In Singapore, a wide variety of contraceptive methods are available. However, there is no robust data about the level of awareness and knowledge of contraception among women in Singapore. We just don’t talk about it enough.

Perhaps it is the societal pressure to procreate (hint hint: the well-meaning parents, uncles and aunties every Chinese New Year) that contraceptive methods are just a big no-no to be discussed about.

Or perhaps it is just the Asian culture where sexual health is still a topic that brings about awkwardness and embarrassment (especially if marriage is not on the cards).

Well, sexual health is an important aspect of life.

Sex is an intimate experience and brings about many health benefits. Whether pregnancy is a goal for you or not, it is very often (we hope!) not the main reason we have sex.

More importantly, we respect diversity and ownership of our own bodies. Whatever your goals may be with regards to contraception and fertility, we want to empower you to make the best informed decision for yourself.

Here is our ULTIMATE guide to all you ever need to know about birth control in Singapore.

Find your perfect birth control

Birth control is a term used to describe ways to prevent pregnancy. Another word for birth control is “contraception”.

Different types of birth control include medicines, devices and procedures.

Some types need to be used every time you have sex.

Other types can prevent pregnancy for long periods of time.

Some types need a prescription, and others do not.

Click on the links below to navigate to the birth control you want






Natural methods


Permanent methods

Emergency Contraception

Different birth control methods and their effectiveness

Birth control methods differ widely in their effectiveness. Contraceptives can fail for a number of reasons such as incorrect usage, failure of the medication, device or method itself.

Certain birth control methods like long-acting reversible contraception (IUDs and implants) have the lowest risk of failure. This is because they are the easiest to use properly. These methods should be considered if you want the lowest chance of a mistake or failure, which could lead to pregnancy.

Overall, birth control methods that are designed for use at or near the time of sexual activity (e.g. condoms and diaphragms) are generally less effective than other birth control methods (e.g. IUDs, implants and birth control pills).

  • Long-acting Reversible Contraception
    • Implants
    • Intrauterine Methods (IUDs)
  • Short-Acting Hormonal Methods
    • Injectable Birth Control
    • Progestin-only Pills (POPs)
  • Combined Hormonal Methods
    • Combined Oral Contraceptives (COCs, “the pill”)
    • Contraceptive Patch
    • Vaginal Ring
  • Permanent Contraception/Sterilisation
    • Tubal Ligation
    • Vasectomy
  • Barrier Methods
    • Male Condoms
    • Female Condoms
    • Contraceptive Sponges
    • Spermicides
    • Diaphragms
    • Cervical Caps
  • “Natural Methods”
    • Withdrawal
    • Fertility Awareness
    • Breastfeeding

How do I choose birth control methods?

It can be difficult to decide which birth control method is best due to the wide range of options available. There are many different types of birth control, and this is a personal decision.

The best method is one that works best for you. You should be able to use it easily, consistently and it should not cause you bothersome side effects.

Here at Dame, we believe in empowering you with knowledge and we are here to navigate with you in choosing the type that is right for you. To help you make a decision, think about:

  • How well it prevents pregnancy: no birth control works 100% perfectly all the time. But some prevent pregnancy better than others
  • How often you have to use it: if you choose to take birth control pills, you must take them every day. There are other types, like condoms that you use only when you have sex
  • How convenient it is to obtain it: for some types of birth control, you need to see a doctor for a prescription. You can get other types from the neighbourhood pharmacy.
  • How easy it is to use
  • Whether it has benefits besides preventing pregnancy: some types of birth control help make your periods lighter or more regular, or reduce period cramps
  • Its side effects or downsides
  • How much it costs
  • If you think you might want to get pregnant in the future: some types of birth control are permanent, they prevent you from ever getting pregnant. Other types of birth control prevent pregnancy only for a limited amount of time. After that time, you can still get pregnant.
  • How soon you might want to get pregnant in the future: some types of birth control can be started and stopped quickly. Other types can prevent pregnancy for several years
  • Whether it protects you from infection: condoms are the only form of birth control that can reduce your chance of getting certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

There can be no perfect birth control method; at Dame, we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the different options with you before deciding which method is best for you.

Our doctors at Dame will also take into consideration your age, your medical and family history, medications you may be currently taking, your lifestyle habits and any concerns you may have in working out what works best for you.

Is there a minimum age to buy birth control in Singapore?

Yes. The legal age to have sex in Singapore is 16 years old.

Meaning doctors are allowed to prescribe medications for birth control to people aged 16 years old and older. However, this is still at the discretion of your doctor, who would need to assess your suitability, both medically and psychologically.

Here at Dame, we take a holistic approach to birth control and your safety and health is our top priority. We will walk you through the benefits and risks of the various birth control methods and work out the best method for you. While you are encouraged to inform your parents too, it is not mandatory for them to join in the consultation.

The teen years are also when you might start having acne and birth control pills could help. Dame generally prefers to explore non-hormonal methods to control the acne first, unless your goal is to have both acne control and birth control at the same time.

Hormonal methods of birth control available in Singapore

Hormonal methods of birth control contain either a combination of estrogen and progestin or progestin only. They are a safe and reliable way to prevent pregnancy for most women.

Hormonal methods of birth control can come in many forms: an implant, injections, an intrauterine device (IUD), pills, skin patches and vaginal rings. They can be broadly classified into 3 main groups:

1. Long-acting reversible contraception: implants and IUDs
2. Short-acting hormonal methods: injectable birth controls and progestin-only pills
3. Combined hormonal methods: combined oral contraceptives, contraceptive patch and vaginal ring

Long-acting reversible contraception and short-acting hormonal methods contain progestin only while combined hormonal methods contain both estrogen and progestin.

The methods differ mainly in how easy they are to use and their side effects.

Is hormonal birth control safe for everyone?

