7 birth control options available in Malaysia and how much they cost

Rachel Lee

Rachel Lee

Last updated 18 May, 2022

Unfortunately, the topic of birth control is still a taboo subject in Malaysia and people often keep their questions to themselves until it's too late.

However, we’re here to assure you that it does not have to be that way. Now more than ever, sex education is incredibly important in our lives not only for us to practise safe sex, but also for us to understand our bodies and what they’re trying to tell us. 

While not all bodies react the same way to one birth control method, it is possible to find one that is suitable for your needs and lifestyle. Thus, when going through your options, factor in things like comfort, cost, convenience, side effects, and effectiveness before making your decision.

Here are the types of contraception available in Malaysia:

1. Condoms

A condom is a rubber sleeve that is worn over an erect penis to act as a barrier to prevent sperm from entering the vagina. 

Why it's great:

  • It is the only type of contraceptive that can protect against sexual transmitted infections (STIs) as it prevents exchange of body fluids during intercouse.
  • It has no side effects unless you’re allergic to latex.
  • They’re the most easily available contraceptive and can typically be found in most pharmacies and convenience stores.
  • You don’t need a prescription to buy condoms.
  • They come in different sizes, thickness, and even texture to enhance pleasure during intercourse.

The drawbacks:
It is possible for condoms to break or slip off during intercourse.

Effectiveness:
It is 97% effective if used correctly, so make sure to watch a tutorial or read the instructions provided before using a condom.

Cost:
RM6 to RM15 for a box of three

Common brands in Malaysia:
Durex, ONE, Playboy, Okamoto

2. Oral Contraceptive Pills

Commonly known as birth control pills, these pills contain hormones higher than a woman’s normal hormone levels to stop ovulation, thus preventing pregnancy. When taken, the cervical mucus is thickened to keep sperm from entering the uterus.

There are two types of oral contraceptive pills: the combination pill (estrogen and progesterone), which has to be taken everyday for 3 weeks of the month, and progesterone-only pill, which has to be taken everyday of the month.

Though both types can be bought from a pharmacist without a prescription, we would suggest that you seek medical advice before using these pills as they might not be suitable for your body and its condition.

Why it's great:

  • These pills are known to treat acne and painful periods
  • They can regulate periods, making it shorter and less heavy
  • They’re convenient to purchase

The drawbacks:

  • The side effects, such as hormonal acne, weight gain, depression, blood clots, and more.
  • Users will have to take the pill at the same time every single day
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs.

Effectiveness:
91% if taken at almost the same time everyday.

Cost:
RM25 to RM60 for a box which will last you one month.

Common brands in Malaysia:
Yasmin, Liza, Yaz, Diane, Regulon, Rigevidon, Mirogynon

3. Hormonal Injection

The hormonal injection is a progestin-based shot that can be prescribed and administered at any government or private clinic. It lasts for three months, so you will only have to get about four shots a year. 

Similar to oral contraceptive pills, the injected progesterone works to prevent ovulation, thin out the uterus lining, and thicken the cervical mucus to make it close to impossible to get pregnant.

Why it's great:

  • You don’t have to take pills everyday at the same time, making it extremely convenient.
  • It’s an option for women who can’t take estrogen.
  • Helps with heavy and painful periods by reducing menstrual cramps and flow.

The drawbacks:

  • Can cause irregular bleeding or spotting.
  • Could decrease bone density if used long term.
  • Does not protect against STIs.
  • Known to cause weight gain in some.

Effectiveness:
96%

Cost:
RM36 to RM90 for three months, depending on the clinic.

Common brands in Malaysia:
Depo-Provera

4. Hormonal Implant

Like the injection, implants introduce progestin into the body, but in the form of a 4cm plastic rod that is inserted underneath the skin of your arm. It then releases small amounts of progestin into your body over three years.

