Life Abroad

Sexual Health

Don’t let language barriers prevent you from having safe sex or getting the medication you need.

Read through this section to find out about birth control available in Japan, Japanese condom materials and sizes, STD/STI testing, and (coming soon) about getting an abortion.

Select a category from the left or scroll down to see the whole section.

Birth Control Pills IUDs Condoms STD/STI Testing
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Female Contraceptives


Birth Control Pills

1. How do I get birth control and how much does it cost?

In Japan, birth control pills and IUDs are available at most gynecologists’ offices. You will need to make an appointment (or walk-in visit; check with the clinic/hospital to see if an appointment is necessary) with a gynecologist to discuss your options. If you plan on using the pill or an IUD as birth control, neither of them are covered by insurance. The pill is typically between ¥2,000 and ¥3,500 per month. Unlike other countries, however, your doctor will not give you a prescription that you refill on your own at the pharmacy every month. After the first doctor visit, you will receive one month of medication, and you will need to go back for a follow-up before the end of your first pack. After that, you may receive up to 3 months of pills at a time. You always need to go to the clinic for follow-up to receive refills.

IUDs can cost up to ¥50,000 depending on the IUD you choose, your doctor, and your hospital. IUDs, however, can be used for 3 – 10 years, depending on the IUD type, greatly reducing the per-month cost of contraception compared with the pill. If you decide you want an IUD, see your gynecologist for a consultation. After you and your doctor decide which type of IUD is best for you, you will need to make an appointment for insertion. Insertion is a non-surgical procedure that is typically over in less than 15 minutes.


2. What if I need it to control a disease or condition?

If you need the pill or a hormonal IUD for health-related issues (endometriosis, dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, fibroids, etc.), insurance may cover a portion of the cost. However, you will need exams and diagnosis from a gynecologist, deeming the pill or IUD necessary for control of your condition. A Mirena (hormonal) IUD may be inserted for as little as ¥15,000 yen, depending on your doctor/hospital.
For more options and more knowledgeable doctors, it is recommended you see a gynecologist at a large, reputable hospital for diagnosis and treatment of conditions and diseases of the female reproductive system.


3. What if I need it to control a disease/condition, but I also need it as a contraceptive?

If you have a health issue that requires a birth control pill or hormonal IUD for control, and also want to use it as a contraceptive, you can tell your doctor the reason you want it is for control of your condition (in order to have insurance coverage). The contraceptive effect of the treatment (i.e. pill or IUD) will then be considered a side-effect of your condition/disease treatment. It should be noted, however, that if you become pregnant while using an insurance-covered contraceptive as a condition/disease treatment, you forfeit your right to file a complaint/sue the company for drug/device failure as a contraceptive.

Also, keep in mind that you cannot just say you need it to control a disease or condition in order to receive insurance coverage; you require a diagnosis from a Japanese gynecologist in order to qualify for the coverage.


4. What if my doctor won’t listen/won’t diagnose me, even though I know something is wrong?

Dealing with doctors, especially gynecologists, in Japan can be frustrating at times. There are good doctors and bad doctors in every country, though, so don’t throw in the towel on a bad egg. As a patient, you are entitled to a second, or even third, opinion. See as many doctors as it takes to find the one that fits, and never feel bad for leaving one behind. Your health is important, and you never have to feel like you’re stuck with an arrogant doctor who won’t listen to you. There are tons of excellent doctors in Japan, so don’t give up if you have trouble at first.


5. I don’t want the pill or an IUD. What about Depo, implants, NuvaRing, etc.?

Alternative contraceptives such as Depo-Provera (injection), contraceptive implants, contraceptive patches, and NuvaRing are not available and are not approved by the PMDA (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Authority), the regulatory authority in Japan. Some of these products can sometimes be found on online stores, but the integrity of the product and credibility of these stores is highly questionable at best. These products are prescription only and obtaining them without a prescription is very dangerous and ill-advised. If you want alternative contraception, receive it from your doctor in your home country before coming to Japan.


Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptives)

Birth control pills come in two basic types in Japan: monophasic and multiphasic. In a pack of monophasic birth control pills, all pills have the same hormone dose, with the exception of hormone-free reminder pills in 28-packs. In contrast, the pills in a pack of multiphasic birth control have a gradually strengthening hormone dose over the 21-day period (followed by a 7-day period of reminder pills which contain no hormones in 28-packs).

