I thought I was in the minority when it came to seeking out birth control in Spain, until I arrived and realized it was the unspoken question on everyone’s mind.
Back home, I exhausted every possibility. Multiple gynecologist visits, lots of trips to the local pharmacy, angered calls to the insurance company, and even a desperate attempt at the post office to see how sending my packet of pills across the Atlantic would fair. All dead ends.
Luckily, a friend I had discussed my frustrations with saved the day. They sent me a blog post from a few years back that a woman in the same situation had written during her time working at a daycare in Barcelona. Alas, as I sat in JFK ready to board my flight to Spain with no real solution to my contraception complications, my problem was solved.
Once in Spain, with one pack of pills in my bag and a three-week deadline to find a solution before they ran out, a simple walk to the pharmacy and a call back home was all it took to put my mind at ease. Birth control mission accomplished in less than 24 hours.
So, here’s the gist:
Spain is lousy with two things: bars and pharmacies, which I suppose is convenient if your night out turns into a Plan B situation the morning after.
Pharmacies are marked with big green crosses (no, these are not weed dispensaries) and there’s one every couple of steps you take. The pharmacists are much more qualified than in the United States and, as Spaniards, are very helpful and accommodating. I took in my packet, simply explained my situation and asked if they had an equivalent. The pharmacist took a look and returned with a box that I paid for 5 minutes later and was on my way.
While other people may prefer to visit a doctor or gynecologist once in Spain for comfort or insurance reasons, or to seek alternative birth control methods, I found this one to be quick, easy, and cheap. A box of a three month’s supply was less than €20, a steal compared to the prices back home. A Catholic country with very good contraceptive support, birth control in Spain is not as hard as it seems to be from the other side of the ocean.
It’s as easy as taking candy from a baby, or rather, taking candy to avoid babies.