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Dawn Stacey M.Ed, LMHC

If Traveling, When to Take Birth Control Pills?

By June 29, 2008

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Now that Summer is upon us, it is likely that many of you will be traveling and vacationing. Juliet, a subscriber to my Contraception Newsletter, had a concerned question about the time to take her birth control pill, so incase any of you have the same question, this is what Juliet was wondering:
    I try to take my birth control pill (Lybrel) at 8:30 AM every day. I will be traveling next week to a different time zone Ė I live in the Eastern time zone and will be vacationing in California (Pacific time zone). Given that the time difference is 3 hours in California, should I take my pill at 5:30 AM PST (the time that WOULD have been 8:30 AM EST) or can I still take it at my normal time?
Typically, most birth control pills have about a 1-2 hour window period where effectiveness is not compromised. That being said, if the time zone difference was 2 or less hours, you could probably take your pill at the same time that you normally would since an hour or two (in either direction) does not generally does not matter Ė especially if taking your pill earlier (as opposed to later).

For the above question, it is probably best to continue taking your pill at what WOULD have been your usual time (so, in Julietís case, she should continue to take her Lybrel at the adjusted time of 5:30 AM PST which equals her normal time of 8:30 AM EST). The most important point to remember here is that you will have maximum protection as long as you take the pill at about the same time everyday.

Are you interested in joining my large group of readers who receive my weekly Contraception Newsletter? Sign Up Now! (Its **FREE** and is conveniently sent to you via email each week).

Travel Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Office

July 1, 2008 at 11:17 am
(1) Norman Lepoff, M.D. says:

Very good articles. Very informative.

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