Wednesday, March 16, 2011

English OB/GYN

A friend of mine recommended an English-speaking OB/GYN in Hannam (near Itaewon in Seoul).

I was glad to be able to go before I head home to being unemployed and uninsured indefinitely and wholly unable to afford birth control. By the way, you can stock up on 6 months' worth of the Korean pill for 6,000 won per box. Just ask for 피임약 at the pharmacy. Write it down if you can't say it.

Unfortunately, your lovely teacher's medical insurance doesn't cover any women's health procedures, testing, regular checkups, etc. so it's stupid expensive (over 150,000 KRW) to get your yearly exam done in Korea. But what choice do you have?

The cool thing is that they use mini cameras and/or sonogram to check you out, which is really interesting if you've never seen your own insides before. Or really horrific if you're not expecting it and the doctor says, "Look here," gesturing to the horror flick on a screen you hadn't noticed before. Eep! (They're totally gonna give me copies of the pictures of my cervix along with my records to take home, and I'm totally gonna show 'em around because I need others to share in my shock, too.)

Here's the doctor's Web site:

You can set up an appointment by phone or email, and when you arrive at Yaksu station by subway, give the offices a call and ask them to give directions to your taxi drivers.

My only complaints are that it's really busy and rushed on Saturdays (the only time I can go in since I don't live in Seoul), the staff throws TONS of printed information at you and rushes through explanations of whatever is happening or could happen to your body, and they're REALLY pushy about the Gardasil "cervical cancer vaccine" shot (which has not been tested for whether booster shots will be needed or when, but that's a diatribe for another post, perhaps).

Best of luck. Tell your friends.


  1. I probably won't be needing a woman's doctor anytime soon, but thanks for sharing the Korean term for the pill. You'd be amazed how... awkward... that is to find out (I do have a fiance, remember).

  2. I had an exam last year (pap smear and internal exam) for 80,000 won. I guess insurance for those things doesn't kick in until the age of 32. 150,000 sounds expencive to me, but I don't know what tests you got. I wonder if they charge more because they speak English. I've given up on trying to find "English speaking" doctors and I just got to any local doctor that I like now. (but I can usually communicate well enough for most symptoms now in Korean too... plus, most doctor's technical English is very good even if they can't have a conversation)

    It's great that the pill is available over the counter here, and there are at least three or four different brands that are available. Lately, though I've been thinking of switching to a prescription brand since I'm not sure about the hormone level and safety of the over the counter ones I've been taking for the past two years.... But, hey, at least they work ^^

  3. I failed to note that part of the cost is because I choose to get tested for EVERYTHING when I go in for my yearly.

    Also and unfortunately, they've just discontinued NuvaRing in Korea and don't offer the shot here either. Birth control options are limited except for the pill and implant.

  4. Also, my expenses did NOT include any breast exam either because I'm young enough to afford to skip it.

  5. wow. ive been reading your blog and you seem like a really cool person. I'm glad you are having fun in korea.

    it sounds like you have had quite the adventure. I am new to korea and am looking for some cool people to hangout with since I've been having a hard time making friends since my school is small and my co teachers are much older. there is one young person but she's got a korean bf so she never seems to want to hangout. anyway, just trying to make new friends. I don't have a blog just fb so if I don't seem to much of a freak to you please shoot me an email on fb or whatever. itd be nice to talk to someone who lives here and is friendly and open minded.


  6. Good day everybody... Good post...