IUJ Ladies Health Guide
Female Products 生理用品 “Seiri Youhin”
While napkins for periods are readily available in all sizes, the use of tampons is growing in popularity. You can buy Japanese brands with limited choices in most stores, including 7-11, and drugstores. Tampons are available on amazon.co.jp for delivery to you, including Japanese products (image right) and brands common overseas (OB, Tampax, Kotex). You can arrange to make payments at 7-11 if you do not have a credit card.
Please wrap used products (tampons or napkins) up in tissue or plastic bags to dispose of using the sanitary boxes in the lavatories or in the dorm garbage bins.
Menstrual Pain Medication 整理痛の薬 “Seiri-tsu no Kusuri”
Over-the-counter options are available such as “Eve” (ebu) or “L-Pain 4” (Arupain 4); or by prescriptions from a gynecologist. If you brought some from home, please be sure it is legal in Japan!
Gynecology 婦人科 “SanfuJinka”
We recommend Hitomi Ladies Clinic near the McDonalds in Muikamachi. The city bus drops you near it. https://hitomi-lc.com/ The doctor is female and speaks English. You can make a reservation online. Do not cancel! When necessary, she will refer you to Kikan Hospital for services she cannot provide.
Pap smears (子宮がん検査 “Shikyu-gan Kensa”)/mammogram (マンモグラム “Mammoguramu”) services are readily available through the “Ningen Dock” as part of an annual physical available for fees at Yamato Hospital. However, they are not performed in routine gynecological visits, and are not generally covered by health insurance. If your doctor suspects there may be a problem, then your doctor may have you undergo the check. In this case, it is covered by insurance.
Pap smears are usually conducted in a private room with a curtain that separates you from the doctor/nurses. The curtain goes across your stomach for your privacy. You can hear each other but not see each other.
Moegi Clinic and the Yamato Hospital do NOT offer gynecological services.
Birth Control 避妊 Hinin
Condoms コンドーム “Kondoumu”
The most common form of birth control in Japan is a male condom “Kondo0mu.” These are readily available in drug stores and convenience stores, also in the IUJ shop and dorm public restroom vending machines (SD2 and 3). Condoms should be THE method of protection from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
The Pill 経口避妊薬 “Keikou Hinin Yaku”
IUD 子宮内避妊具 “Shikyūnai Hinengu”
“The Pill” for birth control is traditionally only given to those with specific medical conditions in Japan. IUDs are only just becoming available. You may consult a doctor here about your circumstances.
Pregnancy 妊娠 “Ninshin” and PreNatal care 胎教 “Taikyou”
Home pregnancy tests are called 妊娠検査 “Ninshin Kensa,” and available at any drug store. As soon as you suspect you are pregnant, you need to go to a gynecologist to confirm, and begin prenatal care. Once a viable pregnancy is confirmed, you will receive a Mother/Child handbook （母子手帳 “Boshi Techou”） to use throughout your pregnancy and your baby’s first few years to record growth, immunization history, etc.
The Kikan Hospital has very nice facilities for giving birth, and the after care of you and your child. A healthy birthing is not covered by insurance, but a city allowance helps cover costs. Please refer to the Family Guide for details, including child immunization practices in Japan.
Morning After Pill or “Rape Pill” アフターピル “Afuta piru”
This is available at the Kikan Hospital on request. You need to take this pill within 72 hours of unprotected sex if a possible unwanted pregnancy is suspected. The cost is at least 20,000yen per pill. A required follow up visit after your next period is required, and has a usual visit fee of around 500-1000yen. The After Pill should NOT be used as a method of birth control, but in emergency situations only
Abortion 中絶 “Chuzetsu”
Abortion is available at Kikan Hospital, but abortion is not a form of birth control in Japan.
Abortions may be requested if: health of mother is at risk, pregnancy is not viable, etc. They are not covered by insurance. The average cost is 200,000yen. As surgery is required, you must get the signature of two different people to be your guarantor for: 1) medical decisions if you are not able to make them; 2) payment. Also, the consent of your partner is required in writing.
Japan Health Information
A wealth of information is provided by JHI, It covers basically everything, including women’s health, pregnancies, child birth, child raising, and expressions to use at hospitals and clinics, etc. http://japanhealthinfo.com/
A handout of this information is available in the OSS “Self Help” shelves. Please pick one up for your reference.