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I'm traveling to a different time zone. How can I figure out when to take my pill?
updated 3 months ago

Basically 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 Washington, DC, and you travel to Spain, 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 9AM in DC, you should take it at 3PM in Spain.

If you use our pill reminder system, you’re good to go while traveling; we’ll always send the reminder based on your home time zone. If you remember your pill by setting an alarm on your phone, however, make sure to adjust it as needed when you’re on the road.

If it’s easier (for example, if your usual pill time falls in the middle of the night wherever you’re visiting), you can change your schedule, as long as you don’t go more than 24 hours without a pill. So, if you live in DC and you go to Spain and want to stay on a 9AM schedule, it’s totally fine to take your next pill at 9AM Spanish time (18 hours after your last East Coast pill). But if you’re taking a progestin-only pill (also called the mini pill), the rules are different. You need to take it within 3 hours of your normal time or you’ve missed that dose. So even if that means taking it late at night, you have to stick to your regular schedule.

Also, if you’re traveling long enough that you’ll be starting a new pack of pills while you’re gone, don’t forget to stick them in your suitcase!

Still not working?

If you travel a lot and like using a hormonal method, you may want to consider switching to the ring or even the patch so you won’t 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] (/methods/implant) or an IUD.

Try a different method

tags: the pill
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