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How do women astronauts deal with periods in antigravity?

Sophia Williams Sophia Williams Sep 10, 2020 · 2 mins read
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As space exploration continues to advance, it raises a lot of questions about how human bodies adapt to zero-gravity environments. One of the recurring questions is how women astronauts deal with their periods in antigravity.

Managing menstrual bleeding during space travel is undoubtedly a challenging and uncomfortable experience for women astronauts. The whole period cycle in space is complicated due to a lack of gravity, which can cause altered fluid dynamics, affecting the flow and absorption of menstrual blood.

The good news is that menstrual hygiene products, such as tampons and pads, function the same way in space as they do on Earth. The main difference is that astronauts have to dispose of them to minimize bacterial growth and avoid any messes that could spread in the small, closed environment of a space shuttle.

Surprisingly, NASA has been very tight-lipped about the topic of periods in space. They don’t have an official policy on the matter, and astronauts are left to figure it out on their own. Some astronauts have claimed that NASA provides them with a year’s supply of tampons and sanitary pads, while others suggest they have to pack their own.

According to Peggy Whitson, the first woman commander of the International Space Station, there aren’t any specific precautions to take while on her period. Some female astronauts use hormonal treatments to halt their menstrual cycle altogether. In some cases, it might also be possible for female crew members to shift their periods using oral contraceptives.

Additionally, NASA’s ongoing experimentation with menstrual management systems could mean that there are new options available for space-bound women soon. The agency is reportedly working on developing an alternative menstrual management system that relies on internal sanitary products. Such products may be more practical than traditional alternatives since they pose a minimal risk of mess and contamination.

In conclusion, space travel presents many unique challenges, and menstruation is just one of them. Regardless of the differences in how it might feel, managing periods in space is not that different from managing it on Earth. Astronauts are well trained and equipped to manage their periods on long missions, ensuring their safety and comfortability in space.

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Sophia Williams
Written by Sophia Williams
Always exploring new horizons and pushing the boundaries.