8:11 pm - 07/12/2007

Birth Control Pill + International Travel.

I'm traveling from California to Ireland tomorrow for one week [8 hour time difference] and am wondering what I need to change to take my pill on time... 

According to this

I'd have to wake up at 3 AM every night to take my pill.  I'd rather not have to keep waking myself up to take it.  I could however, take it at 11 PM every night or before I go to sleep while I'm there [no earlier than 9-10 PM].

I'm going to try calling my doctor in the morning again, after trying to reach the nursing office all evening since I got home from work.  I was unsuccessful in reaching them... 

Have any of you gals had any experience with this?

[I am taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen]
dayglow 13th-Jul-2007 03:27 am (UTC)
Hmm. If you had notified us earlier, I would've suggested that you move your dosage time accordingly by about an hour each night to get it 'close enough to count' so that you could meet somewhere in the middle between the time differences. But since that's not the case, it depends on why you're on the pill. If you're on it just for period control and all the other benefits of being on HBC, then I would say just start taking it at whatever time is convenient for you since you won't worry about compromising your BC protection. If it's not a problem otherwise, it'd probably just be easier to do that and either abstain for a week after you come back, or use a backup method like condoms.

If neither of those are an option, then I suppose you could back it up to 1 am the first night you're there and about 11 pm the next, but you'd still have to readjust it when you came back to the states so it might just be easier to wake up to take it at 3. For me, that's what I'd probably do since I'm usually up at 3 am anyway. :P
nephron 13th-Jul-2007 03:29 am (UTC)
The OP can safely switch the time she takes her pill back 4 or 8 hours in one jump without any risks to effectiveness, but she may want to consider staggering the switch to taking it later when she gets back, as an increased space between pills is what can cause a reduction in effectiveness.
seaglassheart 13th-Jul-2007 03:38 am (UTC)
And, when I get back the decrease in effectiveness won't be a problem because my only time sexually active will be while I am in Ireland. My main concern even though we will be using protection, is keeping the pill effective while I am there.

Thank you both for your help!
seaglassheart 13th-Jul-2007 03:31 am (UTC)
Haha, the 3 AM thing will really put a damper on my boyfriend and I trying to sleep....lol I think we'll go with the alternative method of condoms + me still taking the pill the best I can. That seems to be the only thing I can do.
nephron 13th-Jul-2007 03:27 am (UTC)
You can certainly take your pill at 11pm local time, or 4 hours earlier, for the week you're in Ireland, without sacrificing any effectiveness.

The only concern is switching back so you're taking your pills at your normal time (4 hours later than the time you've been taking them in Ireland). If you suddenly start taking your pill 4 hours later, the effectiveness will drop slightly for a week or so.

You may wish to consider slowly returning the time you take the pill back to your normal time, for example an hour later every day, or you may want to consider the use of condoms for a week as backup. Or, you may be happy with the slightly increased risk (it wouldn't count as a missed pill or anything, and would fall into the realm of "typical use").

The same goes for an 8 hour switch, only the risks when switching back to your original time are somewhat greater.
seaglassheart 13th-Jul-2007 03:35 am (UTC)
Best advice ever...thank you.

And, I guess I should have stated that my boyfriend LIVES in Ireland so the only time I'm having sex, is while I'm there seeing him... and when I'm back I'm not worried about whether or not it'll have effectiveness because I will not be sexually active until I return to Ireland again.

So what you suggest is that I just start taking it at 11 PM when I get there? I'd really think it'd put a damper on our sleep if I had to keep waking up at 3 AM for a week... Some people have said, "Well if its preventing pregnancy then you two shouldn't care". On the same token, he's wearing protection, so I am really on it just to keep my period regulated as best as possible [and I've already had that last week]...

I think it'll be okay with 11 PM Ireland time, would you affirm that? (Considering I just included these facts)
nephron 13th-Jul-2007 03:40 am (UTC)
It'll be fine with 11pm Ireland time, or 7pm Ireland time, or whatever- just so long as you don't take it *after* 3am, when it'll start to lose some effectiveness.

The thing to make sure is that you don't have gaps between pills much larger than 24 hours, taking pills 16 or 20 hours apart will, if anything, marginally *increase* effectiveness (but also increase side effects).
seaglassheart 13th-Jul-2007 03:47 am (UTC)
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

"just so long as you don't take it *after* 3am, when it'll start to lose some effectiveness."

That'll stick in my mind. ^ That made it very clear!

<3 I appreciate your help.
nephron 13th-Jul-2007 03:42 am (UTC)
Oh, and if you're using a condom + regular use of the pill, the chances of pregnancy are really very small.
seaglassheart 13th-Jul-2007 03:49 am (UTC)
We're definitely taking measures to prevent pregnancy. Someone advised me earlier [in RL] that I should just say "To hell with the pill" while I'm gone and count on him to use condoms. But, we all know - condoms can break, things can happen. I like having done something responsible for my own preventive measures. Too many times I've heard of fellas being blamed for something happening to their condom, and come to find out later the gal wasn't preventing it on her side either.
jennifer0246 13th-Jul-2007 11:35 am (UTC)
The subtle change in time while you're in Ireland shouldn't bother things much, if at all. Take your pills whenever you're comfortable taking them.
mizzpyx 13th-Jul-2007 02:21 pm (UTC)
Shouldn't be a problem. Pills aren't considered 'missed' until they're more than 12 hours late. 'Late' is more like over 4 hours late- so just take your pill a few hours "early" when you're in Ireland, and then go back to your regular time when you get home in installments. Piece of cake!

p.s. Hope you have a good time 'round this side of the world! I was in a relationship of about the same distance once- my ex lives in WA, I live in Ireland. I've a lot of respect for people who can keep that going.
seaglassheart 13th-Jul-2007 02:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks darlin'! <3
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