If you are considering switching to a Japanese birth control pill, check the insert on the brand you are currently using to see if the hormones/dosage of the ones available in Japan (listed below) are comparable to what you are on now. If there isn’t one, talk to your Japanese gynecologist about your options for replacing your current pill.

To learn more about birth control pills, how they work, and their safety and effectiveness, visit Planned Parenthood for reliable information at:

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/birth-control-pill


The Morning- After Pill (emergency contraception) is available in Japan by prescription only. If you need this pill, go to your gynecologist as soon as you can and ask for it. It is typically between ¥5,000 and ¥15,000.

To learn more about the Morning-After Pill, how it works, and its safety and effectiveness, visit Planned Parenthood for reliable information at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/morning-after-pill-emergency-contraception

Monophasic Oral Contraceptives


orthom_21
Ortho M-21
Norethisterone 1.000mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.035mg


marvelon_21
favoir_21
 
Marvelon 21 and Favoir 21 (generic of Marvelon)
Desogestrel 0.15mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.03mg


marvelon_28
favoir_28
 
Marvelon 28 and Favoir 28 (generic of Marvelon)
White pills Desogestrel 0.15mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.03mg
Green pills Placebo/reminder pills


yaz
Yaz
Light pink pills Drospirenone 3 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.020 mg
White pills Placebo/reminder pills


Multiphasic Oral Contraceptives


ange_21
Ange 21
Reddish brown pills Levonorgestrel 0.050 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.030 mg
White pills Levonorgestrel 0.075 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.040 mg
Yellow pills Levonorgestrel 0.125 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.030 mg


ange_28
Ange 28
Reddish brown pills Levonorgestrel 0.050 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.030 mg
White pills Levonorgestrel 0.075 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.040 mg
Yellow pills Levonorgestrel 0.125 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.030 mg
Red pills Placebo/reminder pills


Labellefille_21
Labellefille 21
Reddish brown pills Levonorgestrel 0.050 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.030 mg
White pills Levonorgestrel 0.075 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.040 mg
Light yellow pills Levonorgestrel 0.125 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.030 mg


Labellefille_28
Labellefille 28
Reddish brown pills Levonorgestrel 0.050 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.030 mg
White pills Levonorgestrel 0.075 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.040 mg
Light yellow pills Levonorgestrel 0.125 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.030 mg
Red pills Placebo/reminder pills


ortho_777
Ortho 777-21
White pills Norethisterone 0.500 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.035 mg
Light orange pills Norethisterone 0.750 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.035 mg
Orange pills Norethisterone 1.000 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.035 mg


synphase_t28
Synphase T28
Pale blue pills Norethisterone 0.5 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.035 mg
White pills Norethisterone 1.0 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.035 mg
Orange pills Placebo/reminder pills


triquilar_21
Triquilar 21
Reddish brown pills Levonorgestrel 0.050 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.030 mg
White pills Levonorgestrel 0.075 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.040 mg
Yellowish brown pills Levonorgestrel 0.125 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.030 mg


triquilar_28
Triquilar 28
Reddish brown pills Levonorgestrel 0.050 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.030 mg
White pills Levonorgestrel 0.075 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.040 mg
Yellowish brown pills Levonorgestrel 0.125 mg
Ethinyl estradiol 0.030 mg
Red pills Placebo/reminder pills

IUDs

IUDs, or Intra-Uterine Devices, are long term birth control devices that can be used for years before needing to be replaced. To learn more about how IUDs are inserted, how they work, and their effectiveness, visit Planned Parenthood for reliable information at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/iud


Non-copper/Non-hormonal

FD-1

triquilar_28

Copper

Multiload

triquilar_28

Nova T

triquilar_28


Hormonal

Mirena

triquilar_28


Japanese Romaji English
セックス sekkusu sex/ sexual intercourse
避妊具
(ひにんぐ)
hiningu contraceptives
経口避妊薬
(けいこうひにんやく)
keikouhininyaku oral contraceptives
子宮内避妊器具
(しきゅうないひにんきぐ)
shikyuunaihininkigu IUD (Intrauterine Device)
緊急避妊ピル
(きんきゅうひにんぴる)
kinkyuuhininpiru Morning-After Pill

