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Chiang Mai

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Thailand / Chiang Mai
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Image provided by Trip Advisor.

OVERVIEW

Both a historic city and modern tourist destination, Chiang Mai has many resources for reproductive health. Like all cities in Thailand, you can get birth control or emergency contraception at nearly all pharmacies. There are local clinics, some of which are especially LGBT-friendly, that offer STI/STD testing as well. Note that, like in all of Thailand, abortion is generally illegal. There have been some exceptions to this case, mostly in Bangkok.

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 Thailand, you can buy birth control without a prescription. It is estimated that 72-78% of women (of fertility age) are on some form of modern birth control. According to one study, 23% were on the pill, 17% had an injectable/implant and 22% had been sterilized. In the last 25 years, the government has heavily campaigned for sex workers to use condoms under the 100% Condom Program. But they have not heavily focused on condom use in the general population. This has lead to many people outside of the sex worker community not using condoms, and instead opting for emergency contraception or contraception only instead.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Marvelon, a common birth control brand found in Thailand
Cerazette birth control pills purchased in Thailand
  • You can buy birth control in nearly all the pharmacies (that are not herbal pharmacies) in Chiang Mai. Some reputable pharmacies are Boots, Watsons, P&F, Fascino and Siam Pharmacies. It's also recommended to buy from pharmacies that have aircon since the drugs are preserved in cooler/better environments. While there are some fake pills sold in Thai pharmacies, they tend to be for drugs like Viagra or Cialis. Since birth control is very cheap, it is less likely to be fake. However, if you prefer a more hands-on appointment with a doctor, you can book an appointment.
  • Some birth control pill brands that you can expect to see in Thailand are Anamai, Anna, Anteovin, Cerazette, Diane, Diane-35, Eugynon, Exluton, Gynera, Jeny-FMP, Lo-Femenal, Logynon, Lyndiol 50, Marvelon 21, Marvelon 28, Meliane, Mercilon 21, Microgest ED, Microgynon, Mirulet, Miranova, Nordette 28, Nordette 21, Yasmin and Yaz.
  • The contraceptive ring (Nuvaring) does not appear to be available in Thailand. It was imported in the past, but this is no longer the case (we talked to Thai pharmacists who confirmed this).
  • If you want condoms, they are easy to find in most pharmacies. One restaurant in Bangkok, Condoms and Cabbages, even gives out free condoms (Sukhumvit 12 Alley, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand). Note that Thai condoms run on the smaller side. As TravelFish wrote, "But for those who think they might be… well-endowed… you may wish to bring your x-large condoms from home" (Source: Travelfish - What to Bring with You to Bangkok).
  • If you want the contraceptive shot, you can find Contracep, Depo-Gestin ANB, Depo-Progesno, Depo-Progesta, Depo-Provera SAS 150mg/ml, Lady Safe, Medeton and Noristerat.
  • If you want a contraceptive implant, you can find Implanon, Jadelle and Norplant.
  • If you want an IUD, you can find Mirena in Thailand. You can get IUDs inserted at Chiangmai Ram Hospital (Address: 8 Bunrueang Rit, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand, Phone: +66 53 920 300).

Costs[edit]

A one month supply of birth control typically costs between 60 and 300 baht, which is about $2 - $10 (as of 2016).

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]

You can buy emergency contraception (the morning after pill) in Thailand without a prescription. You should be able to buy it with little social stigma in Chiang Mai. EC is cheap and widely used by Thais of all ages, including teenagers, living in Chiang Mai, and there are no restrictions imposed on its use.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

In Thai, emergency contraception is ยากันท้อง or "Ya kun tong." You can get emergency contraception without a prescription at pharmacies. For dedicated EC pills (progestin only), there is Madonna and Postinor. For both brands, you take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex. For progestin-estrogen combined (birth control pills), you can take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 2 more pills 12 hours later with the following brands: FMP, Jeny FMP, Nordiol, Ovidon and Ovral. You can also take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later with the following brands: Anna, Lo-Femenal, Microgest, Microgest ED, Microgynon 30 ED, Microgynon-30, Nordette, Nordette 28, Nordette-21, R-den, Riget, Rigevidon and Rigevidon 21 + 7.[1]

Costs[edit]

Emergency contraception was reported as 50 baht in 2009.

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]

Like all countries, there are stigmas attached to STDs in Thailand. But the country has also made solid progress in HIV prevention and education. According to AVERT, "In 2013, Thailand was one of only two countries in Asia and the Pacific, (along with Cambodia) that had more than 50% of people living with HIV on antiretroviral treatment. In Thailand, 56% of adults who are eligible for treatment are receiving it, alongside 62% of children."

