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Portugal

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OVERVIEW

As a member of the European Union, Portugal has aligned itself with many European standards. Birth control pills are available in Portuguese pharmacies without a prescription, and pill prices tend to be low-cost and standardized. Meanwhile, condoms can be found in a variety of places, including supermarkets, pharmacies and even vending machines. You can purchase emergency contraception (the morning after pill) at pharmacies without a prescription as well. There are no travel restrictions related to HIV status, and you can get STI tests at a variety of health centers, including public clinics, community health centers and private clinics. While menstrual cups aren't as common as pads or tampons, you can find some sellers in Portugal. Since 2007, abortion has been legally available upon request for the first ten weeks of gestation.

Contraception (Birth Control)[edit]

General Note: There are many types of contraceptives, also known as "birth control," including IUDs, oral contraceptives, patches, shots, and condoms, etc. If you would like to view a full list, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Portugal, contraceptives are legal and accessible. You can informally buy birth control pills without a prescription. This means that, while you may technically need a prescription, this isn't typically enforced. You can visit a pharmacy and purchase birth control pills over-the-counter.[1] [2] However, if you contact a pharmacy over email, phone or Facebook with questions, they may recommend that you consult with a physician before obtaining birth control pills. Meanwhile, if you want to purchase condoms, they can be easily acquired without a prescription at a variety of stores and even vending machines.

In Portugal, contraceptives are widely used, and Portugal has one of the higher rates of usage in Southern Europe. According to a 2015 UN report, it was found that 74.3% of Portuguese women (who are reproductive age and married or in unions) use some form of contraception. This is similar to rates in Spain, which are at 72.7%, but noticeably higher than Italy and Greece, which both show rates lower than 70%. However, there is some room for improvement, as the study found that 6.6% of Portuguese women still have unmet family planning needs. The most common forms of contraceptives in Portugal were found to be birth control pills (49.9%), condoms (9.5%), IUDs (6.2%) and female sterilization (4.3%). Some traditional methods were also found to be used, including the withdrawal or "pull-out" method (4.2%) and the rhythm method (2.5%). There appeared to be practically no users of contraceptive injectables or implants in the study, but these methods may have become more popular in the years since the study was released.[3]

From a historical perspective, Portugal launched its modern family planning program in 1976. Before that time, from 1933 to 1974, Portugal was under a corporatist authoritarian regime, known as "Estado Novo." Under the Estado Novo, women were classified as subservient to men. Contraceptives could only be prescribed by doctors for therapeutic reasons, and women could only take contraceptives with the approval of their husbands. If a woman took contraceptives without her husband's permission, the husband could divorce her for that reason alone.[4] In 1974, Portugal became a democratic country, and it launched new family planning programs two years later. At that time, it was established by law that all citizens had the right to family planning.[5] In the subsequent decades, Portugal continued to implement new laws related to family planning access and consultations, as well as sex education. Today, Portugal has family planning policies that are generally aligned with the European Union.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • In Portugal, you can find condoms in pharmacies, supermarkets and even condom vending machines. Some NGOs and nonprofits also distribute free condoms, such as AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
  • In Portugal, you can purchase contraceptive pills (birth control pills) at pharmacies. While you may technically need a prescription, and some pharmacies will request to see your prescription, you'll also encounter pharmacies that do not require a prescription for you to purchase BC pills. Some of the brands you can expect to see are Microgest, Microgynon-30, Minigeste, Neomonovar and Nordette.
  • You can find the contraceptive ring (Nuvaring or Circlet) in many Portuguese pharmacies. For example, Farmácia Ibéria in Lisbon and Farmácia Continente Amadora in Amadora sell Nuvarings (as of October 2017), but we believe that the majority of Portuguese pharmacies do, so you don't need to seek out special pharmacies.
  • You can find the contraceptive patch in Portuguese pharmacies. The patches that are available are Evra.

Costs[edit]

  • If you register in your local health care center (you can do it if you are Portuguese or a resident) they will give you free condoms and free birth control pills. Usually they give them for free in the appointment related to family planning (they also provide free gynecology exams in this appointment, once a year) or you can ask directly to your nurse at any time.
  • Birth control pills are relatively cheap in Portugal. Minigeste costs about €5 per pack. Microgynon is 2.46€ per pack (as of October 2017).
  • The standard price for Nuvaring in Portuguese pharmacies is 11,64€ (as of October, 2017).
  • For the contraceptive patch (Evra), you can expect to pay the following priaces: for 1 month is 11,72€ and for 3 month is 33 € (as of October 2017).

Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)[edit]

Important Notes: Emergency contraception may prevent pregnancy for three days (72 hours) and sometimes five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. Take EC as soon as possible after unprotected sex. If you don't have access to dedicated EC, oral contraceptives can be used as replacement EC, but remember the following: 1) Only some contraceptives work as EC 2) Different contraceptives require different dosages and time schedules to work as EC 3) You must only use the first 21 pills in 28-day packs and 4) They may be less effective than dedicated EC. For general information on emergency contraceptives, click here and here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Portugal, emergency contraception pills (the morning after pill) are legal and available. You can purchase them over-the-counter at pharmacies without a prescription. There are no age restrictions for purchase of ECPs.[6] You can also legally get an IUD as a form of emergency contraception in Portugal.[7]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

IMPORTANT NOTE: In Portugal, you can find a 24-hour pharmacy in your area, but the pharmacies run on a rotational basis. This means that, each day, a different pharmacy is open for 24 hours. To see which 24-hour pharmacies are open in Lisbon and other cities, click here.

  • In Portugal, you can obtain emergency contraception pills (morning after pills) without a prescription at public sector clinics, pharmacies and emergency rooms. You can expect to see a variety of types of ECPs (emergency contraception pills), including ellaOne, which is an anti-progestin pill and it's currently considered the most effective ECP available (as of 2017). For ellaOne, you take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex. You can also find progestin-only ECPs, like NorLevo 1.5mg, Postinor 1500.[8] For both of these brands, you also take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex, but they may prove less effective than ellaOne (especially if it's been more than 72 hours).
  • If you can't access dedicated emergency contraceptive pills, you can use regular birth control pills as replacement ECPs. The brands you can use include Microgest, Microgynon-30, Neomonovar and Nordette. For these brands, you take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later. You need to remember that, in 28-day packs, only the first 21 pills can be used.[9]
  • You can also get an IUD and use it as emergency contraception.

Costs[edit]

The costs of emergency contraception pills (ECPs) vary depending on whether you go to pharmacies or family planning centers. If you go to family planning centers, which can be found at primary health care centers and hospitals, you can get ECPs for free.[10] At family planning centers, you can also get IUDs (free of charge) if they're being used for emergency contraception, but this isn't very common.[11] However, if you go to a regular pharmacy, you can expect to pay full price. At pharmacies, for LNG type of emergency contraception pills (like NorLevo 1.5mg and Postinor 1500), you can expect to pay around € 12,50 – € 15,50, as of 2015. At pharmacies, for UPA type of emergency contraception pills (like ellaOne), you can expect to pay around € 24,90, as of 2015.[12]

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs/STDs)[edit]

Important Notes - Learn about PEP and PrEP: If you think that you've been recently exposed to HIV (i.e. within 72 hours), seek out PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a month-long treatment to prevent HIV infection after exposure, and it may be available in your city. Take PEP as soon as possible. For more information, click here. If you are at risk of HIV exposure, seek out PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a daily oral pill that can prevent HIV infection before exposure. To learn more about PrEP, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Portugal, there are no travel restrictions related to HIV status. This means that you can enter Portugal without any medical certificates, and there will be no testing upon entry in the country. However, according to some sources, if you're non-Portuguese and wish to get a work or residency permit from a Portuguese consulate, you may be required to obtain a health certificate that states that you have no infectious diseases.[13] This isn't completely confirmed, and the laws may vary depending on the health officials and consulates in your region. It's recommended to contact the Portuguese consulate to get more details.

Testing Facilities[edit]

You should be able to get STI tests at nearly all hospitals and clinics in Portuguese cities. The prices will vary, depending on whether you go to a public or private facility and depending on your health coverage. Here's a directory, provided by GAT, to find HIV testing sites in Portuguese cities. Also, here's another directory to find HIV testing sites, provided by Associação Positivo. Below, you'll also find some places where you can STI tests in Lisbon.

