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Santiago

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Chile / Santiago
Santiago en invierno.jpg

OVERVIEW

In Chile, you will find many health care options. However, Chilean society is rather socially conservative, in large part due to its decades under a military dictatorship and the Catholic Church hierarchy, so one should understand that sexual and reproductive health is in a state of transition.

You can purchase birth control without a prescription. Emergency contraception (the morning after pill) has been a hotly debated political issue, but it is available for purchase (and, as of 2015, no prescription is required). There are no travel or residency restrictions related to HIV status, and you can get STI tests at public or private facilities. There is is currently no PrEP program in Chile but there is an HPV vaccination program. You can find pads, tampons and menstrual cups in Santiago (there is a specific menstrual cup seller that we list in the "Menstruation" section). For decades, Chile had one of the strictest abortion laws in the world, with abortion being completely illegal, but these laws are beginning to see liberalization in 2017 (see "Abortion" section below for details).

Contraception (Birth Control)[edit]

General Note: There are many types of contraceptives, also known as "birth control," including IUDs, oral contraceptives, patches, shots, and condoms, etc. If you would like to view a full list, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Chile, you can purchase birth control without a prescription. It is estimated that about 65% of Chilean women use some form of contraception and that about 62% use a modern method. The most popular methods are birth control pills (24.8%), IUD (23.1%), the male condom (6.9%) and female sterilization (6.1%).[1]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • For a list of contraceptive option in Chile, click here.
  • In Chile, you can find a huge selection of birth control pills("píldoras anticonceptivas” in Spanish) available, and they can be purchased at pharmacies. The International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF) lists 75 birth control pills registered in Chile, including combined pills, phasic pills and progestin-only pills. Some brands you can expect to see are Microlut, Microval, Microgynon CD, Nordiol, Nordiol 21, Anovulatorios Microdosis, Anulette, Anulette CD, Innova CD, Lo-Femenal, Microfemin, Microgynon, Microsoft CD, Nordette, Norvetal, Rigevidon, Anulette 20 and Loette. For a full list of pill options, click here.
  • If you want Nuvaring, you can find it Chile.[2]
  • If you want the contraceptive injection ("anticonceptivo inyectable” in Spanish), you can find Cyclofem, Cyclofemina, Depo-Prodasone, Mesigyna and Novafem.[3] In many Latin American countries, you can get the injection directly at the pharmacy, but we're not sure if this is also possible in Chile.
  • If you want the contraceptive implant ("implante anticonceptivo” in Spanish), you can find Implanon, Jadelle and Norplant in Chile.[4]
  • If you want an IUD ("DIU” in Spanish), you can find Mirena in Chile.[5]

Costs[edit]

Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)[edit]

Important Notes: Emergency contraception may prevent pregnancy for three days (72 hours) and sometimes five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. Take EC as soon as possible after unprotected sex. If you don't have access to dedicated EC, oral contraceptives can be used as replacement EC, but remember the following: 1) Only some contraceptives work as EC 2) Different contraceptives require different dosages and time schedules to work as EC 3) You must only use the first 21 pills in 28-day packs and 4) They may be less effective than dedicated EC. For general information on emergency contraceptives, click here and here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Chile, emergency contraception (the morning after pill) is legal. As of 2015, no prescription is required to purchase EC.[6] However, it is a hotly debated and political issue. In 2006, President Michelle Bachelet liberalized contraception policy and made emergency contraception available for free in state-run hospitals, which were available to women ages 14 and up (with no parental consent required).[7] This change inflamed conservative critics. In 2008, the Constitutional Court of Chile banned free distribution of emergency contraception. Furthermore, the court ruled that the hormone levonorgestrel, which is found in EC pills, is “abortive”, and therefore against the right to life.[8] In 2010, a new law allowed teenagers to purchase EC without parental consent.[9]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • You can purchase dedicated emergency contraception in Chile at pharmacies or clinics. They are also offered for free at clinics. One brand you may find is Escapel-1 (take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex). You may also see Escapel-2, Poslov and Pregnon (take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex).[10]
  • You can have an IUD inserted to prevent pregnancy. Please refer to the "Contraception" section for details.
  • If you can't access dedicated emergency contraception, you can use regular oral contraceptives (birth control pills) as emergency contraception. For progestin-only pills, you can take Microlut or Microval (take 50 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex). For combined pills (progestin-estrogen), you'll need to remember that, in 28-day packs, only the first 21 pills can be used. You can take Microgynon CD (take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later). You can take Nordiol or Nordiol 21 (take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 2 more pills 12 hours later). You can take Anovulatorios Microdosis, Anulette, Anulette CD, Innova CD Lo-Femenal, Microfemin, Microgynon, Microsoft CD, Nordette, Norvetal or Rigevidon (for all of these, take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later). Finally, you can also take Anulette 20 or Loette (take 5 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 5 more pills 12 hours later).[11]

Costs[edit]

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs/STDs)[edit]

