Emergency contraception is available in more than 140 countries through a variety of outlets, including clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals. EC is available without a prescription in 60 countries. Visit our Non-Prescription Access page to learn more about this.
Depending on national and regional laws and guidelines, emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) may be available at any of the following locations:
EC may be available with or without a prescription at pharmacies or drug shops. Depending on the country, prices for non-prescription EC may be higher at pharmacies.
Public sector clinics
Public sector clinics include those run by government health systems. EC may be available at these clinics at low, no, or subsidized cost.
EC may be available at private practice facilities of primary care physicians or obstetricians/gynecologists, or clinics run by for-profit institutions.
Clinics and facilities administered by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (an ICEC member serving 72 countries worldwide) generally offer EC.
Facilities run by the social marketing firms Population Services International (PSI), DKT, and Marie Stopes International (MSI) often provide contraceptives and condoms at low or no cost in developing countries and in some cases also provide EC. See our Product Distribution Issues page for more information about social marketing organizations and check our Status and Availability Database and search by country of interest to see if social marketing firms are distributing EC.
Some countries, including France and the Netherlands, allow for EC to be distributed at school-based health clinics free of cost.
EC may be available at hospital emergency rooms for victims of sexual assault. Costs vary depending on insurance and whether the hospital is part of a public or private system. Visit our EC and EC and Sexual Assault page for more information on this topic.
Community health distribution systems
Some health systems, especially in countries with rural populations, employ community health workers (CHWs) to distribute medication and provide basic health information. Depending on the country, CHWs may be able to provide EC.
For information on where EC is available within a particular country, visit ICEC’s Status and Availability Database and search by country of interest.