The contraceptive pill arrived in the UK in 1957. It was initially introduced to ease ‘female disorders’, and was made accessible to all women in 1960. The pill has so far done wonders for women; allowing them choice, liberation, and control. Today, 55.5% of women use the contraceptive pill, not only to prevent pregnancy, but also to regulate periods, ease menstrual disorders, improve acne, among other things.
Living in Wales provides you with access to free prescriptions – this includes the contraceptive pill. I have been lucky enough to live in Wales for over 20 years. Even when I left my family home at 18 and headed out to university, I moved to Cardiff and so was able to enjoy the continued luxury of free prescriptions and free contraceptive pills. However, when I finished university about six months ago, and relocated to England, I left this free prescription bubble.
Living in Wales provides you access to free prescriptions – this includes free access to the contraceptive pill.
So, it wasn’t until recently that I have had to think at all about financing the contraceptive pill and, having moved house and started a new job, I’ve had little time to think about my health, period (no pun intended). Working eight until five each day, with an hour commute either side, and with the local GP not opening outside of my office working hours, I haven’t yet found time to go and register. This was not really an issue until recently, when I found myself running low on the pill.
What was I supposed to do? Put my life on hold? Suffer the side effects of not taking it? Neither was an option for me, so I had to look elsewhere for a solution. Having been abroad a couple of years ago, when I required malaria tablets I was directed to Superdrug’s online doctor where their pharmacy section enables you to have an online consultation. Following a successful consultation, said medication can then be issued to you. In fact, it can be delivered to your door! What more could you ask for?
Why do women continually have to fork out just because we are women?
The only downside to this convenient option, is its hefty price tag. At the doctors, a prescription generally costs £8. However, if you do not have time to go down this avenue (as I didn’t), Superdrug is a good alternative – if you can stomach the tummy churning £35 price tag for a six month pill prescription! So, it brings us back to the time old debate (also discussed by Rosie and Maddy) – although there are solutions to aid us in our ever-busy, ever-hectic lives, why do women continually have to fork out just because we are women? Be it £8 or £35, should we still be paying for the contraceptive pill?