Important Notes - Learn about PEP and PrEP: If you think that you've been recently exposed to HIV (i.e. within 72 hours), seek out PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a month-long treatment to prevent HIV infection after exposure, and it may be available in your city. Take PEP as soon as possible. For more information, click here. If you are at risk of HIV exposure, seek out PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a daily oral pill that can prevent HIV infection before exposure. To learn more about PrEP, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Chile, there are not travel or residency restrictions tied to HIV status. You can also legally carry antiretroviral medication for your personal use.[12]

Regarding HPV, Chile has a national vaccination program. As the HPV Information Centre reports, "Current estimates indicate that every year 1441 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 734 die from the disease. Cervical cancer ranks as the 4th most frequent cancer among women in Chile and the 2nd most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age. About 2.5% of women in the general population are estimated to harbour cervical HPV-16/18 infection at a given time, and 85.7% of invasive cervical cancers are attributed to HPVs 16 or 18."[13]

Testing Facilities[edit]

If you have Chilean health insurance, the most affordable option is your local CESFAM, which are public clinics. They can give you STI tests, and they can also offer check-ups and consultations. Midwives and reproductive health professionals also work at CESFAM facilities. If you're covered by Chilean health insurance, the services should be free. If you're not covered by Chilean health insurance, you will need to pay for the services. For example, here are some CESFAM locations:

  • CESFAM Padre Orellana: Address: Padre Orellana 1708, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile, Phone:+56 2 2386 7743
  • CESFAM Benjamín Vuel: Address: Calle San Ignacio de Loyola 1217, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
  • CESFAM Ignacio Domeyko: Address: Cueto 543, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
  • CESFAM Garín: Address: Calle Janequeo 5662, Quinta Normal, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile

If you don't have Chilean health insurance or if you would like a faster alternatives, then you go to a private clinic. These are more expensive than CESFAM, but they're usually not too expensive. Here are some recommended private clinics for STI tests:

Support[edit]

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • If you have a yeast infection ("infección por levaduras" in Spanish), you can ask the pharmacist for Fluconazole, which is antifungal medication. They'll be able to give you Fluconazole or something similar.
  • If you have a urinary tract infection ("Infecciones de las vías urinarias" in Spanish), you can contact a doctor/pharmacist to find out next steps.
  • Chile has a national HPV vaccination program, which was launched in 2014. It targets to vaccinate girls at age 9.[14]
  • There are no known providers of PrEP in Chile.[15]

Costs[edit]

Menstruation[edit]

Note: In addition to pads and tampons, you can also use menstrual cups and menstrual underwear for your period. To learn more about menstrual cups, click here. To learn more about menstrual underwear, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

In Chile, you will be able to find pads and tampons. Pads are definitely the most easy to find and the most popular. You'll be able to find some tampons, which are becoming more popular too. As for menstrual cups, you can buy LadyCup on the LadyCup Chile website. You can buy MoonCup online and have it delivered from the UK to Chile -- click here for details. There are no known sellers of DivaCup or Lunette in Chile, so those products may need be purchased online or bought through alternative channels.

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Ricardo F. Estay Villalón: He's at Clinica Vespucio. Recommended by a Santiago local. Pap 9700 +- and consult about 15000. Address: av. serafín zamora # 190, La Florida, Chile.
  • Dr. Guillermo Galan: Languages: English, Spanish. Over 40 years of private practice. "I am a volunteer for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) since 1987, an organization that provides sexual and reproductive health information, education and services in over 170 countries." Address: Guardia Vieja 181, Providencia, Santiago de Chile, Chile
  • Dr. Carolina Ortega: Languages: English, French, Spanish. Over 10 years of private practice.
  • Dr. Juan Enrique Schwarze: Languages: English, German, Spanish. Over 20 years of private practice. Address: Camino Farellones 18.780 km 4, Lo Barnechea, Santiago de Chile, Chile

Costs[edit]

We still need to gather more information on costs -- but one expat has told us that she paid $5-20/visit (on average) after her insurance coverage (she was covered by Banmedical).

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

Abortion[edit]

Important Note: There are two main types of abortions: medical (also known as the "abortion pill") and surgical (also known as "in-clinic"). For medical abortions, you take a pill to induce abortion. For surgical abortions, a procedure is performed to induce abortion. For general information about medical and surgical abortions, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

As of August 2017, Chilean abortion law is under massive transformation. Until very recently, abortion was completely illegal without exceptions. However, in August 2017, Chilean lawmakers voted to allow abortions in certain cases, which include: when the pregnancy is the result of rape, when the pregnancy endangers the life of the woman, and when the fetus is at risk of a deadly birth defect. The bill must now go to the Constitutional Court for review, meaning its not official law yet (as of September 2017), but it may be soon.[16] This reverses decades of the highly strict Chilean abortion laws, which were among the strictest in the world. These strict abortion laws can be attributed to the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). According to current Chilean abortion law, a woman cannot seek an abortion, even if the pregnancy endangers her life, if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or if the fetus will not survive the pregnancy. If a woman obtains an abortion in Chile, she can currently face up to five years in prison.[17]