(ちつ)
chitsu vagina
子宮
(しきゅう)
shikyuu uterus
子宮頸部
(しきゅうけいぶ)
Shikyuukeibu cervix
卵管
(らんかん)
rankan Fallopian tubes
卵巣
(らんそう)
ransou ovaries
排卵
(はいらん)
hairan ovulation
卵子
(らんし)
ranshi egg/ovum
生理
(せいり)
seiri period/menstrual cycle
生理痛
(せいりつう)
seiritsuu menstrual pain/cramps
出血
(しゅっけつ)
shukketu bleeding/menstrual flow
子宮内膜症
(しきゅうないまくしょう)
shikyuunaimakushou endometriosis
子宮筋腫
(しきゅうきんしゅ)
shikyuukinshu uterine fibroids
子宮内膜ポリープ
(しきゅうないまくぽりーぷ)
shikyuunaimakuporiipu uterine polyps
多嚢胞性卵巣症候群
(たのうほうせいらんそうしょうこうぐん)
tanouhouseiransoushoukougun Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
月経困難症
(げっけいこんなんしょう)
gekkeikonnanshou dysmenorrhea
月経過多
(げっけいかた)
gekkeikata menorrhagia

Male Contraceptives


Condoms

Condoms are widely available and come in a huge variety. The vast majority of condoms in Japan are 0.001 – 0.003 mm thick. While condoms this thin may not be the norm in your home country, you do not have to worry about Japanese condoms. With proper use and fitting, they are just as strong and reliable as thicker condoms.

The vast majority of condoms are latex, but polyurethane and polyisoprene types also exist. Sizes vary by company, but a general range of sizes is listed below:


Small:

Size Diameter Circumference
S 31 – 32 mm (1.2 – 1.26 in) 9.7 – 10 cm (3.8 – 3.9 in)
M 34 – 36 mm (1.3 – 1.4 in) 10.6 – 11.3 cm (4.2 – 4.4 in)
L 38 – 42 mm (1.49 – 1.65 in) 11.9 – 13.1 cm (4.7 – 5.16 in)
LL (XL) 44 – 57 mm (1.7 – 2.2 in) 13.8 – 17.8 cm (5.4 – 7 in)


A note about condom length:


Unfortunately, it is very difficult to determine the length of condoms in Japan. The only company to provide this information outright is Sagami, maker of polyurethane condoms.

The sizes provided by Sagami are as below:

Standard size:
Length- 170mm (17cm)

Width- 36mm (3.6cm) diameter


Large size:
Length- 190mm (19cm)

Width- 38mm (3.8cm) diameter


Some foreign brands with foreign sizes are available on Amazon Japan and at places like Condomania in Tokyo. However, we cannot guarantee that other companies increase the length of their condoms as they increase the girth, so if you have concerns about length and the Sagami large size is inadequate, it may be best to bring condoms from your home country.

Material types available in Japan include: latex, polyurethane, and polyisoprene. Lamb skin condoms are not available in Japan. Polyurethane condoms and polyisoprene condoms are ideal for those with latex allergies or who do not like the smell or residual taste of latex condoms. Non-lubricated condoms are not available in Japan.

To learn more about condoms in general, visit Planned Parenthood for reliable information at:
https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/condom

Japanese Romaji English
セックス sekkusu sex/ sexual intercourse
コンドーム kondoomu condom
ローション・ジェル rooshon, jeru lubricant
殺精子剤
(さつせいしざい)
Satsushizai spermicide
ゴム gomu rubber (material), condom
ラテックス ratekkusu latex
ポリウレタン poriuretan polyurethane
イソプレンラバー isopurenrabaa polyisoprene
精子
(せいし)
seishi Sperm/ejaculate (noun)
勃起
(ぼっき)
bokki erection
射精
(しゃせいshasei)
shasei ejaculation




Sagami Original

Sagami Original 0.01

sagami001

Sagami Original 0.02

sagamioriginal_02

Sagami Original Large

sagamioriginal_02Lsize

Thin (0.01mm or 0.02 mm) polyurethane condoms that come wrapped in a plastic case, facing the correct direction for easy application. Simply pick straight up out of the plastic case and put on. Unscented, unflavoured, colourless. Sagami Original condoms are available in Regular and Large size in the 0.02 mm variety, and in Regular size in the 0.01 mm variety.



