What if I travel to a different time zone? Do I have to adjust when I take my pill?
There are different options :
Option 1: Keeping the time of your home country
You need to figure out what time it is in your home time zone and take it at that time. For example, if you live in Mexico City and you travel to Morocco, which is 6 hours ahead, you should take your pill 6 hours later in the day than you normally would. So if you take your pill at 9 am in Mexico, you should take it at 3 pm in Morocco.
If you remember your pill by setting the alarm on your phone, make sure to adjust it as needed when you are on the road.
Option 2: Adjusting to the new time zone
If it is easier, or if you are moving to a new place for a long period, you can change your schedule, as long as you do not go more than 24 hours without a pill. So if you live in Mexico City and you go to Morocco and want to stay on a 9 am schedule, it is totally fine to take your next pill at 9 am Moroccan time (18 hours after your last Mexico pill).
If you are traveling long enough that you will be starting a new pack of pills while you are gone, do not forget to pack them in your bag. If you are forced to suddenly travel, and you didn’t have the opportunity to pack your pills (e.g. you are in a disaster area), then try to find a local health provider or community health provider as soon as possible in your new location. Use natural methods in the meantime if you can’t access other options, like condoms.
Still not working? If you travel a lot and like using a hormonal method, you may want to consider switching to ring or even patch so you will not have to worry so much about keeping track of time zones. If you want to completely forget about time zone calculations, check out the implant or an IUD.
- World Health Organization Department of Reproductive Health and Research and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (2018) Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers. Baltimore and Geneva. Retrieved from https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/260156/9780999203705-eng.pdf?sequence=1