FRANCE: contraceptive pills and other medicines

When they leave with a long stay visa for a long time, which enables them to live and work anywhere in France, they are likely to start thinking about this. How and how many contraceptives to carry is something that probably many of the women who undertake the trip are interested in knowing.

How do I get contraceptives in France?

Getting contraceptive pills in France is like anywhere in Europe, they will need a prescription in almost all pharmacies to buy them. According to some people who are already in the country, pharmacies far from the center or in small towns have been able to buy them without a prescription, but in general it is more an exception to get them in this way. The recipe can be taken from Argentina, always indicating the type and dose of drug they use or they can go to a doctor who treats them and prescribe the pills that you are taking. In this last case, they will have to pay for the consultation with the doctor. If the same brand / dose of pills they take is not found in France, they are recommended to visit a doctor so that they can make a prescription according to their needs. The price of contraceptive pills will depend on the brand they buy, but it is around EUR 15 per box, which is used for one month.

How and how many contraceptives or other medicines can I take to France?

All medications and personal hygiene, including birth control pills for women, can be carried in the backpack/bag to be shipped to France but not in the handbag. There were cases in which they took the medicines in the handbag and they passed without problems but we always recommend that they be sent with their suitcase. What the law says, is that they can take medication for 3 months of stay, but as long as they carry the prescription (prescription) signed by the doctor, which does not necessarily have to be in English, it also works in Spanish.

Sexual health in France

An incredible 43 percent of couples in France have confessed adultery, making it the fifth most unfaithful country in the world. If you live in France and plan to get involved in sex, you should know that you should practice safe sex and learn your social norms regarding sex. Sex education has been present in French schools since 1973. Students receive between 30 and 40 hours of sex education throughout the school year, and schools must provide students in grades 8 and 9 (12 to 15 years of age) ) with condoms. The French government has been providing information and campaigns on contraception to high school students, seeking to promote gender equality, respect between boys and girls and sexual intelligence. In 2015, efforts began to promote the right of women to choose the type of contraceptive of their choice. The curriculum focuses mostly on STDs and gender equality, all appropriate for their age, but it is believed that they are falling behind in terms of sexual rights. This problem is difficult to tackle as radical groups have begun to protest against sex education for children.

Use of contraceptives

81.8 percent of sexually active people in France use some type of contraceptive, making it the third country with the highest percentage in Europe, after the United Kingdom and Malta. However, the condom is used by only 4.7 percent of married women or couples. The contraceptive of preference for women between 15 and 24 years, which has become more popular lately, is the first and second generation contraceptive pill. IUDs and condoms have grown in popularity over the past 5 years for women over the age of 25.

Get contraceptives

Getting contraceptives in France is quite easy as it is a country open to the subject and attempts to educate and encourage people to practice safe sex.

Condoms

As mentioned above, schools provide condoms during sex education classes, on the recommendation of the government. There is no need for a prescription to buy condoms and they are readily available throughout the country. There are condom dispensers on the streets, outside pharmacies, in public toilets and more. Additionally, it is easy to buy them at a pharmacy or supermarket. Female condoms are not so common, but they can be obtained in some pharmacies as well. The price varies between € 6 and € 9 per box of three condoms. They are also distributed free of charge in health clinics such as family planning centers, analysis centers and AIDS organizations.

The pill

As in most countries, it is necessary to have a prescription to buy oral contraceptives in France. Send pills to France by mail from your country of origin is not allowed at least that you have a special license that can cost up to $ 1000 USD. Before leaving your country, it is recommended that you buy as many pills as your pharmacy or insurance company allows. Once in France, visit a general practitioner or gynecologist who can see what you take and inform you if you can find that brand or something equivalent in France. This is why it is important that you know the scientific name of your medication to know if you will find an equivalent easily. Your doctor must provide you with a prescription once your supply is finished. It is possible to buy oral contraceptives without a prescription in some pharmacies with your empty box, but it is always a good idea to visit a doctor to avoid side effects (nausea, acne, weight gain, etc.). Additionally, check with your international or French insurance provider if they cover the cost of oral contraceptives. Similarly, you should not pay more than € 15 for a month’s supply.

IUD

IUDs are the second most popular contraceptive system in France. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 21.9 percent of sexually active women who are married or with a partner prefer the IUD (Intra Uterine Device – IUD) method. However, many doctors refuse to perform the procedure on young women or women who have never given birth. This is an unfounded criterion and rather a medical tradition, but they believe that women who have never given birth have a smaller uterus that would reject the IUD. However, there are methods to measure the capacity of the uterus and see if the IUD can be inserted properly. A copper IUD costs approximately € 30 and a hormonal one around € 125.

Implant

The implants are available through France and cost, on average, € 107. This method to prevent pregnancies is safe and efficient, and is one of the preferred among women over 25. La Sécurité Sociale returns 65 percent of the cost.

Emergency contraceptives

The morning-after pill and emergency contraceptives are available at pharmacies across the country without a prescription. Unlike other countries, it can be quite economical to buy the pill the next day in France, costing approximately € 7. Nurses in public and parochial schools are authorized to provide emergency contraception.

ETS

In 2011, 160,000 people were reported living with AIDS in France. Although this number has been reduced among heterosexual people, it has increased among the homosexual population. France is one of the few countries in Europe reflecting the highest number of HIV cases every year. You can go to your nearest Family Planning and Education Center (CPEF) to get blood tests that measure ETS and ITS. Some of these services are free; however, the payment services are quite accessible compared to countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom. Since 2015, pharmacies sell HIV self-tests, which let you know your status in approximately 30 minutes.

Entry restrictions

There are no specific entry restrictions for people with HIV / AIDS in France. You can enter the country with antiretroviral drugs for you

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