Okamoto 0.02

okamoto_02range

Thin, 0.02 mm polyurethane condoms that come in many varieties.

Top left: Regular, colourless condoms that come in packs of 3, 6, 12, or 24.

Middle left: Large size condoms that come in packs of 6 or 12.

Bottom left: Multi-pack of coloured condoms in pink, blue, and orange. Pack of 6.

Top right: Pink condoms. Pack of 6.

Bottom right: “Glans Fit” condoms that have a wider taper around the glans. Pack of 6.



Okamoto 0.03

okamoto_03range

Thin, 0.03mm latex condoms that come in many varieties.

Top to bottom, left side:

Regular: Natural colour, pack of 12.

L Size: all-over bigger size, pack of 10.

Hyaluronic Acid: condoms with moisturizing lubricant, pack of 10.

Hot: condoms with warming lubricant, pack of 10.



Top to bottom, right side:

Real Fit: domed tip for more comfort, pack of 10.

Aloe: condom lubricant contains aloe extract, pack of 10.

Smooth: exceptionally smooth condoms, pack of 10.

Colour: multi-pack of coloured condoms in pink, blue, and orange. Pack of 12.




United Colors of Benetton

benetton

Standard latex condoms in pink and green. Affordable and reliable. Packs of 6 or 12.




Boy Series

boy_series

Latex condoms in S, L, and XL sizes.

Smart Boy: 31mm diameter condoms

Super Big Boy: condoms with a diameter 4mm wider than standard condoms

Mega big boy: 46mm diameter condoms


STD/STI Testing

I need an STD test. What do I do?

STD testing can be obtained at any clinic, though it can be very expensive, as testing is conducted by disease. If you cannot afford to be tested at a hospital, or cannot be tested at a hospital due to your living situation or simply want anonymity, STD Lab offers safe, accurate, confidential testing by mail. You can also arrange to have the test available for post-office-pickup in case you cannot have it sent to your home.

You simply purchase the testing kit you want, perform the tests at home, and send the prepaid envelope back to the lab. Your results will be sent to you online within 1 week of testing. The tests themselves are wrapped in tamper-proof black bags and shipped in unmarked cardboard boxes. It should be noted, however, that upon opening the box, if the black bag containing the test kit is damaged or open, that you should NOT take the test and you should contact STD Lab.

Visit STD LAB here to see available tests and purchase online: http://www.std-lab.jp/shopping/list.php


When you get your STD Kit.

Make sure the box is undamaged, and the black bag containing your kit inside the cardboard box is sealed and unbroken. Lay out the test materials on a clean surface. Fill out the form in the envelope. Your name or other personal information is not needed. The carbon copy will stay with you. This will be used to collect your online test results later, so keep it somewhere safe. Wash your hands thoroughly before the test. After you have conducted the tests, place the urine/blood/swab samples and the form you filled out into the prepaid envelop that was in the test box. Simply drop it in the mail and wait for notification from STD Lab about your results.

STD Lab provides free guidance for what to do in the event of a positive test result. If any of your results come back unclear due to a variety of factors (not enough blood or urine given, etc.), they will send you a new test for free. STD Lab does not collect any personal identification information for your tests or results, and their system is 100% anonymous. The only personal information you will be required to give them is for the purchase only (address, credit card number, name). The serial number of the test they send you is unknown to any person besides you, so no test result could be traced back to you personally.



The tests available at STD Lab are as follows:


Test A for Men ¥5,940

testAmen

Test A for Women ¥5,940

testAwomen

Urine testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. The gendering of the tests is to accommodate for difference of genitalia.



Test B for Women ¥7,290

testBwomen

Vaginal swab test for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis, and yeast infection (candidiasis).



Test C for Men ¥11,880

testCmen

Urine test for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Mycoplasma, and Ureaplasma.



Test D for Women ¥4,860

testDwomen

Vaginal swab test for yeast infection (candidiasis) and general bacterial infections.



Test E for Men ¥9,936

testEmen

Urine test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, Blood test for HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B.