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • CM Mediclinic - "Our Safer2Know service provides complete confidential consultations, testing and treatments for HIV, Chlamydia, Herpes, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis and Hepatitis. Including HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) and HPV Vaccines."155/28 Jed Yod-Yu Yen Soi 10, T Changphueak, A Mueang, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand. Website: http://www.cmmediclinic.com/
  • Loi Kroh Clinic - 62/2 Loikroh Road, T Changklan, A Muang, Chiang Mai 50100. Tel: 053 271571. an account of getting tested at this clinic.
  • Piman Center - LGBT friendly; 35/7 Soi 13, Nimmanhemin Road, Tambol Suthep, Muang District, Chiang Mai, Tel 053211363, 053895166, 0855201176. Website: www.pimancenter.com/

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Pharmacy in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

For many STD medications in Thailand, you may be tested in advance or show a prescription before receiving treatment (since they are antibiotics). But they should be generally available.For Trichomoniasis, Metronidazole should be available. For gonorrhea, the treatment is a bit more tricky, since gonorrhea in Asia (and specifically in Thailand) is resistant to many antibiotics. so you should go to the hospital to see how they can treat you. While treatment may vary, you may get Azithromycin or a a shot of a Cephalosporin. HPV vaccines, like Gardasil, are reportedly available in Thailand. PreP is available in Thailand, but is mostly used in trials with men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender (TG) women, women and people who inject drugs. Truvada is registered for treatment but not prevention. People with HIV/AIDS can bring their medications into Thailand, and there are no travel restrictions. Protease inhibitors only exist as original formula.

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]

Pads and tampons without applicators (OB) are widely available. You may be able to find tampons with applicators in Boots or other large pharmacies/drug stores. You can purchase a Zero Menstrual Cup from Free Bird Cafe in Chiang Mai.

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai: One CM local said: "Dr Vichay at BKK hospital is an excellent gyno...he really knows his stuff." Another CM local went to Bangkok Hospital (in CM) and had a positive experience. While she doesn't remember the name of the doctor she saw, she said that she would generally recommend the hospital to people. She says, "I saw a male obgyn for a Pap smear at bangkok hospital (in cm) and I thought he was great. I think you can specify female preference though. But really he had great manner, an older Thai doctor with good English." Address: Thanuspong Soi 8, Tambon Nong Pa Khrang, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand. Phone: +66 52 089 888.
    • Recommended doctor at Bangkok Hospital: Dr. Napatthamont Boonma (female) at Bangkok Hospital. She was recommended by a CM local who said: "Perfect English, patient, kind and understanding."
  • Chiang Mai Ram Hospital: This is one of the best hospitals in CM. It can be expensive. One loval wrote: "The doctor at Chiang Mai Ram Hospital is very nice, good in English and professional. Also not expensive. Just go to the reception of the Obgyn department and maybe bring some words in Thai but must work out fine." - Chiang Mai local, 2017. Address: 8 Bunrueang Rit Rd, Tambon Su Thep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand. Hours: Open 24 hours. Phone: +66 53 920 300.
  • Lanna Hospital: Some people have had positive experiences here, and others have had negative. Address: 1 Sukkasem Road Chang Phuak Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand. Hours: Open 24 hours. Phone: +66 53 999 777
  • Dr. Renu at McCormick Hospital: This doctor was recommended by a CM locals. Speaks English. The hospital is under the directorship of the Church of Christ in Thailand. Address: 133, ถนน แก้วนวรัฐ Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
  • Sriphat Medical Center: This medical center has been recommended by CM locals. "The Chiang Mai University council established the Sriphat Medical Center, Faculty of Medicine in 1997. It is a 150-bed general hospital..."

