The percentage of Japanese women who take oral contraception is still minimal in comparison to women in the West, where it reigns as one of the most popular forms of birth control. But fear not ladies, here are the ins and outs of purchasing birth control pills in Japan.
Birth control pills are known as keiko-hinin-yaku (経口避妊薬) but more commonly referred to as piru (ピル). They were only legalized in 1999, four decades after they became available in the West. In fact, Japan was the only U.N. member to not approve of the drug when other countries did, and this delay has had a knock-on effect on the pill’s popularity to this day.
But in reality, it is a cheap, easy and effective method of birth control that is not too difficult to get your hands on.
Why the pill obsession?
The pill became available in the 1960s and symbolized liberation for Western women at a time when abortion was still largely illegal due to religious taboos. Years as adolescents have been spent eyeballing enormous femidoms and how to correctly put a Durex on a banana, which might have left us all slightly scarred yet painfully knowledgeable about our sexual practices and the choices we individually have.
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