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Contraceptive Pill Time Zone Calculator

The contraceptive pill is best taken every 24 hours, so crossing time zones can pose a challenge. Spotting, irregular periods, or even pregnancy may occur if you delay or miss your contraceptive pill.

Using our time zone calculator will give you information about what time your ‘usual pill time’ will be in the destination country. If the time that it gives to you is VERY inconvenient e.g. 2am you may need to shift the time you take your pill a little each day. Shifting the time by 2-4 hours per day can bring the pill to a better time.

1. Select your home time zone:
2. Are you on daylight saving time at home?

(select for YES)

3. What time do you take the Pill at home? :
4. Select your destination time zone:
5. Are they on daylight saving time?

(select for YES)

You will need to take the Pill at: :

  • Speak to your doctor about whether YOUR pill needs to be taken exactly every 24 hours E.g. some types of pill e.g. the minipill must be taken every 24 hours exactly.
  • Some women find it useful to keep a watch on home timewhile overseas so they can can continue to take their pill at the usual home time. (A 24 hour clock is best – This also makes it easy to work out the right time to ring home).
  • If you are happy to change your regular time of pill taking, you can keep a watch or phone on home time, and continue to take the pill at 24- hour intervals. To enable you to take your pill at your preferred time ( morning or night), you should SHORTEN the interval between two pills but not lengthen it. This may mean adding an extra active pill. If you wish to keep the days in sync with what is written on the pill packet, this extra pill should be taken from a spare packet so that the Tuesday pill continues to be taken on the Tuesday etc.

Forgetting …. and the Pill

When travelling out of the usual routine, it is easy to miss a pill. A late pill is now defined as being less than 24 hours late. A missed pill is defined as being more than 24 hours late.

This means that if a pill is less than 24 hours late (less than 48 hours since the last pill taken ) then take the most recent missed pill as soon as you remember, and continue taking the remaining pills at the usual time. No additional contraceptive protection is required. If a pill is more than 24 hours late, take the pill when you remember, continue taking pills at the usual time, and use other means of contraception until you have taken 7 active pills in a row.

Please send comments to dmills@travellingwell.com.au if you found this information helpful.


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