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The cost of contraception

These prices are accurate as at 1 August 2019. 

Choosing a contraceptive method is really important. It needs to be right for your lifestyle, your life plans and your body. It needs to be effective – not all contraceptives are created equal – and it needs to be affordable.

A number of contraceptives are subsidised in New Zealand. This means you can get them a lot cheaper, or even for free, if you get a prescription from your health provider or Family Planning.

There are two costs you need to think about – your visit cost and then the cost of the contraceptive.  

The appointment costs for New Zealand residents at Family Planning clinics are:

  • Under 22: Free
  • 22 and over, with Community Services Card: $5.00
  • 22 and over, with no Community Services Card: $35.00

Whether you have to pay an additional cost for the contraceptive you are prescribed, depends on which contraceptive it is.

 Below we have a list of which contraceptives are subsidised (along with their effectiveness) to help your decision-making.

 As you will see, the terms “perfect use” and “typical use” are used to describe each method’s effectiveness. This is because human error, such as forgetting to take your pill, can affect how successful the method is.

  • Perfect use of a contraceptive method is when it is used correctly every time, all of the time.
  • Typical use is what generally happens in real life. It takes into account human error.

The most effective contraceptives are those which are fit and forget – once the contraception is in place, you need do nothing. This reduces the risk of human error.

Subsidised contraceptives

Condoms

Cost: $5.00 prescription charge for up to 144 condoms

(Without a prescription, condoms can cost between $12.00 and $20.00 for a box of 12.)

Lasts for: Use a new condom (with lube) every time you have sex. Keep them away from heat and light. Check the expiry date.

Perfect use: 98% effective – 2 pregnancies per 100 users in one year.

Typical use: 85% effective – around 15 pregnancies per 100 users in one year.

 

Copper IUD

Cost: No extra cost

Lasts for: 5-10 years

Perfect use: over 99% effective – less than 1 pregnancy per 100 users in one year.

Typical use: over 99% effective – less than 1 pregnancy per 100 users in one year.

You can also get a Copper IUD as an emergency contraceptive method:

If you have a Copper IUD placed within five days (120 hours) of unprotected sex it will be

over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. After five days it is no longer an emergency contraception option.  

 

Jadelle implant

Cost: No extra cost. At Family Planning, if you are 22 or older and don’t have a Community Services Card, there is a $10.00 dressing fee.

Lasts for: 5 years

Perfect use: over 99% effective – less than 1 pregnancy per 100 users per year.

Typical use: over 99% effective – less than 1 pregnancy per 100 users per year.

 

Combined oral contraceptive, aka The Pill

Cost: $5.00 prescription charge

(Several types of the pill are subsidised; those that aren’t may cost up to $100.00)

Lasts for: 6-month supply before you need to see your health provider again. Hint: you may be able to have some of your pill repeat appointments over the phone at Family Planning – check with us to see if that’s an option for you.

Perfect use: over 99% effective – less than 1 pregnancy per 100 users per year.

Typical use: 92% effective – around 8 pregnancies per 100 users per year.

You can make the pill more effective by running your packs together and not taking any of the non-hormone pills. You won’t get a period that way but you will go through your pills more quickly.  

 

Progestogen-only pills, aka The Minipill

Cost: $5.00 prescription charge

Lasts for: 6-month supply before you need to see your health provider again. 

Perfect use: over 99% effective – less than 1 pregnancy per 100 users per year.

Typical use: 92% effective – around 8 pregnancies per 100 users per year.

 

The Depo Provera Injection

Cost: No extra cost

Lasts for: 12 weeks

Perfect use: over 99% effective – less than 1 pregnancy per 100 users per year.

Typical use: 97% effective – around 3 pregnancies per 100 users per year.  

 

Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP)

Cost: $5.00 prescription charge

(Without a prescription, ECP usually costs between $35 and $50 from a pharmacy.)

If you take the Emergency Contraceptive Pill within four days of unprotected sex it will be 98-99% effective. After four days it isn’t effective. Research shows the ECP may not work for women with a BMI over 30 or those heavier than 70kg. The copper IUD is a good option for these women.

There will be some situations where you may be eligible for other contraceptive methods free of charge or at a reduced cost due to medical conditions or your financial situation.

The best way to know which contraceptive method is right for you is to talk to your health provider or make an appointment at Family Planning.

 

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.