Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
One of my chief concerns when I moved to Korea was my feminine health: Will I be able to get birth control? See a gyno? Buy condoms? Use tampons? I had heard that tampons were hard to find and very expensive. I had also heard that birth control was over the counter, but had absolutely no idea what brands Korea offers or how to ask for them. I entertained a horrific image of me carrying a suitcase filled with a year’s supply of tampons, birth control pills, and condoms through baggage check. In this nightmare, the airport attendants scanned the contents of my bag with judgement in their eyes and wondered what must be wrong with this obviously promiscuous girl. Luckily, I have gleaned from my time in Korea some tips and tricks for taking care of yourself during “lady time”, how to acquire the pill, and the scoop on Korean condoms. Read on for all the juicy details.
Korea is an advanced country when it comes to medicine, and there are plenty of 병원 (byeong-won, or hospital) and 약국 (yak-guk, or pharmacy) around. Find your way to a pharmacy for a wide selection of over-the-counter fixes, and be prepared to explain what ails you. A lot of things will be available for you to grab and pay, but the medicine is kept – literally – behind the counter. In most cases, the cure is a small box and a few thousand won. The pharmacist may understand you between your English and pantomiming, but here's the Korean just in case. See if you notice a pattern.