Emergency contraception (EC) is available in Portugal: LNG EC, UPA EC, and the use of IUD for EC are included in national guidelines for family planning; local pharmacies, hospitals, and family planning clinics distribute EC; and Portugal 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 2,427,0001 16.92 29.53 1.284 82.5%5
Year 2015 2005 2012 2012 2005-06

Accessibility & prescription status

In Portugal, LNG EC is available behind and over the counter: EC can be purchased in pharmacies and other drugstores without a prescription. LNG EC is provided free of charge when procured from family planning centers, primary health care services and hospitals associated with the National Health Service (NHS). Since April 2015, UPA EC is available behind the counter from pharmacies, which means that EC is available without a prescription but is not on the shelves and needs to be requested in order to purchase. IUDs for EC are available free of charge from family planning centers at hospitals associated with the NHS, but this method is not commonly used.

Medical doctors, pharmacists, and nurses are authorized to provide or prescribe LNG EC and UPA EC.


Type of EC Approximate Cost Brand(s) Available
LNG € 12,50 – € 15,50 NorLevo 1.5mg, Postinor 1500
UPA € 24,90 ellaOne
UPA € n/a Femke

LNG EC is free when procured directly from public family planning centers. Otherwise, the cost of LNG EC is not reimbursed by social security. The cost of UPA EC is never reimbursed, and IUDs are available free of charge only from family planning centers at hospitals associated with the NHS.

Guidelines & common practices

In July 2015, the Portuguese Society of Contraception published new guidelines specifically for EC. Recomendações sobre Contraceção de Emergência includes recommendations on LNG and UPA EC pills, and on the use of cooper IUD for EC.

Consenso sobre Contracepção 2020, published jointly by the Sociedade Portuguesa de Ginecologia, Sociedade Portuguesa da Contracepção (SPDC) and Sociedade Portuguesa de Medicina da Reprodução, includes information on EC among other contraceptive methods. The document includes recommendations on LNG and UPA EC pills, and the Cu-IUD for EC. The Yuzpee method is only recommended when no other EC options ara available. The document is also available on SPDC’s website.

Health care providers sometimes provide counseling about EC during regular consultations. Pregnancy tests or  pelvic exams are not required before prescribing ECPs.

EC use

Ever use of EC EC use in the last 12 months % with no prescription Repeated use of EC (more than 3 times) in last 12 months
Estimate n/a n/a >95%6 3.7%7
Year n/a n/a 2012 2006



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.

6 Personal communication, Teresa Bombas.

7 Estudo do padrão de utilização dos contraceptivos orais de emergência. Relatório final. March 2008, from https://woc.uc.pt/ffuc/getFile.do?tipo=6&id=606.


Last update: November 2021

Previous update: January 2021, September 2015