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Author Topic: Birth Control and OBGYN Thread  (Read 94860 times)

Offline c2jay

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Women - what's the easiest way to start Birth Control in Korea?
« Reply #100 on: May 07, 2013, 02:16:55 PM »
I've not been sexually active since I got to Korea so I haven't been taking any form of birth control for about two years. I'm looking to start again, but don't know if I can just go to a pharmacy or if I have to make the trek to a hospital?

Any suggestions for the easiest way to go about it?

Offline Alcorest

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Re: Women - what's the easiest way to start Birth Control in Korea?
« Reply #101 on: May 07, 2013, 02:24:46 PM »
You can just go to a pharmacy and ask for birth control. USUALLY they speak English (in Seoul anyway) and it's not that hard to get across what you want. If they don't speak English, get creative :P

If you know what kind you want or if you have previous packaging is best. I brought my package of the stuff I was using in Canada and they didn't have that brand but they found me a different brand with the same levels of all the hormones.

So if you want to just into it like that that's the easiest way. If you want to actually speak with a doctor and find out which brand would be good for you (I know a lot of women who need a PARTICULAR brand or it messes with their weight, their skin, etc.) then you should probably to go an English speaking Gyno and talk it out a bit more. I found some in Seoul partially through this website and partially through digging around on the internet (korea4expats had some good info).

Hope it helps!

Offline kalacheers

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Re: Women - what's the easiest way to start Birth Control in Korea?
« Reply #102 on: May 07, 2013, 02:38:24 PM »
becareful, the birthcontrol that most pharmacies supply is the YAZ brand (or sister brand) which are both are known to have caused deaths. I went to a doctor in Seoul (itaewon) and had a different brand prescribed.

Offline ajoshi2

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Re: Women - what's the easiest way to start Birth Control in Korea?
« Reply #103 on: May 07, 2013, 03:06:15 PM »
I agree with Alcorest. I wanted to start taking birth control again after coming to SK, I went to a pharmacy (in Busan) to buy it over the counter because a friend of mine recommended that it was fine and really worked for her. It played havoc with my hormones and I hated it, I also ended up going to a gyno and asked the doctors advice, she spoke english but the information she was giving me was very hit and miss. She was well informed but was confused with the "new" morning after pill they have. Also with the pills she was recommending it was around 20,000 won which i'd have to pay every month. Being from the UK (where it's free) this was obviously really expensive. I went back to the pharmacy tried another set of pills which did not work for me either, third time lucky i explained the problem to another pharmacist with lots of bad english and broken korean and I finally have birth control which is great and only costs me 9,000 each time. The days are also written in English as well.

I struggled to be honest, with getting help and advice here on that kinda stuff, however I did my own research, "shopped around" if you might call it that and I've been using this birth control for the past 6 months

Offline Ley_Druid

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Re: Women - what's the easiest way to start Birth Control in Korea?
« Reply #104 on: May 07, 2013, 03:16:29 PM »
Yep, just walk in a pharmacy and ask for what they have. A prescription is not needed in Korea. You can buy as much as you want at one time. I have seen people buy a six month's supply.

I feel like it is pretty cheap. I have seen some as cheap as 7000won. Don't be scared. A lot of Koreans are afraid of the pill, but you'd be surprised how many are actually on the pill. It is medicine for more than control of birth, as it is a hormone pill. It has many applications.

If you are unsure what kind to get, visit a doctor. If you are in Seoul, pretty much every big hospital will have an OB/GYN who speaks or at least understand English enough to help you.

Good luck and stay safe!

Offline c2jay

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Re: Women - what's the easiest way to start Birth Control in Korea?
« Reply #105 on: May 07, 2013, 03:21:54 PM »
you guys are awesome thanks for all the great help!