No. It is important to note that some women should not use estrogen-containing hormonal birth control. This includes those who:

  • Are age 35 or older and smoke cigarettes (due to an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes)
  • Could possibly be pregnant
  • Have had blood clots or a stroke in the past
  • Are being treated for breast cancer, or have had breast cancer before
  • Have some types of liver disease
  • Have some types of heart disease
  • Have migraine headaches that cause vision or hearing problems

If you have high blood pressure, you can still use hormonal birth control if your blood pressure is well controlled. You should also be on regular follow-up with a doctor for your condition.

Many women who are unable to take estrogen-containing hormonal birth control can take other kinds of hormonal birth control that contain only progestin.

Alternatively, they can consider other methods that do not contain hormones.

Why else might we use hormonal birth control?

Hormonal birth control has other benefits besides pregnancy prevention. It can make your periods lighter or more regular. For this reason, it is also often used in the treatment of certain health conditions, including:

  1. Heavy, irregular or painful periods

Many different factors can affect your monthly period. Some women experience painful cramps, severe mood swings or other symptoms.

  1. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

This is a condition that can cause irregular periods, acne, extra facial hair or hair loss from the head.

  1. Menstrual migraines

These are migraine headaches that are triggered by hormone changes around the monthly period. Hormonal birth control might be an option for treatment, as long as you do NOT experience migraines with “aura”.

An aura is a symptom or feeling that happens before or during the headache. For example, some people see flashing lights, bright spots or zig-zag lines, or experience partial vision loss.

If you have any of these conditions, your doctor might suggest hormonal birth control methods, commonly a birth control pill. It is not advisable to try using birth control to treat a health condition without a doctor’s advice.

Birth control implants in Singapore

What is a birth control implant?

A birth control implant, Implanon, is a contraceptive method for women who prefer a long-term birth control method that helps couples do away with the need of using condoms or taking daily birth control pills.

Instead, it is a small implant that our doctors can insert into your upper arm.

People in Singapore are a little concerned about this method of contraception because of the word implant in its name.

One thing you must know about Implanon is that it is a tiny flexible rod that is 4mm long and 2mm thick.

It’s small, non-invasive and its presence is almost imperceptible in your daily life.

How does a birth control implant work?

Like birth control injections and birth control patches, birth control implants will slowly release progestin in your body.

Progestin prevents you from ovulating and over time, the cervical mucus will thicken and it  prevents sperm from going through.

This is how birth control implants help prevent unwanted pregnancies.

How effective is a birth control implant, and when should I get it?

You decide when you want to get it. You can get yourself implanted anytime as long as you do not have a pregnancy.

A birth control implant or Implanon is adequate for an extended period, up to three years.

Birth control implants provide 99% protection against unwanted pregnancy.

How is it done?

  • You would need a trained healthcare professional who is familiar with the procedure
  • The implant would need to be inserted between Day 1 to Day 5 of your menses
  • After assessing your suitability, you will likely be ask to lie down
  • It is usually placed in the non-dominant arm, on the inner side of your upper arm.
  • The implant comes loaded in a special device, which makes the process quick with minimal discomfort
  • You may request your doctor to provide additional local anaesthesia to reduce the discomfort

What can I expect after an implantation?

After the procedure, you may experience local discomfort for 1 or 2 days.

As is typical with all birth control methods, there are some side effects:

  • Irregular bleeding, and sometimes no bleeding at all.
  • No protection against STDs.
  • Implanon can be displaced from the original insertion site and makes things difficult for the clinician at the time of its removal.
  • It must be removed from the body after three years.
  • Weight gain, breast tenderness, vaginal itch, etc., are some of the side effects a woman must deal with after getting Implanon.

Can a woman take it anytime during her cycle? What about after delivery or miscarriage?

If you get Implanon during the first five days of your menstrual cycle, you do not have to worry about any additional contraception.

But if you take it after the 5th day of your cycle, you must use condoms for seven days. After that, you are good to go.

Similarly, suppose you get it immediately after birth, miscarriage, or abortion. Again, you do not need to use additional contraception, but if you get this after 21 days of delivery, miscarriage, or abortion, you have to use condoms for seven days.

Are birth control implants better than other contraceptive methods?

A birth control implant is better than other methods of  contraception because it has a long duration of action. One implant can last up to three years. Whereas, birth control pills have to be taken daily without fail for it to be effective. Injections require new shots every 3 months.

And you can get it removed at any time. For example, say you are one year in and you decide you’d like to have children.

IUDs in Singapore

All about IUDs in Singapore

An intrauterine device (IUD) is a popular method of long-acting contraception used by an average of 23% of female contraceptive users worldwide. It is a small, T-shaped device made of plastic that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.

Although an IUD is merely the size of a paper clip, they can last up to 5 years and only require a one-time procedure starting from $150.

That is why IUDs are probably the most effective contraception method other than surgical sterilisation or avoiding sex.

Benefits of an IUD

There are multiple benefits of IUD use in women including:

IUDs are most effective non-surgical option for pregnancy prevention

(>99% – as effective as surgical sterilisation)

IUDs don’t require regular maintenance to keep its high effectiveness

(no need for daily/weekly/monthly reminders)

IUDs are long-acting

(depending on IUD type, they can last up to 5 years)

IUDs are cost-effective with long-term use

(an upfront cost is required, but there are no costs beyond that for a few years)

IUDs are rapidly reversible

(quick return of fertility upon removal of IUD)

IUDs are private, does not interfere with the spontaneity of sex

(no need for pre-sex prep)

Possible to avoid exposure to hormones, minimising side effects

(there is no interference of hormones with the use of copper IUD)

IUDs reduce risk of cervical, endometrial and ovarian cancers

How does an IUD work to prevent pregnancy?

When an IUD is inserted into the uterus, the body recognizes it as a foreign object. This triggers a reaction in a body that is toxic to the sperm, creating an environment that makes it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg. This prevents fertilisation and implantation from happening.

Types of IUDs in Singapore and the costs involved

There are two types of IUDs available in Singapore, copper containing and levonorgestrel releasing:

Copper-containing IUDs

The copper-containing IUDs are commonly referred to as the non-hormonal IUDs. The IUD is wrapped in copper coil; this introduces copper ions in the uterus, providing further contraceptive benefits. Copper ions are found to be fearsome sperm killers.