Test E for Women ¥9,936

testEwomen

Vaginal swab test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, Blood test for HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B.



Test F for Women ¥11,070

testFwomen

Vaginal swab test for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis, and yeast infection (candidiasis). Blood test for HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B.



Test G for Men ¥4,860

testGmen

Urine test for Chlamydia.



Test G for Women ¥4,860

testGwomen

Vaginal swab test for Chlamydia.



Test I for Women ¥7,290

testIwomeon

Vaginal swab test for HPV (Human Papilloma Virus).



Test J for Unisex ¥4,968

testJunisex

Blood test for HIV.



Test K for Unisex ¥3,240

testKunisex

Blood test for Syphilis.



Test L for Unsex ¥4,860

testLunisex

Blood test for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.



Test N for Unisex ¥5,940

testNunisex

Gargle test for Oral Chlamydia and Oral Gonorrhea.



Test O for Unisex ¥8,730

testOunisex

Blood test for HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B.



Test P for Men ¥9,936

testPmen

Urine test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, gargle test for Oral Chlamydia and Oral Gonorrhea.



Test P for Women ¥9,936

testPwomen

Vaginal swab test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, gargle test for Oral Chlamydia and Oral Gonorrhea.



Test Q for Women ¥11,070

testQwomen

Vaginal swab test for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichonomiasis, and yeast infection (candidiasis). Gargle test for Oral Chlamydia and Oral Gonorrhea.



Test R for Men ¥15,930

testRmen

Urine test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Blood test for HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B. Gargle test for Oral Chlamydia and Oral Gonorrhea.



Test R for Women ¥15,930

testRwomen

Vaginal swab test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Blood test for HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B. Gargle test for Oral Chlamydia and Oral Gonorrhea.



Test S for Women ¥16,740

testSwomen

Vaginal swab test for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichonomiasis, and yeast infection (candidiasis). Blood test for HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B. Gargle test for Oral Chlamydia and Oral Gonorrhea.



Test T for Women ¥21,600

testTwomen

Vaginal swab test for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichonomiasis, yeast infection (candidiasis), general bacterial infections, and HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). Blood test for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Gargle test for Oral Chlamydia and Oral Gonorrhea.



Test U for Men ¥21,870

testUmen

Urine test for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Mycoplasma, and Ureaplasma. Blood test for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Gargle test for Oral Chlamydia and Oral Gonorrhea.



What if I just want an HIV test but I can’t afford/don’t want to pay for one?


In an effort to cut down the incidence of HIV and AIDs in Japan, there has been more awareness of the subject and testing can be obtained for free.
Visit the link below to see what facilities are available in your area. There is often (but not always) English-speaking staff available.

stdheader
Choose language here: http://www.hivkensa.com/language/

For English, click here: http://www.hivkensa.com/language/en/

Japanese Romaji English
性感染症
(せいかんせんしょう)
seikansenshou Sexually Transmitted Disease
クラミジア kuramijia Chlamydia
淋病 / 淋菌
(りんびょう/ りんきん)
rinbyou/rinkin Gonorrhea
HIV/エイズ HIV/eizu HIV/AIDs
マイコプラズマ maikopurazuma Mycoplasma
ウレアプラズマ ureapurazuma Ureaplasma
カンジダ kanjida Candidiasis (yeast infection)
一般細菌
(いっぱんさいきん)
ippansaikin General Bacterial Infections
(bacterial vaginosis, etc.)
ヒトパピローマウイルス hitopapiroomauirusu Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
梅毒
(ばいどく)
baidoku Syphilis
B型肝炎
(Bがたかんえん)
B gatakanen Hepatitis B
C型肝炎
(Cがたかんえん)
C gatakanen Hepatitis C
ヘルペス Herupesu herpes

(のど)
nodo throat, oral
うがい液検査
(うがいえきけんさ)
ugaiekikensa gargle fluid test
尿検査
(にょうけんさ)
nyoukensa urinalysis (urine test)
膣分泌液検査
(ちつぶんぴつえきけんさ)
Chitubunpitsuekikensa vaginal secretion test
(vaginal swab
血液検査
(けつえきけんさ)
ketsuekikensa blood test

(ちつ)
chitsu vagina
陰茎
(いんけい)
Inkei penis


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