This is a topic that is especially important for our female readers specifically; getting anything done while on our menstrual periods is generally rather difficult. It is safe to say that most of us organize our time and future plans in accordance with our period days; holidays, vacation, and even regular, day-to-day things like grocery shopping or working out. Periods dictate our lives and that is just the way things are and the way we can enjoy our lives and be carefree but also comfortable and confident.
Despite all of this, women are strong and handle so much pain and discomfort without anyone noticing. However, in some cases, we have to stop and ask; is it safe and healthy for me to do this or that while on my period? One of the occasions where being on period could potentially affect you or your health is tattooing or being tattooed specifically. Factoring in your menstrual cycle isn’t a bad idea; but why is that the case? Read on and find out more about this important topic!
Can You Get a Tattoo While On Period? – Everything You Need To Know
As adults, as well as women, you have learned to persevere through numerous inconveniences relating to the menstrual cycle. From PMS symptoms to those annoying cramps and heavy flows; nothing stopped you from going through the day and all the obligations and scheduled meetings and appointments. But, were you comfortable and feeling good? Probably not!
Just because you manage to go through the struggle of menstruation doesn’t mean you should just ignore it and go with the day like nothing’s going on. It is important to factor in your menstruation days when planning appointments and treatments, even when it’s something like getting a tattoo. Here’s why;
Periods and Pain Tolerance
According to gynecologists and medical professionals, pain tolerance changes for women when they’re on their periods. Going through premenstrual symptoms as well as menstruation itself means your body is going through some serious hormonal changes as well. Because of this, women experience swelling across the body, alongside cramps and general discomfort.
All of this tends to lower pain tolerance and make you more sensitive to pain. If you have ever decided to wax off your body hair prior to or after your menstrual cycle, for example, you know what we’re talking about. Everything feels much more painful (the pain is generally described as intense and sharp) than it usually is, so it is best to avoid any potentially painful sessions and treatments while going through such big hormonal changes. Adding tattooing on top of all the painful cramps and discomfort isn’t really the best idea. You’ll just end up feeling worse.
In summary, when it comes to periods and pain tolerance, you can expect;
- Heightened skin sensitivity (especially in some areas, like the groin area, stomach area, etc.)
- Lower pain tolerance and increased discomfort (even when doing something that isn’t usually painful or uncomfortable)
Interaction Between Period Medication and Tattoos
Almost every single discussion regarding periods and tattoos ends up covering the way period medication and supplements interact with a new tattoo, and that is so for a rather important reason.
The majority of women take some kind of medication or herbal supplement to ease the painful cramps, manage a heavy flow, or simply increase energy levels and hopefully feel a bit better and stronger. Some of the most popular aids during painful periods are over-the-counter medications like Naproxen or Ibuprofen (or even Paracetamol).
Unfortunately, what many seem to forget about these over-the-counter medications is that they generally tend to thin blood out. As a result, many women experience even heavier flows and greater cramps as a result. These medications prevent blood clotting and because they thin the blood out, one can bleed even more.
Now, one place where you don’t want to be excessively bleeding is a tattoo shop. Blood-thinning medications can make it impossible for tattoo artists to work on your tattoo. The visibility is compromised and because of the lower pain tolerance, you’ll feel greatly uncomfortable, and so will your tattoo artist.
So, if you want to get a tattoo while on your period, try to avoid taking any over-the-counter medications because of clotting prevention and excessive bleeding potential. Moreover, we would also advise you to avoid herbal supplements, including ginger, garlic, and ginkgo Biloba, because they also tend to prevent or reduce blood clotting. Avoiding alcohol goes without saying as well, and you should definitely refrain from smoking too. Both tend to thin out the blood and prevent proper wound healing.
In summary, when it comes to the interaction between ‘period’ medication and tattoos you can expect;
- Blood thinning (when using over-the-counter medications like Naproxen and Ibuprofen)
- Blood clotting inhibition (with medication and herbal supplements)
- Excessive bleeding
- The inability for the tattoo/wound to start healing properly
Well-Being and Tattoos
Hormones play a huge role when it comes to one’s menstrual cycle. We’ve mentioned how they can promote swelling across the body and change one’s pain tolerance. However, hormonal fluctuation can affect you in many other ways, mentally, emotionally, and of course, physically.
All of your hormonal levels change when you’re PMS-ing or on your period, including the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and serotonin. As a result, your mood changes, and you become cranky, moody, anxious, or even experience a depression episode (which is more likely if you have a history of depression too). All of this could affect your tattooing experience as well.
Because of all the emotional and mental changes you go through while menstruating, it is essential to focus on your own well-being. If getting stabbed thousands of times by a needle will increase your discomfort, irritability, and anxiety, then maybe you should simply reschedule your tattoo appointment and come back when you’re feeling your best.
It is important to point out that some women experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD. This includes an extended set of uncomfortable PMS symptoms, including severe abdominal cramps, pelvic heaviness, pain, bloating, skin inflammation, cold sores, overall agitation and nervousness, pain and sensitivity in the arms and legs, and so much more. If you experience any of these symptoms during your premenstrual or period days, you should definitely think twice about getting tattooed on those days.
So, Should I Get a Tattoo While on My Period?
As we like to emphasize; it is your body and you know what’s best for you. If getting a tattoo while on your period doesn’t sound like a big deal, then definitely go for it. Different women experience their menstrual cycles differently. While some women experience no changes, others go through so many of them during their period days.
So, when scheduling a tattoo appointment, think about how you feel during your period. If you experience severe cramps, heavy flows, and overall emotional changes, we would advise you to not put more pressure on your body and schedule the appointment for some other day. Otherwise, if you’re one of those lucky women who go through the menstrual days without an issue, then you should definitely go for it and go get that tattoo done.
Either way, the best thing you can do is talk to your gynecologist or a medical professional before you make the appointment. The doctor will explain any potential risks and advise you for or against the tattooing session, all done considering your particular health and body. You don’t want to be experiencing any complications during your period, so the best thing you can do is definitely consult with your doctor before making a final decision.
Periods are painful, annoying, and completely inconvenient. We understand that it is important to not let periods stand in the way of fun and normal day-to-day life. However, we cannot simply ignore all the changes your body is going through during the menstruating cycle. So, before you make the tattoo appointment talk to your gynecologist and see what they have to say.
Think about how you feel during your period and how you’ve handled previous challenges that have occurred during your menstrual cycle. We think that it is important to factor in your menstruating days when making important decisions, like getting a tattoo. But, at the end of the day, you know what’s best for your body and mind.