The copper IUDs registered in Singapore since 2005 and 2010, respectively, are Nova T® by Bayer (South East Asia) and Multilan AG Multiload cu250 and cu375 by MSD Pharma Singapore.

In the United States, ParaGard is the only brand of copper IUD approved by the FDA.

Copper IUDs can be inserted for emergency contraception for at least five days (120 hours) from un-protected or under-protected sex. It is also the most effective option with the lowest pregnancy rate (<0.1%). It can then be left in place to provide ongoing contraception.

Costs of copper-containing IUDs

Good news is copper IUDs are available through polyclinics in Singapore that offer women’s health services.

It can cost around $150-$300.

For cases that are more complex requiring specialised women’s services, it can also be done at public hospitals like KKH and NUH but it will cost more. You can also check with your private clinic if they offer this service and the cost involved as it varies per clinic.

Levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs

The levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs are commonly referred to as the hormonal IUDs.

Levonorgestrel is a type of progestin. You may find it familiar as it is the progestin hormone found in the birth control pill Microgynon and the morning after pill Postinor 2.

Levonorgestrel provides additional contraceptive benefits. It keeps the mucus in the cervix thick, making it harder for sperm to move to meet the egg. It also keeps the lining of the uterus thin, making it difficult for a fertilised egg to continue to develop in the body. Hormonal IUDs release much smaller doses of hormones compared to oral contraceptive pills, minimising hormonal side effects.

The levonorgestrel-releasing IUD registered in Singapore since 1994 is Mirena® by Bayer (South East Asia).

Mirena® is registered for use as a contraception device. It is also registered for use in the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding and for protection from endometrial hyperplasia during estrogen replacement therapy.

Costs involved Levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs

Generally hormonal IUDs cost more as they are not offered in the polyclinics in Singapore. It cost around $600 for the whole procedure and consultation at the public hospitals like KKH and NUH. You can also check with your private clinic if they offer this service and the cost involved as it varies per clinic.

How is an IUD inserted?

Your doctor will perform a vaginal examination to determine the size of your uterus and the correct size of IUD to use. You may also be tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).  The IUD will then be inserted using an introducer and the procedure usually takes about 5 minutes.

The IUD is best inserted towards the end of menstrual flow because it is at this time that you are unlikely to be pregnant. The neck of the womb (the cervix), is also softer and opens slightly, allowing for an easier insertion.

People usually feel some cramping or pain when they are getting their IUD inserted. The pain can be worse for some, but (thankfully!) it only lasts for a minute or two. How much discomfort you feel depends on factors like your individual pain tolerance, the length of your cervical canal or whether you have previously delivered a baby vaginally.

Many find the insertion process more uncomfortable than painful and they describe feeling a quick pinching sensation during insertion. Always speak to your doctor if you are concerned about pain or feeling anxious. They can usually prescribe medication such as painkillers in advance.

What can I expect after an IUD insertion procedure?

Temporary pains

Many people feel perfectly fine right after the procedure, while others need to take it easy for a while.  There may be some cramping and backaches, so it is a good idea to chill at home after your appointment – it’s a great excuse to curl up on the couch with your favourite book or Netflix. Heating pads and painkillers can help with the cramps as well.

You may have cramping and spotting after the procedure, but this almost always goes away within 3-6 months. Hormonal IUDs eventually make menstrual flow lighter and improves menstrual cramps. You might even stop getting a period at all.

Unlike the hormonal IUDs, copper IUDs may make menstrual flow heavier and cramps worse. For some, this may go away over time. If your IUD is causing you pain, discomfort or side effects you do not like, always speak to your doctor.

A mysterious string?

Once an IUD is inserted, a string about 1 or 2 inches long will come out of your cervix and into the top of your vagina.

Over time, the string becomes softer and less noticeable. The string is there so a nurse or doctor can remove the IUD later.

You can feel the string by putting your fingers in your vagina and reaching up towards your cervix.

But don’t tug on the string, because you could move your IUD out of place or pull it out.

What if my IUD slips out of place?

There is a very small chance that your IUD could slip out of place.

It can happen any time, but it is more common during the first 3 months after insertion. IUDs are most likely to come out during your period.

Check your menstrual pads, tampons or cups to see if it fell out.

You can also check your string to make sure it is still there.

If your IUD falls out, you are not protected from pregnancy, so make sure to go see your doctor and use condoms or another kind of birth control in the meantime.

Remember when you got your IUD (write it down somewhere), so you’ll know when it needs to be replaced.

It is important that you see your doctor for regular check-ups after the IUD has been inserted. Depending on the type of IUD inserted, your doctor will advise you on the frequency of check-ups and when it needs to be replaced.

Summary of IUDs available in Singapore

In summary, there are two types of IUDs with these key differences that you will experience when you want an IUD in Singapore.

Not ready for IUDs? What are my alternatives?

If you are not ready for an invasive and semi-permanent IUD, there are options that will give you more flexibility such as birth control pills or birth control patches.

They can be taken on a daily basis, and should you want to stop them, you are always in control. Whereas with an IUD, you need to see a doctor to remove it.

Although the running cost of regular birth control medications are higher, it provides more freedom, especially if you might be planning to start a family in the near future, or if you are still exploring the various options such as oral contraceptives.

At Dame, we believe in choice. We carry the largest selection of birth control methods that can be readily accessed through our online platform.

With just a few clicks, you can get a professional consult with our experts, and the medications can be shipped discreetly to you.

There is even an option for subscription, if you are looking to commit to something regular and fuss free.

Birth control injections in Singapore

Imagine having a birth control vaccine.

Just like the COVID-19 vaccine, you take the initial dose. Then you need booster shots for the period in which you want to be under birth control.

Some Singaporean women swear by birth control injections over all other methods because of its convenience.

