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July 13, 2018

6 Birth Control Tips and Tricks for Every Girl with the Travel Bug

You’ve been counting down the days until your big vacay with the girls and the date is quickly approaching! You begin packing the essentials, cute bikinis, sunglasses, and you definitely can’t forget your birth control. You are totally bummed because the pill can already be so annoying to remember and that’s the last thing you want to worry about while relaxing on the beach with the girls. Not to worry! With these tips and tricks, we’ll make traveling with your pill a breeze while keeping you protected. Let’s ensure that the only souvenir you will be bringing back is that cheesy keychain and not a positive pregnancy test!

1. Make sure you stay on track

When traveling coast to coast or internationally you have the luxury of seeing incredible places, but then there are those annoying time zones. Ugh! How do you know when to take your pill? It’s important to take your pill at the same time every day, but unfortunately when you’re traveling your phone alarm doesn’t adjust. Newsflash! Taking your pill at 6 pm in Cali is not the same as taking your pill in Santorini at 6 pm… In order for the pill to be effective, you must adjust your pill taking time depending on where you are and the time zone you are in.

2. Make sure not to lose your pill pack

How many times have you had your luggage lost or stolen? While not being able to wear the new outfit you packed seems horrible, losing your birth control is even worse! To ensure that this doesn’t happen to you, pack it in your carry on so that you know you will have it with you on your flight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carrying copies of all prescriptions including the generic name is important when traveling to an unfamiliar destination. Packing extra medication is also essential so you don’t run out of your prescription if plans change or flights are delayed. While it may be a simple fix to pick up the pill in another country — BE CAREFUL…medications in other countries may not provide the specific brand or formula your body is used to taking.

3. Skip your period if you want to!

Imagine how excited you are to wear that white swimsuit you bought just for the upcoming beach trip until you realized that pesky period will also be paying you a visit. Luckily, with your birth control, you can essentially “skip” your period by not taking the placebo pills and starting a new pack instead. The most commonly reported side effect with continuous or extended regimen OCP dosing is breakthrough vaginal bleeding.[1] While you still may experience a varying amount of bleeding, it should be significantly less than your regular period. Woohoo!! Bon Voyage Aunt Flo!

4. Bring other types of contraception

Trying to fill your prescription for oral contraception can be a huge hassle if you are traveling to an unfamiliar destination and either lose your pack or have a shortage of birth control pills. Packing additional contraception such as condoms can be essential if you are abroad and aren’t taking your pill. Emergency contraception is also very important to pack because it might be hard to obtain at your destination.

5. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a pill

That “uh oh” moment when you realize you forgot to take your pill! Just breathe. It’s going to be okay! If you miss a pill, take it as soon as you remember (even if that means taking two in the same day), carry on taking the rest of the pack as normal and you won’t need to use extra contraception.[2] Refer to our post “Missed a pill? We’ve got you covered.” for a full guide on what to do if you miss a pill or two… or 3!

6. Travel bug… more like stomach bug!

Top 3 worst things while traveling: nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea! These symptoms decrease the absorption of the pill and while taking the pill at the right time is super important, it’s even more important for it to be absorbed efficiently. If vomiting occurs with 3 hours of taking a pill, you should take another. If a woman experiences nausea and vomiting or diarrhea and cannot keep a replacement down (equivalent to missing a pill) she should use a backup method for at least a week (depending on your pill type).[3]

Now go grab those cute new sunglasses and your trusty pill so you can have the most memorable vacation without the extra hassle.