Emergency contraception (EC) is available in France: LNG EC, UPA EC, and the use of IUD for EC are included in national policies for family planning. Local pharmacies, hospitals, schools, and family planning clinics distribute EC pills. EC is included medicines reimbursement policies.

Sexual & reproductive health background information

Female population aged 15-49Mean age at first sexual intercourseMean age at birth of first childTotal fertility rate% use of modern contraceptive methods

Accessibility & prescription status

In France, LNG EC is available behind the counter from pharmacies, hospitals, schools, family planning clinics, and France-based Internet sites, which means that EC can be purchased without a prescription. UPA EC is available behind the counter from pharmacies, hospitals, and family planning clinics. Physicians, midwives, nurses, and pharmacists are authorized to provide or prescribe LNG EC and UPA EC.


Type of ECApproximate CostBrand(s) Available
LNG€ 6,75Anthia, Biogaran 1500, NorLevo 1.5mg
UPA€ 18,88ellaOne

The costs of LNG EC and UPA EC are partially reimbursed to the patient (65%) when they are sold with a prescription. LNG EC and UPA EC are fully reimbursed to the patient when they are sold with a prescription to an individual who has government health insurance for low income. LNG EC is free for those who are under 18 years oldas well as when it is procured at family planning clinics. UPA EC is free when it is procured at family planning clinics. In September 2022 health authorities announced that EC pills will soon be free for women of all ages directly from the pharmacy,  and that prescription will not be required for gratuity.10

Guidelines & common practices

In 2004 guidelines that included EC among other contraceptive methods were published. In April 2013, the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) published Contraception d’urgence Prescription et délivrance à l’avance, which includes recommendations on advanced prescription and provision. In December 2013, HAS issued the factsheet Fiche Mémo – Contraception d’urgence, which provides guidance and recommendations on LNG EC, UPA EC, and the use of IUD for EC. The facthseet was updated in July 2015.

In 2017, the Comité d’éducation sanitaire et sociale de la pharmacie française (Cespharm) published Contraception d’urgence hormonale:  tableau comparatif Lévonorgestrel – Ulipristal.

Health care providers rarely provide general information about EC during regular consultations or prescribe EC in advance of need. Health care providers also do not require a pregnancy test or a pelvic exam before prescribing EC.

EC use

Ever use of ECEC use in the last 12 months% with no prescriptionRepeated use of EC in last 12 months
Estimate22%7 4.5%7  / 6,2%995%81.4%7
Year20102010  / 20169n/a2010



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.

l’Assurance Maladie. Délivrance de la contraception (April 2015). Retrieved 13 July 2015, from http://www.ameli.fr/professionnels-de-sante/pharmaciens/exercer-au-quotidien/delivrance-de-la-contraception/la-contraception-pour-les-jeunes-filles-mineures.php

7 Personal communication, Caroline Moreau.

8 Haute Autorité de Santé. Contraception d’urgence: Prescription et délivrance à l’avance, Recommendations en santé publique. April 2013, from http://www.has-sante.fr/portail/upload/docs/application/pdf/2013-04/contraception_durgence_-_argumentaire_2013-04-30_14-24-25_321.pdf.

Rahib D, Lydié N ; le groupe Baromètre santé 2016. L’utilisation de la contraception d’urgence en France métropolitaine en 2016: niveau et déterminants. Bull Epidémiol Hebd. 2018;(29):590-5. http://invs.santepubliquefrance.fr/beh/2018/29/2018_29_1.html. Retrieved 23 November 2021.

10 Naquet, M., 2022. La pilule du lendemain bientôt gratuite pour toutes les femmes en cinq questions. [online] France Inter. Available at: <https://www.radiofrance.fr/franceinter/la-pilule-du-lendemain-bientot-gratuite-pour-toutes-les-femmes-en-cinq-questions-3850470>  Retrived  4 October 2022.


Last update: October 2022

Previous update: November 2021, February 2021, September 2015