Being asked to take a drug test is never fun, and if you’ve just been scheduled to take a drug test and you’re on your period, you’ve probably got a few questions on your mind. 1) Can you take a drug test while on your period?
2) Will someone watch me pee?
3) How can I keep menstrual blood out of my urine sample?
4) Should I mention that I’m having a period?
Let’s run through the answers.
Can You Take A Drug Test While On Your Period?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. Having your period is not a valid reason for delaying a drug test.
Traces of menstrual blood in your urine sample won’t make any difference to the outcome of the drug test. The only thing to be concerned about with a urine test is the embarrassment factor.
But there are ways to deal with that.
Will Someone Watch Me Pee?
Observed urine tests are rare, but there are some types of drug tests that require an observer to be present while you urinate. The most common reason for a supervised drug test are:
- If your drug test is for parole or probation.
- If your drug test is a DOT test as part of the Return to Duty Process for truck/bus drivers.
- If your drug test is for the military.
If you’re taking a regular pre-employment drug test or another drug test required by your employer, then you should be able to give your sample in the privacy of a bathroom stall.
How Can I Keep Menstrual Blood Out Of My Urine Sample?
There are a few things you can do to make sure that the urine collection process is clean and hassle-free.
Use A Tampon
Visit the bathroom before you head out for your drug test and insert a fresh tampon. Choose a high absorbancy tampon so that it can deal with your flow in case you have to wait around.
The tampon will stop any blood from leaving your body while you’re giving your sample and no blood will mix with your urine.
Even if you don’t like to use tampons, it’s probably worth using one while you have to take a drug test.
Some women don’t like to use tampons because of concerns about toxic shock syndrome, or because of the bleach used in sanitary products.
Toxic shock syndrome from tampon use is rare, and if you remove the tampon as soon as your test is over, the chances of having a reaction are slim.
If you generally avoid tampons because you’re worried about the bleach used during the manufacturing process, you can relax. According to the FDA, chlorine bleach is no longer used in the manufacturing process.
Use A Menstrual Cup
Menstrual cups are reusable alternatives to tampons. The cup is worn internally and forms a secure seal so that no blood leaks out.
A menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 hours if your flow is light, but even on heavier days, it should be fine for 4-6 hours, which gives you plenty of time to get your drug test over and done with.
Take A Cleansing Wipe With You
When you go to the bathroom to give your sample, the water in the washbasin is usually turned off. Some hand sanitizer gel may be available, but it’s a good idea to have your own clean-up wipe to “wash” your hands with.
And if you can’t use a tampon or menstrual cup for some reason, then pop a wipe into your pocket so you’ve got a way to clean up any blood that gets on your hands.
Tell The Technician That you’re Having Your Period
If you do get some blood in the sample cup, despite your best efforts, then tell the person dealing with your sample that you’re having your period.
Blood in the cup won’t affect the test result but it could make the color of your sample look a little suspicious.
You might feel embarrassed, especially if the technician is male, but they won’t care and neither should you. Periods are nothing to be ashamed of, and without the wonders of the female reproductive system none of us would be here, would we?
Check Also: How To Read Drug Test Results From The Lab
Can You Reschedule A Urinalysis If You’re Having Your Period?
If the drug test is a pre-employment drug test, you could certainly ask if they will let you reschedule the test. The worst thing that can happen is if the employer says no.
Pre-employment drug tests usually take place once you’ve been offered the job and have accepted the offer. After you accept the offer, it’s pretty standard to be given 48 or 72 hours to go and get the test done.
When a job offer comes through, you can wait a few days to respond, and then schedule your test at the end of the testing window they’ve given you. This way your period will either be over or in the last day or so when it’s lighter anyway and less of a problem.
If you’re taking a test for another reason, then you’ll probably have to take the test when you’re told to.
Could Menstrual Blood Mask Drugs In My Urine?
When you need to take a drug test and you suspect it’s going to be positive, you might hope that being on your period will save you.
Unfortunately, menstrual blood will have no effect on your test at all. Blood can’t mask drug metabolites, or mess the test up so that it produces a false-negative result.
What Happens When You Take A Drug Test?
If this is the first time you’ve been asked to take a drug test, you’re bound to be a little nervous about how the whole process works.
Let’s go over what to expect when you go to provide your urine sample.
When you arrive at the collection site, you’ll need to show your ID and a copy of the drug testing email.
You have to show ID to confirm that the person giving the sample is the person named on the test paperwork.
You’ll be asked to remove your coat and empty your pockets. If you’re taking an employment drug test you won’t usually be patted down, but you could be frisked if you’re taking a test for another reason.
Your clean-up wipe won’t be noticed if you’re frisked because the individually wrapped wipes are super thin. When they frisk before a drug test, they’re checking for small bottles of fake urine, not wet wipes.
Next, you’ll be told to take the sample cup into the bathroom and fill it up to the mark. To pee in the cup, hover over the toilet bowl as you do when you don’t want to sit on a toilet seat. Begin to urinate, then hold the cup under the stream of urine until you have enough in the cup.
When you’re done, screw the cap on the cup, and clean yourself up.
The technician will test the temperature of your urine to make sure that you haven’t adulterated your sample, then the sample collection is complete and you can leave.
Which Drugs Are Tested For?
Drug tests for employment purposes are usually a 5-panel screen or a 10-panel screen. The lists below detail the drugs tested for on both tests along with the detection window for each substance.
5-Panel Drug Screen
- Opiates – up to 4 days
- Cocaine- up to 4 days
- Marijuana – up to 90 days
- Amphetamines and methamphetamine – up to 4 days
- Phencyclidine (PCP) – up to 14 days
10-Panel Drug Screen
- Benzodiazepines – up to 7 days
- Barbiturates – up to 7 days
- Methadone – up to 72 hours
- Methaqualone – up to 4 days
- Propoxyphene – up to 72 hours
An extended drug screen could also include ecstasy which is detectable for up to 5 days, and oxycodone which has a detection window of up to 4 days.
For a pre-employment drug test, you have complete control over whether you pass the test, or whether you fail, because you decide when to apply for a new job and can make sure that drugs are out of your system before you apply.
How long you’ll need to wait depends on the particular drugs you take, but for most drugs, you only need to abstain for a few days to 1 week.
Marijuana is the drug that hangs around the longest, and its actual detection window depends on how often you use the drug and how much you use each time.
A single use will clear your system in 5 – 8 days. Occasional use, two to four times a month should take 11-18 days. If you use marijuana two to four times a week, you’ll need to wait 23-35 days. Use the drug five to six times a week and you’ll need to wait 33-48 days, while daily use, could cause you to test positive for up to 90 days.
Use a DIY urine test at home to test yourself so you’ll know when you’re in the clear for whatever drug you use.
Being on your period will not interfere with the results of a drug test, and while you could ask to reschedule a drug test because of your period, you’ll more than likely have to attend the appointment as scheduled.
Most drug tests are unobserved, so you’ll have privacy while you give your sample. But if your test is going to be supervised, wearing a skirt will allow you to cover up a little better.
The best way to avoid getting blood in the sample cup is to use a tampon or menstrual cup, and remember to pop a hygiene wipe into your pocket so you can clean your hands.
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Robert Eric (a lover of Cats and Dogs) is the co-founder of HireFelonsJobs. In our search for a better life, after… A platform was created for the purpose of easing the search for ex-convicts.