My Birth Control in Abu Dhabi


I had been confined in my house for one whole week.

This is because of reasons so embarrassing that a newbie bride is left to suffer and experiment alone. People from the medical world might laugh at me, but this layman is brave enough to admit ignorance.

Only after I got married did I realize that I made a huge mistake of NOT taking this class seriously:

When I was in high school, we had lots of Reproductive Health seminars. I do not remember anything because my brain was busy playing smart.

Topic: Family planning.

I’ll just plan when I get a family.

I doodled and drew the speaker’s face instead.

Topic: Contraceptives.

I’m abstinent.

I drew clothes on the naked bodies that my seatmates sketched.

The term ”family planning” gave me a this mental picture: mom, dad and WALKING kids. It felt like a faraway goal for a newlywed like me. After the scare this week, I think ”family planning” should be changed to ”baby planning”. This makes it sound more urgent.

I recently did a self-imposed crash course on Reproductive Health. If I was a teacher, I would fail myself. Up until now, I was clueless on how to calculate my menstrual cycle. For 25 years, silly me thought it comes the same day of every month. Disturbingly, I didn’t even notice that it doesn’t.

Here in Abu Dhabi, I learned that anything that has to do with coitus and birth control is hush-hush. Pharmacists will give you judgmental glances. Oral contraceptives available over-the-counter is very limited. Most of the time, prescription is strictly required.

I didn’t like being restricted, especially that I am legally married. Also I wanted to expand my choices. My husband and I, being a very law-abiding couple, consulted a gynecologist for a prescription. The hospital receptionist smugly warned us that we have to present a marriage certificate. I was tempted to proudly wave it in her face.

The doctor was very disappointing. I felt I was more informed than her. She would say one thing, which I would question, then she would change her mind and say another. One minute in the conversation and I knew I should have stuck with Google.

In the end, she prescribed us a pill that was banned in the UAE. This we discovered after scouring almost all the pharmacies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The sadder part is we paid for the consultation (which is normally waived) because I didn’t have health insurance yet. The prescription being useless, I settled with over-the-counters.

I suffered dreadful side effects that chained me to my bed. I felt like everything around me was spinning. I was alarmingly sleeping 24 or 12 hours straight because of dizziness. I even came to the point of suspecting I was pregnant. I tried tolerating the effects thinking they would soon go away.

One week was enough for me. Last night, I decided to stop the intake. Today I felt like a normal human being. It was exciting to stand up without feeling fuzzy. I even went out for a jog. I came back with a throbbing headache but that’s tolerable.

Now it’s back to square one. This neophyte wife hopes the learned and the experienced would share their wisdom (UAE-based counsellors are a plus). She has repented of her old ways, accept her restitution.

By the way, she is not pregnant.


6 thoughts on “My Birth Control in Abu Dhabi

  1. insan life as an “open book” to the next level! 😀 well, life is an adventure kahit ako na exposed sa medical world eh napa isip oo nga pala di rin pala ako well versed sa fam planning haha! well nothing to advice dr google has a lot of info regarding those, the only problem i think is the availability of the drugs (if u prefer drugs) well i my sister (hope she doesnt read this), lets my mom send pills from here. i dont knw the pros and cons, just sharing :D.


    1. Insan, maraming salamat for taking time to comment. haha 🙂 this is very helpful. Lagot ka kay sister 🙂 but i guess i could learn from her. Now I hope my mom gets to read this so she can share in the responsibility 🙂 kelan ka narin mag nenext level? 🙂


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