I will be traveling to the Ivory Coast for two weeks. I will be staying with my in-laws in the city in very clean conditions with a/c etc. I am a strict vegetarian so I will be bringing most of my food and will have access to clean water. I myself grew up in an undeveloped nation so I am used to precautions needed to prevent illness. However, mosquitoes do seem to love to bite me.
I sadly just had a miscarriage and want to try to conceive again within the next month. My doctor has prescribed Atovaquone-Proguanil for me. I am concerned about taking the drug since my body is recovering and as I said I want to try to conceive upon returning. How long will this drug stay in my system? Does it effect fertility or a fetus? Do the benefits outweigh the risks? How likely it is that I wouldn’t show signs of malaria until much later after potentially conceiving? I am also concerned of the emotional side effects of the medicine coupled with my recent loss.
Thank you for any information.
Firstly I am very sorry for your loss. Your doctor prescribed Atovaquone-Proguanil which is a first class drug to prevent malaria. Some people do experience side effects but many do not. It is recommended to take the pill at the same time each day and with food or a milky drink. Start taking the drug 1-2 days before you arrive and continue for a week afterwards. The drug should be out of your system within a few days after stopping it. Don’t try to conceive until after that. While I do not know how long ago you had the miscarriage, WHO and UNICEF recommend waiting around 6 months before trying again, so that your body (and emotions) can recover fully.
Besides taking Atovaquone-Proguanil, be sure to protect yourself from mosquito bites; protect you legs and arms by wearing long sleeves and trousers/long skirt, avoid being out during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes like to feed, use an insect repellent (you can try citronella if you are worried about chemicals), and if the house isn’t screened (or even if it is), sleep under a long acting insecticide treated bed net. Enjoy your trip and take care.