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Stockholm

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Sweden / Stockholm
Stockholm.jpg

OVERVIEW

As the largest city in Stockholm, you will find many health care resources. Birth control is widely available though a prescription is required. You can purchase emergency contraception (the morning after pill) without a prescription. You can also find ellaOne, the longest lasting emergency contraception, in Sweden. You can receive an STI/STD test at many health facilities. There is a national HPV vaccination program. However, as of January 2017, there is no PrEp program yet in Sweden. Abortion is legal and available upon request for the first 18 weeks of pregnancy. From 18 to 22 weeks of pregnancy, abortion is only permitted in certain circumstances and must receive official government approval. Overall, Sweden is known as a rather progressive country with strong LGBT community. However, like all countries, there are certainly areas to improve regarding health care and general accessibility.

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 Sweden, you can only obtain contraception (birth control) with a prescription. In 2015, it was found that 70.4% of Swedish women (who were married or in-unions) used some form of contraception and 61.6% used a modern method.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Swedish condoms
  • If you want condoms, a local says: "You can find them everywhere - supermarket, pharmacy, 7eleven etc. You can also get free condoms and prescription for birth control, std/pregnancy tests and abortion services at ungdomsmottagningen, (youth sexual center), if you're under 25 years old." Here's a map of youth clinics that provide free STI tests, condoms and psychiatric care in Sweden.
  • If you want birth control pills, you'll need a prescription. You can find over 20 brands registered in Sweden. Many forms of pills, including combined pills, progestin-only and phasic pills, are available, and they're primarily produced by companies from the Netherlands, Germany UK and USA. Some pill brands you can expect to see are Cerazette, Cilest, Diane, Mercilon, Trinordiol, Yasmin and Yaz. For a complete list of available pills, click here.
  • The contraceptive/vaginal ring (Nuvaring) is available in Sweden.[1]
  • If you want an IUD, you can find Mirena or Levonava in Sweden.[2] You can get the procedure done at Mamma. Mia It's free if you're a Swedish citizen or have a valid EU card. Otherwise, you'll need to pay 400kr for the appointment.
  • If you want the contraceptive implant, you can find Implanon and Norplant in Sweden.[3] You can get the procedure done at Mamma. It's free if you're a Swedish citizen or have a valid EU card. Otherwise, you'll need to pay 400kr for the appointment.
  • If you want the contraceptive injectable/shot, you can find Depo-Provera SAS 150mg/ml in Sweden.[4] You can the shot at Mamma Mia. It's free if you're a Swedish citizen or have a valid EU card. Otherwise, you'll need to pay 400kr for the appointment.

Costs[edit]

It costs $48 USD to register in Sweden's medical system, but three months of birth control only cost $15 USD.

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 Sweden, emergency contraception (the morning after pill) is available over-the-counter. This means that you don't need a prescription or to consult with a pharmacist to purchase emergency contraception. There are no age restrictions. You can find EC in the public sector clinics, pharmacies and emergency rooms. It is estimated that 59% of Swedish women of reproductive age have ever used emergency contraception.[5]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • You can obtain dedicated emergency contraception in Sweden at pharmacies, public sector clinics or emergency rooms. You can purchase ellaOne, which is considered the most effective EC on the market (as of January 2017). For ellaOne, you don't need a prescription but you may need to talk to the pharmacist. To take ellaOne properly, you take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex. Other dedicated EC brands that you can find are NorLevo 1.5mg and Postinor 1.5. For these brands, they can be purchased over-the-counter and you don't need to consult with a pharmacist. You should take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex.[6]
  • You can have an IUD inserted to prevent pregnancy. Please refer to the "Contraception" section for details.
  • If you can't access dedicated emergency contraception, you can use regular oral contraceptives (birth control pills) as emergency contraception. For progestin-only pills, you can take Follistrel or Microval (take 50 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex). For combined pills (progestin-estrogen), you'll need to remember that, in 28-day packs, only the first 21 pills can be used. You can take Follinette or Nordiol (for both of these brands, take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 2 more pills 12 hours later). You can also take Follimin, Neovletta or Nordette (for these brands, take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later).[7]

Costs[edit]

In Sweden, emergency contraception costs around €17. You can also get it for free at some public health clinics or youth centers.

