Planning Surgery Around Your Menstrual Cycle: Tips for Patients


It’s completely understandable to feel anxious about getting your period on the day of a scheduled surgery is entirely understandable. Menstruation can feel unpredictable, and the idea of managing it while going through a medical procedure is less than ideal. However, there is no need to stress since accommodations can be made if you are on your period at the time of surgery.

Preparing For your Surgery While on Your Period

Talk to Your Doctor

Whether you go with breast augmentation, tummy tuck, or breast reduction surgery, the first step is to discuss your menstrual cycle with your surgeon. Let them know the start date of your last period, your typical cycle length, and any irregularities. This will help determine where you are in your cycle during surgery. Some procedures are best performed at specific cycle phases.

Aim for After Your Period

For many surgeries, including labiaplasty surgery, vaginoplasty, and hymen repair, the optimal timing is right after your period and before ovulation. During this timeframe, oestrogen levels are at their lowest, and your uterine lining is thinnest. This optimal timing minimises menstrual bleeding and post-surgery cramping. If surgery must be done mid-cycle, your doctor can prescribe birth control pills to regulate bleeding.

Postpone if Need be

Don’t hesitate to postpone non-emergency surgery by a few weeks to align it more favorably with your menstrual cycle. Such a decision can improve surgical results and a smoother recovery process. The key is to have an open conversation with your doctor as soon as possible to address any timing concerns and make the best choice for your surgery.

Disclose All Period Symptoms Relevant to Surgery

Inform your surgeon about any period symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding, severe cramps, or menstrual migraines. These may require special precautions or adjustments to the surgery or recovery process. Being open allows your surgical team to accommodate your needs best.

Use Sanitary Pads Instead of Tampons

During your initial recovery period after surgery, choosing sanitary pads over tampons is advisable. Tampons carry a slight risk of infection, so using pads is a safer choice. Remember to maintain cleanliness by regularly changing your pads to ensure a smooth and infection-free healing process.

Manage Fatigue

It’s common to feel more fatigued and run down during your period after surgery. Your body is still healing and requires additional rest. At the same time, blood loss from heavy cycles can contribute to iron deficiency or anaemia, leaving you feeling extra drained. Take daytime naps or sleep longer at night when possible. Scale back on physical activity during your period if you feel exhausted.

Use Heat for Comfort

Cramps and other menstrual discomfort can add insult to injury when recovering from surgery. Heat is an effective method to help ease general aches and menstrual pain. Try placing a heating pad on your lower abdomen and back during your period. The increased warmth helps relax cramped muscles and improves blood flow to soothe discomfort.

Listen to Your Body

Recovering from surgery is a process that varies for each individual. Many factors, such as age, procedure type, and overall health, influence healing time. Hormonal changes impacting menstruation also differ from person to person. The best approach is to listen to your body’s needs. Rest when tired, take pain relief as required, and track any concerning symptoms.

The Takeaway

It is usual for your period to coincide with cosmetic surgery at some point. Patience and preparation will help you smoothly adapt to post-surgery menstrual changes. Before long, you’ll be back on track and enjoying improved health.