Dealing with Period Aches and Pains for Women Truck Drivers
Updated: Mar 18, 2019
How to deal with your period?
You are a female truck driver, but periods don't have to slow you down.
Tips on changing tampons regularly, safety, and hygienically.
Along with suggested products that may help with the mood swings, cramps, bloating, pain and discomfort that comes along with Aunt Flo.
Imagine driving across I-10, sun is shining across the desert, and a gentle wind blows. You just passed through the small-town of Van Horn, TX, you didn’t stop to use the restroom, you didn’t need too.
About thirty miles West of Van Horn, you start cramping, it’s just a few tiny waves of pain. You have been so focused on getting to Phoenix, AZ, that you forgot your period was due any day.
You didn’t pay attention to the sugar cravings or the fact that last night you had a few cookies. OKAY, maybe a whole box of Chocolate Double Stuff Oreos, to be exact.
Not to mention your swollen belly or how you had to really work at buttoning your pants this morning. The cramps are just another reminder that you are a female. Like other female's you have a period every month, but you don't let that stop you from being a truck driver.
Keep reading for some helpful tips and tricks to deal with Aunt Flo, along with some other names to call Aunt Flo.
Women vary in their bodily changes right before they start their period. Signs of Aunt Flo’s monthly visit, the cramping, mood swings, cravings, all because she just can't stay away. She has made a visit every month for years now.
Women have endured the cruelties of menstruation for thousand's of years, but would you trade the chance to have beautiful babies for no period. I wouldn't.
Aunt Flo can bring mood swings! If you’re not sure if I’m right, if you have a codriver, ask them. O a, sure they are hiding in the back of the truck as far from you as they can get, even if its only 3 feet. They know how cranky, whiny, anxious, and fussy you can get, right before your period.
You’re not the only one who hates Aunt Flo, your partner does too. There is no place for them to go when you start yelling to get away from you.
All the poor thing can do is close the curtains and hope you don’t stop the truck. They know if you stop that truck because your angry about something they're in trouble. And if Aunt Flo is due soon or is already visiting, they might want to get out and start walking home.
Other signs of Aunt Flo’s impending visit include, breakouts, pimples, sore breast, feeling tired. You can’t even watch a movie you usually thought was just a little sad, because for a week to ten days you cry at the drop of hat.
For some women, there is a change in bowel movements a day or so before Aunt Flow visits, that may last for her entire visit. Along with more frequent bowel movements, you have awful cramps in your stomach and lower back while you are doing number two.
I suffered from migraines right before Aunt Flo visited for several years, luckily it was during a time that I was not a full-time driver.
For those who don’t know who Aunt Flo is, she is not a real live person, but a name that many women have given to politely say in public, menstruation or period.
At the end of this post I will provide more names and links that women have provided for their menstrual period. Some of them are hilarious.
Caring for Aunt Flo While on The Road
For many women trucking is not a hard job. It is however a job that does not have the same amenities of other jobs. Instead of an office restroom that is cleaned daily, as a truck driver you now have to use rest area bathrooms that may be cleaned once a week. Although, most have daily custodians who keep rest areas clean.
Truck stops can be just as bad, people use the bathroom with no consideration for the next person. The toilets can be overflowing with grossness, used tampons can be haphazardly thrown in the stall or bathroom trash, and if you’re not careful you can get caught with no toilet paper. It has happened to me more than once. I had to go so bad, I didn’t even check to make sure there was toilet paper.
Even women who do not drive a truck have experienced these kinds of places, at restaurants, stores, and malls. Please be respectful of others who use the restroom behind you.
Flush the toilet, take a second to make sure it actually flushes and is empty.
If you are changing your tampon, pad, etc., PLEASE take toilet paper or paper towels to wrap your used tampons or pads in before throwing them away. It is really gross to walk into the restroom and see others used tampons.
If you need to change your tampon or pad in the truck and you will at some point. Keep paper towels or reuse those grocery bags to wrap used tampons in. Don’t throw them out the window, and don’t throw them in a nearby trash can without covering them in something. It is not only gross, but unhygienic.
Supplies for Aunt Flo
We’ve all run out of tampons or pads at one time or another. It’s very expensive buying tampons at a truck stop or convenience store. If possible, buy your personal items somewhere like Walmart.
If your headed home, order supplies on Amazon Prime. Along with an endless supply of goodies, Amazon Prime provides 2-day shipping on most items.
You won’t even have to go to the store.
While your buying tampons, pads, or diva cups order some baby wipes, feminine wipes and even some Summer’s Eve wipes. Baby wipes can be a girl’s best friend while on the road. When you don’t have time for a shower, grab some baby wipes and clean yourself up.
The Summer’s Eve wipes can be put in a purse or bag, along with tampons and pads, to use while in the restroom.
As with the tampons and pads, do not flush wipes and please wrap them up in something so no one else has to see it.
If you choose to use diva cups, make sure to buy several, diva cups need to be cleaned and sterilized between uses. If you have a microwave or hot water kettle, you can bring some water to a boil and put the diva cup in the hot water. I have never used a diva cup, but my daughter loves them. I am not sure how easy they are to use while traveling. If you have experience or suggestions, leave a comment below.
As a truck driver, it is not wise to take strong pain medication for cramping, actually it is against the law. So, get some Midol or Pamprin, either will help with the cramps, bloating, soreness, moodiness, and other symptoms of your menstrual cycle.
For other supplies that a woman may need, check out this post on Essential Items.
Toxic Shock Syndrome
Many women use tampons during their period, a cylinder-shaped piece of cotton or other absorbent material that is inserted into the vagina to absorb menses or blood from a period.
According to Web MD, the majority of cases are linked to tampons, but some cases have been linked to menstrual sponges, diaphragms and cervical caps. And women who have recently given birth are at higher risk of toxic shock syndrome.
Toxic Shock Syndrome is causes by an overgrowth of bacteria called Staphylococcus Aureus or staph.
While Toxic Shock Syndrome is seen in other types of infections, it is seen often in women using tampons. If you chose to wear a tampon, like I do, make sure that you change your tampon every few hours. Use the lowest absorbency tampon that will keep you from announcing to the world Aunt Flo is visiting.
Sign and Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome
Wither or not you are using tampons, pads, or a diva cup, make sure if you have the following symptoms that you remove your tampon or cervical cap immediately and call a doctor.
If you start running a high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, dizziness, fainting, or dizziness. While these can be signs of something else, if you are on your period take precautions until you know that it is not Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Toxic Shock Syndrome is a deadly bacterial infection.
If you have time, it would make you feel better to stop and take a shower daily. While I know that this is not always particle in the world of trucking, if you have time, make sure to stop and ease your tension and moodiness with a hot shower.
Other Names for Aunt Flo
Similar to Trucker’s Lingo, Women have a Lingo all to themselves. Aunt Flo is not the only name used to describe a woman’s menstrual period.
Other common phrases include, "On The Rag" (my Dad’s favorite phrase), "Lady Business", Crimson Tide", or as I say, “It’s that time of the month!”
Do a search on the internet, type in “Names for Period”.
There were many that I had never heard of, like “Riding the Cotton Pony” or “Season of the Werewolf”, "Shark Week", The Blob, and Having the painters in.
Even better, “T.O.M.’s in Town”, I’m sure your significant other wants to know who Tom is! Tom is not a man, but that “Time of Month”
Check out Part 2 of Aunt Flo's Visiting.
If you have any tips or questions, please feel free to leave a comment. I will do my best to provide you with an answer.