In Japan, many residents or visitors from other countries may find it difficult to access contraceptives other than condoms. Without preparation beforehand, foreigners have struggled when realizing this during their stay in Japan. Not only do you need to go to a maternity clinic to receive a prescription, contraception is not covered by health insurance.
The pill can cost around 3,000 to 4,000 yen per sheet. If you happen to need an examination (also not covered by insurance), your total may come to around 10,000 yen.If you are in need of emergency contraceptives, the price for a dose of pills is extremely high, around 15,000 to 20,000 yen.
The Morning After Pill is well-known in Japan, but also when you come to maternity clinic, they usually give you pills from other medical brands. When you come to the clinic, simply say to the receptionist: ‘モーニングアフターピルをお願いします’ (mo-ningu afutaa piru wo onegaishimasu). In some clinics in major cities, there may be staff members who can help you in English.
Next, they will ask you to show your Insurance card (or Passport in case of tourists), then the receptionist will give you a form in Japanese. You could also ask if it is possible to receive a form in English. Some clinics may have other languages available as well. The form asks for your basic information and your request (pill or test, etc). After completing the form, you return it to reception and wait until you are called.
When it’s your turn, the doctor will have a short consultation with you, asking questions about the most recent time you had intercourse, your menstrual cycle and lastly if you are aware of how high the price for contraceptive pills will be. After that, the doctor will give you your prescription, explain everything you need to know, including side effects, how to use the medicine and when you can have the next emergency pills.
At the end of the visit, you write your name/ birthdate/ etc and sign a paper saying that you take responsibility for agreeing to use these pills, even if it does not work. After giving that paper to the receptionist, she will give you your bill. Where you receive your pills may depend on the clinic. In some cases, you can pick up your prescription at the closest pharmacy. At other clinics, the receptionist will also give you the prescription along with your bill.
The Morning After Pill is for emergency cases. For a prescription for monthly use of contraception, you will need to visit the clinic once a month to receive it. Be well-prepared for anything that may happen and be healthy as you enjoy your life in Japan!