JimenaPulse

About Jimena de la Frontera, the province of Cadiz and Spain as a whole, focused on this small village in the mountains

‘Day after’ pill available in Spain as from today

PíldoraDíaDespuésThe ‘day after’, or post-coital, pill is available at chemists in Spain without prescription as from today. The brand name under which it is sold is NorLevo, which costs @18.75 a box. (See below for translation of instructions).>

Copy (2) of PíldoraDíaDespuésINSTRUCTIONS:

Pill 1: as soon as possible after unprotected sex, always within 72 hours of same.

Pill 2: 12 hours after Pill 1.

The Government is aiming at facilitating access to this pill to all women of fertile age who may need it, with a reminder that it is to be used only in cases of emergency when other contraceptive measures have failed. The pill “should not be used as a regular contraceptive method,” says the press release, “as there other measures that also offer protection against sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV-Aids,” which this does not.

Chemists will be handing out informative pamphlets to “advise on the correct use”, together with a condom and further information on other methods, with each box of NorLevo.

As the status of the Day After pill has changed, some packets will still have a ‘Only with Prescription’ (Solo con Receta) label, whereas newer ones will read No sujeto a prescripción.

Unwanted pregnancies

The national health authorities hope the pill’s new status will help reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies as well as voluntary abortions.

According to statistics for Spain, there were 10,600 pregnancies among women under the age of 18; of 112,138 voluntary abortions, 6,273 were performed on under-18s (500 on under-15s). This measure will put Spain on a level with France, UK, Holland, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland, among others. Emergency hormonal contraception is available without prescription in 15 European countries.

However, the measure is not without controversy. When we consulted our local pharmacy for this article, we were told that The Pill (to use an old-fashioned name for the usual contraceptive method) still needs a doctor’s prescription, which “doesn’t make sense.” Nevertheless, it was pointed out that different women need different treatment regarding The Pill, which “might account for it.” Given that this new method is also hormonal, however, we fail to see the difference, but who are we to say.

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