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Birth Control Costs

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Updated August 09, 2007

Birth Control Costs Photo Courtesy of Dawn Stacey
When choosing a birth control method, think about how much each type costs. Various costs are associated with each type of birth control method. Birth control costs may be an important consideration for many people.

Paying For Birth Control Methods:

Medicaid may sometimes cover the costs for contraception. Typically, family planning clinics will charge less than private health-care providers. Many public health family planning clinics may offer low, sliding scale, or no cost services. Check with your particular health insurance company as coverage for birth control methods varies significantly.

Contraception Costs:

The costs of available birth control methods vary significantly. Costs can range from obtaining free condoms to paying between $1,500 to $6,000 for a tubal ligation. When figuring out cost considerations, the first thing to research is the cost of the actual contraceptive and how often you will have to be paying that price. For example,
    Birth control pills may cost between $15 to $40 each month whereas a diaphragm may require a one time cost ranging between $15 to $75.
In some cases, the higher, one-time costs of certain birth control methods may, over time, be less than the continued costs of buying monthly options.

Additional Cost Considerations:

A factor that is sometimes overlooked when figuring out contraception costs is that additional expenses are often associated with some methods. This means that in addition to paying for the actual contraceptive, there may be added costs involved with using the birth control. These could include:

Unexpected Costs:

Unless you are practicing abstinence, there is always the risk for contraceptive failure. Further costs to keep in mind include the price of emergency contraception (EC), should your birth control method fail.
  • The cost for Plan B (over-the-counter) may range between $10 to $45

  • For females under the age of 18 or for women needing to obtain prescriptions for emergency contraception, charges could range between $50 to $250 (to include the EC, exam charges, and pregnancy tests)

  • Additionally, it could cost up to approximately $400 (to obtain The ParaGard IUD as an EC option)
Another factor to consider is the cost of medical treatment should you experience any possible complications with your birth control choice.

Finally, keep in mind the expenses of using back-up methods in case you:

The Costs of Contraceptive Failure:

Since birth control is not 100 percent effective, consider the costs associated with contraceptive failure. The expenses associated with pregnancy -- or having a child -- will invariably be more expensive than any contraceptive method.

That being said, if you are engaging in sexual relations, it is important that you are aware of the potential costs associated with this behavior:

  • Prenatal care, delivery, and potentially raising a child

  • Abortion or terminating an unintended pregnancy

  • Medical care and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV (the virus that causes AIDS)

Personal Costs:

The last cost consideration that you should factor into the equation is the emotional and personal costs associated with birth control. These could consist of:
  • Your feelings and/or health should you catch a sexually transmitted disease

  • Perhaps, the eventual cost of your life, should you contract HIV (and it develops into AIDS)

  • The personal cost of possible infertility (some STD’s, if left untreated can lead to ]Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)

  • The emotional costs of an unintended pregnancy, which could involve personal reactions to having had an abortion, placing a baby up for adoption, or raising a child that was not planned

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