Going for a trip soon? When you’re putting together your travel medication kit, don’t forget your birth control options as well.
Contraceptives and birth control pills may not be top of mind when you’re preparing for a trip, but planning ahead and having them ready can provide you with peace of mind during your trip if you realise you do require them after all.
Here are four travel health tips on how to take your birth control while on holiday.
Plan your pills in advance.
For those on the monthly pill, you may be used to only getting a refill for your pills when it’s close to the end of the month. However, depending on your travel destination, it may be harder for you to get the brand of monthly pills you’re used to. Make sure you have enough pills to last your entire trip, so you can avoid any stressful scrambles to the doctor or pharmacist.
Bring along an emergency backup.
You may want to consider having the emergency contraceptive pill with you as a backup, whether you’re on the monthly pill or not. The emergency contraceptive pill can be up to 98% effective at preventing an unwanted pregnancy, especially if taken right after unprotected sex.
In addition to using the monthly pill or emergency pill, you should also use a condom during intercourse — especially if you’re not with a committed partner — to ensure you’re protected from any STDs.
Use a timer to keep track of your routine.
If you are taking the monthly pill, it’s important that you continue to take your pill at the same time every day. This may get a little tricky if you’re moving across time zones. You can use a time-zone converter and set an alarm at the adjusted hour or use a timer with a 24-hour setting to remind yourself when you should be taking your next pill.
Should you skip a dose by accident, try to take your missed pill as soon as possible; and continue taking your other pills at the same time you’re used to. However, if you’ve missed multiple pills, you may want to consider using other means of contraception when engaging in sexual activity, until you have taken your monthly pill for seven consecutive days again.
Check with your doctor on other medication you may be taking.
Some types of medications, such as antibacterial or anti-fungal medication, could have an impact on the effectiveness of your contraceptive pills. Check in with your doctor on possible drug interactions for assurance on the types of medication you can take together.
There’s no need to step out of your to get your birth control or medical advice. Save time by consulting a doctor over the DA app, so that you can focus on packing for your trip instead. See a women’s health GP within minutes over video-call and receive your birth control delivered to your door in hours.