Offline Chaya

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Birth Control in Korea
« Reply #106 on: June 10, 2013, 08:19:09 AM »
Hi everyone,

So I am wondering if I can get some advice on getting birth control (bc) in Korea.   I brought a fair amount with me when I came here, but I was aware it would not last me the length of time I needed it too.  By bc I am referring to the pill, specifically tri-cyclen lo. I have spoken with a trusted family member back home who is fine with sending it, but it seems the post office has said that you can't send essentially medical drugs (this is from Canada).  Without getting into much detail besides the obvious, this medication, so to speak, does far more then the obvious for me, and so taking it is important.

I have heard there is a possibility to get bc here in Korea, does anyone know if this is true?  is there tri-cyclen lo in Korea?  is there a way to have it sent here?   are there any reliable english speaking doctors who would be able to turn me onto an equivalent? Alesse (?) also works well for me.

Please let me know if you have any information that can help.

Thank-you,

Chaya


Offline SKotyluk

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Re: Birth Control in Korea
« Reply #107 on: June 10, 2013, 08:43:36 AM »
It's actually pretty easy to get bc here. I'm in Busan and I go to a Women's hospital to get it. The first visit, the doctor talked to me for a few minutes and I let her know which bc I wanted (same one I was taking at home: yaz). After that first visit, I just have to go every couple months to get more. They give me a two month prescription at a time and the pharmacy is in the same building. Just ask your co-t if there are any Women's clinics/hospitals near you. Hope that helps =)

Offline bammertheblue

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Re: Lady's Section: Birth control and OBGYN ?s
« Reply #108 on: June 10, 2013, 10:45:24 AM »
I don't know the American equivalent, but you can get the pill over the counter in any pharmacy. Ask for "pim". I've been using it for a few months now without any issues. It's less than 10,000 W for a months supply.

Offline spyblonde33

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Re: Lady's Section: Birth control and OBGYN ?s
« Reply #109 on: June 10, 2013, 12:34:57 PM »
Yeah, b/c is easy peasy to get here - walk into any pharmacy and you don't need a prescription for it! I was on seasonique before coming here, and I went to a pharmacist who matched the hormone doses in the pills to a b/c here. It's called mini something - in a green package. 3 weeks of pills for 7500 WON. It's great! Super happy I don't have to worry about getting it shipped from Canada. And the thing with having someone send you stuff, just have them put down 'candy' or some random thing that will get passed over. (If you decide to still go that route). I've gotten a fair amount of meds sent here (advil cold and sinus, cold f/x) without problems. Cheers!

Offline CT

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Re: Lady's Section: Birth control and OBGYN ?s
« Reply #110 on: June 10, 2013, 02:20:14 PM »
Just FYI..
I just had an Iud inserted here..it was painless and effortless and about a third of the price I payed back in South Africa. Wonderful female doc in Namcheon for the ladies in Busan.
Elle Clinic, Namcheon exit 4

Offline Mezoti97

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Re: Lady's Section: Birth control and OBGYN ?s
« Reply #111 on: June 10, 2013, 02:51:11 PM »
Yes, birth control is OTC at pharmacies here in Korea -- no prescription needed. So unless you absolutely need a specific brand pill from back home, you might as well just go to any pharmacy ("약국" -- pronounced "yak-guk") and get whatever birth control pill they have. The Korean word for birth control pill is "피임약" (pronounced "pee-im-yak").
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 05:02:23 PM by Mezoti97 »

Offline TeacherJuleigh

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Re: Lady's Section: Birth control and OBGYN ?s
« Reply #112 on: June 12, 2013, 01:49:11 PM »
Hi! Has anyone been to Mediflower? Not for birth control, more for a general check up. Looking to hear from those who have been there or have heard of them. What were your experiences like?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 10:26:13 AM by TeacherJuleigh »

Offline CunningLinguist

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Re: Lady's Section: Birth control and OBGYN ?s
« Reply #113 on: June 12, 2013, 02:23:46 PM »
Yes, birth control is OTC at pharmacies here in Korea -- no prescription needed. So unless you absolutely need a specific brand pill from back home, you might at well just go to any pharmacy ("약국" -- pronounced "yak-guk") and get whatever birth control pill they have. The Korean word for birth control pill is "피임약" (pronounced "pee-im-yak").

