Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Types of Birth Control Available in Korea

Updated 21 September 2016

There really are a lot of birth control options available here in Korea. If you're looking to breastfeed, you have to be careful about estrogen that is in some birth control pills. The mini pill isn't available here, but there are pills with low amounts of estrogen. Most lactation consultants advise waiting at least 8 weeks after giving birth (though 12 weeks is ideal) to start taking birth control pills with estrogen. The reason for this is that it can affect your milk supply.

If you are trying to breastfeed remember that there is a lot of English speaking help available out there here in Korea. Here's a list of birthing professionals in Korea who can help you.

Birth Control Options Available in Korea
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Here are what people use as birth control (preventing getting pregnant and/or terminating an early pregnancy) methods here in Korea. TCOYF by Toni Weschler (Taking Charge of Your Fertility) is an amazing book with information on how to get pregnant and how to avoid getting pregnant. It's the leading book on fertility and women's reproductive health. Whether you think these options are right or wrong is up to you, I'm just letting you know what options are out there.

Some of these methods are more effective than others, so please do your research accordingly! Perfect-use failure rate is very different than typical-use failure rate. Some are permanent, others are not. Some need to be done daily, others months, others yearly. Some will require a visit to a doctor or pharmacy, others can be done on your own. Here are some hospitals and clinics in Korea.

Medical and Barrier Methods
  • Abortion
  • Cervical caps
  • Condoms, male
  • Diaphragms
  • Implants (such as Implanon or Jadelle)
  • Injections (such as Depro)
  • IUD, Cooper 
  • IUD, Hormonal (such as Mirena or Skylar)
  • NuvaRing
  • Patch
  • Pill, birth control (피임약) Here's a list of what's available in Korea. You can buy birth control in bulk so many women just stock up here. In addition to the ones listed on the link you can now also find Alesse (에이리스), Meliane (멜리안), Minivlar (미니버러), and Qlaira. Birth control pills are usually 6,000-10,000 won and many are available over-the-counter. Yaz and Yasmin (yes, they are different) are not available over the counter and require a prescription. They cost about 30,000.
  • Pill, morning after 
  • Tubal ligation
  • Vasectomy

Natural Family Planning Methods 
You should also read, TCOYF by Toni Weschler (Taking Charge of Your Fertility) since many of these options are discussed in the book. 
Sources: Mothering and Wikipedia.

Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.


  1. So diaphragms and cervical caps are not available in Korea?

    1. Yes, they are. I've been told that Dr Sung will provide them. Other places here might as well,

  2. Do you know of any OB/GYNs in Korea who are familiar with Fertility Awareness Methods of contraception and would not push hormones?

    1. I don't, but I will ask in Expat Women in Korea,

  3. Of the listed birth control pills, which ones are OTC?

    1. The three in Korean should be OTC. If you just go and ask for birth control using google translate they will give you one or two to choose from.

  4. About IMPLANTS I want to know does it last for 5years because I heard that putting them it's easy that taking them out....and does it get done on your arm or inside your private parts...I want to try this one am in Korea

    1. It lasts up to 3 years and it goes in your arm. You need to go to the doctor to get it put in and taken out.

  5. Hi! Do you know where I can buy fertility/ovulation kits here in Korea? Also, can you recommend a good brand of it?

    1. Hi! I bought my OPKs off ebay and liked the Wondfo brand. You can probably get some at the pharmacy as well, but they're much cheaper online. It'll take about a month for them to get here.


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