It also works to prevent ovulation by thinning out the uterine lining and thickening the cervical mucus. However, in order to get it, you will have to go to a clinic to be prescribed and administered this implant.

Why it’s great:

  • Can be given to women who can’t take estrogen.
  • Can be given to women who suffer from heavy and painful periods.
  • It’s convenient as you will be able to practice safe sex for 3 years.

The drawbacks:

  • Though it lasts for 3 year, the upfront payment is high.
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs.
  • Can cause irregular bleeding in the first couple of months of use.
  • Can decrease bone density if used long term.

Effectiveness:
99%

Cost:
RM600 at government clinics, RM800 to RM900 at private clinics.

Duration of effect:
3 years

Common brands in Malaysia:
Implanon

5. Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD)

The IUD prevents pregnancy by giving a direct spermicidal effect on sperm entering the uterus to prevent fertilisation from occurring. It is a small, T-shaped plastic device that is wrapped in copper and does not contain hormones, thus allowing you to still get your periods.

The IUD can only be inserted by a specialised doctor or a gynaecologist, and can protect you against pregnancy for 3 to 5 years. However, if you change your mind and would like to have a baby, the IUD can be removed earlier. 

Why it's great:

  • You’ll be able to practice safe sex, worry free, for 3 to 5 years.

The drawbacks:

  • The insertion might be painful.
  • Your periods might be heavier and more painful in the first few months.
  • There is a risk of pelvic infection.
  • Does not protect against STIs.
  • You will have to check if the strings are still protruding from your cervix once a month as it is possible for the device to be suddenly expelled.

Effectiveness:
99%

Cost:
RM80 to RM110 at government clinics, RM500 to RM600 at private clinics for 3 to 5 years.

Common brands in Malaysia:
Multiload, Mona Lisa, Nova-T

6. Hormonal Intrauterine Device (IUD)

As opposed to the copper IUD, hormonal IUDs are wrapped with progestin to prevent pregnancies by stopping ovulation, thinning the uterus lining, and thickening cervical mucus.

Why it's great:

  • It offers contraceptive protection for up to 5 years.
  • Can decrease menstrual bleeding and painful periods.

The drawbacks:

  • The upfront payment is high.
  • The insertion may be painful.
  • Can cause irregular bleeding in the first few months of use.
  • Can cause bone density if used long term.
  • Risk of pelvic infection.
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs.
  • You will have to check if the strings are still protruding from your cervix once a month as it is possible for the device to be suddenly expelled.

Effectiveness:
99%

Cost:
RM800 to RM1,100 at private clinics for 5 years

Common brands in Malaysia:
Mirena

7. Emergency morning-after pills

Also known as plan B pills, a dose of emergency contraception comes in the form of one or 2 pills that contain much more hormones than regular OCP pills to immediately prevent ovulation.

However, due to its high volume of hormones, morning-after pills should only be taken in the event of an emergency as it could disrupt a woman’s menstrual.

They can also be bought over-the-counter at pharmacies without a prescription and must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, but of course, the sooner you take it, the more effective it will be.

Effectiveness:
Only effective within 3 days after unprotected sex

Cost:
RM5 to RM30

Common brands in Malaysia:
Postinor-2 (RM5), Escapelle (RM20 and above)

Always seek professional medical advice before using any contraceptive methods

As mentioned above, there is still much more information for you to learn about the side effects, methods of usage, and what fits your body and your needs. Whether you’re married or single, learning about safe sex is incredibly crucial and the topic should not be avoided in conversations.

It’s 2022, and it’s time to encourage those around us to learn about their anatomies instead of pretending like everything is okay, just to end up with an accident.

Also, if you’re going to be sexually active, ditch iffy “safe sex” methods, such as the “pull out method” or the “fertile window” method and just get real, proper protection. If you can spend RM18 on coffee, you can spend RM6 on condoms.

With creative wit and an immense passion for writing in her back pocket, Rachel Lee creates impactful content about finance, lifestyle, and more.