How Much Does Birth Control Cost?

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    Kristin Hall, FNP
    Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP Written by Our Editorial Team Last updated 9/05/2020

    If you’re sexually active, using birth control is an essential part of helping you stay in control of your sexual health and avoid becoming pregnant. 

    The cost of birth control can vary depending on a range of factors, from the type of birth control you opt to use to your insurance coverage, general health and more. 

    Below, we’ve provided information on how much you can expect to pay to use several common forms of birth control, from the pill, patch, implant and other hormonal contraceptives, to options such as condoms and more.

    The Birth Control Pill

    Simple and convenient, the birth control pill is the most widely used method of hormonal birth control in the United States. 

    According to a 2018 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on contraceptive use, more than 72 million women in the U.S. ages 15 to 49 use some from of contraception regularly. And of those 72 million, 12.6 percent of them (about 9.1 million) are on the pill. 

    The birth control pill comes in a variety of different forms, including the combination birth control pill, the progestin-only pill and the extended cycle pill. Each of these pills offers a different range of advantages and disadvantages.

    The birth control pill can cost anywhere from nothing to $50 per month, depending on the type of birth control pill you want to use and your insurance plan.

    Since the birth control pill is a prescription medication, you’ll also need to schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider before you can purchase it. Depending on the healthcare provider you go to, you could have to pay $35 to $250 for this consultation. 

    We offer several different generic versions of the birth control pill, complete with a prescription issued after an online consultation with a certified healthcare professional, for $30 per month. This puts the total cost of your birth control pills at $360 per year. 

    Instead of needing to visit the pharmacy and wait in line, your birth control pills will be delivered to your address in discreet packaging when you need them.

    If you have insurance, birth control may be available at a reduced cost or for free as part of your plan. To find out more about this, contact your insurance provider. Not all insurance plans cover birth control pills, and those that do may only cover a limited range of pills and brands. 

    The Birth Control Patch and Ring

    The birth control patch and birth control ring work similarly to the pill by releasing a combination of a progestin hormone and ethinyl estradiol to prevent pregnancy.

    As we’ve explained in our guide to the birth control patch, one patch is designed to provide one week of protection. In each 28-day cycle, you’ll use three patches for seven days each, then go patchless for seven days, when you’ll experience withdrawal bleeding similar to your period. 

    The birth control patch typically costs $0 to $150 per month, depending on your insurance plan and other factors. This covers three patches — enough to provide you with 28 days of protection from pregnancy. 

    Since the birth control patch is a prescription medication, you’ll need to meet with a healthcare professional to check that it’s right for you before purchasing it. This consultation could cost you $35 to $250, depending on your location, insurance and choice of healthcare provider. 

    The birth control ring typically costs $0 to $200 per month, depending on your insurance plan and other factors. As with other forms of hormonal contraception, you’ll need to meet with a healthcare professional before you can receive a prescription. This can cost between $35 and $250, typically.

    The Birth Control Injection (Depo-Provera®)

    The Depo-Provera birth control injection, or birth control shot, can prevent you from becoming pregnant for 12 to 14 weeks at a time. The injection is intended for use every three months, or four times per year. 

    You’ll need to visit your local healthcare provider  or reproductive health clinic in order to get the birth control injection. Like with other forms of hormonal birth control, you’ll need to have a consultation with a healthcare provider before you can receive this medication. 

    The cost of a consultation, exam and administration of the injection can range from $0 to $250, depending on the clinic you visit. After you’ve received a prescription, subsequent visits tend to be less expensive, typically in the $0 to $150 price range. 

    The Birth Control Implant

    The birth control implant is a small, rod-shaped implant that’s inserted into your arm. It gradually releases a progestin called etonogestrel into your body, preventing you from becoming pregnant.

    The implant lasts for up to five years, making it a great option if you prefer a low-maintenance, long-lasting form of birth control. 

    You’ll need a prescription before you can use the birth control implant. The implant itself needs to be inserted by a healthcare professional. In total, the consultation, implant and insertion will usually cost $0 to $1,300, depending on your location and insurance plan. 

    If you decide to remove the implant, you’ll typically need to pay $0 to $300, depending on your location and insurance plan. 

    The IUD

    The intrauterine device, or IUD, is a small device that’s inserted into your uterus. It prevents you from becoming pregnant either by releasing a progestin hormone into your body, or by using the spermicidal effects of copper to prevent sperm from entering into your uterus. 

    Depending on the type of IUD you have inserted, you’ll be protected from pregnancy for three to 12 years. 

    The IUD usually costs $0 to $1,300, depending on the type of IUD you opt for, your location and your insurance plan. Although this can seem expensive, it’s important to remember that the IUD is designed to last for several years before it needs to be removed and replaced. 

    Condoms

    Condoms are an inexpensive, convenient way to reduce your risk of becoming pregnant. While they’re not perfect, condoms have a high effectiveness rate when used correctly and can help you stay protected if you haven’t yet started using the pill, patch, ring or other form of birth control.

    Unlike the options listed above, you don’t need a prescription to buy condoms. Condoms can be purchased from drug stores, health centers and supermarkets from as little as two dollars per box. Most of the time, you’ll get the best value for money by buying a larger pack with 12+ condoms.  

    Condoms are also the only type of contraceptive that can help protect you against some sexually transmitted infections.

    In Conclusion

    Birth control can range in price from $0 to $150 or more per month, depending on the specific form of birth control you choose and your health insurance coverage. 

    If you’re insured, birth control may be available for free or at a reduced price via your insurance provider. If you’re not insured or don’t want to use your insurance for birth control, options such as our generic birth control pills provide a cost-effective, convenient way to stay protected.

    Interested in learning more about birth control? Our guide to picking the right birth control for you goes into more detail on how and where you can get birth control, from the pill, patch and ring to options like the IUD, implant and more. 

    This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.