Contraception in Malta: Your Options
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Contraception is legal in Malta and various forms of contraception are available in pharmacies around Malta and Gozo. The age of sexual consent in Malta is sixteen years. People above the age of sixteen years are also considered able to make decisions about their health without needing consent from their parents. This means doctors and pharmacists in Malta should provide contraception to anyone over the age of sixteen years.
Some contraceptives, especially the ones that have hormones, can produce side effects and may not be suitable for every woman. You should have a discussion with your GP or gynaecologist about the different types of contraceptives before deciding which contraceptive is right for you.
Contraception in Malta usually has to be purchased at market price from pharmacies. There are no subsidies or reimbursement schemes for contraception in Malta. Long acting contraceptives are usually inserted in private gynaecology clinics. See also the monthly cost for contraception in Malta.
Condoms are the only contraceptive that not only protect against pregnancy, but also help prevent sexually transmitted infections because they create a physical barrier between partners. Male condoms are placed over an erect penis, while female condoms are inserted into the vagina.
Condoms prevent pregnancy in around 85% of people. If a condom bursts or slips off during sex, consider using a morning after pill. There are other contraceptives that offer better protection against pregnancy than condoms.
How to get condoms in Malta: The male condoms that cover the penis are available in pharmacies, supermarkets, and restrooms around Malta and cost around 1 Euro each. No prescription is needed. Make sure you check the expiry date before you buy. Female condoms that are inserted by the woman into her vagina are less commonly available in Malta, but can be bought from online sellers like Pleasure Malta.
Are you unable to afford condoms or feel uncomfortable buying them in person? You can request condoms from us here.
Remember, only condoms can protect you against sexually transmitted infections. Even if you are using another contraceptive to prevent pregnancy, you should use a condom as well whenever there is a risk of catching an infection.
Contraceptive pills contain hormones that prevent ovulation and therefore prevent pregnancy. There are two types of contraceptive pills:
Combined oral contraceptive pills contain two hormones that prevent pregnancy - an oestrogen and a progestogen. They are around 91% effective with typical use, although with perfect use they are over 99% effective. The ones available in Malta include Adele, Yaz, Yasmine, Yasminelle, Mercilon, Nelya, Vreya, and Qlaria. Combined pills usually make periods lighter and regular.
Mini pills, also known as progestogen-only pills, contain one hormone that prevents pregnancy - a progestogen. Lamya is a mini pill available in Malta. Mini pills may be slightly less effective than combined pills, but are a good choice for women who cannot take oestrogen. Spotting and irregular periods can happen when using the mini pill.
It is important to take contraceptive pills at the same time every day. Set up a reminder on your phone if you need help remembering. If you miss a pill, follow the instructions on the leaflet that comes with the pills. If you have missed pills and are at risk of pregnancy, the morning after pill will reduce your risk of becoming pregnant. If you often forget to take pills on time, consider a long acting reversible contraceptive like an intrauterine device or an implant.
How to get contraceptive pills in Malta: See a GP (family doctor) or a gynaecologist for a prescription, then buy the contraceptive pills from any pharmacy in Malta and Gozo. The pills themselves usually cost between 8 and 12 Euro a month. You will have to see your doctor every six or twelve months to renew the prescription. If you experience side effects with a particular brand of pill, changing to a different brand may help.
The vaginal ring is a soft and flexible plastic ring that contains two hormones - an oestrogen and a progestogen - that prevent pregnancy. It is 98% effective at preventing pregnancy if used properly. A ring is inserted into the vagina by the woman every 4 weeks. The ring stays in for 21 days and is then removed for 7 days, after which a new ring is inserted. It is possible for the ring to fall out, particularly during sex, so be sure to check its position regularly.
How to get the vaginal ring in Malta: NuvaRing and Teyla are vaginal rings available in Malta and cost around 20 to 30 Euro a month. They can be bought from pharmacies. The vaginal rings require a prescription that can be issued by any doctor in Malta.
Unfortunately, the contraceptive patch is not currently available in Malta.
Intrauterine devices are inserted into the uterus and last for a number of years. There are two types of intrauterine devices: those that release a progestogen hormone, and those that contain copper. Intrauterine devices are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Hormone intrauterine devices (also known as IUS) are inserted into the uterus by a gynaecologist and prevent pregnancy for 3-5 years. Hormone intrauterine devices reduce the flow of your periods and may even stop your periods completely. The Mirena lasts five years and costs around 180 Euro. The Jaydess is used in women who have not given birth before, and it costs around 145 Euro and lasts three years.
Copper intrauterine devices (IUDs) do not contain hormones and therefore do not produce side effects associated with hormones. The ones available in Malta include FlexiT and Eurogine which last around five years, and the Monalisa which lasts around ten years. They tend to be considerably cheaper than hormone IUDs, but unlike hormone IUDs they do not reduce the flow and discomfort of periods.
How to get an intrauterine device in Malta: Most gynaecologists in Malta and Gozo insert IUDs in their private clinics. Contact us if you want information on gynaecologists who provide this service. The total cost to have a hormone IUD fitted, including clinic fees and doctors' fees, is usually in the region of 300 Euro. Copper IUDs are less expensive. Women who suffer from heavy periods may in certain cases be able to have a hormone IUD inserted free of charge on the national health service. If you think you are eligible, contact a GP (family doctor) and ask for a referral to Mater Dei Hospital. Eligibility is determined the national health service and we will not be able to tell you whether you are eligible or not.
Hormone implants, also known as contraceptive subdermal implants, are small rods inserted under the skin in the arm and slowly release a progestogen hormone that prevents pregnancy. They are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Like hormone IUDs, implants also reduce the flow of periods.
How to get the hormone implants in Malta: The hormone implants are only inserted (and removed) in private gynaecology clinics. The Implanon NXT is available in Malta, it lasts around three years, and costs around 185 Euro, excluding clinic and doctor fees. Contact us if you want information on gynaecologists who provide this service.
Contraceptive injections are liquid medicines that are given as an injection and they prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation. The ones available in Malta contain a progestogen hormone and each dose lasts for 13 weeks. After 13 weeks, you can have another dose or you can switch to another contraceptive. The contraceptive injections are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
How to get the contraceptive injections in Malta: The contraceptive injections cost around 50 Euro for each dose. Depo-Provera is available in Malta and it is administered by a doctor in their private clinic. Sayana Press is another injection that is available in Malta that can you can administer on yourself at home, however you will still need to see a doctor to get a prescription and be shown how to use it.
Malta's gender identity law allows for legal gender change without any medical or surgical intervention. Therefore, healthcare professionals in Malta should be able to discuss contraception options that meet your biological and lifestyle needs, regardless of your current legal gender status or whether or not you have had gender-affirming surgery.
Transgender men can become pregnant if they have intact ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and uterus, even if they take Testosterone therapy, so contraception should be considered. If you are concerned about taking oestrogen-based contraceptives due to the risk of feminisation, there are many types of contraceptives that contain only progestogens or contain no hormones at all. Condoms are also important because they reduce the risk of sexually-transmitted infections. There is a right contraceptive for everyone.