The most common alternative is to take a pill every day. That can get troublesome and can be easily forgotten. Whereas if you get an injection, you will only need to get it every few months, and you will have to make an appointment with a doctor.

A doctor’s appointment is hard to forget and having a professional administer a birth control injection in Singapore will ensure you get maximum efficacy.

This ensures that you are well covered from unwanted pregnancies, with minimal invasiveness and a high level of safety.

What is the procedure to get a birth control injection in Singapore?

Birth control injections are done every three months and Dame can help you with this procedure.

It’s simple and very similar to any other injection. You get a consultation with us, and we book you in for an injection at our Farrer Park-area clinic.

The injection is done intramuscularly and is generally very quick. We’ll get you in and out quickly.

And that’s it. You’re done and safe for three months.

You and your partner can enjoy happy times with no barriers or extra steps needed.

How do birth control injections work?

Depo-Provera 150mg is currently the only brand of birth control injection available, and it is a prescription-only medication.

Depo-Provera contains Medroxyprogesterone acetate, which is a progestin-only hormone injection.

Progestin thickens the cervical mucus, stopping sperm from reaching the ova.

Additionally, progestin prevents ovulation from happening.

Birth control injections are in fact one of the most effective forms of contraceptives. It offers up to 94-99% success rate of preventing unwanted pregnancies.

That is actually as effective as birth control pills and condoms.

So all you need to do is just get your birth control shots after every three months.

What are the benefits of birth control injection for Singaporeans?

A birth control injection provides a convenient form of birth control, with a lot less risk to your general health.

The biggest benefit is that you do not have to take a pill every day.

In one shot, you get three months’ of birth control.

This really helps keep the excitement and spontaneity for both parties.

Birth control injections also help reduce episodes of menstrual related symptoms such as period pain or migraines.

It also helps regulate irregular menses, such as heavy flow (menorrhagia) or irregular periods.

Finally, it decreases the risk of endometrial cancer, or cancer of the womb.

Birth control injection vs birth control pills

The big problem with birth control pills such as Yasmin or Diane-35 is that they require you to take it religiously every day.

If you miss a dose for just a few hours, you might have lost the pills’ contraceptive effect.

Birth control injections are a one-shot solution for three months. You don’t have to worry about contraception for three months, until your next shot.

As birth control injections are progestin only, they do not contain estrogen, which is common in most birth control pills.

Estrogen can increase the risk of certain health conditions such as clots in your legs or heart attacks.

Therefore, if you are known to already have an increased risk, your healthcare provider may opt for a treatment without estrogen.

Birth control injections are not birth control implants

A common misconception is that Implanon is a birth control injection

Implanon is a progestin-only implant that is inserted gently under your skin (usually in the upper arm) by a trained healthcare professional.

Implanon confers up to 3 years of contraception!

Its downside is that the implant can sometimes be noticeable, especially when you touch it.

It also requires a small procedure to remove it, meaning another visit to the doctor’s office.

Birth control injections vs intrauterine devices (IUD)

However, there are other methods for birth control that you can consider if you have a more concrete timeline you’re working with.

Say, you are currently building your career and want to enjoy life as a couple with your partner. You want kids in the future but not now, perhaps in a few years.

If you feel your birth control needs are in the span of years, you might be better off with implants or IUDs. Implants are long-acting contraception with effects as long as three years. Similarly, IUDs are long-acting methods as well.

What are the disadvantages of birth control injections?

Another thing to consider is that birth control injections are irreversible. Once you get a shot, you will be protected for three months.

However, should you change your mind within this period, you would have no choice but to wait it out.

It’s unlike birth control pills or IUDs that can be stopped/removed when you want it.

Dame can help with your birth control injections in Singapore

Be certain before committing to any treatment. If you are looking for something that is more flexible, birth control pills are probably a good starting point.

Dame is a discreet direct-to-home providing contraceptive treatments in Singapore.

Dame aims to provide a safe place for women of all ages to seek professional advice and learn more about the option available to taking charge over your own sexual health.

At Dame, we believe in choice. We carry the largest selection of birth control methods that can be readily access through our online platform. With just a few clicks, you can get a professional consult with our experts, and the medications can be shipped discreetly to you.

There is even an option for subscription, if you are looking to commit to something regular and fuss free.

Birth Control Pills

Did you know that sales of birth control pills were at a four year high in Singapore in 2020. The usage of birth control pills in Singapore is definitely more common than we think.

Most birth control pills contain a combination of estrogen and progestin. The combination pill reduces the risk of pregnancy by:

  • Preventing ovulation
    This means your body does not produce eggs for the sperm to fertilise.
  • Keeping the mucus in the cervix thick
    This makes it harder for sperm to move to meet the egg to fertilise it.
  • Keeping the lining of the uterus thin
    This makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to continue to develop in the body.

It is important to understand that birth control pills do not prevent or protect you and your partner against sexually transmitted diseases. You and your partner will still need to practice safe sex.

The biggest downside of the pill is that, in order to maximize its effectiveness, you have to remember to take it every day, ideally at the same time of day. Some people find this difficult or inconvenient.

A thing to note about forgetfulness with birth control

When taken properly, birth control pills are a highly effective form of contraception. When taken “perfectly” at the same time every day, without fail – birth control pills are found to have a 99% effectiveness rate.

However, missed pills or forgetting to restart the pill after the week of your period will greatly increase the risk of pregnancy.

You can set a recurring reminder alarm on your phone to take your pills or keep your pills next to something you use every day (like your phone charger or make-up kit). If you are a caffeine-addict, it is also a good idea to pair the pill with your morning coffee.

Benefits of birth control pills

The pill also makes menstrual bleeding more regular, with an overall lighter flow. Other benefits of the pill include a reduction in:

Birth control pills reduce menstrual cramps or pain (yay to improving PMS symptoms!)

In fact, the pill can be prescribed to regulate menstrual periods, provide pain relief from menstrual cramps and to manage PMS symptoms.

