What is birth control costing you?

The condom is the most common method of birth control.(rawpixel.com pic)

Access to birth control is legal in Malaysia. There are no official laws stipulating that a certain marital status is required. If any doctor refuses to provide service, simply go to another doctor who is unbiased

Preventative birth control

Abstinence method: This is when you completely abstain from having sexual intercourse.

Rhythm method: This is when you track your reproductive cycle to see when your fertile window is.

The “fertile window” is when a female is most vulnerable to pregnancy due to ovulation. Ovulation is when the egg is released from the ovary.

Those who use the rhythm method engage in sexual intercourse during the days which are not part of the fertile window.

The withdrawal method: Also known as the “pull-out method”, this is when the male will ejaculate outside the vagina to avoid pregnancy.

Cost: None, but taking a test to find out your ovulation period for the rhythm method costs between RM12.00 to RM20.00 per test.

Effectiveness:

Abstinence: 100%.

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 totally on them. If you’re sexually active, do add on other birth control methods.

1. Condoms

The male condom is used over the man’s erect penis. It may be made of latex, polyurethane or polyisoprene.

If you’re allergic to latex, there are specialised condoms made of lambskin. It is the most common contraceptive used by couples worldwide.

The condom is the only birth control method that not only prevents pregnancy but also sexually transmitted infections. Female condoms are not sold in Malaysia as far as we know.

Effectiveness: 85%.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/Bw4jiimFG1k/?utm_source=ig_embed

Cost of condoms:

Ranges from RM6.00 for a three pack box to RM20.00 for a 12-pack box. Sometimes distributed free at health clinics.

Birth control pills stop the ovulation cycle. (rawpixel.com pic)

2. Birth control pills

Birth control pills are medicine with hormones to stop ovulation. No ovulation means no egg for sperm to fertilise, so no pregnancy.

Birth control pills come in either 21 day or 28 day packs and need to be taken daily and exactly at the same time each day for it to be fully effective. It is usually taken for the next 21 days after your period has ended.

When a pack is finished, you take a break for seven days to allow your period to happen before starting a new pack.

Effectiveness: 91%

Cost of birth control pills in Malaysia:

Pharmacies: RM10.00 – RM55.00 per pack

At government clinics: Free or RM1.00

A progestin injection can prevent pregnancy for three months.

3. Birth control injection

The birth control shot, Depo-Provera, is a hormonal injection of progestin that prevents unplanned pregnancy for three months at a time.

Effectiveness: 94%

Cost of birth control injection:

RM18.00 -RM36.00 per shot

At government clinics: Free or RM1.00

The IUD is 99% effective

4. Intrauterine device (IUD)

The IUD is 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 three to ten years depending on the kind of IUD you have.

Effectiveness: 99%

Cost of IUD in Malaysia:

Hormonal IUD: RM80.00 – RM110.00

Copper IUD: RM600.00 at a specialist centre

At government clinics: Free or RM1.00

The implant releases hormones that inhibit pregnancy.

5. Hormonal implants

A hormonal implant or contraceptive implant is a tiny tube which is implanted under the skin of the upper arm. It releases hormones that reduce the chance of pregnancy.

Effectiveness: 99%

Cost of hormonal implants in Malaysia: RM500.00. Removing it will cost approx RM100.00

Minor surgery that blocks sperm from leaving the testis.

6. Vasectomy

Sterilisation method for men; minor surgery which blocks sperm from leaving the testis

Effectiveness: 99%

Cost of vasectomy:

RM300-500 under National Population and Family Development Board Malaysia (LPPKN). RM2,000 to RM6,000 for private

This procedure blocks or removes part of the fallopian tube.

7. Tubal Ligation

A sterilisation method for women; surgery which blocks or removes part of the Fallopian tube.

Effectiveness: 99%

Cost of tubal ligation: Depends on where you carry out the procedure.

Access to emergency contraception

The morning-after pill (Plan B or emergency contraception)

A pill taken by the woman after exposure of semen in vagina. 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.

Cost of morning-after pill: RM5.00 -RM53.00

This article first appeared in www.ringgitohringgit.com

Suraya is a corporate writer-for-hire and the blogger behind personal finance website Ringgit Oh Ringgit. She is more of a minimalist, less of a consumerist, a konon DIY enthusiast, a let’s-support-small-businesses-over-big-corporations kinda girl. Prior to her current role, she worked in various capacities within the non-profit industry.

Please note that this article (including images) is for information purposes only. It is to promote a broader understanding of various health topics, and not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please see your doctor if you have any health concerns.