Emergency contraception (EC) is available in Switzerland: LNG EC and the use of IUD for EC are included in national policies for family planning; local pharmacies, hospitals, family planning clinics, and general practitioners distribute LNG EC, and UPA EC is available from local pharmacies. In certain cantons LNG EC is included in 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 1,858,0001 17.32 30.23 1.524 77.5%5
Year 2010 2005 2010 2011 1994-95

Accessibility & prescription status

In Switzerland, LNG EC is available behind the counter from pharmacies 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. LNG EC is also available in hospitals and from physicians in private practice. Since December 2013 UPA EC was  available by prescription from pharmacies, and since November 2015  a prescription is no longer required.

Physicians and pharmacists are the sole health care professionals who are authorized to provide or prescribe LNG EC and UPA EC.


Type of EC Approximate Cost Brand(s) Available
LNG € 17,50 NorLevo
UPA € 32,85 ellaOne

In some cantons, LNG EC is partially reimbursed when purchased from special family planning centers. In these cases, LNG EC costs € 12 when purchased by women who are 20 years old or younger and € 20 when purchased by women who are over the age of 20. In pharmacies, the price of LNG EC is composed of the price of the pill as well as the price of counseling, which is demanded by law.

Guidelines & common practices

The Interdisciplinary Group of Experts on EC (IENK) brings together gynecologists, pharmacists, and family planning center health workers. IENK develops tools to strengthen the capacity of pharmacists and health professionals to provide EC counselling. These include decision making charts, protocol for EC provision after missed pill, guides for pharmacists on when to refer women requesting EC to health services, and many more.

In July 2020, IENK updated its position paper, originally published in 2014, in order to reflect new recommendations and research findings on EC provision. The paper is available in French  and German, and also directly from Santé Sexuelle Suisse (IENK‘s member) webiste: https://www.sante-sexuelle.ch.

Previously, Sexuelle Gesundheit, published in 2008 by The Swiss Foundation for Sexual and Reproductive Health, were Switzerland’s guidelines exclusively devoted to EC. Switzerland also has hospital intern guidelines that are regularly updated that contain information on EC among other contraceptive methods. Larger hospitals also rely on Emergency Contraception: Clinical Effectiveness Unit, published  by the UK Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, to guide EC use.

Health care providers rarely provide general information about EC during regular consultations or prescribe EC in advance of need. Pelvic exams before prescribing EC are not required, but health care providers sometimes require a pregnancy test.

EC use

Ever use of EC (among women 16 to 20 years old) EC use in the last 12 months Knowledge (among women 16 to 20 years old) Repeated use of EC in last 12 months
Estimate 20%6 n/a 89,3%6 n/a
Year 2002 n/a 2002 n/a



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.

Ottesen S, Narring F, Renteria SC, Michaud PA. Emergency contraception among teenagers in Switzerland: a cross-sectional survey on the sexuality of 16- to 20-year-olds. J Adolesc Health. 2002 Jul;31(1):101-10. doi: 10.1016/s1054-139x(01)00412-8. PMID: 12090971.

Last update: November 2021

Previous update: December 2020, March 2016