France

Emergency contraception (EC) is available in France: LNG EC, UPA EC, and the use of IUD for EC are included in national policies for family planning; local pharmacies, hospitals, schools, and family planning clinics distribute EC; and France includes EC in its drug reimbursement policies.

Sexual & reproductive health background information

Female population aged 15-49 Mean age at first sexual intercourse Mean age at birth of first child Total fertility rate % use of modern contraceptive methods
Estimate 14,253,0001 17.22 28.13 2.04 74.8%5
Year 2015 2005 2010 2012 2004-05

Accessibility & prescription status

In France, LNG EC is available over the counter from pharmacies, hospitals, schools, family planning clinics, and France-based Internet sites, which means that EC can be purchased without a prescription, the drug is on the shelves, and a woman can just take it to the check-out counter. UPA EC is available behind the counter from pharmacies, hospitals, and family planning clinics, which means that EC is available without a prescription but is not on the shelves and needs to be requested in order to purchase. Physicians, midwives, nurses, and pharmacists are authorized to provide or prescribe LNG EC and UPA EC.

Cost

Type of EC Approximate Cost Brand(s) Available
LNG € 6,75 Anthia, Biogaran 1500, NorLevo 1.5mg
UPA € 18,88 ellaOne

The costs of LNG EC and UPA EC are partially reimbursed to the patient (65%) when they are sold with a prescription. LNG EC and UPA EC are fully reimbursed to the patient when they are sold with a prescription to an individual who has government health insurance for low incomes. LNG EC is free for those who are under 18 years oldas well as when it is procured at family planning clinics. UPA EC is free when it is procured at family planning clinics.

Guidelines & common practices

In 2004 France published guidelines that included EC among other contraceptive methods. Later on, in April 2013, the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) published Contraception d’urgence Prescription et délivrance à l’avance, which includes recommendations on advanced prescription and provision. In December 2013, HAS issued the factsheet Fiche Mémo – Contraception d’urgence, which provides guidance and recommendations on LNG EC, UPA EC, and the use of IUD for EC. The facthseet was updated in July  2015.

Health care providers rarely provide general information about EC during regular consultations or prescribe EC in advance of need. Health care providers also do not require a pregnancy test or a pelvic exam before prescribing EC.

EC use

Ever use of EC EC use in the last 12 months % with no prescription Repeated use of EC in last 12 months
Estimate 22%7 4.5%7 95%8 1.4%7
Year 2010 2010 n/a 2010

 

Sources

1 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision. New York, 2013.

2 Durex Global Sex Survey Results 2005. Retrieved 20 June 2013, from http://www.durex.com/en-jp/sexualwellbeingsurvey/documents/gss2005result.pdf.

3 United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Statistical Division Database. Mean Age of Women at Birth of First Child by Country and Year. Updated 23 November 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://w3.unece.org/pxweb/dialog/varval.asp?ma=04_GEFHAge1stChild_r&path=../database/STAT/30-GE/02-Families_households/&lang=1&ti=Mean+age+of+women+at+birth+of+first+child.

4 European health for all database (HFA-DB), World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. Total fertility rate. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://data.euro.who.int/hfadb/.

5 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Contraceptive Use 2012. New York, 2012.

l’Assurance Maladie. Délivrance de la contraception (April 2015). Retrieved 13 July 2015, from http://www.ameli.fr/professionnels-de-sante/pharmaciens/exercer-au-quotidien/delivrance-de-la-contraception/la-contraception-pour-les-jeunes-filles-mineures.php

7 Personal communication, Caroline Moreau.

8 Haute Autorité de Santé. Contraception d’urgence: Prescription et délivrance à l’avance, Recommendations en santé publique. April 2013, from http://www.has-sante.fr/portail/upload/docs/application/pdf/2013-04/contraception_durgence_-_argumentaire_2013-04-30_14-24-25_321.pdf.

Last update: September 2015