Depending on the severity and frequency of your menstrual symptoms, your healthcare professional may recommend taking painkillers instead. However, birth control pills may be used as a longer term measure to minimize these symptoms.

Birth control pills can treat acne (yay to fewer pimples!)

Some birth control pills are approved to be used for the treatment of acne after all other acne treatment options have failed.

Birth control pills can help with iron-deficiency anemia (a low blood count due to low iron levels)

We lose iron when we lose blood. Birth control pills can suppress menstruation, reducing blood loss.

Birth control pills can reduce risk of ovarian cancer or cancer of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus)

Research has shown that the risk of ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer are reduced by 30-40% in women who have ever used birth control pills compared to women who have never used them. Studies also show that this protection may last for over 30 years after the last use of birth control pills.

Birth control pills and menses for holidays

Most practitioners would opt for progestin-only pill (NorE), to be taken 3 days before the trip, and stop when trip over. Taking a progestin-only pill has less side effects and does not confer contraception.

The side effects

Possible side effects of the pill include:

  • Nausea, breast tenderness, bloating and mood changes
    These typically improve within 2-3 months without treatment (while continuing the pill).
  • Irregular bleeding: also called “breakthrough bleeding” or “spotting”, can happen during the first few months of taking the pill.
    It almost always resolves without any treatment within 2-3 months. Forgetting a pill can also cause breakthrough bleeding.

Birth control mythbusting

Myth: Birth control pills can cause weight gain

Contrary to popular belief, taking birth control pills does not cause weight gain. 

Research has shown that there is no established relationship between birth control pills and weight gain.

Myth: Birth control pills can cause heart problems and strokes

When the pill was first introduced in the 1960s, the doses of both hormones (estrogen and progestin) used were quite high. High doses of estrogen and progestin resulted in cardiovascular complications, such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and blood clots in the legs and lungs.

The pills prescribed today have much lower doses of estrogen and progestin, reducing the risk of these complications. As a result, birth control pills are now considered a safe and reliable option for most healthy, non-smoking people. While there is a very small risk of blood clots, this risk is actually lower than the risk during pregnancy or soon after giving birth.

However, if you are 35 or older and smoke cigarettes, always consult a doctor before starting birth control pills. Studies have shown that there is a higher risk for cardiovascular complications in this group of women.

Myth: Birth control pills can cause breast cancer

Experts have studied the possible association between taking the pill and the risk of breast cancer. While these studies demonstrated mixed results, some evidence suggests that people who take the pill do have a slightly higher risk of getting breast cancer later in life than those who do not. However, if there is an increase in risk, it is very small, especially in younger people.

It is important to balance this against the benefits of the pill, which include not only pregnancy prevention but a significant reduction in the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. Always speak to your doctor to address any concerns or doubts you may have.

Birth control pills and medication interactions

The pill may not work as well to prevent pregnancy if you also take certain other medications.

Medications that have been found to reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills include medications for epilepsy (e.g. phenytoin), certain antibiotics (e.g. rifampin for the treatment of tuberculosis) and herbal supplements (e.g. St John’s Wort for depression).

It is always advisable to inform your doctor of all the medications and even supplements (herbal or non-herbal) that you are taking, or intending to start taking, before embarking on birth control pills.

Guide to starting birth control pills in Singapore

In Singapore, birth control pills are prescription-only medications. This means that you will need to consult a doctor for a legal prescription.

You may have heard of brands like: Microgynon 30, Diane-35, Mercilon, Yasmin and Yaz. These are common birth control pills in Singapore. They are birth control pills that contain a combination of estrogen and progestin.

At Dame, we stock the most common five brands of birth control pills in Singapore. They can be classified into 3 different generations, with Microgynon 30 being the earliest on the market (since the 1970s!). The newest on the market would be Yasmin and Yaz.

All 5 pills are safe, effective and reliable as birth control methods when taken correctly. They mainly differ in the strength of the estrogen component and the type of progestin in the pill. Different users experience different side effects due to the different strength and hormone components.

The newer generations of birth control pills were developed to address certain side effects experienced with the earlier generations like acne. For example, other than being an effective birth control pill, Yaz is also FDA approved for the treatment of acne.

You would also find differences in the price of the birth control pills. Microgynon 30 has been around on the market for the longest time, it is also the cheapest amongst the 5 brands. Yasmin and Yaz being the newer ones on the market, are the more expensive ones. Here at Dame, we also stock the generic versions of Yaz and Diane-35, this would confer some cost savings.

Always speak to your doctor to understand which birth control pill works best for your body and your lifestyle habits.

An unplanned pregnancy can be a difficult time for anyone regardless of age. Teenage girls (and their parents!) facing a pregnancy crisis at home may approach helplines like Babes and the Pregnancy Crisis and Support Services.

Progestin-only pills

You may be curious to find that some birth control pills contain only progestin (sometimes called the “mini pill”) such as Cerelle and Cerazette. These may be an option for women who cannot or should not take estrogen. This includes those who are breastfeeding or who have worsened migraines or high blood pressure with combination birth control pills.

Progestin-only pills appear to be as effective as combination pills when taken at the same time every day. However, they are more time-sensitive compared to combination pills.

Progestin-only pills have a slightly higher failure rate if you are more than 3 hours late in taking them compared to combination pills. Always speak to your doctor to find out what works best for you.

Does hormonal birth control increase risk of infertility?

Birth control pills do not increase the risk of infertility. In fact, women who use the pill usually start ovulating regularly again within one to three months of stopping birth control.

Most women return to their normal level of fertility within a cycle or two. For some, it may take several months before their cycle (including when they ovulate) becomes regular and they can get pregnant. This is more likely for people whose periods were irregular before starting birth control.

How old must I be to get birth control pills in Singapore?

The legal age to have sex in Singapore is 16 years old.

Meaning doctors are allowed to prescribe birth control pills to 16 years old and older.

However, this is still at the discretion of your doctor, who would need to assess your suitability, both medically and psychologically.

