The pill, like most prescription medications, needs to be stored safely to stay effective. You may think that throwing your pill pack in the bathroom cabinet or your purse is the ideal solution, but those two places could be the worst choices. The most common threat to birth control pill integrity is temperature, but humidity also plays an important role. Most birth control pills suggest storing it somewhere that is between 68 and 77 degrees.
The bathroom cabinet is a safe place to store the pill, right? Actually, the bathroom cabinet is one of the worst places to store the pill. Bathrooms regularly increase in temperature and humidity. Humidity is nothing more than water in the air and water can affect how your birth control pill works. Constantly fluctuating temperatures can also cause a problem.
Solution: Store your pills in a hall or kitchen cabinet. Choose a cabinet that is both dry and within safe temperatures – so no kitchen cabinet directly above the stove.
Road trips in summer or winter
Packing for a road trip involves throwing all of your important medications in your purse or in an overnight bag. The bag, with other luggage, ends up in the trunk, or worse, on the top or hitch rack, of the vehicle. Even if the trip takes only a few hours, the heat or cold can alter how hormones are delivered to the body or render the birth control ineffective.
Solution: Store prescription medications in the passenger portion of your vehicle. If you leave the vehicle for extended periods, take the medications with you.
Baggage areas are not temperature controlled. If you are flying, checked baggage can be stored at temperatures above 77 degrees from the time your bag is checked until the time you pick the bag up from the carousel at your final destination.
Solution: Keep your birth control pills in your purse, backpack, or carry-on luggage.
You have every intention of traveling straight home from the pharmacy, but you remember you have a few things to do before heading home. Without thinking, you stop off several times leaving your birth control in the car. High heat or extreme cold can reduce the effectiveness of your birth control pill.
Solution: Take your birth control pills with you in your purse or stop off at home and drop off your pills before running errands.
On long outdoor trips
If you will be taking a long hiking and camping trip, you need to speak with your prescribing physician about changing your birth control. Pills will not remain effective if left out in extreme temperatures and there is no protection out in nature. Alternative birth control methods like the birth control shot may be a better bet.