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Bangladesh

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OVERVIEW

In Bangladesh, contraception (birth control) can be purchased without a prescription. You can obtain emergency contraception (the morning after pill) without a prescription at pharmacies, as well. Regarding STIs, you'll be able to get tested in most facilities, and there are some recognizable organizations and support groups for those affected by hepatitis and HIV. There are some larger private hospitals, which are associated with global hospital groups, that are known to provide some of the best care in Dhaka, though they will cost you more money. You can see their details in the "Gynecological Exams" section below. As for menstruation, you'll be able to find pads, pantyliners and some tampons, but we're not sure if any menstrual cups are for sale in the country. Abortion is generally illegal unless the woman's life is endangered. However, Bangladesh does allow Menstrual Regulation (MR), which allows for vacuum aspiration if a woman misses a period.

Contraception (Birth Control)[edit]

General Note: There are many types of contraceptives, also known as "birth control," including IUDs, oral contraceptives, patches, shots, and condoms, etc. If you would like to view a full list, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Bangladesh, women can purchase hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills) without a prescription. In 2015, it was estimated that 64.2% of Bangladeshi women used some form of contraceptive and 56.7% used modern contraceptive methods. It was estimated that 27.1% had unmet family planning needs. The most common contraceptive methods were birth control pills (32.5%) and injectables (14.1%). Other methods included the rhythm method (5.2%), male condoms (4%) and female sterilization (3.8%).[1]

Bangladesh is a predominantly Muslim country, with 92% of the population Muslim. Generally, Muslim clerics in Bangladesh have not pushed back against birth control, allowing for incredible progress in the past few decades. Starting in the 1970s, Bangladesh began experimenting with offering door-to-door delivery of contraceptives. The studies found that, when women were offered home delivery by health care workers, they were much more likely to use birth control pills. Due to the success of these experiments, Bangladesh began to offer these services throughout the country in the 1980s. Since that time, the average birth rate in Bangladesh has decreased from 6 births to about 2.2. births per woman.[2] As reported by the Guttmacher Institute concerning women in Bangladesh, "The main reasons pill users gave for choosing their method (cited by 35-41%) were that it is easy to use, a field-worker had delivered it to their home and they had concerns about other methods' side effects."[3]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • For a comprehensive list of contraceptive options available in Bangladesh, click here.
  • You can purchase birth control pills at pharmacies in Dhaka. No prescription is needed. There are over 10 brands of birth control pills registered in Bangladesh, including Combination 3, Marvelon, Microgynon, Minicon, Minulet, Nordette, Nordette 28, Norquest, Ovacon, Ovastate and Sukhi. Most of the birth control brands come from European or US companies.[4]
  • You can buy condoms and birth control pills online with the Bangladeshi company Goponjinish. Some of the birth control brands they sell are Ovacon Gold 22 Pills (65 Tk), Mypill 21 Pills (99 Tk), Novelon 21 Pills (400 Tk), Femipil Low Dose (25 Tk), Marvelon 21 Tablets (105 Tk), etc. They also sell condoms brands like Durex, Moods and Manforce. Address: goponjinish, Block - A, Lalmatia, Dhaka. Email: support@goponjinish.com. Phone number for women: 01730 332504. Phone number for men: 01730 332502.
  • If you want a contraceptive implant, you can find Norplant in Bangladesh.[5]
  • If you want a contraceptive shot/injectable, you can find Depo-Provera SAS 150mg/ml, Megestron and Noristerat in Bangladesh.[6]

Costs[edit]

Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)[edit]

Important Notes: Emergency contraception may prevent pregnancy for three days (72 hours) and sometimes five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. Take EC as soon as possible after unprotected sex. If you don't have access to dedicated EC, oral contraceptives can be used as replacement EC, but remember the following: 1) Only some contraceptives work as EC 2) Different contraceptives require different dosages and time schedules to work as EC 3) You must only use the first 21 pills in 28-day packs and 4) They may be less effective than dedicated EC. For general information on emergency contraceptives, click here and here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Bangladesh, you can purchase emergency contraception (the morning after pill) without a prescription. There are no age restrictions. Generally speaking, you can obtain emergency contraception from the following people: field workers, NGO providers, pharmacists, nurses, and physicians. In the public sector, the lowest cadre of health care workers who are permitted to sell or dispense EC are auxiliary nurses. In the private sector, the lowest cadre of workers who are allowed to sell or dispense EC are community health workers.