For birth control purposes, you will need to find a sensitive and trusted doctor who will explain the risk and benefits of starting birth control pills. Our doctors can help with that. And while you are encouraged to inform your parents too, it is not mandatory for them to join in the consultation

The teen years are also when you might start having acne and birth control pills could help. Dame generally prefers to explore non-hormonal methods to control the acne first, unless your goal is to have both acne control and birth control at the same time.

Birth control patches in Singapore

Different names of the birth control patches in Singapore

In Singapore, Evra is the only brand of birth control patch registered with the HSA.

It is the first birth control patch to come onto the market in the United States and was first approved by the FDA in 2001.

You may have come across the brand Ortho Evra, it is essentially the same product as Evra, marketed by the same company under a different brand name in the United States.

In the United States, Ortho Evra has been discontinued due to the availability of generic versions of the birth control patch, namely: Xulane (FDA-approved in 2014) and Zafemy (FDA-approved in 2021).

Evra contains ethinyl estradiol (the estrogen component) and norelgestromin (the progestin component).

The patch is made up of three layers: the outer layer is water-resistant and protects the underlying layer from the environment; the middle layer is medicated with the two hormones: ethinyl estradiol and norelgestromin, and the inner layer is a clear release liner that is removed before patch application.

Birth control patches requires weekly application

A birth control patch is applied and changed once per week for three weeks followed by one patch-free week.

The patch should always be applied or changed on the same day of the week.

Failing to change a birth control patch at the appropriate time can result in an unplanned pregnancy.

Many strategies can be used to ensure appropriate weekly changes of a birth control patch. For example, weekly calendar reminders can be set on your smartphone.

Where do I apply a birth control patch?

A birth control patch can be applied to the abdomen, buttock or upper torso. The breast area should be avoided as it can cause breast tenderness due to the high concentration of estrogen in the patch.

Evra, the birth control patch available in Singapore, can also be applied to the upper outer arm. A different body area should be used each time a new patch is applied and only one patch should be worn at a time. Avoid the use of lotions or occlusive dressings (e.g. bandages) on the area where the patch is applied.

Birth control patches are great for active women

If you are a sports enthusiast, or are simply worried about the patch detaching due to the hot and humid climate that we are living in, you would be interested to know that the patch is designed to be really, really sticky.

Various studies have been done to assess the adhesive reliability of the birth control patch, users of the patch were subjected to various conditions (for example, use of a sauna, immersion in a whirlpool bath, use of a treadmill followed by showering etc).

Thankfully, birth control patches have proven to be quite reliable in all these circumstances.

Approximately 2% of birth control patches required replacement for complete detachment and 3% of birth control patches became partially attached in the studies.

It was also found that living in a warm, humid climate did not increase the risk of patch detachment. The stickiness of the patch was also not adversely affected by a vigorous, athletic lifestyle or swimming.

Do not use tapes or plasters to keep the patch attached.

Always discuss your lifestyle needs with your doctor, here at Dame, we will provide detailed advice on what to do in the unlikely occasion the patch detaches – it always pays well to be prepared.

Removal of birth control patch causes quick return to normalcy

One benefit of birth control patches like Evra is how quickly you can change your mind should you wish to start planning for pregnancy.

Upon removing the patch, blood levels of both hormones reach very low to non-measurable levels within three days.

Individuals who desire to conceive may attempt to do so as soon as they are ready after patch discontinuation. Always speak to your doctor about your concerns.

Combined hormonal contraceptive methods

Combined hormonal contraceptive methods in the form of an oral birth control pill, birth control patch and vaginal ring offer highly effective and reversible contraception. They have a similar contraceptive mechanism – the hormone combination reduces the risk of pregnancy by:

  • Preventing ovulation

This means your body does not produce eggs for the sperm to fertilise.

  • Keeping the mucus in the cervix thick

This makes it harder for sperm to move to meet the egg to fertilise it.

  • Keeping the lining of the uterus thin

This makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to continue to develop in the body.

The benefits and risks of a birth control patch are generally similar to the oral estrogen-progestin pills and the contraceptive vaginal ring.

However, the birth control patch offers several differences which may influence your consideration in the selection of a suitable contraceptive method.

Birth control patch vs birth control pills

In terms of effectiveness, the birth control patch is highly effective and as effective as oral combined hormonal contraceptives.

Potential benefits of birth control patches:

Simply forgetful?

  • A new patch is replaced on a weekly basis compared to taking a pill on a daily basis. Studies have found that this appears to result in improved adherence to the birth control regime.

Hate pills?

  • A birth control patch is useful if you have difficulty swallowing pills.

Constant hormonal exposure

  • A birth control patch delivers the two hormones directly into the bloodstream; unlike the birth control pill, the hormones do not need to go through the whole process of being broken down in the body.
  • Simply put, the patch delivers a more constant level of hormones in the body compared to the pill. It could possibly result in fewer hormonal related side effects compared to the pill.

Potential benefits of birth control pills

Privacy issues

  • Pills can be taken privately. A visible patch could draw unwanted attention.

Possibility of patch detachment

  • Pills do not detach

Birth control patch vs contraceptive vaginal ring

Both methods offer weekly dosing and a non-oral administration.

A birth control patch may be more appealing to individuals or their partners who find vaginal contraception unacceptable (for example, having to insert the ring into the vagina, increased vaginal discharge or simply feeling the presence of the ring during intercourse).

Ultimately, knowing the different types of contraceptive options available is important. It helps you make the best decision for your personal health and lifestyle needs. A birth control patch is as effective as the pill and is a comparable alternative that can be considered.

Any doubts? Queries? Clarifications required? Speak with our doctors at, we are here to help you make the best decision for you.

Permanent contraception: tubal ligation and vasectomy

Permanent contraception refers to methods of birth control that are intended to be irreversible, meaning they cannot be easily undone. Tubal ligation and vasectomy are all examples of permanent contraception methods.

