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I've been trying to find info about contraceptive pills in Shanghai. I can't possibly bring enough for the whole year from Europe. I heard that you can get them over the counter in a pharmacy, but is that even safe? How much does it cost? What brands are there? Thank you!

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On 7/12/2019 at 4:31 PM, Tiri said:

I can't possibly bring enough for the whole year from Europe.


Why not? They won't take much room in your suitcase. 


That would far and away be the best plan. Especially if you've already found a brand you like and your body physiology is used to them. 


Save yourself a hunt in China. Save yourself from going through a period of adjustment to some new brand that is "very similar" but not quite the same. 


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I agree with abcdefg, even though that does not answer your question. Not sure how the medical system works in your country, but when I went to China for a year and was on the pill, I explained the situation to my doctor, who gave me a prescription for 12 months' worth of pills instead of the usual 6. The pills are light and small, so you can just bring them in your suitcase.

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I have to agree with Lu and abcdefg. Get a years worth and take them with you.

Maybe a copy of the prescription or letter from the doctor in case you are asked for it at customs. Find out what birth control is in Chinese so there is no confusion if asked.

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One point that hasn't been mentioned is that counterfeit drugs is a huge problem in China.  You can get drugs very cheaply, but it will be hard to know if they actually work.  

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There are only three brands of contraceptive pills available in China - Marvelon is one, can't remember the name of the two others. You can buy them over the counter at the pharmacy, reasonably cheap. If you don't get on with these three brands then you're out of luck. The pill is not massively popular here and whereas in the UK there are countless formulations (cos, y'know, we're all different!), here's there's just those three. The minipill is not available at all, even at western hospitals/clinics (oh, and most contraception is not covered by insurance). 


I'd advise you to bring as much as possible from Europe. I go to Hong Kong to get mine (HK Family Planning Association is available even for people without HKID, quite reasonably priced). 

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5 hours ago, Dawei3 said:

One point that hasn't been mentioned is that counterfeit drugs is a huge problem in China.  You can get drugs very cheaply, but it will be hard to know if they actually work.  


tbh that's a bit of scaremongering :wink:, I highly doubt a hospital or the big legitimate chain store pharmacy are knowing handing out counterfeit drugs . On line, alibaba etc yes I say so


A lot of chinese woman use contraceptive pills including my gf and some of her friends. China is not like 40 years ago, plenty woman are having casual relationships, flings (跑友), one night stands and use the pill (including the morning after pill ) which is available from the pharmacy. 


however easiest option is just to bring the lot from Europe for reasons mentioned above.

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21 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

that's a bit of scaremongering

Unfortunately, it is not.  There are countless articles on it.  The gov't is considering ways to fight counterfeiting.  From the Chinese press:



The counterfeiters are often so good, it's very hard to tell if a drug is fake.  A pharmacy or even a hospital isn't going to have GC-mass spectrometer that they can run a sample thru (and even if today's sample is good, tomorrow's may not be).  Also faked are the quality reports associated with drug manufacturing.  


Even TCM is available as counterfeit:  https://www.sixthtone.com/news/1002735/its-time-to-get-tough-on-fake-chinese-medicine


The Western press says similar things:  



And the Indian press:  https://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2019/05/04/India-China-are-leading-sources-of-counterfeit-medicines-report.html


And the World Health Organization which links to a report that notes "China has a thriving counterfeit medicine industry". https://www.who.int/phi/publications/2081China020517.pdf


And the above are just a few examples.... it's not scaremongering.  






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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks a lot guys! Maybe you have any info about Nuvaring availability? I was searching through the Chinese internet and I found some discussions about 避孕环, though I have no idea if that's it and if I can get it in any pharmacy

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