Hello women and men who live alongside women. Today, let’s learn about the options and costs of birth control in Malaysia.
This guide is divided into the following sections:
- Section 1: Preventative and family planning – how to avoid getting pregnant
- Section 2: Access to emergency contraception – where to get morning-after pill
- Section 3: How and where to get an abortion in Malaysia (I don’t want you to get to this stage but I’d rather you not die with DIY methods, so)
- Section 4: Adoption in Malaysia – how to give your baby up for adoption in Malaysia and who to contact
- Cost figures from government-run clinics are taken from LPPKN website. Their prices are the cheapest, but limited to only married couples. To access their services, you have to register yourself and your spouse at the Portal Reproductive Health System page
- Cost figures from private sector are estimates, based on multiple sources, including Reddit threads (like this one and this one). It varies depending on the type of institution you go to – pharmacies, public/private hospitals or local/specialist clinics.
- Access to birth control from the private sector is legal in Malaysia. There are no official laws stipulating certain marital status is required. Any doctor that denies you simply because you’re unmarried has no right to do so. If they refuse to provide services, simply go to another doctor who is unbiased
- Birth control IS NOT the same thing as STD (sexually-transmitted disease) or STI (sexually-transmitted infection) prevention. Only abstinence and condoms help prevent STDs and STIs.
Without further ado, scroll down to the sections you need.
Section 1: Preventative birth control and family planning in Malaysia
The methods are sorted from least to most costly. Data on effectiveness were taken from the Planned Parenthood website.
#0 – Abstinence, the rhythm method or the withdrawal method
What is it:
- Abstinence method: Much like its name, this is when an individual completely abstains from having sexual intercourse.
- Rhythm method: This is when an individual tracks their reproductive cycle to see when their fertile window is. The “fertile window” is when a female is most vulnerable to pregnancy due because those days are near when ovulation would occur. “Ovulation” is when the egg is released from the ovary. Those who use the rhythm method would engage in sexual intercourse during the days which are not part of their fertile window.
- The withdrawal method: Also known as the “pull-out method”, this is when the male would ejaculate outside of the vagina to avoid a pregnancy from occuring.
Cost: None, but taking a test to find out ovulation period for the rhythm method can cost you RM12 to RM20 per test
- Abstinence: 100% if there’s no sexual activity. But the reality is ‘intentions to abstain from sexual activity often fail’
- The rhythm method: 76-88% effective
- The withdrawal or pull-out method: 78% effective
The theory behind these methods make sense, but don’t rely on them. If you’re sexually active, add on another birth control method. See #1-7 below.
#1 – Condoms
What is it: The male condom is used over the man’s erect penis. It may be made of latex, polyurethane or polyisoprene. For those allergic to latex, there are specialised condoms made of lambskin available. It is the most common contraceptive used by couples worldwide.
The condom is the only form of birth control method that not only prevents pregnancy but also the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI) like HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
Note: Female condoms exist, but not available/sold in Malaysia as far as I could tell.
Effectiveness: 85% and even LOWER if you don’t know how to put it on correctly
Where to get it: Pharmacies, convenience stores or online stores like Lazada or Shoppee. Always buy well-known and trusted brands. You can also get from government-run clinics.
Cost of condoms in Malaysia:
- From pharmacies: Ranges from RM6 for a 3-pack, RM20 per 12-pack and onwards.
- From government-run clinics: RM1 for a 3-pack or RM4 per a 12-pack
#2 – Birth control pills in Malaysia (Oral Contraception)
What is it: Birth control pills are a kind of medicine with hormones to stop ovulation. No ovulation means there’s no egg hanging around for sperm to fertilise, so pregnancy can’t happen.
Birth control pills come in one pack (either for 21 days or 28 days) and need to be taken daily and exactly at the same time for it to be fully effective. It is usually taken for the next 21 days after your period has ended.
There are many types of birth control pills in Malaysia. Here are some of the popular options: Mercilon, Marvelon, Noriday, Nordette, Loette and Yasmin. Many people adviced to start from the lowest-cost options, and pick another one in case that brand is not suitable for your body (the side effects varies).
Each birth control pill comes in a pack. When a pack is finished, you take a break for 7 days (to allow the period to happen) before starting a new pack/box. Some brands have 28 pills in them, with 7 pills being placebo pills – pills with no hormones, taken only by those who have problems keeping track of when they need to take the new box.
Where to get it: Pharmacies and government-run clinics. EDIT: See the comments section for feedback from readers
Cost of birth control pills in Malaysia:
- From pharmacies: RM10-55 per month (depends on brand)
- At government clinics: RM5-52 per month (depends on brand). Aside from the 6 below, please refer to LPPKN website for the full list of birth control pills and their pricing.
