Newborn care is not easy but luckily it gets easier after a couple of weeks (or months) once you and your baby get used to this new life. As things settle in, you and your partner can finally have a more intimate relationship again. As you may not be thinking of having another baby yet, we help you review your birth control options so you can enjoy each other without worries. Here is a useful and complete guide to contraception in Hong Kong.
Breastfeeding and fertility
During breastfeeding your body naturally produces the hormone prolactin, which stimulates the production of milk. Prolactin is known to interfere with ovulation, especially when you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby. In some women, this hormonal change during breastfeeding stops ovulation, but other women do not experience this temporary state of infertility. Therefore, it is advised to still explore postpartum birth control even as you are not menstruating while breastfeeding.
Unfortunately, commonly used hormonal birth control options are limited for breastfeeding mums because estrogen can decrease milk production. Hence hormonal contraceptives containing estrogen are generally not advised to be used while breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed.
Most common postpartum contraceptives in Hong Kong
Condoms – Both male and female versions are available, though the male option is most prevalent. A pack of ten condoms will set you back about HK$100 in stores. They’re the best last-minute option and can be found in pharmacies and at your neighborhood Seven-Eleven. You can get male condoms at Birth Control Clinics of The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (FPAHK), to get more information on services and fees, refer here. This is common contraception in Hong Kong.
Hormonal Contraceptives – These come in oral, patch, implant and injectable formats and can combine estrogen and progesterone or contain the latter only (often referred to as the mini-pill). Pills are taken daily, patches changed weekly, and implants (last for 3 years) and injections are available in monthly or quarterly doses administered by your doctor. For breastfeeding mums, the most suitable contraceptives only contain progesterone, which limits your options to the mini-pill and progesterone shots. FPAHK Birth Control Clinics provide oral contraceptives and injectable contraceptives. To get more information on services and fees, refer here.
Intra-Uterine Devices (IUDs) – A small T-shaped device containing copper or a progesterone-containing coil is inserted into the uterus by your doctor. Both options are available at FPAHK Birth Control Clinics in Hong Kong. To get more information on services and fees, refer here. Both IUDs are usually good for 5-10 years, depending on the model.
Sterilization – A permanent birth control solution when you and your partner do not want to conceive anymore. Women can undergo tubal ligations and men vasectomies.
While some generic oral contraceptives in Hong Kong are sold over the counter, it is recommended to talk to your doctor before starting or changing birth control methods, especially if you are breastfeeding or considering doing so. Also, your medical history can dictate which option is more suitable for your situation. Options such as patches, implants, injectables and IUDs are available by prescription only and administered by a doctor when applicable. Note that most private health insurance policies do not cover contraception in Hong Kong.
Emergency contraception in Hong Kong
Emergency contraceptive pills can be taken within 72 or 120 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse or a copper IUD can be inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex. Since in Hong Kong you need a prescription to obtain emergency contraception at pharmacies, you’ll need to see a doctor first. If you are married or aged 26 or above, you can visit FPAHK Birth Control Clinics or, if you are under 26 and not married, FPAHK's Youth Health Care Centres. Women in urgent need of service outside regular opening hours may attend the Accident & Emergency Department of the Hospital Authority, Maternal & Child Health Centres, or private hospitals/clinics. Anyone can go to a private clinic or hospital, but charges will vary.
It is advised that mums do not breastfeed after taking emergency contraceptive pills. Contact your doctor if you’ve questions about emergency contraceptive pills.
FPAHK Birth Control Clinics
Open to married couples under 26 and unmarried persons aged 26 or above. Five locations across Hong Kong (appointment not needed):
- Wan Chai Clinic
G/F Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Hong Kong
Enquiry tel: 2919-7777
- Ma Tau Chung Clinic
1/F, 105 Ma Tau Chung Road, Kowloon
Enquiry tel: 2711-9271
- Tsuen Wan Clinic
Room 1621-1622, 16/F, Nan Fung Centre, 264-298 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Enquiry tel: 2742-8183
- Wong Tai Sin Clinic
G/F, No. 1-2 Lung On House, Lower Wong Tai Sin Estate II, Kowloon
Enquiry tel: 2326-2447
- Yuen Long Clinic
G/F, 149-153 On Ning Road, Yuen Long, New Territories
Enquiry tel: 2477-3201
For the service hours of FPAHK Birth Control Clinics, refer here.
FPAHK Youth Health Care Centres (YHCCs)
Open to unmarried people under the age of 26, with 3 locations:
Wan Chai YHCC
FPA Hong Kong Jockey Club Youth Zone, 8/F Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Hong Kong
Tel: 2575-4799 (by appointment only)
Mong Kok YHCC
Room A, 13/F Full Win Commercial Centre, 573 Nathan Road, Kowloon
Tel: 2770-4994 (by appointment only)
Kwai Fong YHCC
Unit 702-705, Level 7, Tower II, Metroplaza, 223 Hing Fong Road, New Territories
Tel: 2443-2773 (by appointment only)
These FPAHK Birth Control Clinics and YHCCs provide emergency contraceptives after consultation and provide STD screening and contraceptives. If you get a prescription from your doctor, you can pick up your emergency contraceptive pill from most pharmacies, including Fanda Pharmacy in Central.
Birth control and Breastfeeding
To summarize the contraception options in Hong Kong for breastfeeding women who not want another baby so soon: condoms can always be used but only certain hormonal contraceptives are suitable. An advantage of injections is that it is only needed once a quarter, versus remembering to take a daily pill. Copper and Progestin-coils can be inserted immediately after delivery and can remain for up to 10 years (depending on the brand and type), making them a very low-maintenance option. Remember to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your birth control options.
🔥 Exclusive offer: Save up to $8,000 now! 🔥
Looking for health insurance in Hong Kong? Alea is your best choice.
With Alea, finding the right health insurance is easy & pressure-free!
🔎 Free comparison on 25+ insurers
💰 Save time & money
💬 Unbiased advice
💯 Excellent service all year long
This article was independently written by Healthy Matters and is not sponsored. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.