Chilean laws were not always this strict. From 1931-1989, therapeutic abortion (i.e. abortion when doctors considered it medically necessary) was permitted in Chile. In fact, if a women received approval from two doctors, the abortion would be legal. Yet, "On 15 September 1989, however, the Government of Chile amended section 119 of the Health Code to provide that 'No action may be executed that has as its goal the inducement of abortion' (Law No. 18,826). The justification provided for the new restrictions was that, given the advances in modern medicine, an abortion was no longer needed to save the life of a pregnant woman. Owing to this amendment, it is generally, although not unanimously, believed that no abortions can now be legally performed in Chile."[18] After the fall of Pinochet's military dictatorship, it was the Catholic Church authority that has most strongly advocated to keep existing abortion laws.[19]

These strict laws are currently being challenged. In January 2015, President Michelle Bachelet announced that she would send a draft bill to Congress. This bill would decriminalize abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (18 weeks, if the woman is under 14 years old) in the following cases: when the mother's life is endangered by the pregnancy, when the pregnancy is the result of rape, and when the fetus will not survive the pregnancy. In March 2016, the bill passed in the Chamber of Deputies with a surprising vote from a member of the Christian Democrats (the party that has opposed the bill).[20] It now needs Senate approval to become an official law.[21]

If the abortion laws were to be changed, this would be a welcome sign of progress for many Chilean people. Due to the incredibly strict abortion laws, many women have resorted to unsafe clandestine abortions. In fact, Chile has one of the highest abortion rates in Latin America, and 33,000 women are admitted to Chilean hospitals each year to abortion-related causes.[22] There is an underground network of pro-choice doctors and feminist in Chile who help women procure Misoprostol (also known as "the abortion pill") on the black market. However, poor women often attempt to induce the abortions themselves, which often has dangerous consequences.

For more details on Chilean abortion laws, you can check out this NPR article from October 2016.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • You can potentially get the "abortion pill" by mail. Check out this link for details
  • Línea Aborto Chile (Abortion Line Chile): Lesbianas Feministas por el Derecho a la Información (Lesbian Feminists for the Right to Information): Call - 8 8 9 1 8 5 9 0. "Lesbians and Feminists for the right to information supports Linea Aborto Chile to provide information on how to use misotrol to safely terminate a pregnancy until week 12, all according to official information from the World Health Organization." Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/abortosegurochile/ Email: femilesinfo@gmail.com
  • If you are considering leaving the country to obtain a legal abortion, you can legal abortions on request in Uruguay, Guyana, French Guiana, Mexico City and the United States. You can get abortions when the woman's life endangered or to preserve the woman's physical/mental health in Argentina and Peru.

Costs[edit]

There are underground abortion providers for "rich people" that are known to be trustworthy yet expensive. We don't know the costs.

If you are pregnant and considering getting an abortion outside Chile, you will need to consider the following costs: transportation to the country where you will be obtaining an abortion, hotel or accommodation costs in that country, cost of the abortion in the country and the total amount of days you may need to be in the country both before and after the abortion.

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Red Chilena Contra la Violencia Domestica y Sexual: "The Chilean Network against Violence against Women - the Chilean Network against Domestic and Sexual Violence - is an articulation of collectives, social organizations, non-governmental organizations and women. Since 1990, it has worked to eradicate violence against women. women and girls It carries out actions of denunciation, campaigns, studies and other public interventions coordinated throughout the country; organizes film cycles and talks; implements training schools and develops since 2007 the campaign "Beware! Machismo Mata "nationally." Email: redcontraviolencia@gmail.com

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • APROFA: "APROFA works to ensure access to sexual and reproductive health care as a fundamental human right. Founded in 1965, APROFA is a pioneer of family planning in Chile and was the first organization in the country to focus on underserved and impoverished areas. The majority of its clients receive free care, including contraception, gynecological exams, and sexual health counseling."

References[edit]

  1. [Trends in Contraceptive Use Worldwide 2015 http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/family/trendsContraceptiveUse2015Report.pdf]
  2. IPFF Chile
  3. IPFF Chile
  4. IPFF Chile
  5. IPFF Chile
  6. Chile consent the “morning after pill” non prescription sale
  7. Policy on Morning-After Pill Upsets Chile
  8. Chile: The Struggle Over Emergency Contraception
  9. Morning After Pill: Sales Have Tripled Since 2010 in Chile
  10. Princeton EC Website
  11. Princeton EC Website
  12. CHILE - REGULATIONS ON ENTRY, STAY AND RESIDENCE FOR PLHIV
  13. Chile - Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2016
  14. Chile - Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2016
  15. PrEPWatch World Map
  16. Chilean lawmakers vote to ease abortion ban
  17. Chile's Abortion Bill Approved by Senate Commission
  18. UN Report: Abortion in Chile
  19. A Crack in the World’s Most Restrictive Abortion Law
  20. Chile's Abortion Bill Approved by Senate Commission
  21. Abortion in Chile
  22. A Crack in the World’s Most Restrictive Abortion Law