How can I protect myself from a potential pregnancy?
In Romania, you can buy contraceptive pills, condoms, contraceptive rings and emergency contraceptives without a prescription from the pharmacy. If you've used a product before, there's a high chance you will find it in Romania for purchase. Some contraceptive solutions are covered through the Support for refugee women program.
If you haven't used a contraceptive method before or you want to try another one, it is best to talk to a family planning doctor, an ob-gyn or a general practitioner, if you are already signed up to one. They will help you choose a contraceptive method depending on your answers to a number of questions:
How much do I want to think about contraception: every time I have sex (condoms, spermicide, diaphragm), independent of sex for the short term (contraceptive pills, nuvaring, contraceptive shots), for the long term (intrauterine device with or without the hormonal component - IUD); never: tubal litigation.
How long do I want to be protected from a pregnancy for? For every sexual contact (condom, diaphragm), for the short term (contraceptive pills, nuvaring, contraceptive shots), for the long term (IUD), permanently (tubal litigation).
How fast do I want to be able to have children after interrupting the contraceptive method? After a couple of days/weeks (condom, diaphragm), after a few months (contraceptive pills, nuvaring), after 9-12 months (IUD, implant - not available in Romania), never (tubal litigation).
Health status: smoker; age; blood/hormonal/breast/etc pathologies.
Do I have a stable partner? The only contraceptive method that protects you from sexually transmitted infections (HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B & C, syphilis, gonorrhea, etc) is the condom.
Emergency contraception is a good solution for when you've had unprotected sexual contact and don't want a pregancy. It can be taken whenever necessary, but it should not be used as your primary contraceptive method. Most doctors reccomend it only be taken 2-3 times a year at most. For it to be effective, the pill needs to be taken within 12-72 hours of the unprotected sexual contact. If has no effect in the case that, in the moment of taking it, you are already pregnant.
The intrauterine device is a good solution if you plan on not having children over a period of a few years. There are two types of IUD's: copper IUD's, which protect you for up to 7 years, and hormonal IUD's, which are effective 5 years.
If you decide with your doctor that the best solution for you is an IUD implant, there are three steps to be taken:
A gynecological exam, in which the doctor examins you and collects samples for a pap test (if you haven't done one in the past year) and for a vaginal discharge exam. If these tests show a possible infection with HPV or another vaginal infection, these need to be treated before the IUD implant. The doctor on a CNAS contract will prescribe you medication which can be partically compensated, fully or not at all.
After the treatment, the doctor will check if it was efficient. If there are no more signs of infection, the doctor will insert the IUD on the spot, usually with a local anesthesia in the colon.
The doctor can check if the IUD was correctly positioned with an ultrasound, a month after insertion. If you have an IUD (and not only), it is recommended that you have an annual gynecological check-up.
In Romania, CNAS settles the costs for insured and not-insured people for two annual consultations for contraception, but it does not cover the contraceptive means themselves (contraceptive pills, IUD, etc).
Discharge and pap tests are free with a ticket from your general practitioner in the case of those with health coverage, and the gynecologist/general practitioner can prescribe medication that is covered particaly or entirely. The cost of some medical treatments for infections, the cost of contraceptive pills, IUDs, labour of insertion are supported by the patient, regardless of insurance status.
You can have a discussion about your contraceptive methofs with the general practitioner you are signed up to, any general practitioner with a fee, a family planning doctor, free, or with an obstetrician doctor.
The Support for refugee women program was thought up to help women from Ukraine, and for covering the cost of some services, treatments or products for your reproductive health. It can help you get in contact with one of the doctors that can consult you, can cover the cost of some contraceptive solutions (contraceptive pills, IUD) and, if necessary, the cost of tests and treatment.