Tubal ligation, also known as “getting your tubes tied,” is a surgical procedure in which a woman’s fallopian tubes are cut, tied, or blocked to prevent pregnancy. This procedure is typically done under general anaesthesia and can be performed through small incisions in the abdomen or through the cervix.

The procedure is usually performed as a day surgery, most women are able to go home on the same day. As it is a fast and relatively simple procedure,  tubal ligation can be performed at the time of caesarean birth (“c-section”), or after an uncomplicated vaginal delivery should the mothers request one.

Vasectomy is the most effective and only method of permanent male contraception. It is a surgical procedure in which the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles, are cut or blocked. This procedure is typically done under local anaesthesia and can be performed through a small incision in the scrotum.

It is important to note that these procedures are permanent and cannot be reversed easily, so one should consider carefully before making a decision.

While most women are satisfied with their decision following a permanent birth control procedure, some experience “tubal regret”. The factor most strongly associated with regret is being less than 30 years old at the time of the procedure.

Studies have shown that the younger a woman is, the more likely they are to regret the decision later. Other contributing factors include relationship problems at the time of the procedure, stress due to recent pregnancy complications, pregnancy loss, death of an infant or child, and being in a new relationship after having the procedure.

The effectiveness of permanent birth control at preventing pregnancy is similar to long-acting reversible methods of birth control (e.g. implant or IUD). While the decision is yours alone, if you are unsure at all, you may want to consider these options instead as they are as effective but can be removed in the future if you wish to become pregnant.

Barrier methods

Barrier methods for birth control are types of contraception that physically block the sperm from reaching the egg. Some examples of barrier methods include male condoms, female condoms, contraceptive sponges, spermicides, and cervical caps.

Male condoms are a thin sheath made of latex, polyurethane, or natural membrane that is worn over the penis during intercourse. They are an effective way to prevent pregnancy and also provide protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Female condoms are similar to male condoms but are designed to be worn inside the vagina. They are made of a soft, thin plastic material that lines the vagina and creates a barrier between the sperm and the egg.

Contraceptive sponges are small, round devices made of soft, disposable foam that are inserted into the vagina before intercourse. They contain spermicide, a chemical that kills sperm, and create a physical barrier that blocks the sperm from reaching the egg.

Spermicides are chemicals that are applied to the vagina or cervix before intercourse. They come in different forms – foam, gel, cream, film and tablets. They work by killing sperm and can be used alone or in combination with other barrier methods.

A diaphragm is a small, flexible device made of rubber or silicone that is inserted into the vagina and placed over the cervix before sex. It is used along with foam, gel or cream that contains spermicide. The diaphragm keeps the spermicide in place around the cervix, which prevents sperm from getting into the uterus. When sperm cannot travel through the cervix, the egg cannot be fertilised.

A cervical cap is similar to a diaphragm, but smaller. It is generally not recommended for people who have given birth before. Pregnancy and childbirth change the size of the cervix, this makes a cervical cap fit less well.

What about natural forms of birth control?

Some people cannot or choose not to use birth control methods mentioned above due to religious, cultural or personal reasons.

There are a few forms of “natural” birth control. This means they require no medicines or devices. They include:

  • Withdrawal: this is when the male partner pulls out before ejaculating
  • Fertility awareness: this involves keeping track of your monthly periods so you can predict when you are most likely to get pregnant each month.

It involves identifying the fertile days of the menstrual cycle using a combination of cycle length and the physical changes seen during ovulation (for example monitoring changes in cervical secretions and basal body temperature)

Vaginal sex will be avoided or barrier methods would be used on the identified fertile days.

Smartphone apps are available that may help with tracking cycles.

  • Breastfeeding: breastfeeding can decrease a person’s ability to get pregnant.

Some people use it as a form of birth control for the first few weeks after having a baby. But for it to work, breast milk should be the baby’s only food. If you want to try this method, always discuss it with your doctor.

These forms of birth control are less reliable than other methods. If you feel strongly that you do not want to get pregnant, or get a partner pregnant, you might want to consider other methods instead.

How to get emergency contraception in Singapore

Birth control pills are taken regularly to prevent pregnancy while emergency contraception refers to a birth control method that is used to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex. That’s why it’s also called the “morning after pill” or “plan B”. It should be used as soon as possible after unprotected sex, ideally within 120 hours.

If you have unprotected sex or if you suspect there is a problem with your birth control method (for example, you missed a pill for 2 or more days), you can use emergency contraception to reduce your risk of pregnancy. Emergency contraception does not induce an abortion. Always speak to your doctor to find out which form of birth control works best for you.

The need for a morning after pill often comes as an emergency because its effectiveness in preventing pregnancy decreases from the time un-protected or under-protected sex happens.

In Singapore, you would require a doctor’s prescription to get it.

Time is of the essence. If you already know you need a morning after pill, click here to get your same-day order.

What is the morning after pill?

The morning after pill is a form of oral emergency contraception used to prevent pregnancy after sexual intercourse. It prevents pregnancy by preventing or delaying ovulation. It does not induce an abortion.

Emergency contraception cannot interrupt an established pregnancy or harm a developing embryo.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), any woman or girl of reproductive age may take emergency contraception to avoid an unwanted pregnancy at any point they require it. There are no absolute medical contraindications to the use of emergency contraception. There are no age limits for the use of emergency contraception.

In Singapore, you would need a prescription to access emergency contraception.

Which brands of morning after pills are available in Singapore?

table of emergency contraception options in singapore

There are two different brands of morning after pills available in Singapore. They contain different active ingredients that interfere with the female hormone progesterone.

They work similarly by preventing or delaying ovulation: the process when an egg is released from the ovary.

If an egg is not released, the sperm cannot meet the egg for fertilisation to happen. With that, pregnancy cannot happen.

Hence, it is not effective if you are already pregnant. Morning after pills are not pills for abortion. They also do not protect against sexually transmitted infections or HIV.

Levonorgestrel (Postinor 2)

Levonorgestrel is the first morning after pill. It has been around since the 1970s for emergency contraception. It is marketed under the brand “Plan B” in the United States, where it is also available over-the-counter.

