Traveling abroad can push visitors outside of their comfort zone and allow for new experiences, but one challenge many tourists wish could be made easier is that of finding health services while abroad.
Securing safe gynecological care in particular can pose a challenge to female travelers, as the laws, stigmas, and access to it vary greatly country to country.
That inspired one female traveler to make headway on this issue while getting ready for a recent trip.
“When I began preparing for my travels, I realized that I had no idea how I would get birth control in the twelve or so Asian countries that I planned to visit,” Lani Fried, founder of Gynopedia, told Travel+ Leisure. “And that was just the tip of the iceberg.”
Gynopedia is an open wiki that crowd sources information about women’s reproductive care and makes it publicly available for travelers, Broadly reported. It contains information on healthcare access for 77 cities in 48 countries in Africa, Asia, and North and South America.
As the site is a wiki, anyone can add entries and Fried hopes the site will expand to cover as many places as possible.
“Whether someone lives in a town of five hundred or a city of fifteen million people, we urge anyone who has even a little bit of useful information to create a page and share their knowledge,” she said.
The website is divided into sections on everything from where to find a Title X office to how to locate STI testing facilities.
Many doctors warn pregnant woman against traveling during the third trimester, but accidents and potential emergencies can happen at any time during a pregnancy.
It’s also important for travelers to make sure that their healthcare insurance works abroad or that they purchase traveler’s insurance, as a way to circumvent any possible obstacles abroad.
Each entry on Gynopedia goes into nuts and bolts details such as how and where to find contraception, as well as information on the laws and stigmas of that nation. An entry on Bangkok, for example, notes the city’s thriving and accepting LGBT nightlife scene while also going into detail about the restrictive laws concerning abortions.
As with other wikis, users are encouraged to insert references in order to verify the information, and Fried can alter information that is incorrect or misleading.
“There is always more information to add, and the beauty of wikis is that it allows for constant, immediate updates,” she said.