Germany

Emergency contraception (EC) is available without prescription in Germany: local pharmacies and family planning clinics distribute EC, EC is included in Germany’s drug reimbursement policies, and recommendations for pharmacists are available.

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 17,516,0001 15.92 29.23 1.384 76%5
Year 2015 2005 2010 2012 2011

Accessibility & prescription status

Since 2015, LNG EC and UPA EC can be purchased without a prescription from pharmacies in Germany.

Cost

Type of EC Approximate Cost Brand(s) Available
LNG € 18 PiDaNa
LNG € 17 Unofem
LNG € 16 Postinor
UPA € 30 ellaOne
UPA € n/a Femke 30 mg
UPA € n/a Lencya
UPA € n/a Ulipristal Aristo 30 mg
UPA € n/a Ulipristalacetat AL 30 mg

Under national health insurance, the cost of LNG EC and UPA EC is free for women under the age of 20 years if the women sees a doctor and obtains a doctor’s prescription. Nevertheless, between 18 and 20 years of age, there is a € 5 prescription fee (to be paid at the pharmacy). However, for girls and women under the age of 20 years who buy EC over the counter, for girls and women under 20 years who have private health insurance, and for all women 20 years and older, the cost of LNG EC and UPA EC is not covered by social security.

Guidelines & common practices

In January 2015, the Federal Pharmacy Chamber (BAK), published  Rezeptfreie Abgabe von Notfallkontrazeptiva („Pille danach“). Handlungsempfehlungen der Bundesapothekerkammerwith recommendations for EC provision to pharmacist.6  The  paper by Schulz M. et al7 summarised these recommendations. Dispensing EC to girls under the age of 14 years is not recommended without the consent of a parent or legal guardian, and referring to a doctor is advised.

In March 2018 the Federal Association of German Pharmacists’ Associations   (Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Apothekerverbände, ABDA) published a new edition of the guide: https://www.abda.de/aktuelles-und-presse/newsroom/detail/pille-danach/.

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 13%5 3,9% n/a n/a
Year 2011 20156 n/a n/a

 

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 Statistisches Bundesamt. Geburten in Deutschland 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2013, from https://www.destatis.de/DE/Publikationen/Thematisch/Bevoelkerung/Bevoelkerungsbewegung/BroschuereGeburtenDeutschland0120007129004.pdf?__blob=publicationFile.

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 Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung BzgA. Contraceptive Behaviour of Adults 2011. Cologne. Retrieved 16 July 2013, from http://publikationen.sexualaufklaerung.de/index.php?docid=2272&pk_campaign=RelatedContente.

Bundesapothekerkammer (BAK) 28.1.2015: Rezeptfreie Abgabe von Notfallkontrazeptiva (“Pille danach”). http://www.abda.de/themen/apotheke/qualitaetssicherung0/leitlinien/leitlinien0/.

Schulz M, Goebel R, Schumann C, Zagermann-Muncke P. Non-prescription dispensing of emergency oral contraceptives: Recommendations from the German Federal Chamber of Pharmacists [Bundesapothekerkammer]. Pharm Pract (Granada) [Internet]. 2016Sep.29 [cited 2020Dec.16];14(3):828. Available from: https://scielo.isciii.es/pdf/pharmacy/v14n3/guidelines.pdf 

Kiechle, M., Neuenfeldt, M. Experience with oral emergency contraception since the OTC switch in Germany. Arch Gynecol Obstet 295, 651–660 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-016-4253-0

Last update: November 2021

Previous updates: January 2021, December 2020, July 2015