Historically, the Bangladeshi government introduced emergency contraceptives into the National Family Planning Program in 2001. Between the years of 2003-2004, the government trained 44,774 providers and trainers in the handling of emergency contraception. The government effort was also in collaboration with the Directorate General for Family Planning, the FRONTIERS Program of the Population Council and UNFPA. However, here have still some critical issues to address. In most cases, EC was not found to be available as part of post-rape care in hospitals or police stations. This issue is worsened by the fact that, in most cases, staff in hospitals and police stations report having received little or no training regarding post-rape care and they received no official guidelines. As of 2008, EC was not listed in Bangladesh's Essential Medicines List. In 2012, EC was distributed via 5000-10,000 IPPF outlets in Bangladesh.[7]

You can watch a Bangladeshi commercial for Norix, an EC pill, here.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • In Bangladesh, you can buy emergency contraception (the morning after pill) at pharmacies. There are two dedicated EC (progestin-only) brands that you'll find, which are Emcon 1 and Postinor-2. You should take take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex. Be sure to take the pills as soon as possible.[8]
  • You can also expect to see Norix and Emcon1 at pharmacies. These both contain 1.5 mg levonorgestrel, which belongs to a group of medicines called progestogen.
  • You can purchase emergency contraception online in Bangladesh through Goponjinish. They sell brands like Postinor 2 (80 Tk), Norix (55 Tk) and Emcon 1 Emergency (65 Tk). However, you should only purchase EC online for future issues; you shouldn't depend on the delivery service to arrive on time if you need emergency contraception immediately. When you need EC immediately, you should go to the nearest pharmacy.
  • If you can't access dedicated emergency contraception, you can take regular birth control pills as replacement EC. You can take Minicon (take 40 pills within 120). For the following medication, which is progestin-estrogen pills, you should only take the first 21 pills in 28-day packs. You can take Ovral (take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 2 more pills 12 hours later). You can also take Combination 3, Microgynon, Nordette, Nordette 28 and Ovral (take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later).[9]

Costs[edit]

For online purchases, EC generally costs between 55-200 Tk, depending on the brand.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs/STDs)[edit]

Important Notes - Learn about PEP and PrEP: If you think that you've been recently exposed to HIV (i.e. within 72 hours), seek out PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a month-long treatment to prevent HIV infection after exposure, and it may be available in your city. Take PEP as soon as possible. For more information, click here. If you are at risk of HIV exposure, seek out PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a daily oral pill that can prevent HIV infection before exposure. To learn more about PrEP, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Bangladesh, there are no legal travel or residency restrictions regarding STI status. However, there have been some potential cases of immigration determination based on HIV status. According to HIVTravel, "The Government of Bangladesh has no written policy regarding the entry of individuals with HIV/AIDS. However, according to anecdotal reports, some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions may exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh has informed the Embassy that a health officer or immigration officer at the airport who has concerns about an individual's possible HIV/AIDS status will make a case-specific determination regarding that individual's entry."[10]

In 1985, Bangladesh launched an HIV prevention program. This helped the country prepare for its first reported HIV case in 1989. Generally speaking, HIV rates in Bangladesh are very low at less than 0.1% of the general population. For at-risk groups, this number is a bit higher, but still rather low (.7%). Some of the highest rates of HIV infection were found in sex worker populations of the Hili with a 2.7% infection rate.[11]

Regarding HPV: "Data is not yet available on the HPV burden in the general population of Bangladesh. However, in Southern Asia, the region Bangladesh belongs to, about 4.4% of women in the general population are estimated to harbour cervical HPV- 16/18 infection at a given time, and 81.2% of invasive cervical cancers are attributed to HPVs 16 or 18."[12]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Note: There appears to be no PrEP available in Bangladesh.

Testing Facilities[edit]

Please visit the city pages, like the Dhaka page, for local recommendations.

