Malta: Moving On, Up & Away

Important Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Moved Here

Even if you’re coming to Malta from another EU country, there are probably a whole host of things you’ll find are very, very different. There are so many things I didn’t even think about researching before coming here and it was only after a few months that I realised how important these things should have been. For example, when I first got here divorce was not even legal- can you believe that? I also never thought to look into things like the morning after pill or abortion and just took it for granted they would be available, but read on to find out just how wrong I was.

Contraception in Malta

Despite being a strongly Catholic country, contraception is pretty easy to come by in Malta.

Condoms

Condoms are available at most pharmacies and supermarkets and there is no stigma about them at all. In fact there are quite a few billboards around the island encouraging their use, so don’t think that because it’s a Catholic country, that they’re encouraging babies left right and centre!

Contraceptive Pill, Implants, Injections ETC

There is a free healthcare system in Malta, so you can talk to your doctor (for free) about other options (although the contraceptive pill has to be paid for). When I moved here in 2010 I tried to find out the options and was told that things like the implant or the injection were not available in Malta and even their selection of contraceptive pills was small. This may have changed and I intend to chat with some local GPs to get a full update, however it’s super easy to make an appointment and talk to a doctor about what you want/need.

The Morning After Pill in Malta

This is one I never would have thought to worry about but it’s something that should be big in everyone’s minds; the morning after pill. Whether you’re in a relationship or single, if you’re not planning on having a baby any time soon, you need to know that the morning after pill is illegal in Malta. You cannot get it, even in the case of rape. This is something I am fully against, I believe everyone has the right to have access to a morning after pill, regardless of the situation and the fact it’s still illegal really disappoints me.

Abortion in Malta

Abortion in Malta is illegal and I mean totally illegal; even in the case of rape or where going ahead with the pregnancy endangers the mothers life. I’ve never heard anything so backwards and ridiculous in all my life, especially in a ‘civilised’ apparently ‘first world’ country. To make it even worse, not only is it illegal to have an abortion in Malta, if a Maltese woman were to fly abroad and get an abortion, should the authorities here find out (although how they can find out with doctor/patient confidentiality I don’t know) then the woman can face punishment.

 

 

14 Comments

  1. gringation

    Good info! In Mexico we can get over the counter pills as well.

    Tampons are sold everywhere, but never very many options bc they’re not popular.

    I think abortion is legal here, as well as the day after pill.

    Reply
    1. Harri

      It’s kinda incredible to me how behind Malta still is in some respects. Things like abortion and the day after pill shouldn’t be relied upon but these days they should be options to those who need it. They’re not even legal in the case of rape or the birth endangering the mothers life!

      Reply
  2. Angela

    Scott’s carries the tampax compact! I couldn’t find them anywhere and was super frustrated. Then we went to Scott’s Supermarket one day and they have them! I think Pavi might too I can’t quite remember though. But there is a Scott’s is Sliema so maybe check them out.

    Reply
    1. Harri

      YAY!! Amazing thank you! We shopped at Lidl when we lived in Msida and now we shop at park towers as its so cheap. We find scotts a bit more expensive for quite a few things but they also have more range than most places- definitely worth going to for the compact though thanks for letting me know :)xx

      Reply
  3. Da Jess

    Yeah i noticed that too after coming here..had i known about it I had stacked up on anything at least for a years supply !

    Reply
  4. pame

    I dont agree if should measure if a country is behind or beyond by it’s legality of the abortion as contraception method -that is the topic of your blog-. Anyways Malta is extremely Catholic (even tough you can not tell that in the night clubs :) ) and we have to live with that. Even Divorce was illegal until recently…
    LIDL is your choice to get decently priced shampoos, conditioners, condoms…
    Cheers

    Reply
  5. Samantha

    Hi there tried to purchase the mini pill over the counter in swieqi (Malta) but they asked for a prescription.. Any other pharmacies that i can try in St.Julians area? And what brands are found here?

    Many thanks!

    Reply
    1. Rhi (Post author)

      To be honest I’ve never tried to get it over the counter but I spoke to a few women who had done so at Browns Pharmacy so may be worth trying there. They have one by the bus stop in Msida and also in Tigne Point. Failing that I think you’ll just have to get a prescription. There are free doctors at the policlinics and most pharmacies have a doctor you can see for around €10/€15, sometimes they’re quicker and easier!

      The only brand I’ve ever seen here was ‘Yaz’ and I didn’t get on with it personally, made me a little sick but most pills do. I prefer the mini-pill but when I first asked about it, 4 years ago, the doctor didn’t even know what I was saying!

      Reply
  6. Jennifer McKay

    Do they now sell the mini pill in some pharmacies? I haven’t had to get contraception yet as I was pregnant and then breast feeding.

    Reply
    1. Rhi (Post author)

      I’m not sure I’m afraid, when I first moved here in 2010, they had no idea what the mini pill even was, I was incredibly surprised. Things may have moved on now, worth asking to be sure!

      Reply
  7. Kate

    You should take out your note about men not needing to read this page. Contraception, periods, and abortion are all topics that are (or at least should be) of concern to men.

    When men think these topics are “only for women”, the issues get minimized and ignored by legislators and medical professionals.

    And let’s face it, if a woman can’t get safe and reliable contraception, the issue becomes the man’s issue whether he likes it or not!

    Reply
    1. Rhi (Post author)

      I totally agree with you. To be honest the page has expanded over time and originally only included things like tampon information and skincare (although men care about that too, granted).

      Reply
  8. Ella

    As a UK woman I was at a complete loss regarding contraception when I moved to Malta nearly 6 years ago. I was told either its Yaz or Condoms or no sex at all (if you can believe that).

    Well I have found a wonderful gynae in St. James Hospital who also administers the contraceptive injection (a little known alternative for woman who cannot use oestrogen). Lasts 12 weeks and is approx. EUR 9.00 a shot. She is also a campaigner of more contraceptive options in Malta and generally very helpful and informative.

    I also want to point out that free STD/Smear tests are available, confidentially, at Mater dei GU Clinic. I have met friends who have never been tested and yet have had more than more partner during their life.

    Reply
    1. Rhi (Post author)

      This is amazing! When I first moved here I was told the same (dude didn’t even know what the injection WAS!) so I’m super happy to hear it’s available here now. I struggle with oestrogen so this is amazing, thank you!

      Reply

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