Costs[edit]

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Kullapat Polyclinic & IVF Center (กุลพัฒน์การแพทย์ สหคลินิค): This clinic was recommended by a CM local who says, "I went through IVF there so that is my only experience with pricing... My routine prenatal visits ranged from 500 to around 1500 baht, depending on whether I had an ultrasound or the 12 week genetic testing etc." Address: 117/26 Moo2 Soi Leabkanklong, Pothalam Road, T.Chang-Puek U.Muang, Chiang Mai. 50300. Tel. (053) 217706 ,083-4714100 Fax.(053) 217707 E-mail: kullapat.cm@gmail.com.
  • Sriphat Medical Center Chiang Mai: A CM local says (Sept 2017), "Their delivery package at Sriphat hospital is now 29k for natural delivery, 3 days/2 nights, all inclusive and c-section I'm pretty sure is now 46k. And a cesarean package is all inclusive and has an extra day stay." Address: อาคารศรีพัฒน์ อินทรวโรรส 110/392 Intrawroot Rd., Sri Phum Tambon Su Thep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

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 Thailand, abortion law is ambiguous. On the one hand, it is only legal under certain conditions, which are: to save the life of the woman, to preserve physical health, to preserve mental health, or when the pregnancy is due to a criminal offense (i.e. rape or incest). It is not legal for economic/social reasons or available upon request. Under the Thai Penal Code of November 13 1956, abortions are generally prohibited, and they are only allowed in certain instances. If women cause their own abortion or allow anyone else to do so (when they are not allowed to get an abortion), they face up to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of maximum 6000 baht. A person who procures an abortion with a pregnant woman's consent may receive up to 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of 10,000 baht.

On the other hand, according to a UN report, "In practice, the law is not rigorously enforced. The prevalence of illegal abortion has been widely documented, particularly in the rural areas of the country." There are supposed to be around 15 clinics that provide abortion care somewhat openly in Thailand, most notably Klongton Medical Center (โรงพยาบาลคลองตัน) in Bangkok.

Note: You can read a testimonial about receiving an abortion in Bangkok on the Bangkok or Thailand pages.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Women receive illegal abortions or grey-area legal abortions in Thailand every year. While there is one known safe abortion center in Bangkok (Klongton Medical Center (โรงพยาบาลคลองตัน)... check the Bangkok page for details, we don't know of any in Chiang Mai. Anybody? For cheaper options, there are some less well-known or underground abortion clinics. But they may not be very safe, and they are not recommended. It is estimated that there are 400,000 illegal abortions in Thailand every year. For more information, check out this blog entry about getting an abortion at Klongton Medical Center (โรงพยาบาลคลองตัน) in 2011) and this Rewire article about abortions in Thailand.

Costs[edit]

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Global Alliance Against Trafficking Women (GAATW), 191 Sivalai Condominium, Issaraphap Road, Soi 33, Bangkok Yai, 10600 Bangkok, Thailand, Mailing address:, PO Box 1281, Bangkok Post Office,, Bangkok 10500, Thailand, Tel: 662 8641427/28, Fax: 662 864163, E-mail: mailto:gaatw@mozart.inet.co.th, URL: http://www.inet.co.th/org/gaatw
  • Foundation for Women (FFW) - Does preventative/awareness work around domestic violence and trafficking of women (http://www.womenthai.org/eng)

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • Ministry of Public Health (Thailand)
  • Planned Parenthood Foundation Association of Thailand: "The Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand (PPAT) supports the National Family Planning Programme by organizing countrywide educational and motivational activities, and by delivering contraceptive services to special target groups/geographic areas including slum dwellers, the population along the Thai-Cambodia border, and northern hill tribes."
  • Equaldex Thailand: Information on LGBTQ rights and laws in Thailand.
  • National Council of Women of Thailand - http://www.inet.co.th/org/ncwt
  • National Commission on Women's Affairs (Thailand) - http://www.inet.co.th/org/tncwa
  • New Life Center - P.O. Box 29, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand, Tel/fax: 66-53-244-569
  • Women's Studies Center, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiangmai University - Chiangmai 50200, Thailand Lanna Women Center, Faculty of Education, Chiang Mai University 50200 T: 66 05 2 221699
  • Women Education for Advancement and Empowerment (WEAVE) - Chiang Mai University, PO Box 58, Chiang Mai 50202, Thailand, Tel/fax (66-53) 278-945, 260-193
  • Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD) - Santhitham Y.M.C.A Building, 11 Sermsuk Road, Mengrairasmi, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand, Tel: (66-53) 404-613/404-614, Fax: (66-53) 404-615, Email: apwld@loxinfo.co.th
  • Global Alliance Against Trafficking Women (GAATW), 191 Sivalai Condominium, Issaraphap Road, Soi 33, Bangkok Yai, 10600 Bangkok, Thailand, Mailing address:, PO Box 1281, Bangkok Post Office,, Bangkok 10500, Thailand, Tel: 662 8641427/28, Fax: 662 864163, E-mail: mailto:gaatw@mozart.inet.co.th, URL: http://www.inet.co.th/org/gaatw

References[edit]

  1. Princeton EC Website