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Gal Travel -- Her Extra Special Health Needs
check-ups, cautions, products and insurance...


Evelyn Hannon

Not all travel books deal specifically with women's unique health needs. That's why it's so important for us to network and to augment what we read with the experienced advice of other female travellers. The more we know about our bodies' particular needs, the easier it will be to stay healthy as we travel the world.

Here's some of Journeywoman's top "gal-travel" health considerations. If other readers would like to add their advice, simply click here to record your thoughts. We'll happily add your tips to future articles. That's what Journeywoman networking is all about!

Number 1

If you are travelling for an extended period of time, see your family physician for a full medical check-up. Ditto for your dental check. Leaving home with a clean bill of health is both smart and reassuring.

Number 2

Travel clinics...
Seek out a local travel health specialist -- preferably a female doctor -- who has travelled extensively herself. Her first-hand women-centered travel advice will be invaluable especially for pregnant women, the older adventuress or those with underlying medical conditions. Remember that international travel might require immunization against such diseases as malaria and yellow fever. It's a good idea to book your initial appointment well in advance. This way, if you require a series of follow-up shots at weekly intervals, you won't be pressed for time.

Number 3

Important numbers...
Each traveller (especially those with other special medical needs) should carry her doctor's phone and fax numbers as well as copies of prescriptions for medications she might need along the way. An e-mail address, if available, is a very helpful idea. One never knows when these contact numbers might prove invaluable to you or your attending physician in some little corner of the world.

Number 4

Contraceptive pill...
Your regular brand of contraceptive pill may not always be available at your destination. Take enough with you to last for the time you'll be travelling. You might also want to pack a supply of condoms to protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases.

Number 5

Avoid pregnancy...
Understand that major stomach upsets (diarrhea or vomiting) will cause your body to lose its ability to absorb the contraceptive pill. For these times it is very important to use condoms to guard against unwanted pregnancy.

Number 6

Tampons, sanitary napkins and condoms...
When travelling to developing countries, carry your own supply of tampons and sanitary napkins. Many women report that these often tend to be hard to find, they can often be of inferior quality and, they can be very pricey.

Always pack condoms






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