DECEMBER 1, 2022

We ask Melina, head of NAAMA’s removal studio in London, to find out if you should factor in your cycle before booking a tattoo removal treatment.

If you’ve ever felt a little bit more sensitive to pain while on your period, you’re not the only one. Science says it comes down to hormonal fluctuations through the menstrual cycle that can make things like waxing, laser treatments and generally being touched feel all the more sensitive. So is getting a tattoo while menstruating a good idea? We ask Melina, head of NAAMA’s removal studio in London, to find out if you should factor in your cycle before booking a tattoo removal treatment.

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Will I be more sensitive to tattoo removal?

Hormonal changes throughout your menstrual cycle can play a factor in your pain tolerance. According to Birgitta Hellström and Ulla Maria Anderberg, who spent significant time researching pain perception across the menstrual cycle, “women rated pain significantly higher in the menstrual and premenstrual phases than in the mid-menstrual and ovulatory phases.” This could be due to the drop in estrogen that the body experiences during menstruation, as women showed “less pain sensitivity during phases of the menstrual cycle associated with high estrogen.” That’s because estrogen acts as a natural pain reliever, which is why the body produces more of them in times of childbirth for example.

If the same tends to ring true for you and you feel more sensitive to pain, you can aim to book your treatments before or after your menstruation phase finishes to avoid your removal coinciding with cramping and abdominal pain

Is it OK to get a tattoo removed while on my menstrual cycle?

Technically speaking, being on your period will not have an affect on your tattoo removal treatment, nor will your treatment have an affect on your removal. Head of studio at NAAMA, Melina, reassures us. “It’s completely safe to book in while you’re on your period.” But if you are feeling a bit more sensitive to pain while menstruating, there’s a few things you can do.

To help ease any discomfort, Melina recommends asking during your treatment for:

1. Cold air

“Here at NAAMA, we apply cold air to the skin during your treatment alongside the laser, freezing it to -30C to counteract any potential discomfort,” says Melina. The cold air is a great numbing agent alongside the laser, without interfering with the laser’s energy.

2. Ice packs

Use before your treatment to help numb the area. Apply after your removal if any discomfort arises on your way home.

3. To go at your pace

Let your consultant know if you're feeling more sensitive to pain lately, and ask them to go at your pace. They can easily stop and start up again with the laser so it's much more manageable.

The Zimmer Cyro cooling system machine blasts cold air during treatment to help with any discomfort. Ice packs are a great on-the-go solution.

Pick a less painful tattoo removal laser

Opting for a tattoo removal service that uses a lower energy laser, like the LightSense™ laser system, can be a great option if you’re worried about experiencing pain. LightSense™ is laser tattoo removal without the high-energy blast, instead using controlled, lower-energy pulses to effectively break down tattoo ink. The results are as, if not more, effective—check out this removal in just six sessions—and the lower energy use often gets rave reviews from clients. Laura said she came to NAAMA because she heard it was the only studio to use LightSense™ and was intrigued about “it being really painless, which I didn’t quite believe but it’s true.” Another client Lucky says when asked if she found the treatments painful, “It's easier than getting the tattoo in the first place.”

If you’re interested in learning more, book a call with one of NAAMA’s expert team to chat more about their innovative LightSense™ technology.

NAAMA clients tend to experience less painful and faster removals with the LightSense™ laser.

Can I take anything to help with the pain?

“Yes, though most of our clients find they don’t need to take anything as our LightSense™ laser is much more gentle on the skin,” says Melina.

“If you choose to take any, you can take paracetamol 30 minutes before your treatment. We do not recommend ibuprofen as it can thin the blood which isn’t ideal during treatment.”

The final verdict: the choice is up to you

Whether or not you should have a tattoo removal treatment while menstruating is entirely up to you and what you feel comfortable with. While there are no signs to say you shouldn’t undergo treatment, if you are concerned about your pain tolerance, perhaps rescheduling around your cycle might be worthwhile.

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