One of the first (and luckily one of the very few) issues I have encountered here in the States is the unavailability of birth control. I do not mean condoms - those are as available as anywhere. Well, still not as much as back in Ukraine. There you can get them in ANY store, literally.
I am talking about the pill. Though there is great variety of pills (just as back home), depending on the required hormones, preferred type, or whatever else, you need a prescription to get it. Now, hear me clear - a prescription from your gynecologist. Yes, to get your birth control pills.
Look, I know my irritation may come as a surprise for the natives here. No offence. But this rule came as a surprise (NOT the most pleasant, you can trust me on this) for me, only 3 months after I had arrived to Las Vegas. And let me explain why.
In Ukraine, you do not need a prescription to get your birth control. Seriously. Walk in any drug-store and choose from behind the counter assortment. Your personal choice may depend on the price ($10 to $50 per 1 month supply), on the brand name, on the producer, on the hormones it contains, on the type of pills you prefer or on the color of the box. Totally up to you. And there is no limit per person per purchase, either. Nobody cares what you are buying! (concerning birth-control, do not generalize, please)
Of course, any normal-minded and reasonable girl (such as myself) in need of birth control would first go and consult her OB/gyn on the matter and follow the doc's recommendations as to which pill to take.
While here in the US buying the pill is a pain... First, you should find yourself an OB/gyn which is whole other story in itself, as you all know. Then you have to make an appointment and wait or it (for up to 2 weeks, if you unlucky). Then you get to meet the doc, take the prescription and pay for the visit. The bottom is that you have to pay for the prescription. Pay for a piece of paper! Not even for any service, really. This is insane...
Oh yeah, almost forgot, there is always the matter of insurance, too. But that novel demands time and persistence to put to paper :)
So, now do you see how much easier this matter in Ukraine is?
All I want to say now is that after going through this process once, I got a prescription for the whole year! Now I am protected, supplied and not looking forward to the next ob/gyn visit.