As in most other European countries, the pill will be available in the pharmacy from 15 March 2015 in Germany without a prescription. It no longer needs to be prescribed by a doctor. And even if you break the condom on the weekend, you no longer need to go to the emergency department of a hospital, but can provide on Saturday or in the night or Sunday service of pharmacies themselves.
This regulation should simplify the use of the pill thereafter if necessary. Anyone who definitely (still) does not want to have a child should be able to act uncomplicated and self-determined in the future - instead of risking themselves, avoiding the (previously necessary) path to the doctor, and possibly facing an abortion a few weeks later.
No "morning after pill" with existing pregnancy!
Nevertheless, in many cases, it may still make sense to visit the gynecologist in such a case - not only in case of pre-existing conditions or intolerances, but also in mental conflicts in this regard. And also, in order to rule out a possible pre-existing pregnancy, a urine test or an ultrasound examination should be made in case of doubt (but only then!). Apart from this particular circumstance, today there is no so-called absolute contraindication, so no medical reason due to which the pill could not be taken afterwards. (Familial risk to form blood clots or frequent migraine attacks no longer count as contraindications, since almost only the pill containing Progesterone is prescribed after that - and no longer the combination variant with estrogen).
Despite prescription freedom, a doctor's visit often makes sense
Incidentally, in most cases, a gynecological examination is not necessary at the doctor's visit. If, after taking the pill, the period then begins again and you have no complaints, a follow-up examination is not absolutely necessary. If you take the pill afterwards for a careless night with a partner you do not know, or because of a rape, the topic of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS should also be considered. Talk to your doctor about possible risks and chances of testing and infection prevention. Even a possible HIV infection can usually be prevented if necessary by appropriate counter-medication at the early stage! If you feel pain in the abdomen after taking the pill, please have it examined immediately. A very rare, but dangerous possibility is the so-called ectopic pregnancy, that is, that a fertilized egg cell, rather than in the uterus, is already lodged in the fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy).
Young women are usually given the pill afterwards
The cost of the pill after that must be borne in most cases by the way, but with - depending on the preparation - around 17 to 35 euros but manageable. In the case of young women up to the age of 20, the costs are usually covered by the statutory health insurance funds - but only if a doctor prescribes them and they have not even bought them in the pharmacy. Here it may be worthwhile to visit the gynecologist. In very young girls (under 14 years) usually the parents still have to agree - regardless of whether the pill is prescribed after the doctor or directly in the pharmacy worried. By the way, no one needs to be ashamed or even guilty about his request for the pill. Contraceptive mishaps happen simply and for doctors and pharmacists the emergency contraception is quasi everyday life. Ultimately, it is a sign of maturity, if you react responsibly in the event of a case and not lightly unwilling pregnancy or even a termination in purchasing.
Author: Dr. med Monika Steiner