Moving to a new country can be tantalizing in many ways. Navigating foreign housing markets, job hunting, and more. In addition to that, you have to acquaint yourself with a completely new social and health care system. When we first moved here, dealing with feminine health and birth control in Denmark was more than confusing. Even after tackling the language barrier, navigating the Danish healthcare system was more tricky than expected. If you’re new in Denmark or are only on your way through, and have questions about feminine health in Denmark or birth control in Denmark, read on below! However, please note that if you are seeking medical advice, it is best to get in touch with your general practitioner.
Gynecological Check-Ups in Denmark
One of the things that surprised me the most, is that gynecological check-ups are generally done by your GP. In Austria, it is common to see a specialist in this case. Denmark is very different in that regard. In fact, many GPs refuse to give you a referral to a specialized gynecologist for a regular check-up. I was lucky to obtain a referral on my first try and found a wonderful, wonderful doctor who slowly talked me through all the details, instead of being rushed through a GPs practice.
It is worth being firm with your GP about seeing a gynecologist. If you cannot get a referral, you may want to consider seeing a private doctor and paying out of pocket. You can search for the online here. You should anticipate a waiting time of at least 2-4 weeks for non-urgent cases.
Most gynecological check-ups only include routine procedures, but you are entitled to a pap smear (pap test) to test for cervical cancer at least every 3 years from the age of 23. You may also ask for them to be performed more frequently if you feel it is necessary.
Birth Control in Denmark
The most accessible form of birth control in Denmark is condoms (condomer). Fortunately, condoms can be purchased just about anywhere, including gas stations, kiosks, supermarkets, and of course pharmacies.
Apart from condoms, birth control pills (p-piller) are the most popular form of contraceptive. In order to pick up your birth control pills from the pharmacies, you will need a prescription. You may obtain one from your GP. They are generally valid for 6 months. A package of birth control pills will most likely last you for 3 months and will cost you around 200 DKK, depending on the brand.
Other forms of birth control, such as hormone spirals (hormon spiraler, p-stav), are also widely available. Make sure to discuss your options with your GP or a specialized gynecologist.
Morning After Pill in Denmark
In Denmark, emergency contraception (also known as the morning after pill or fortrydelsespille in Danish) is available over the counter at pharmacies and does not require a prescription. You should expect to pay around 150 DKK, depending on the brand.
Medical Abortion in Denmark
If you have decided to terminate a pregnancy and feel comfortable with your decision, you may contact your GP for further information. Many gynecologists perform abortions at their practices and no referral from your GP is necessary for this case. They will guide you safely through the process and support you both physically and mentally.
Sexual Health in Denmark
If you are worried about sexually transmitted diseases or simply want more information, it is always good to consult your GP. Another resource, particularly in Copenhagen, is Sex Og Samfund. At the clinic, you can be tested for STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. You can read more about the services they provide here. For other STDs, you may consult Bispjerg Hospital for hepatitis, syphilis, and HIV. The Aids Fund is another location for you to get tested anonymously in Copenhagen, Odense, and Aarhus.
HPV Vaccination in Denmark
The vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) reduces the risk of cervical cancer in women and is part of the Danish Childhood Vaccination Program. The vaccine is offered to girls after the age of 12 and is free of charge until the age of 18. The vaccination either takes place at your GPs office or at a designated vaccination clinic. Read more about HPV and the HPV vaccine here.
Feminine Hygiene in Denmark
Feminine hygiene articles are easily available in Denmark and come in a variety of brands, colors, scents, and shapes. You may buy regular tampons and pads at any supermarket or kiosk. If you would like to reduce your environmental footprint, consider using an ecological brand such as Ginger Organic, a Danish producer of feminine hygiene products. Their products are made of organic cotton, not wrapped in plastic, and 100% biodegradable. Another option would be to invest in a menstrual cup which is available in pharmacies.
Pregnancy in Denmark
If you are expecting or trying to conceive, your GP is always your first point of contact with the Danish health care system. If you require more information about prenatal care in Denmark, you can read about it here.
Now, what do you think? Did we miss anything? What is your experience with the Danish healthcare system? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! Let’s stay in touch!