Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
  • donate

Contraceptive pills and travel

16 July, 2013


I'm on a birth control pill and preparing to leave on an overseas trip. My current pill time is 10 PM, which is in the middle of the night at my destination. Can you advise whether I should transition my time earlier, or simply take it at 10 PM there?

I've asked this question of pharmacists in the past, and they always focused on the actual birth control protection issue and ignored my concerns about breakthrough bleeding. I figured you might be more understanding of that aspect, and give me a more thoughtful answer.

And whatever I do going there – what about the way back, too?

Thanks so much.


If you are only going for a short period of time, it makes sense to try to stick to your usual time if it is not too inconvenient. If your trip will last longer than a couple of days, or if your usual time will come out at a very inconvenient hour, you can gradually transition to a more convenient time. Take your pill an hour or two earlier (or later) each day until you reach a time that suits you, and the reverse on your return.

Please note that it is still possible to experience some spotting, even with a gradual transition. You should review the laws of staining to try to prevent any staining you may experience from rendering you niddah.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.


This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

For further questions or comments: 

The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.

Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under

Accessibility Toolbar