I just had my IUD inserted a few days ago at a womens' clinic in Sapporo
. I speak Japanese; I'm not sure if they have service in English, though they do have an English version of the form you fill out when you check in so they might. Their website says they recommend IUDs for "those who have already given birth", but they were willing to give NP me an IUD. I've heard that depending on the clinic, they can give you trouble for not being married/being NP, but this one was okay with it. I've never had an IUD before; I was on the pill but stopped after a few months because of terrible side effects. I didn't want to touch anything with hormones after that!
I do regret not getting my IUD inserted in Canada, because it's significantly cheaper there! (It's about 100 dollars). I paid 450,00 yen for my IUD (that includes the cost of the IUD, the procedure, and the STD and cancer check. They also have an internal pharmacy so they hand you some antibiotics at the same time; I assume that's included in the fee. The IUD itself is the bulk of that cost. Medical fees in Japan are usually dirt cheap, so I have no idea why IUDs are so expensive here!). But my SO is coming to visit me next month, so I really need one now.
The procedure was very quick, and less painful than the ear piercing I got the same day. I made sure to come to the clinic about 3 days after my period ended, which I was told is the best time for an insertion. I didn't take any pain killers - for medical reasons I can't take NSAIDs (like ibuprofin) and I'm not sure if other stuff would work (I don't really get cramps during my period so I've never needed to take anything, I just have a "mild discomfort" sensation and gastrointestinal symptoms). I figure if it hurt like hell, I was just going to have to soldier through it. Turns out that it was fine! Afterwards I just had a "mild discomfort" sensation for a couple of days - it's completely gone now.
Two days later my vaginal discharge is a kind of brown old-blood colour - I hope this clears up in time.
I just suddenly realized that at the clinic the doctor never told me what kind of IUD he was putting in! Or if he did, I clean forgot. I confirmed with him that it was a copper one (I'm not sure that clinic even had the hormonal ones available. IUDs aren't popular in Japan), but I totally forgot to ask the brand. I've heard Multiload is the standard in Japan, so it's probably that.
I'm also slightly worried because he didn't mention a thing about strings. I've been looking around on the net and everyone's like "you gotta check the strings". I felt around on my cervix and I'm not sure I felt strings? I felt what feels like a thin seam down my cervix. I don't usually go around poking my cervix so I really can't remember if that's what it felt like before. I wonder if that thing that feels like a seam is actually a string?
Anyway, he told me to go back after my next period for a checkup, so I'll ask about the brand then. The most worrying thing about my checkup is that when he did my examination he said one of my ovaries is a bit inflamed, probably for hormonal reasons. I think use of hormonal contraceptives is the culprit (a few months back I took the morning after pill three times in one month. Not a wise thing, I know. I do not recommend this, it fucked me up for months! Vitex and diet change has helped a lot though.)
Overall it was a good experience, but I'm still gagging at the price. Maybe I'm just a spoiled Canadian; I have no idea what they cost in other parts of the world. I know all forms of birth control are not covered by the national Japanese health insurance scheme, so that may account for the cost.