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

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 ECApproximate CostBrand(s) Available
LNG€ 12,50 – € 15,50NorLevo 1.5mg, Postinor 1500
UPA€ 24,90ellaOne
UPA€ n/aFemke

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 ECEC use in the last 12 monthsKnowledge of EC



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.

Águas et al., [Evaluation on portuguese women contraceptive practice]. Acta Obstet Ginecol Port 2016;10(3):184-192 [in Portuguese]. Retrived 29 November 2021, from http://www.fspog.com/fotos/editor2/2016_3T/04-ao_16-00046.pdf

Last update: November 2021

Previous update: January 2021, September 2015