#3 – Contraceptive injection in Malaysia
What is it: The birth control shot, Depo-Provera, is a hormonal injection that prevents unplanned pregnancy for three months at a time. The hormone in this shot is progestin. There is also the Depocon shot.
The birth control shot works similarly to the birth control pill. It prevents ovulation and increases the mucus buildup around the opening of the cervix.
Where to get it: Private clinics, OBGYN or government clinics.
Cost of contraceptive injection in Malaysia:
- From private clinics and OBGYNs: RM18-RM36 per shot (effective for up to 3 months per shot)
- From government clinics: RM18-RM36
#4 – IUD in Malaysia
What is it: “IUD” stands for “intrauterine device”. It’s shaped like a “T”, a bit bigger than a 5 cents coin and fits inside your uterus. Pregnancy is prevented by stopping the sperm from reaching and fertilising the eggs. Once inserted, it can last from 3 to 10 years depending on what kind of IUD you have gotten.
Cost of IUD in Malaysia:
Where to get it: Private clinics, OBGYN or government-run clinics.
- Hormonal IUD from private clinics and OBGYNs: RM80-RM110 (effective for up to 3-6 years, depending on the brand). Removing it will cost approx RM20
- Copper IUD from private clinics and OBGYNs: RM600 at a specialist centre (effective for up to 10-12 years)
- From government-run clinics: RM80-RM110. Removal is RM20
#5 – Hormonal implants in Malaysia
What is it: Hormonal implant or contraceptive implant is a tiny tube which is placed (‘implanted) under the skin of the upper arm. It releases hormones that significantly reduce the chance of pregnancy
Where to get it: Private clinics, OBGYNs or government-run clinics.
Cost of hormonal implants in Malaysia:
- From private clinics and OBGYNs: RM500 (effective for up to 3 years). Removing it will cost approx RM100.
- From government-run clinics: RM500 (effective for up to 3 years). Removing it will cost RM100.
#6 – Vasectomy
What is it: Sterilisation method for men; minor surgery which blocks sperm from leaving the testis
Where to get it: Private or government medical centres
Cost of vasectomy is Malaysia:
- From private medical centres: RM2k-6k (according to RoR readers)
- From government-run centres: RM300-RM550 (according to LPPKN website)
#7 – Tubal Ligation
What is it: Sterilisation method for women; surgery which blocks or removes part of the Fallopian tubes
Where to get it: Private medical centres
Cost of tubal ligation is Malaysia:
- Unknown – please comment if you have the figures
Section two: Access to emergency contraception in Malaysia
#1 – Morning-after pill (Plan B or Emergency Contraception)
What is it: Pill taken by the woman after exposure of semen in vagina, such as condom breakage. You have to take it up to 5 days after the incident. Not recommended to take it too often as there may be side effects.
Effectiveness: It is estimated that Postinor-2 will prevent 85% of expected pregnancies. 95% of expected pregnancies will be prevented if taken within the first 24 hours, declining to 58% if taken between 48 hours and 72 hours after unprotected intercourse.
Where to get it: Pharmacies. Ask for Postinor-2, Escapella or Ella.
Cost of morning-after pill in Malaysia: RM5-RM53
Section 3: how and where to get an abortion in Malaysia
Please visit the Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia page and this informative Reddit thread for medical and surgical abortion options.
Cost of abortion in Malaysia:
- Abortion pills for termination of pregnancies under 9 weeks: RM350-RM580
- Surgical abortion in Malaysia: RM800-RM4000. EDIT: Also see the comments section
Section 4: Adoption in Malaysia
If its too late for abortion but you/your partner don’t want to keep the baby, please call Talian Kasih at 15999 so you can give them up for adoption. If anonymity is important, ask for locations of baby hatches to leave the baby behind in safe conditions.
If you and your partner do want to keep the baby, you might want to get your financial management as a couple in order. You don’t need me to tell you that babies are expensive.
Are you on any birth control?
Are you on birth control? Which one(s)? Why did you pick that option? Was it easy to get? How much was it? How did you discuss it with your partner (if you discuss at all).
Did you go with private sector or did you utilise government-run clinics? (If you want this option, go register at Portal Reproductive Health System page). If you have tried government options, how was the experience like? Would you recommend it?
Tbh I have so many questions still. Information on birth control in Malaysia is not the easiest to get – I need your help to make this article more comprehensive. Share your experience in the comments section.
Stay safe kids.