Norway

Emergency contraception (EC) is available in Norway: LNG EC, UPA EC, and the use of IUD for EC are included in national policies for family planning; EC is distributed at numerous sites, including pharmacies, schools, family planning clinics, and gas stations;  and LNG EC is often delivered free of charge to young people and vulnerable populations.

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 1,132,0001 16.52 28.43 1.884 82.2%5
Year 2010 2005 2011 2011 2005

Accessibility & prescription status

In Norway, LNG EC is available over the counter from pharmacies, schools, family planning clinics, youth health services, Norway-based Internet sites, and (since 2009), also from non-pharmacy outlets, such as supermarkets or gas stations. EC  pills can be purchased without a prescription, the product is on the shelves, and a woman can just take it to the check-out counter. UPA EC can also be purchased without a prescription since 2016.

When EC is procured from non-pharmacy outlets, age restrictions apply and only women above 18 can buy EC pills. This applies to all medicines sold outside of pharmacies.8

While physicians are the sole health care professionals who are authorized to prescribe UPA EC, physicians, midwives, and nurses are authorized to provide or prescribe LNG EC.

Cost

Type of EC Approximate Cost Brand(s) Available
LNG € 24,60 NorLevo
LNG € 16 Levonorgestrel Norfri
UPA € 34 ellaOne
UPA € 24 Femke

There are no national reimbursement policies in Norway for LNG EC or UPA EC. EC is  delivered free of charge to young people in youth health services and to vulnerable populations, although this varies between municipalities. EC  always provided free of charge to rape victims.

Guidelines & common practices

Norway’s family planning guidelines, which include information on EC among other contraceptive methods, were revised in 2012 and again in 2017: eMetodebok for seksuell helse . These guides include recommendations on LNG and UPA EC pills as well as on the use of the Cu-IUD for EC. Its next review is due in spring of 2021.

Health care providers often provide general information about EC during regular consultations and often recommend or prescribe EC in advance of need. Health care providers usually require a pregnancy test before prescribing EC, but do not require a pelvic exam.

EC use

Ever use of EC EC use in the last 12 months Repeated use of EC in last 12 months
Estimate 35,1%6 n/a n/a
Year 2011/2012 n/a n/a

According to a population-based study of 2011-2012, 35,1% of Norwegian women aged 18-45, have used ECP at least once in their lifetime.6  However, in 2019 the Norwegian Institute of Public Health reported a decline in EC sales7. According to the Institute, “117.730 EC doses were sold in 2018, a reduction by 4% since 2017, and the share of sale in non-pharmacy has been limited since the sale of emergency contraceptives outside pharmacy was allowed in 2009. In 2018, the sale in non-pharmacy outlets accounted for only 6% (7400 doses) of the total sale. In total, the sale of emergency contraceptives measured in Defined Daily Doses (DDDs) has decreased by around 29% during the period 2009-2018.“

Sources

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 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.

6 Guleria, S, Munk, C, Elfström, KM, et al. Emergency contraceptive pill use among women in Denmark, Norway and Sweden: Population‐based survey. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2020; 99: 1214– 1221. https://doi.org/10.1111/aogs.13849

Sakshaug, S (red), Legemiddelforbruket i Norge 2014–2018 [Drug Consumption in Norway 2014–2018], Legemiddelstatistikk 2019:1, Oslo: Folkehelseinstituttet, 2019. http://www.legemiddelforbruk.no/english/

8 M. Johansen (personal communication, November 9, 2020)

 

Last update: November 2020

Previous update:December 2017