If you’ve had some burning questions about the contraceptive pill in the UAE and the rules surrounding it, we’ve compiled everything you need to know into one easy guide.

Emirates Woman sought the help of expert Dr Sura Alwan – who is an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Medcare Women & Children Hospital – who has answered all the key questions about the contraceptive pill in the UAE.

Can you talk us through how accessibility to contraception in the UAE for women has developed over the last few years?

Contraception has become an essential part of women’s healthcare. It is an important means to prevent unintended pregnancies and to achieve family planning using effective and safe methods. The past decade has seen a notable increase in the use of contraceptives in the UAE.

These changes have been associated with a reduced number of unintended pregnancies, and more family planning control, especially for working women in all fields. This is also mostly due to the increased awareness in women in the UAE through community awareness campaigns, easy accessibility to medical services, and social media. Also, accessibility to contraception in the UAE for women improved in the last years as some contraceptive options can be available in pharmacies and be taken without a prescription.

What are the rules surrounding contraception in the UAE?

If an expat woman is already on contraception, she can check with her gynaecologist and discuss other options according to her situation. However, unmarried women can obtain contraceptive pills in the UAE to help treat conditions like heavy periods, hormonal disturbance or severe acne. She will need a prescription from a doctor first.

Dr. Sura Alwan Medcare

(Above: Dr Sura Alwan) 

Do I need a prescription to purchase contraceptive pills in the UAE?

Since 2018, birth control is no longer available over the counter in Dubai pharmacies and thus it has become increasingly difficult for unmarried women to seek contraceptive options.

The contraceptive pill I was using in my home country isn’t available in the UAE. Why is this?

It is advisable to check the type you are using with your gynaecological specialist doctor because sometimes the type of contraception you are using is available in UAE but in another brand name. The types of contraception are the same all over the world, but by different companies in different brand names. The doctor can provide you with a prescription for a pill in the same efficacy. Women can double-check if their brand of pill is available by using the search function on the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi website.

What brands of the pill are available in the UAE?

There are over 20 types of birth control and contraceptive pills registered and available to women in the UAE. Some examples below:

  • Yasmin
  • Diva
  • Drospera
  • Yaz
  • Diane
  • Belara
  • Marvelon
  • Gynera
  • Slinda
  • Desirett
  • Cerazette

Am I allowed to bring the pill into the UAE from my home country?

Yes, you are able to bring the contraceptive pill from your home country into the UAE without the need for the original prescription. If you have any issues or problems with using your pills you can discuss and check with your gynaecologist doctor in the UAE who will also be able to help.

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Feature Image: Karolina Grabowska from Pexels, Images: Supplied