Support[edit]

  • Marie Stopes Bangladesh - They have many clinics throughout Bangladesh that can provide STI management. Click here for a list of clinic addresses in Bangladesh. "The majority of our work specifically targets the poor, young people, factory workers, and vulnerable groups including slum dwellers, homeless people, drug users, sex workers, and transgender people." Marie Stopes Head Office House Address: # 6/2, Block - F, Lalmatia Housing Estate, Kazi Nazrul Islam Road, Lalmatia, Dhaka - 1207, Bangladesh. Tel: 880-2-8114392, 880-2-8114394, 880-2-9121208, 880-2-9129022, 880-2-8116117. Fax: 880-2- 8117673. E-mail: mscs@mariestopesbd.org.
  • National Liver Foundation Bangladesh: "National Liver Foundation of Bangladesh is a not-for-profit organization established in April, 1999 at Dhaka, Bangladesh. This Organization is the first of its kind in Bangladesh which is dedicated to Prevention, Treatment, Education and Research on liver diseases with special emphasis on viral hepatitis. The foundation is the member of World Hepatitis Alliance since its inception." Contact: Mr. Zunaid Murshed Paiker, Coordinator (Operations & Program), 150,(2nd Floor)Green Road, Panthapath,, Dhaka – 1215, Bangladesh. Call us : +8801755528811, , +88 02 9146537 + 01732999922, Fax: 088-02-9128239, Email: info@liver.org.bd
  • Jagrata Juba Shangha (JJS): This is an HIV NGO in Bangladesh, which was recommended by HIVTravel. Address: 96 South Central Road, Khulna-9100, E-mail: jjs@khulnanet.net. Contact person: Kaniz Fatima.
  • HIV/AIDS and STD Alliance Bangladesh (HASAB): This mission is to "Contribute in reducing vulnerability and mitigating impact through integrating HIV programme with sexual and reproductive health, TB and other health services that are critical to communities most affected by HIV." Address: House-66, 1st Floor, Apartment- B-1, Road-5, Block-C, Monsurabad Housing, Mohammadpur, Dhaka-1207. Phone: 880-2-9132705. Fax: 880-2-9857485. E-mail: hasab@bdmail.net.
  • UNAIDS Bangladesh: "The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections..."

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

A pharmacy in Bangladesh

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • There appears to be no PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) available in Bangladesh.
  • Bangladesh has an HPV vaccine pilot program in place (as of 2016).

Costs[edit]

Menstruation[edit]

Note: In addition to pads and tampons, you can also use menstrual cups and menstrual underwear for your period. To learn more about menstrual cups, click here. To learn more about menstrual underwear, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

In Bangladesh, pads are available in most cities and towns, but they're rather bulky. Some people find them ineffective. Tampons are very difficult to find. You will need to bring your own toilet paper into most bathrooms. If you're interested in menstrual cups, you may have some difficulty finding them in Bangladesh. There are no known sellers of major menstrual cup brands, such as DivaCup, MoonCup, LadyCup or Lunette, in Bangladesh, so you may want to order one online, if you're interested in buying one.

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Check out this list of specialist gynecologists and obstetricians in Dhaka.

  • Marie Stopes Bangladesh: Provides gynecological services to the poor, high-risk groups, homeless, transgender people and factory workers. Services include: family planning (cafeteria of choice) including temporary, long acting and permanent methods, ante and post natal care, general health care, RTI/STI management, menstrual regulation, immunization, child Health Care, supportive pathological tests, essential Obstetric Care( delivery) in selected clinics, ultra sonogram services in selected clinics, etc.
  • Apollo Hospitals Dhaka: High-quality and more expensive. "Apollo Hospitals Dhaka enjoys the distinction of being the first private sector for-profit corporate hospital in Bangladesh. We started our operations as a tertiary care super specialty hospital on March 30, 2005. Our affiliation with the prestigious quality brand of Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited (AHEL) of India, reflects the International Standard for Quality and Patient Safety in providing corporate healthcare and consumer value in our market niche."
  • Labaid Specialized Hospital: High-quality and more expensive. "The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Labaid Specialized Hospital caters to the complete needs of women from adolescence through to menopause and beyond."
  • Square Hospital: High-quality and more expensive. "Square Hospitals Limited, a concern of Square Group is a 400-bed tertiary care hospital. The hospital is an affiliate partner of Methodist Healthcare, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, SingHealth, Singapore, Bangkok Hospital Medical Centre, Thailand and Christian Medical College, Vellore, India."