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/06/11/birth-control-pills-yaz-yasmin.html

Be careful what you put into your body. Read the comments section of this link. Yaz, Yasmin pills are very common in Korea.

Here is one from the comments section,
"I took birth control pills for 14 years (aged 18 to 32). I visited my doctor many times after suffering from continual bleeding and shortness of breath. I also showed signs of circulation problems with numb fingers and limbs. When asking my doctor if I should stop taking the pill she said no and instead kept changing the pill I was taking, including putting me on both Yaz and Yasmin. 18 months ago, against my doctors advice I decided to stop taking the pill. Since stopping taking the pill, I have continued to have issues and am concerned that taking the pills could have harmed my health permanently. I, like many other women who have commented here, was told by my doctor that there were no concerns with taking the pill even when I advised of my concern. I wish I had never taken the pill."

Offline sweetjane2011

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Re: Lady's Section: Birth control and OBGYN ?s
« Reply #114 on: June 12, 2013, 03:07:47 PM »
Yes, birth control is OTC at pharmacies here in Korea -- no prescription needed. So unless you absolutely need a specific brand pill from back home, you might at well just go to any pharmacy ("약국" -- pronounced "yak-guk") and get whatever birth control pill they have. The Korean word for birth control pill is "피임약" (pronounced "pee-im-yak").

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/06/11/birth-control-pills-yaz-yasmin.html

Be careful what you put into your body. Read the comments section of this link. Yaz, Yasmin pills are very common in Korea.

Here is one from the comments section,
"I took birth control pills for 14 years (aged 18 to 32). I visited my doctor many times after suffering from continual bleeding and shortness of breath. I also showed signs of circulation problems with numb fingers and limbs. When asking my doctor if I should stop taking the pill she said no and instead kept changing the pill I was taking, including putting me on both Yaz and Yasmin. 18 months ago, against my doctors advice I decided to stop taking the pill. Since stopping taking the pill, I have continued to have issues and am concerned that taking the pills could have harmed my health permanently. I, like many other women who have commented here, was told by my doctor that there were no concerns with taking the pill even when I advised of my concern. I wish I had never taken the pill."

Yes, but there are usually side effects and risks associated with most types of medication.

Offline CunningLinguist

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Re: Lady's Section: Birth control and OBGYN ?s
« Reply #115 on: June 12, 2013, 03:16:07 PM »
Yes, birth control is OTC at pharmacies here in Korea -- no prescription needed. So unless you absolutely need a specific brand pill from back home, you might at well just go to any pharmacy ("약국" -- pronounced "yak-guk") and get whatever birth control pill they have. The Korean word for birth control pill is "피임약" (pronounced "pee-im-yak").

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/06/11/birth-control-pills-yaz-yasmin.html

Be careful what you put into your body. Read the comments section of this link. Yaz, Yasmin pills are very common in Korea.

Here is one from the comments section,
"I took birth control pills for 14 years (aged 18 to 32). I visited my doctor many times after suffering from continual bleeding and shortness of breath. I also showed signs of circulation problems with numb fingers and limbs. When asking my doctor if I should stop taking the pill she said no and instead kept changing the pill I was taking, including putting me on both Yaz and Yasmin. 18 months ago, against my doctors advice I decided to stop taking the pill. Since stopping taking the pill, I have continued to have issues and am concerned that taking the pills could have harmed my health permanently. I, like many other women who have commented here, was told by my doctor that there were no concerns with taking the pill even when I advised of my concern. I wish I had never taken the pill."

Yes, but there are usually side effects and risks associated with most types of medication.

So therefore you should be careful what you put into your mouth....

