Emergency contraception (EC) is available in Belgium: LNG EC, UPA EC, and the use of IUD for EC are included in national policies for family planning; local pharmacies, hospitals, and family planning clinics distribute EC; and Belgium includes EC in its drug reimbursement policies.
- Sexual & reproductive health background information
- Accessibility & prescription status
- Guidelines & common practices
- EC use
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|
Accessibility & prescription status
In Belgium, LNG 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. Since 2015, UPA EC is also available without a prescription from pharmacies and hospitals.
|Type of EC||Approximate Cost||Brand(s) Available|
|LNG||€ 8,55 – € 9,85 (€ 0 – € 0,85 if <21 years old)||NorLevo 1.5mg, Postinor, Levodonna|
|UPA||€ 24,99 (€ 15,99 if <21 years old)||ellaOne|
The cost of LNG EC was fully reimbursed to the patient when is sold with a prescription if the patient was under 21 years old. The cost of UPA EC was partially reimbursed to the patient (about 40%) if the patient was under 21 years old. However, a new reimbursement scheme applies since April 1st 2020, which makes EC pills available free of charge to women of any age.7
Guidelines & common practices
In April 2015 the Centre de Développement Scientifique des Pharmaciens – Centrum Wetenschappelijke Ontwikkeling voor Apothekers (CDSP-CWOA), APB published Contraception d’urgence Bonnes Pratiques en Officine, a very comprehensive and up-to-date guide that provides recommendations for the supply of LNG and UPA ECPs and the referral for a Cu-IUD. Prior to that, a guide published in 2009 by the scientific group of Belgian general practitioners on Domus Medica, was the main reference.
Health care providers sometimes provide general information about EC during regular consultations but rarely prescribe EC in advance of need. Health care providers also do not require a pregnancy test or a pelvic exam before prescribing EC.
|Ever use of EC||EC use in the last 12 months||% with no prescription||Repeated use of EC in last 12 months|
1 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision. New York, 2011.
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 Eurostat. Total fertility rate, 1960-2011 (live births per woman). Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php?title=File:Total_fertility_rate,_1960-2011_%28live_births_per_woman%29.png&filetimestamp=20130129121040.
5 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Contraceptive Use 2012. New York, 2012.
7 Ev. Morning-afterpil wordt gratis voor iedereen [Internet]. De Standaard. standaard.be; 2020 [cited 2020Feb25]. Available from: https://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20200221_04859306?fbclid=IwAR3pDsdGoVbQ44bOhwgbnzDhH2AsTsWB6F2uNWdmFjNeEkzWUXKpYutdbg
Last update: November 2021
Previous updates: February 2020, February 2016