If you're on birth control, you know how important consistency is to its effectiveness. Unfortunately, traveling doesn't always provide for the most consistent schedules, especially if you're going to be taking an extended vacation, or traveling across time zones. If you're going to be traveling during the holidays, you need to make sure that your birth control is up to the task, which means you need to take care of some last minute, and much-needed, planning. Here are four steps you can take to make sure your birth control doesn't fail while you're traveling.
Get Your Shot a Little Earlier
If your birth control option consists of shots every 12 weeks or so, you need to account for the next dose. The last thing you want is to have your 12 weeks expire while you're in the middle of your vacation. One way to accommodate a schedule that's going to overlap is to get your next shot about a week early – if that fits into your vacation plans. Another option is to do some research about your vacation destination. You may be able to take your medical records with you, and head to a local birth control clinic for your next dose.
Take Some Extras Along Just In Case
If you use birth control pills, you need to make sure that you bring some extras just in case. Asking your doctor for an early refill will help you take care of any unforeseen problems, such as your luggage getting lost enroute. Just be sure to pack the extras in your carry-on bag. That way, you have at least a month supply of pills on you at all times.
Adjust Your Time Schedule
If you're going to be traveling across time zones, perhaps your vacation plans include Europe or Asia, you'll need to account for the time change. This is particularly important if your destination will have you taking your pill in the middle of the night. To adjust your schedule, simply take your pill one or two hours early each day until you're taking your pill at a reasonable hour. Once you get back home, you can adjust your schedule back the other way.
Bring a Back-Up Plan
If you're worried about unwanted pregnancies while you're traveling, be sure to bring a back-up plan, such as condoms. Using a back-up plan while you're traveling will ensure that your birth control is working properly throughout your vacation.