Birth control has been a controversial topic in Italy for many years. Despite the fact that the country is predominantly Catholic, there are a number of options available for those who wish to prevent pregnancy. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most popular forms of birth control in Italy, as well as some of the challenges that Italian women face when accessing birth control. If you’d like to know more about women’s health in Italy visit this blog, we also have resources about abortion in Italy, and pregnancy.
Update April 2023:
The pill will be made free for all women, of any age, by providing their tessera sanitaria. Official details are still waiting to be presented.
One of the most popular forms of birth control in Italy is the intrauterine device (IUD). This small, T-shaped device is inserted into the uterus by a healthcare professional and can provide protection against pregnancy for up to 10 years. The IUD is made of either copper or plastic and works by preventing fertilization or implantation of a fertilized egg. The cost of an IUD in Italy varies depending on the type and can range from €50 to €300.
However, despite the popularity of the IUD, many Italian women face significant barriers when trying to access this form of birth control. For example, some healthcare providers may refuse to insert an IUD if the woman has not yet had children, due to the perception that the device may cause infertility. Due to Italian laws, doctors can in fact refuse to do the process if they object to it, the same as they can refuse to provide the morning-after pill, and abortion. Additionally, the cost of an IUD can be a significant barrier for women who are not able to afford it.
Another popular form of birth control in Italy is the NuvaRing. This small, flexible ring is inserted into the vagina and releases hormones that prevent ovulation. The ring is left in place for three weeks and then removed for one week to allow for menstruation. The NuvaRing is approximately 91% effective when used correctly, and costs around €30 per month.
However, despite its effectiveness and ease of use, the NuvaRing is not widely available in Italy. In some regions, it may only be available at specialized clinics or hospitals, making it difficult for women to access it. Additionally, some Italian women may be hesitant to use the NuvaRing due to a lack of information or awareness about the device.
The birth control pill is also widely used in Italy. This oral contraceptive contains hormones that prevent ovulation and must be taken every day at the same time. The pill is approximately 99% effective when used correctly, but can be less effective if not taken consistently. The cost of the pill in Italy varies depending on the brand and can range from €10 to €30 per month.
Many different versions of the birth control pill exist in Italy, you should talk to your doctor about which one would best for you.
Like the IUD and the NuvaRing, the birth control pill is not without its challenges in Italy. For example, some women may experience side effects such as headaches or mood changes when taking the pill, which can be a significant deterrent. Additionally, there may be cultural or social pressures that make it difficult for women to access or use birth control, even if they want to.
Getting your Birth Control in Italy
To get birth control in Italy, you will need a prescription from a doctor. However, to get the morning-after pill you do not need one. If you do not yet have your medico di base, you can set up an appointment with a private doctor. You’ll be able to find a clinic in most major cities. But if you are nervous about the language, I suggest using the service Doctors in Italy to find an English speaking doctor near you. You can also set up a video call and get the prescription sent to you online through this service.
Remember that if you were on one brand of birth control in your home country, it may not be available in Italy. However, your doctor will be able to recommend a pill available with a similar structure.
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