Offline Daisy2010

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Re: Lady's Section: English Speaking OBGYN ?s
« Reply #116 on: July 12, 2013, 02:12:20 PM »
If you need a gyno I highly recommend 'La Mere' Women's Clinic in Singil, Seoul (where line 1 and 5 intersect). I just walked in and they asked me to wait a minute for an English speaking woman who was very friendly and went through the paperwork with me. I waited about 30 mins (since I just walked in) and then saw Dr. Kim Ji Yeon (Dr. 김 지연). Her English was near perfect and she was non-judgemental. The exam was quick and not too uncomfortable. You get changed into a skirt that is provided and then sit in a chair. They pull a small curtain in front of you so you can't see them or whats going on. It was a bit strange but not too bad since Dr. Kim talked to me during the exam. I got a pap smear and std test for $140 (the std test was $100 because I opted for the more-thorough test rather than just testing for the top 5 stds, which would have cost $60). The clinic texted me when my results came in and I made an appointment. When I went back in to see Dr. Kim she gave me a copy of my results in English for my doctor at home. Overall, it was probably my test gyno experience haha.

Name: La Mere // 라 메르 여성병웍
Number: 02-847-1001
Website: www.ilamere.com
Dr. Kim's Schedule: Monday to Friday 9-6 // Sat 9-3
Drections:
Signil on line 1 and 5. Take exit 1 and turn left to walk down the hill. After ~3mins you will come to a T-shaped interestion with a Paris Baguette, Tous Les Jours and Home plus express. Turn right and cross the street. Walk past home plus and go straight for about 5 mins. The clinic is on the right and it is in a black marble building on the 2nd floor.

Just to follow up, I went to La Mere Clinic this weekend and I highly recommend this clinic as well.
The assistant (Yunice) is very welcoming and friendly.  Both Yunice and Dr.Kim speak English with ease, so there's nothing to worry about in terms of communication.
Since I live in the country, they even offer to fax the prescription to your pharmacy so you can fill it if needed.
I went in for an ultrasound and check up, which cost just over W40,000.  The facilities are clean and Dr.Kim talks you through the procedure, which is reassuring.
Although it was far for me to get there, ultimately I thought it was worth it!  Thank you to the original poster for recommending it!


I would just like to add a little more information about La Mere clinic

After seeing these two glowing reports I went ahead and booked myself into this clinic.
The previous posters are totally right - the place is lovely and clean, very welcoming and the level of English is excellent.
However I'm sorry to say I had a very unusual and bad experience with this clinic.

Please bear with me as it is quite an epic saga and probably one of the worst, most stressful times of my life.

Recently I had a second abnormal result from a smear test and spent over two months visiting this clinic having various tests and biopsys.
They found out what was wrong with me and wanted to operate.
(LEEP conization for cervical dysplasia) 
The doctor made the whole thing sound really scary and horrible and wasn't very compassionate or comforting.  And as the clinic is very busy, the waiting room is always quite full and I felt I was only given partial explanations before I was rushed out of the doctor’s office as she had many other patients to see.
However, as this was the second clinic I had visited in Korea and was better than the zero English one I went to previously I felt I had no choice but to go ahead with the procedure there.

However during some pre-op preparation tests they found problems with my blood
Over the course of 2 weeks I went from having Hemophilia to liver problems to kidney problems to poisonous levels of Potassium.
That last one was a hoot – if I really did have as much potassium as they said I did I should have died of cardiac arrest on the way up the stairs.

Eventually because they couldn't find out what the problem was they referred me to a blood specialist in my home town university hospital.
(a live in a fairly small provincial city – so this really surprised me)

On my first visit to the blood specialist he concluded that there was nothing wrong with my blood.  Someone at La Mere either has no idea what they are doing or messed up a number of times. Thankfully this was a positive end to my weeks of complete fear that I had some really serious blood disease.

Anyway because of the craziness with my bloods my local hospital also decided to give me a second opinion on the other issue.
I got transferred to a lovely gynecologist who examined and retested everything.
Alas, I did have to go ahead with the procedure but it was done really quickly and easily on Saturday morning.  I was in the hospital for less than 2 hours and most of this time was spent with the doctor calmly explaining everything and answering all my silly panicked questions.
Now 1 week post-op I have none of the side-effects that the La Mere doctor warned me of.
For the same procedure La Mere wanted me to stay overnight in their clinic, miss 2 days of school and generally had me absolutely terrified.

