Girls, it’s no secret there’s a lot of loving taking place on the road. I’m not saying you do, I’m not saying you don’t… But since we both know you do, read this page for a host of practical tips on how to keep your womb empty and your lady business in tip top shape.
Testing, Testing, 1..2..3
Get tested. This comes as common sense and likely something that was drilled into you during health education in grammar school. Having said that, many still ignore this advice. Having a clean bill of sexual health before you hit the road is necessary for a host of reasons: 333 million to be exact.
World Health Organization reports over 333 million episodes of STI’s each year. I know you’ve always wanted to be one in a million, but save the ambitions for another cause. Get yourself tested before and after your travels.
Playing it Safe: Condoms.
Condoms, ladies, condoms. Bring them! Don’t rely on the man folk to produce condoms; we know what happens when we leave things up to the men.
Imagine this: you’re getting hot and heavy with the most gorgeous Italian guy since the last martini. He’s got the right moves, and all systems point to go.
Then comes the question “avete un preservativo?”. “No, do you?” “no…”
Now what? You’re two seconds away from loving on your own piece of Italy, if only you had a condom.
You have two choices, walk away with a mountain of sexual frustration or risk becoming one in 333 million people with something wrong with their genitals. Yikes.
Obviously the better choice is to keep a stash of condoms in your bag and wait for the right time to use them. Hiding places for condoms include: Altoid tins, eyeglass cases, and any zippered part of your purse. No purse? Good for you- stick a condom in your bra and when you take off your top, voila!
Are we all clear on how and why to keep our girly parts clean? Good, now let’s move on to the surefire way to end any vacation- getting knocked up.
Baby on Board
I know many of you have little ones whom you love and cherish to the farflunged corners of the world. I am eternally happy for you and the journey that you are taking with these tiny human beings. Having said that, getting pregnant is the very last thing most sane women want to take away from their travels. Be a girl scout- always come prepared.
Birth Control Pills
If you are coming from the USA to anywhere but Africa and the Middle East, your birth control prescription will be a fraction of what it is stateside. One month of Yasmin or similar name brand will cost under 3 euro. Bring your prescription with you just in case they ask for it at the pharmacy, but odds are that they won’t. Always make sure to bring an extra wheel of pills just in case!
Remember: Antibiotics make birth control pills ineffective. Good thing you’ve got condoms stashed everywhere in your luggage.
If you’re on the shot try to get it as close to your travel date as possible- it’s not always going to be easy to track down where to get another. If you have a good / long standing relationship with your gynecologist, you should be able to talk them into giving you one or two extra shots to travel with. Make sure to tuck a signed note in with the needles, in case anyone has questions.
Remember that horror film called The Ring? It was likely based off a backpackers experience using the Nuva Ring. While the convenience of the ring is that you don’t have to worry about birth control for 3 weeks at a stretch, the downside is that they are also quite sensitive. Most doctors urge you to keep the ring in the fridge to preserve the hormones that prevent you from conceiving. Unless you’re planning to backpack with a tiny refrigerator, it might be good to look into another option.
The Glorious IUD
What if I told you that for 30 minutes of your time you wouldn’t have to worry about having an unplanned pregnancy for the next 5 years? The Intrauterine Device (IUD) is here to save you! The IUD is available in a plastic format that gives you little doses of hormones for up to ten years, or a copper option which has no hormones.
All the comforts of an empty womb on a 2inch square that can be stuck anywhere on your body? Sounds great, and it just might be. Much like “the ring”, the patch must be kept room temperature. A difficult feat if your bag is carried in the luggage hold of a bus, you’re traveling anywhere in Asia or Africa, or the great outdoors aren’t air conditioned. Weigh your options, but remember, I warned you.