Costs[edit]

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Bangladesh, working mothers in the public sector get 6 months of maternity leave. For working mothers in the private sector, they are guaranteed at least 66 days of maternity leave.[13]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

Abortion[edit]

Important Note: There are two main types of abortions: medical (also known as the "abortion pill") and surgical (also known as "in-clinic"). For medical abortions, you take a pill to induce abortion. For surgical abortions, a procedure is performed to induce abortion. For general information about medical and surgical abortions, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Bangladesh, abortions can be legally obtained. While induced abortions isn't generally permitted, according to the Penal Code of 1860, abortion is permitted under two conditions. First, if a woman's life is endangered by the pregnancy, she may obtain an abortion. Second, a woman may seek an abortion under Menstrual Regulation (MR), which has been under Bangladeshi family planning since 1979. MR is a procedure that uses manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) after a missed period. The woman can receive MR in a range of 8-10 weeks after the missed period, with specifications varying based on providers. In 2010, it was estimated that 653,100 MR procedures were performed in health facilities nationwide.

In Bangladesh, it was found that about two-thirds of MR procedures were performed in public health facilities, such as Union Health and Family Welfare Centres, which are the primary providers in rural areas. NGOs provide about one quarter of MR services and private clinics provide about 9%. However, many of the public health providers do not perform the procedure. In 2010, only 57% of the facilities that were expected to provide MR services actually did provide them.[14]

In 2015, the Population Council found that "In spite of wide availability of menstrual regulation services, women often resort to a variety of medicines for inducing abortion. The Bangladeshi Government is now supporting attempts to investigate the introduction of medical menstrual regulation in the public sector." The study found that "Overall 61.4% of women who used medical menstrual regulation found the method satisfactory, and 34.2% were very satisfied. Of the 3.9% of women who were not satisfied, most received services from rural facilities."[15]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • You can try to get an abortion pill online through Women on Web.
  • Marie Stopes Bangladesh - They will probably be able to direct you to the best services. Call these numbers for information on their services: 01730450678, 01755578215, 01762686866. Head Office Address: Marie Stopes Bangladesh, House # 6/2, Block – F, Kazi Nazrul Islam Road, Lalmatia Housing Estate, Dhaka – 1207, Banglades, (Behind Mohammadpur Police Station, Thana), Phone: 8116117, 9121208, 9124781, 9129022, 9146478, 58152540, 58152538. Fax: 880-2-8117673. Email: mscs@mariestopesbd.org.
  • Asia Safe Abortion Partnership - Bangladesh: Contact them to get information. Bangladesh Nari-Bandoph - Call 880 – 1853892424 (Bangla)
  • Naribandhob Hotline: “Naribandhob” hotline 088-01853-892424 will provide information about safe MR in Bangladesh. “Naribandhob” hotline can be reached at 088-01853-892424. The hotline will provide safe and scientific information on how a woman can use the life-saving drug misoprostol for safe MR, post-MR care, and to prevent deadly bleeding after giving birth (PPH – postpartum hemorrhage), the leading causes of maternal death and injury in Bangladesh. These deaths and injuries can be prevented with women are given safe and scientific information and access to essential medications and services. Information is provided free of charge through a regular mobile phone number."

Costs[edit]

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Maya Apa: This is a Bangladeshi app that's totally anonymous. You only need an email address to register. Then, you can ask questions about sexual health and receive responses within 24-48 hours by a team of doctors, lawyers and counselors. The response is in the language that the question is written in.
  • Hope for the Destitute Women and Children: "Mission: Improve protection and rehabilitation of sexually abused pregnant girls and their abandoned children." Address: Road: 11, House No: 2, Shekhertek, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Twitter: @bdhdwc. Call +880 2-9126259.

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • YouthAID: YouthAID is a network which aims to build social movement to ensure women rights, safe abortion rights and Sexual and Reproductive Rights.
  • Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers' Association: Address: Monico Mina Tower, West Agargaon, 48/3 Shahid Shahabuddin Shorok, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh. Phone: +880 811-2858.

References[edit]

  1. [http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/family/trendsContraceptiveUse2015Report.pdf Trends in Contraceptive Use Worldwide, 2015]
  2. How Bangladesh's female health workers boosted family planning
  3. Bangladeshi Women Weigh A Variety of Factors When Choosing a Contraceptive
  4. IPPF Bangladesh
  5. IPPF Bangladesh
  6. IPPF Bangladesh
  7. EC Status and Availability: Bangladesh
  8. Princeton EC website
  9. Princeton EC Website
  10. BANGLADESH - REGULATIONS ON ENTRY, STAY AND RESIDENCE FOR PLHIV
  11. HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh
  12. Bangladesh: Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2016
  13. Bangladesh’s all working mothers get maternity leave according to rules
  14. Menstrual Regulation and Induced Abortion in Bangladesh
  15. Increasing access to safe menstrual regulation services in Bangladesh by offering medical menstrual regulation