I am shocked at how differently the doctors treated this procedure and I'm so very glad that I went with the second opinion.

Speaking with one of my Korean friends about my ordeal she questioned why I had gone to a private clinic in the first place.
Apparently here in Korea all the best doctors work in the public hospitals.

I was also surprised at the amazing level of English my local doctor has.
So I recommend people giving the bigger hospitals more thought when you need something like this.  I avoided the public hospital and went to a private clinic as I thought they would be more accustomed to dealing with foreigners.
Man was I wrong!!

The La Mere clinic is really a nice clinic and perfectly fine if you are just going for a regular check up but if things get more complicated or serious I would recommend going elsewhere – especially a university hospital if you can.

I hate to post negative things but I feel like this info really needs to be out there.
My case may be a unique and unfortunate situation but just in case another woman goes to La Mere and gets a similar diagnosis.

I would like to prevent anyone from having to go through what I just went through.







Offline bird212

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Re: Lady's Section: Birth control and OBGYN ?s
« Reply #117 on: July 19, 2013, 09:48:32 AM »
Hey ladies....So after much searching and experimenting with my gyno in the states, I've found that ortho tri cyclen (ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate) brand necessary is what works best for my skin.  I'm coming to SK in August and I'm having a lot of issues getting it ahead of time from the insurance I'm currently on (lots of phone calls, back and forth, pain in the @$$).  I also know that even with my current insurance, it would cost about $200-$300 for a years worth.  Plus, once I start working in Korea I will likely be taken off the insurance I now have which is under my father's company, so getting the three months at a time, gradual refill might be difficult/more expensive.  So here are my questions...

1) Those of you who get bc sent from home, how expensive does it end up being without insurance from the States?  :/

2) Is Triquilar the closest birth control pill available in SK to ortho tri cyclen?  I haven't found any pills in my research that are the ethinyl estradiol/norgestimate equivalent in SK and I can't decide if I should just take the gamble with my body and hope I don't have a bad reaction to Triquilar.  I just hate to risk having my skin break out, as I've had acne issues most of my life and I really don't want to show up in Korea with pimples, or get pimples while I'm there because I've read too many stories on here of co-teachers and students being too honest about how ugly people look or pointing out things like acne.  I could handle it fine but acne has been a struggle for me since adolescence and I'm just sick of it and don't want to deal with it there!

Thanks for your advice...I hope people see this even though it's all the way at the last page of this thread :(
Get $10 off your first order at www.iherb.com with this code KRG363

Offline eahouston

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Re: Lady's Section: Birth control and OBGYN ?s
« Reply #118 on: July 19, 2013, 10:23:16 AM »
I took Ortho Tri Cyclen back home so I took Triquilar here for 6 months or so.  The only problem is only one pharmacy in my town carried it, and then they started telling me last year that I needed a prescription for it.  (Not sure if this is true or not since they were the only pharmacy that sold it near me.)  I decided to switch to one of the more popular brands, Meliane, which is monophasic, but it's working for me and it's slightly cheaper than Triquilar.  My skin is good these days if that's your main concern :)

Offline peachkitten

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Re: Lady's Section: Birth control and OBGYN ?s
« Reply #119 on: July 23, 2013, 05:16:14 AM »
When I was in Korea a couple years ago, I was easily able to get birth control over the counter at a pharmacy. It wasn't very expensive at all. They never really gave me a choice though; just handed me a box- I think it was the Mercilon many people have talked about.

I've heard that the rules have changed now though; so will I not be able to get ANY birth control over the counter other than the morning after pill or condoms?
Also, I am considering getting the Implanon once I'm in Seoul. Any recent experiences with that as far as costs, side effects, etc? I'm very open with not having a period so that would be a plus.
Others have said good things about an IUD, but I was kinda wary of that as I heard some stories of uterine wall piercings, extreme discomfort during and after insertion (especially if you've never had children, which I haven't), and discomfort for the guy during sex. So I was leaning towards getting Implanon after a couple of paychecks and just practicing abstinence (or condoms if something happens) until then.