As with most European countries, France provides a range of options for female contraception, many of which are covered under France’s state healthcare system. Here’s what you need to know about accessing contraception and the pill in France.
Contraception Options in France
France has several contraception options available to women, including birth control pills, intrauterine devices (IUDs), contraceptive patches, and injectable birth control.
How to access contraception in France
Contraception is available to all women on a “no questions asked” policy. However, a prescription is required for all forms of contraception except condoms and spermicides. Parental consent for contraception is not required for those aged 15 and over.
Doctors generally make prescriptions for six to twelve months for contraceptive treatments depending on your health and previously existing conditions.
Is contraception/the pill covered by France’s state healthcare?
In 2022, France introduced free birth control for women between the ages of 18 and 25 years (it is already free for young women under the age of 18). This is with a view to significantly reducing the toll of unwanted pregnancies in this age category, to boost women’s rights and to alleviate the effects of youth poverty.
This change includes birth control pills, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive patches and injectable birth control. The scheme is estimated to benefit more than three million women in France.
For other age groups, most pills and IUDs are reimbursed by Assurance Maladie up to 65%, and many mutuelle health insurance policies will cover the difference. Prices for contraceptive pills are typically between €3 to €10 per month, with patches and coils costing around €15 and implants and IUDs between €1-€2 per month.
Can I get the morning after pill in France?
The morning after pill (known as the “pilule du lendemain” or “la contraception d’urgence” in French) is readily available from all pharmacies without a prescription. The morning after pill typically costs between €3 and €7 and is available to all women on a “no questions asked” basis.
What are the rules on abortion in France?
Abortion is legal in France within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and is known as an IVG in French – an ‘Interruption Volontaire de Grossesse’- or ‘un avortement’. The right to an abortion is available to all women, and there is no need to prove a risk to the mother or child or provide any other ‘reason’ for the procedure. Both medical abortion and surgical terminations are available.
You will need to visit your Medecin Traitant or family planning clinic, and two appointments are required – an initial appointment in which the procedure will be explained, and counselling services will be offered (attending counselling is mandatory for under 18s), followed by a second appointment in which you must confirm your abortion request in writing.
Where can I find more information on contraception in France?
The following resources may be of use if you need advice on sexual health issues and contraception in France.
France’s Family Planning Helpline: 0800 08 11 11 – for advice relating to contraception, sexual health and abortion.
www.onsexprime.fr Government website aimed at educating young people
www.service-public.fr, which gives details about the reimbursements available regarding your choice of contraception.
www.questionsexualite.fr for contraceptive advice
Contraception: useful vocabulary
Preservatif – male and female condoms
Projestatifs injectables – contraceptive injections
Implant – contraceptive implant
Pilule – pill
Dispositif intra-uterin – IUD
Patch – contraceptive patch
‘Interruption Volontaire de Grossesse’ (IVG) or ‘un avortement’ – termination of pregnancy or an abortion
“Pilule du lendemain” or “la contraception d’urgence” – the morning after pill or emergency contraception
Everything You Need to Know About Healthcare in France
From understanding the French state healthcare system and visiting a doctor to choosing a mutuelle insurance and dealing with your and your family’s health concerns—FrenchEntrée is here to help. Follow our Essential Reading articles for everything you need to know about healthcare in France.