Life Abroad

Birth Control

Sometimes we need birth control to treat a medical condition. Sometimes we need it because we don’t want children yet or at all. Sometimes we need it because we don’t want any more children.

Whatever your reason for using it is, you can find a safe and affordable prescription in Japan.

Select a section from the left or scroll through to read all about birth control in Japan and see the most common products you can expect at your doctor’s office.

Birth Control Pills IUDs
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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

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