it’s best to stick to sealed bottle water.
- Ask your doctor about immunizations — Though many vaccines are safe through conception and into pregnancy, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. Since different countries require different vaccinations, be sure to get all the facts.
Traveling when you’re trying to conceive can be great and shouldn’t cause any problems. As long as you’re aware of your body and take the proper precautions, your trip should go off without a hitch. Remember, though, each person is different. If you have concerns related to your individual health, check with your doctor before booking that flight.