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 Sweden, there are no residency or travel restrictions related to HIV or STI status. You don't need any medical certificates to enter the country. Antiretroviral medications can also be imported for personal use. However, according to one source, Swedish law does state that if someone has reason to believe that they have HIV and they plan to come to Sweden, they must consult with a doctor and follow that doctor's advice (in short, HIV+ people should be following their doctor's advice).[8]

Regarding HPV in Sweden, as reported by HPV Information Centre, "Current estimates indicate that every year 451 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 187 die from the disease. Cervical cancer ranks as the 12th most frequent cancer among women in Sweden and the 3rd most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age. About 2.5% of women in the general population are estimated to harbour cervical HPV-16/18 infection at a given time, and 70.4% of invasive cervical cancers are attributed to HPVs 16 or 18."[9]

Testing Facilities[edit]

  • Here's a map of youth clinics that provide free STI tests, condoms and psychiatric care in Sweden.

Support[edit]

  • Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset Huddinge: They provide HIV treatment & support. Infektionsmottagning 2, S-141 86 Huddinge, Phone: +46 8 585 800 00.
  • Södersjukhuset: They have a gay men's health clinic that provides HIV treatment/support. Venhälsan (Gay Men's Health Clinic), S-118 83 Stockholm, Phone: +46 8 616 25 00.
  • Stiftelsen Noaks Ark (The Noaks Ark Foundation): This is an HIV-related NGO. Address: Eriksbergsgatan 46 , S-114 30 Stockholm, Phone: +46 8 700 46 00
  • Hiv-Sweden: Tjurbergsgatan 29, 118 56 Stockholm, Phone +468 714 54 10, Email: info@hiv-sverige.se.
  • Stiftelsen Forskningsfond – Läkare mot Aids: Villangatan 5, Box 5610, 114 86 Stockholm, Phone: +46 8 790 3300, Fax: +46 8 24 0002.
  • Föreningen Läkare mot Aids: Villangatan 5, Box 5610, 114 86 Stockholm, Phone: +46 8 790 3300, Fax: +46 8 24 0002.
  • There is also a telephone counselling service - Noaks Ark Direct/Aidsjouren: Phone: 020 – 78 44 40 or from outside Sweden +46 771 78 44 40

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Pharmacy in Mall (Gothenburg, Sweden)

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • If you have a yeast infection, you can ask for Fluconazole at pharmacies.
  • Sweden has had a national HPV vaccination program since 2012. It targets girls who ages 10-12.[10] Also, the Stockholm County Council provides all girls & women up to the age of 27 with free HPV vaccine. You can also get the HPV vaccine (Gardasil) at Mamma Mia.
  • Regarding Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), there are demonstration projects and implementation projects in Sweden. Gilead’s Truvada (TDF/FTC) is approved for prevention, and generic versions of TDF/FTC are approved for prevention, as of November 2018.[11]

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 Sweden, you can find pads, tampons and menstrual cups at supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores. The most common brands of tampons are OB, Libresse and Lil-Lets. While you can find some brands of tampons with applicators, it's more common to find them without applicators. Some pharmacies carry 100% cotton menstrual products. You can find menstrual cups in Carrefour. If you want DivaCup, you can buy it from Jordklok.se (Strindbergsgatan 56, 115 53 Stockholm, SWEDEN, Tel: +46 8 6181213, Email: Jacob.Kamras@jordklok.se). You can get Lunette from Apoteket, Apotek Hjärtat, Kronans Apotek and Lloyds Apotek - click here for more details about Lunette sellers in Sweden. There appears to be no local sellers of MoonCup or LadyCup in Sweden, so those brands should be bought online.

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Mamma Mia: They have free appointments for Swedish nationals or people with EU cards. For everyone else, they will need to pay 1.825 kr. To have a pap smear, call them in advance at the Screening Unit: Tel: 08-123138 20 .

Costs[edit]

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Sweden, parental leave (or "föräldraledighet" in Swedish) is very extensive. Overall, parents receive 480 days of leave per child, and they receive 420 days that allow them to receive 80% of their salary. The total cap is 910 SEK per day.[12]

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 Sweden, abortion is fully legal until the eighteenth week of pregnancy, according to the Abortion Act (1974). During the first eighteen weeks, all reasons for an abortion (including availability upon request) is legal. After eighteen weeks of pregnancy, an abortion can only be performed if the National Board of Health and Welfare grants permission. Typically, the National Health Board and Welfare only grants permission on "exceptional grounds," such as the pregnancy endangering the health of the woman.[13]

In order to obtain an abortion, a woman must first receive counseling. The abortion must be performed by a licensed medical practitioner. It should also typically be performed in a general hospital or an approved health care establishment, except for in rare emergency cases. If a non-physician performs an abortion, that person may be subject to a fine or a year in prison.[14]

