In Germany, every man and woman is entitled to information about the various contraceptives from a gynaecologist, at a counselling centre or on the internet.

There are

  1. contraceptives that you can buy without a prescription
  2. contraceptives that you can only buy with a prescription
  3. contraceptives that you are given directly by your gynaecologist

Contraceptives not requiring a prescription

There are contraceptives which adults and young people from 14 years of age can buy without a prescription. This means that you can buy these contraceptives without first visiting a doctor.

You can buy the following contraceptives from pharmacies without a prescription:

  • Condoms: You can buy condoms from pharmacies, health and beauty retailers, supermarkets, petrol stations and online. Make sure that you buy the right size, that the packaging is not broken and that the condom is not too old.
  • Diaphragms: your gynaecologist will measure the right, suitable size of diaphragm for you. When you know the right size for you, you can buy the diaphragm from a pharmacy without a prescription. There are also diaphragms that are one-size-fits-all, which fit many women.
  • Female condom: you can buy female condoms from pharmacies and online.
Condom
Diaphragm
Female condom

Contraceptives requiring a prescription

There are hormonal contraceptives for which you require a prescription from your doctor, as not every woman tolerates hormonal contraceptives well. Therefore, you must visit your gynaecologist for regular check-ups if you are using hormonal contraceptives.

Once you have a prescription, you can buy the contraceptive from a pharmacist.

You need a prescription from your doctor to buy the following contraceptives:

Contraceptive pill
Mini pill
Vaginal ring
Contraceptive patch

Contraceptives that you are given directly by your gynaecologist

There are contraceptives that you cannot buy yourself from a pharmacist. These contraceptives are given to you directly by your gynaecologist:

Hormonal IUD
Copper IUD
Contraceptive injection
Contraceptive implant

Costs

Some contraceptives are covered by health insurance providers under certain conditions.

The cost is covered:

  • If your doctor prescribes you the pill in order to treat a skin condition (e.g. acne), it is covered by the health insurance provider.
  • If you are under 22 and buy a contraceptive with a prescription, it is covered by the health insurance provider. If you are 18 or over, you have to pay a small prescription charge.

 The cost is not covered:

  • You have to pay for condoms and other contraceptives that do not require a prescription.
  • If you are over 22 and buy a contraceptive with a prescription, you have to pay for it yourself.

Age limits

If you are a female, aged 14 or under, your gynaecologist requires the consent of your parents in order to be able to prescribe you the pill or other contraceptives.

If you are a female, aged 15 or over, your gynaecologist may prescribe you the pill or other contraceptives without the consent of your parents if they believe that you are able to decide for yourself.

If you are a female, aged 16 or older, your gynaecologist can prescribe you contraceptives and is not permitted to tell your parents or partner. In Germany, doctors are bound by doctor-patient confidentiality. Your doctor is only permitted to talk to other people about your treatment with your permission.

There are always two people involved in contraception. You can build trust with your partner by talking to him/her about it. Both partners have the right to decide about contraception. No one has the right to force a partner into using contraception.

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