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The cost of contraception

It is important to choose the right contraceptive method for you. Not all contraceptives are created equal. It needs to be right for your lifestyle, your life plans and your body, and it needs to be effective and affordable.

A number of contraceptives are subsidised in New Zealand. This means they are 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.  

Family Planning Appointment costs

  • Under 22: Free
  • 22 and over, with Community Services Card: $5
  • 22 and over, with no Community Services Card: $40

There may be an additional cost depending on which contraceptive you are prescribed.

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.

Perfect use and typical use

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 the ones that are fit and forget – you don't need to do anything once the contraception is in place. This reduces the risk of human error.

Subsidised contraceptives

These contraceptives are subsidised for people eligible for subsidised health care in New Zealand.

IUD with Hormones - Mirena or Jaydess

Cost: No extra cost 
Lasts for: 5 years (Mirena); 3 years (Jaydess)
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. 

Copper IUD

Cost: No extra cost
Lasts for: 5 or 10 years depending on the type of IUD
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 one 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 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; "The Pill"

Cost: $5 prescription charge. Several types of the pill are subsidised – those that aren’t may cost up to $100.00.
Lasts for: You will receive a six-month supply. 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 skipping the non-hormone pills. You won’t get a period that way but you will go through your pills faster.  

Progestogen-only pills; "The Minipill"

Cost: $5 prescription charge. Noriday and Microlut are subsidised, Cerazette is not.
Lasts for: You will receive a six-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.  

Condoms

Cost: $5 prescription charge for up to 60 condoms. Without a prescription, condoms can cost between $12 and $20 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.

Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP)

Cost: $5 prescription charge. Without a prescription, ECP usually costs between $35 and $50 from a pharmacy.

If you come to a Family Planning clinic, you may be given ECP at the time so there will be no prescription charge.
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 a single dose of 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 or doubling the ECP dose.

 

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.

 

These prices are accurate as at 1 October 2020.

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