Emergency contraception (EC) is available in the Netherlands: LNG EC and the use of IUD for EC are included in national policies for family planning, and local pharmacies, hospitals, family planning clinics, and drug stores distribute EC.

Sexual & reproductive health background information

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

Accessibility & prescription status

In the Netherlands, LNG EC is available over the counter from pharmacies, hospitals, family planning clinics, on-line and in drug stores, which means that EC can be purchased without a prescription, the drug is on the shelves, and a woman can just take it to the check-out counter. Since June 2015, UPA EC can also be bought without a prescription in pharmacies.

Physicians were the sole health care professionals authorized to prescribe or provide EC, but since 2014 midwives can prescribe contraceptives too


Type of ECApproximate CostBrand(s) Available
LNG€ 15NorLevo 1.5mg, Postinor 1500, Levonelle
UPA€ 35ellaOne
UPA€ n/aKruidvat noodanticonceptie ulipristal 30mg 

The cost of EC is not reimbursed when it is purchased without a prescription. If it is purchased with a prescription, reimbursement policies vary depending on the health insurance plan. UPA EC and LNG products can also be bought on-line (ellaOne, 64 €; Levonelle, 54€).

Guidelines & common practices

The Dutch College of General Practitioners (Nederlands Huisartsen Genootschap), publishes and periodically updates contraception guides: NHG-Standaard Anticonceptie (M02) available at https://richtlijnen.nhg.org/standaarden/anticonceptie. The guide addresses EC (LNG and UPA ECPs, as well the use of Cu-IUD for EC). The last edition was published in May 2020, and the guide is also available as an App to facilitate its use.

EC use

Ever use of ECEC use in the last 12 monthsRepeated use of EC in last 12 months
Estimate21.0%62%6 / 5%70.5%6
Year200920096 / 201772009



1 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision. New York, 2011.

2 De Graaf H, Kruijer H, Van Acker J, Meijer S. Seks onder je 25e: Seksuele gezondheid van jongeren in Nederland anno 2012. Delft: Eburon 2012.

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 Seksuele gezondheid in Nederland 2009. Rutgers Nisso Groep . Retrieved 11 July 2013, from http://www.rutgerswpf.nl/sites/default/files/Seksuele%20Gezondheid%20in%20Nederland%202009.pdf.

Graaf, H., & Wijsen, C. (2017). Seksuele gezondheid in Nederland 2017. Rutgers. Retrived 26 November 2021, from https://rutgers.nl/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Seksuele-Gezondheid-in-Nederland-2017.pdf.

Last update: November 2021

Previous update: January 2021, September 2015