Historically, Sweden didn't always have such open policies, yet it allowed abortions before than many other European countries. While abortion and birth control were prohibited in 1910, Swedish law began to allow abortion under many circumstances by 1938. According to the Abortion Act of 1938, abortion was technically illegal yet could still be performed on many grounds. In 1946, the grounds for abortion were further broadened and, by the Swedish Abortion Law (1974), abortion became fully legal. Today, abortions can be performed in many health care facilities in Sweden. Since the Swedish Abortion Law, the teenage abortion rate has gone down while more women in their 20s have obtained abortions.[15]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

In Sweden, abortion is subsidized by the government. This means that if you're a Swedish national or if you are covered by Swedish health insurance, the procedure should be free.

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Call 112 (for emergencies)
  • Call 1177 (for medical advice)
  • Ca11 414 (for non-emergency incidents)
  • Call 113 13 (for information about none acute accidents and emergencies)

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs: "The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs is responsible for issues concerning the welfare of society. This is about promoting people’s health, but also making sure that sick people get the treatment that they need. It includes insurance to provide financial security for those who are sick or elderly, or have young children. Providing care for people with social difficulties, the disabled and the elderly is also included. The Ministry’s work also includes sport issues, rights of the child, rights for people with disabilities and gender equality." Government Offices Switchboard: +46 8 405 10 00. Street address: Herkulesgatan 17. Postal address: SE 103 33 Stockholm.
  • Riksförbundet för Sexuell Upplysning - Sweden: "Riksförbundet För Sexuell Upplysning (RFSU) has 17 local branches, 19 member organizations, 1 clinic and 1 'open house' youth clinic. RFSU works extensively in education, campaigning, advocacy, research, training, and in the international sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) arena. The organization has been especially active in the field of counselling for people with learning difficulties, visual impairment and disability, and it runs courses for volunteers working with these groups."
  • Equaldex Sweden: This website provides information related to LGBTQ rights and laws in Sweden.
  • SVERIGES KVINNOLOBBY (Swedish Women's Lobby): "The Swedish Women’s Lobby (SWL) is a politically and religiously independent umbrella organization for women’s organizations in Sweden. Our work is to achieve full human rights for women and a gender equal society within Sweden, the EU and internationally. The Swedish Women’s Lobby was established in 1997 and unites 49 member organizations with the mutual aim to improve the status of women in the Swedish society. Our aim is to integrate women’s perspectives into all political, economic and social processes, locally as well as internationally." Email: info@sverigeskvinnolobby.se. Phone: +46 8-33 52 47
  • Feministiskt initiativ: "Feministiskt initiativ is widening democracy with a thorough political platform opposing all forms of discrimination. We are the open hand mobilizing the growing social movements seeking equality, accessibility and social justice. We are bringing a new dimension into politics." Feministiskt initaitiv, c/o dgtlpost AB 100143, Agavägen 52, 18155 Lidingö. Organisationsnummer: 802422-9497. Plusgironummer: 405753-5
  • Feministiskt initiativ i Storstockholm (Feminist Initiative in the Greater Stockholm): "Feminist Initiative in the Greater Stockholm is constantly working to develop policy and want to be active in the debate. For several years, we have followed the municipal council and county council work and reflect on the issues discussed there."
  • The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation: "The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation has a broad agenda within the areas of women’s rights and peace, but our main focus lies on six thematic areas: create safe meeting places, empower women’s rights defenders, increase women’s power, more women in peace processes, power over one’s own body and security for all." Address: Slakthusplan 3, Johanneshov, Stockholms Län, Sweden. Phone: +46 8 588 891 00.
  • FATTA: They focus on fighting sexual violence and pushing sexual consent legislation.
  • Supersnippan: This is a large feminist community on social media (found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

References[edit]

  1. IPPF Sweden
  2. IPPF Sweden
  3. IPPF Sweden
  4. IPPF Sweden
  5. EC Status and Availability: Sweden
  6. Princeton EC Website
  7. Princeton EC Website
  8. SWEDEN - REGULATIONS ON ENTRY, STAY AND RESIDENCE FOR PLHIV
  9. Sweden Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2016
  10. Sweden Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2016
  11. PrEPWatch: Sweden
  12. Maternity & Paternity Leave in Sweden
  13. Abortion in Sweden
  14. UN Report: Abortion in Sweden
  15. Abortion in Sweden