Support[edit]

For a complete list of HIV treatment centers in all Portuguese cities, click here. You can also visit the city pages, like the Lisbon page, for city-specific information.

Organizations Working on HIV/AIDS in Portugal

  • Associação Positivo (Positive Association): Address: Rua de São Paulo, 216, 1º A / B. 1200-429 Lisboa . Telephone: 213 422 976.
  • GAT Portugal: This NGO, founded in 2001, works on issues related to HIV/AIDS in Portugal. Address: Avenida Paris, 4 - 1º direito, 1000-228 Lisboa, Portugal. Tel.: +351 210 967 826. Fax.: +351 210 938 216. Email geral: geral@gatportugal.org.

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • If you have a yeast infection ("infecção por fungos" in Portuguese), you can ask the pharmacist for Fluconazole, which is antifungal medication. They'll be able to give you Fluconazole or something similar.
  • If you have a urinary tract infection ("infecção do trato urinário" in Portuguese), you should contact a doctor/pharmacist to find out next steps.
  • As of 2017, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) will soon be available in Portugal (as part of a PrEP study program)[14]
  • You can access Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) in Portugal for free after sexual exposure.[15]

Costs[edit]

Menstruation[edit]

Note: In addition to pads and tampons, you can also use menstrual cups and menstrual underwear for your period. To learn more about menstrual cups, click here. To learn more about menstrual underwear, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • In Portugal, you can find pads/pantyliners and tampons sold in many supermarkets.
  • If you would like purchase menstrual cups, they can be found in certain stores in Portugal, such as Miiosotis, a health food store with multiple locations in Lisbon. You can contact them at +351 21 136 9849. You can also can find OrganiCup sold at Loja Saruga - Mercearia Saudável in Faro, Loja EcologicalKids in Porto and Loja NUTRIBIO in Braga.[16] Finally, you can buy menstrual cups online and then have them sent to your Portuguese address. For example, you can buy MoonCup from Rebento, which is a Portuguese online retailer.

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Please visit the city pages, like the Lisbon page, for local recommendations.

Costs[edit]

  • The payment for a gynecological exam will depend on whether you're a Portuguese and/or EU citizen.
  • If you're a Portuguese citizen, or if you're a foreigner who has legal residency and is contributing to Social Security, you'll need to obtain a Número de Utente. You'll then be assigned a physician. If you're working in Portugal and registered with social security, you'll probably get automatic health coverage.
  • If you're a foreigner and you've been in Portugal for a short time, but at least 90 days, you probably don't have a residency permit yet. In that case, you can obtain a "Junta de Freguesia," which is a document that will allow you to access the health services.
  • If you're an EU citizen, you should get the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). This entitles you to the costs presented to Portuguese nationals.

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Portugal, maternity and paternity leave are given to new parents. Women are given 120 days of maternity leave, which can be taken consecutively or can be broken up with some before the birth or after the birth. For men, paternity leave can be taken for at least five working days within a month of the birth.[17] For more information on parental leave, click here.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

Abortion[edit]

Important Note: There are two main types of abortions: medical (also known as the "abortion pill") and surgical (also known as "in-clinic"). For medical abortions, you take a pill to induce abortion. For surgical abortions, a procedure is performed to induce abortion. For general information about medical and surgical abortions, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Portugal, abortion is legal for the first 10 weeks of gestation.[18] [19] However, if you're a minor, you will be typically required to get parental permission from your parents or guardian.[20] [21] Furthermore, before any women obtains an abortion, she must first consult with a doctor, and then she must have a period of reflection of at least three days, before she can obtain an abortion.[22] [23] Once the reflection period is over, the pregnant person can receive an abortion at a public hospital or private clinic that is recognized by the Health Ministry.

For many years, Portugal had one of the strictest abortion policies in Europe. Until 2007, abortion was only permitted in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy when the pregnancy endangered the life of the woman or when the pregnancy was due to rape. In all other cases, abortion was illegal.[24] These laws were changed in 2007, allowing abortion to be available upon request during the first ten weeks of gestation. However, due to the mandatory three-day wait period, there are still some hurdles faced by women who wish to obtain an abortion in Portugal.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Please visit the city pages, like the Lisbon page, for local recommendations.

