Medicine spilling out of container
Be Careful When Taking This Medication Before Your Flight
Birth control pills carry a risk factor that becomes particularly pronounced on flights: an increased likelihood of developing blood clots or venous thromboembolism (VTE).
Birth control pills can elevate clotting factors in the blood. When you add prolonged periods of immobility during flight, the risk escalates, which could be life-threatening.
This risk is magnified for flights longer than four hours, making it a problem for international travelers. Symptoms include swelling, pain, cramping, redness, and leg discomfort.
Women over the age of 35, smokers, those with a family history of blood clots, and people with underlying health conditions or obesity are at a higher risk of clotting.
For those taking birth control and planning to fly, drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and caffeine, engage in gentle stretching, and walk around the cabin every hour or so.
It's also wise to book an aisle seat and wear compression stockings. Discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider if you have multiple risk factors for VTE.