Emergency contraception (EC) is available in Poland but a prescription is required to buy LNG and UPA EC. EC is not reimbursed or covered by social security. UPA was available without prescription from April 2015 until July 2017.
- Sexual & reproductive health background information
- Accessibility & prescription status
- Guidelines & common practices
- EC use
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|
Accessibility & prescription status
In Poland, all EC pills (LNG and UPA) are only available by prescription from pharmacies. However, doctors are not allowed to prescribe EC to women under 18 years of age without parental consent.
Following the European Medicines Agency’s recommendation in 2015, the Ministry of Health allowed the change in status of UPA EC (see the Ministry’s statement). Since April 2015 UPA EC was available behind the counter from pharmacies for women and girls aged 15 and older. LNG remained subject to prescription. However, in July 2017 the “Act of 25th May 2017 on the change in the Act on medical services financed from a state budget and some other acts” entered into effect, reinstating mandatory prescription again for UPA EC.6
Physicians are the sole health care professionals who are authorized to prescribe EC.
|Type of EC||Approximate Cost||Brand(s) Available|
The cost of EC is not reimbursed or covered by social security in Poland except in instances of rape, but the reimbursement of EC in cases of rape is a very rare occurrence.
Guidelines & common practices
Poland has guidelines that are dedicated exclusively to EC and were published in 2011 as well as guidelines that include EC among other contraceptive methods and were published in 2005. These guidelines include recommendations on LNG EC, but not on UPA EC, and are published in the scientific monthly journal Ginekologia Polska.
Health care providers sometimes offer general information about EC during regular consultations but rarely prescribe EC in advance of need. Health care providers sometimes require a pregnancy test and a pelvic exam before prescribing EC.
|Ever use of EC||EC use in the last 12 months||% with no prescription||Repeated use of EC in last 12 months|
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 9 June 2015, 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 Health Status of Polish Population in 2009, Survey. Central Statistics Office of Poland, 2011.
6 ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health. Retrieved 15 November 2017, from http://www.astra.org.pl/repronews/514-poland-limits-access-to-emergency-contraception.html
Last update: January 2021
Previous update: November 2017