Birth Control Costs: Affording Birth Control

Birth Control Costs
Birth Control Costs. Tetra Images/Getty Images

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 may vary.

Birth Control 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 birth control costs, the first thing to research is the cost of the actual birth control method 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 Birth Control Cost Considerations:

A factor that is sometimes overlooked when figuring out birth control costs is that additional expenses that 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 costs could include:

Unexpected Birth Control Costs:

Unless you are practicing abstinence, there is always the risk of contraceptive failure. Further costs to keep in mind include the price of emergency contraception (EC), should your birth control method fail.

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 costs of using back-up methods in case you:

The Costs of Birth Control Failure:

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

That being said, if you are having sex, it is important that you are aware of the potential costs if you end up getting pregnant (unintentionally) or practice unsafe sex. These could include:

  • 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 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, if 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 your personal reactions to having had an abortion, placing a baby up for adoption, or raising a child that you were not prepared to do.

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