In Singapore, Levonorgestrel is marketed under the brand name Postinor 2. Postinor 2 is a series of two tablets. The first Postinor 2 tablet is taken as soon as possible (up to 72 hours) after un-protected or under-protected sex. The second tablet is taken 12 hours later from the time the first tablet was taken.

Ulipristal acetate (Ella)

Ulipristal acetate is marketed under the brand Ella.

It is a more recent morning after pill in the market, approved for use since 2010.

Ella is a single dose tablet; it should be taken as soon as possible (up to 120 hours) after un-protected or under-protected sex.

Levonorgestrel (Postinor 2) vs Ulipristal acetate (Ella)

In clinical studies comparing Ulipristal and Levonorgestrel, Ulipristal was found to be more effective in preventing pregnancy in the first 120 hours after un-protected or under-protected sex.

Risk of pregnancy was found to be up to 1.8% in women who take Ulipristal compared to up to 2.6% in women who take Levonorgestrel.

Research also found that Levonorgestrel is less effective in women with obese-BMI equal to or over 30 kg/m2 compared to Ulipristal.

The wider timeframe in which Ulipristal remains effective (up to 120 hours) compared to Levonorgestrel (up to 72 hours) is an important factor especially in Singapore where a prescription is required to obtain these medications.

However, as Ulipristal is a newer agent in the market, it would cost more compared to Levonorgestrel.

Due to the long history of usage, Levonorgestrel would be more commonly stocked among the clinics or pharmacies in Singapore making it possibly easier to obtain.

Here at Dame, we would recommend Ulipristal when risk of pregnancy is higher, if cost is not a concern.

You would fall under this category if you have had multiple episodes of un-protected or under-protected sex during your ‘fertile’ period (approximately 12 days prior to the anticipated onset of menses) or if you have irregular periods.

Where can I get morning after pills in Singapore?

In Singapore, access to morning after pills would require a prescription, and that would mean a consultation with a doctor as well. However, not all clinics have emergency contraception and it would be wise to call ahead of time to check.

Time is of the essence here as the effectiveness of morning after pills decreases with time.

With a timeframe of up to 120 hours, it can be a stressful process of looking up the different clinics contact numbers and operating hours.

Furthermore, you must attend the doctor’s consultation in order to obtain a prescription. No one  can obtain morning after pills on your behalf.

This adds travelling costs and time, and queuing and waiting times at the clinic.

The good news is with the rise of telemedicine platforms, we can all breathe a little easier…

When is it an emergency?

According to the WHO, emergency contraception can be used in such situations following sexual intercourse to prevent unwanted pregnancy. These include:

  • When no contraceptive has been used
  • Sexual assault when the woman was not protected by an effective contraceptive method

(You can seek help in Singapore here)

  • When there is concern of possible contraceptive failure, from improper or incorrect use, such as:
    • Condom breakage, slippage or incorrect use
    • Missed or late administration of regular oral or injectable contraceptives
      (always check with your doctor as it varies with different products)
    • Dislodgment, breakage, tearing or early removal of a diaphragm or cervical cap
    • Failed withdrawal (e.g. ejaculation in the vagina or on external genitalia)
    • Failure of a spermicide tablet or film to melt before intercourse
    • Miscalculation of the abstinence period, or failure to abstain or use a barrier method on the fertile days of the cycle when using fertility awareness based methods
    • Expulsion of an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) or hormonal contraceptive implant

What should I do after taking a morning after pill?

When a morning after pill is taken, you can expect your period to happen within three weeks.

A pregnancy test should be performed if your period does not happen after three weeks.

The morning after pill is meant for emergencies and should not be used as a form of ongoing birth control method.

If you use the morning after pill more than once in a menstrual cycle, it can cause your menses to be irregular and result in unwanted side effects due to exposure to higher levels of hormones.

Other forms of birth control are a lot more effective and less stressful to the body.

It’s the morning after. Time is of an essence. Dame can help you now.

If you are seeking a morning after pill, then time is ticking.

You need to act now and get that prescription.

Here’s how we can help:

  • Same day consultation always available
  • Delivery within 4 hours of consultation
  • Discreet delivery: meet in lobby, public place, hidden somewhere safe

Consultations must be done before 4pm, but we are working on allowing urgent morning-after pills after office hours.

Prices start from $64++, which includes same day consultation, 4-hour discreet delivery.

Time is of the essence. Click here to get your same-day order.

What are my options for birth control in Singapore?

How effective are the different birth control methods? I need a comparison!

Which birth control method is the best for me?

The best method is one that works best for you. You should be able to use it easily, consistently and it should not cause you bothersome side effects. This section will help you choose between them.

What is the minimum legal age for birth control in Singapore?

16 years old. Here’s why.

How much does birth control cost in Singapore?

Prices vary from provider to provider but we have a cost comparison for IUDs here.

Is birth control containing hormones safe for everyone?

No. There are specific groups of women who need to take extra precautions. Here’s an in-depth look at birth control safety.

Birth control pills can cause weight gain and cancer. Is this true? Are birth control pills safe? What side effects can I expect?

This will answer your questions.

Birth control pills or IUD? Injection or Patch? How do I choose between the different hormonal birth control options?

Each has its own benefits and challenges. It’s hard to recommend one without a consultation but you can review our infographic here to understand it better.

This is my first time taking emergency contraception. What do I need to know?
table of emergency contraception options in singapore

I need emergency contraception NOW! How quickly can I get it in Singapore?

You will need to see a doctor. Do it right now.

You can go to your local clinic or you can book a telehealth appointment with speedy delivery: click here to get your same-day order.

Take control of your reproductive health with Dame, getting birth control pills is as easy as one-two-three, complete a survey, speak to a consultant and enjoy discreet shipping right to your doorstep. It doesn’t stop there, we’ve got you covered for your refills, our subscription model ensures that you don’t have to repeat your order every month.

Getting birth control is easy with telemedicine.