I'm wondering about getting birth control pills in Korea. I was just getting them sent from back home, but I just lost my insurance. So now I'm looking to getting some here.
I hear there is cheap and effective birth control here, and it can be found at the pharmacy. Does this mean it's just on the shelf, or do you have to ask for it? Also, how does one ask for it--like what is it called?
In the Korean pharmacy, very few items are on the shelves. You'll find energy drinks, band-aids and other simple herbal tablets within reach, but the birth control pills -along with the rest of the medicine- are all found behind the counter.
Birth control pills are cheap in Korea. Depending on where you are, you'll be paying between ten to twenty bucks for a box. You don't need your insurance information or anything else. All you need to do is ask for the pills (피임약) and they will give you a 1-month supply. Judging by the pharmacists I have dealt with in my time here, I'm sure you could get away with simply saying "birth control pills" and they'll know what you're talking about.
I have heard a few female expats say that they felt embarrassed buying them or thought that the pharmacist was looking down on them for being "sexually active". They might have felt that way and it might be true, but from the two pharmacists I've talked to about this subject, they didn't seem to have any qualms about providing contraception to an adult who is protecting herself from unwanted pregnancy. After all, abortion is essentially illegal in Korea. They went to school so they could dish out medicine to people in need and I'm sure most pharmacists have handed out much nastier medication than birth control pills. Don't let that get in your way.
It's here and it's cheap. So save yourself the money, time and headache of having it mailed to you and drop by your friendly pharmacy and pick some up.
Curious: Has anyone felt that they were being judged when buying birth control pills?