General resources for information on abortion options in Portugal:

Telefone: + 351 962 201 809

  • Associação para o Planeamento da Família – APF: Morada: Rua da Artilharia Um, n.º 38, 2° Dto /1250-040 Lisboa / Portugal, Telefone: (+351) 21 385 39 93 , Fax: (+351) 21 388 73 79
  • Linha Opções – 707 2002 49 (Horário: segunda a sexta-feira, das 12h às 20h)
  • Direcção Geral de Saúde: Linha Saúde 24 (Ministério da Saúde) - 808 24 24 24
  • Clínica dos Arcos: Email: clinica@clinicadosarcos.com, Morada: Rua da Mãe de Água, nº 15A / 1250-154 Lisboa / Portugal, Telefone: (+351) 21 322 0000

Costs[edit]

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Portuguese Family Planning Association Helpline - Sexualidade em Linha: 800 222 003. You can call this helpline from 11am to 7pm. Its a confidential line with no costs. They have representatives that speak in Portuguese and English.
  • APAV, Victim Support Portugal: This organization, started in 1990, helps to protect and provide services for victims of violence, including sexual violence. They provide confidential and free services. They also work with the police, social security agencies, health centers, local authorities, autonomous regions, etc. Address: Rua José Estêvão, 135 A, Piso 1, 1150-201 Lisboa. Phone: +351 21 358 79 00. Email: apav.sede@apav.pt.
  • Associação de Mulheres contra a Violência – AMCV (Association of Women against Violence): This women's rights NGO works to combat all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination, including sexual violence. They work with women, children and young people. Languages spoken include Portuguese, English, French and German. Their Counselling and Advocacy Centre is open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Tel. +351 21 3802160. Email: sede@amcv.org.pt

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • National emergency number: 112
  • Click here to learn about LGBT rights in Portugal.
  • Portuguese Family Planning Association (APF): "The Family Planning Association (APF) was founded in 1967 and aims to help people make free and conscious choices in their sexual and reproductive lives and to promote positive parenting." Email: apfsede@apf.pt. Phone: +351 213853993
  • International Women in Portugal (IWP): "IWP, International Women in Portugal, is a social organization for women of all ages and nationalities in the Lisbon – Cascais area." Address: Associação de Mulheres Internacionais em Portugal, Apartado 6, 2751-901 Cascais.
  • ILGA: "Founded in 1995, ILGA Portugal is the largest and oldest NGO in Portugal striving for equality and against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity."
  • Opus Gay: This is a Portuguese LGBT organization with HQ in Lisbon.
  • Associação para o Estudo e Defesa dos Direitos à Identidade de Género: Nonprofit for the study and defense of gender identity.
  • Portuguese Ministry of Health: Address: Alameda D. Afonso Henriques, nº 45, 1049-005 Lisbon. Phone: 218 430 500. Helpline 24/7: 808 242 424.
  • Portuguese Social Security Institute: Address: Rua Rosa Araújo, nº 43, 1250-194 Lisbon

References[edit]

  1. Global Oral Contraception Availability
  2. Free the Pill: Where on Earth
  3. Trends in Contraceptive Use 2015
  4. [https://efptporto2015.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/02_psychiatry_and_society_palha.pdf António Pacheco Palha - Sexuality in the time of Salazar’s Dictatorship]
  5. The past, present and future of Family Planning in Portugal
  6. EC Status and Availability: Portugal
  7. ECEC: Portugal
  8. Princeton EC Website
  9. Princeton EC Website
  10. EC Status and Availability: Portugal
  11. ECEC: Portugal
  12. ECEC: Portugal
  13. PORTUGAL - REGULATIONS ON ENTRY, STAY AND RESIDENCE FOR PLHIV
  14. Belgium, Portugal and Brazil will provide PrEP through their health services; Morocco announces a PrEP study
  15. PEP Access
  16. Menstrual Cup Map
  17. Employment Rights for Pregnant Women and New Parents
  18. World Abortion Laws
  19. Women on Waves - Portugal
  20. World Abortion Laws
  21. Abortion Legislation in Europe
  22. https://www.loc.gov/law/help/abortion-legislation/abortion-legislation.pdf Abortion Legislation in Europe]
  23. Portugal ratifies law allowing abortions
  24. Portugal ratifies law allowing abortions