(Closed) BC pill and time zone change – what to do?

posted 6 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
4062 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

i have always taken it at the same time – when I wake up. It’s never been a problem. It’s not like it stops working after 24 hours 🙂

On the way back, if you’re worried, bring them on the plane with you and take it at your “normal” wake up time for when you are back in your original time zone

Post # 4
396 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

i don’t foresee this being a problem as long as you take it. Since it’s an 8 hour difference i would take it at the time you would take it back home. As long as you don’t actually miss a day you should be fine.

Post # 5
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I just take it at same time regardless of time zone but to be most effective you should take a pill once every 24 hours, give or take 2 hours or so. do what’s most comfortable for you- I’m not strict about taking BC and am not concerned about getting pregnant. If you are trying to prevent then switch up your time while on vacation. 

Post # 6
307 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Of course it depends which pill you are on and whether they really push taking it at the same time every day. When I go across time zones I set an alarm on my phone and take it at the same equivalent time I usually take it (ie not when I wake up). If you are overseas for a while then you can slowly start to push the time back/forwards by a little bit each day.


If you feel safe to just change the time (keep on taking it when you wake up) then remember to be extra careful on the way back, because there will be maybe 30+ hours where you didn’t take it.

Post # 7
523 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013 - Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

I always adjust my pill to the time change or new time zone. My gynecologist recommended that I take my pill consistently within a one hour window for the best protection.

I know it is usually a pain to deal with, but I would rather be a little inconvienenced than deal with a little surprise.

Post # 8
1784 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’d try to take it within a couple hours of your normal time.  For me, not adjusting for the time zone difference (like taking it before bed, no matter what country I’m in), always ends in my period starting on the airplane, which is never fun.

Post # 9
2286 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Central Park

You really need to take it every 24 hours. I would do the math and figure out when you should take it, then take it at that time while you are in Europe. It DOES matter. If you take it too early for a week it can mess you up.

Post # 10
16191 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I would adjust to try to take it around your normal time. I had to adjust six hours backward when we went to Maui for our honeymoon. It’s a bit of an annoyance but worth it for the peace of mind (to me, at least!).

Post # 11
8041 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@mspanda13:  I go to Europe every year and I worry about this too. I think last time I just took it at the same time as I normally do. I was going to calculate the time difference and make sure that I space it out exactly, but that got really confusing and it’s more likely I’d forget to take it if I had to remember a new time (I usually take it at 9 pm since I wake up different times on the weekend and weekdays).  

I know they say that the pill is only 99% effective with perfect use, but it’s not like the pill just stops working if you’re off by a few hours. Get him to “pull out” for the duration of the trip if you’re worried.

Post # 12
1150 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I have an alarm set on my phone so I take it at the exact same time every day. When I travel to a time zone of more than an hour difference, I adjust the alarm to go off at what would be that time at home. It’s not hard to remember because there’s an alarm- no reason to chance it!

Post # 13
1729 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@mspanda13:  My doctor has always told me to take it at the same time I would have taken it. If you’re an am pill taker, than take it at night.

Post # 14
9691 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I always just try to take mine when I wake up.  I don’t really follow a strict 24 hour schedule, I just take it when I wake up (sometimes that is easily 3 hours later than normal).  Sometimes I forget and take it at night.  But if make you feel better/worry less I’ve never had a pregnancy scare with doing that (sometimes switching the times I take it within the day) and I’ve been on it 12 years.  8 hours would not be a big deal for me personally.  But that’s my body, not yours.

I would just adjust and set an alarm if you are concerned with taking it at that 24 hour time slot.  That would really be the best way to remember.  I really don’t think a 2 or 3 hour difference is a big deal but 8 is a little more than that.

Post # 15
818 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I have seriously always wondered this!! Thank you Bees :]

Post # 16
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

It depends on when in your cycle it is, too. If it’s early (like your first week of pills), paying attention to timing, from what I understand, is MORE important than later in the cycle. At any rate, the docs/instructions don’t really recommend using a backup method until you’ve missed at least a day (I think 2 in most cases). If you ever want to read more than you ever wanted to know, check out the little packet that comes with every new pack of pills. Somewhere in the mess of side effects and molecular structure there is some advice on what to do in different situations. I don’t think “time change for honeymoon” is specifically covered, but it might give you some general good advice. I agree with PP that if you want to be 100% compliant, the best thing to do would be to adjust your time based on the time change, but if it’s going to stress you out, one day of being a few hours off probably won’t be that big of a deal.

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