Birth Control - Where To Access It At A Lower Cost
It was reported by the CDC that between 2017 and 2019, 65.3% of American women between the ages of 15 and 49 used some form of birth control.
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, most health insurance plans are required to cover birth control and related costs, such as doctor's visits.
There is good reason to worry about people's access to birth control between the Supreme Court ruling in 2020 that made it legal for employers to refuse to cover birth control and the fact that 19 million people who are sexually active and could potentially become pregnant lack access to any form of birth control.
There may be additional options for persons without health insurance to obtain birth control at no cost or at a greatly reduced cost.
The various methods of birth control, where to find them for free or at little cost, and when medical advice is necessary are all covered in this article.
There are many different types of birth control available, both with a doctor's prescription and without one, including the following:
- Permanent sterilization
- Emergency contraception
- Spermicide and other topical gels, such as Phexxi
- Barrier methods
- Hormonal contraception
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs) and other implanted devices
Those who are interested in hormonal methods of birth control may be required to schedule a consultation with a medical professional in order to obtain a prescription from a doctor.
Either these gadgets will not produce any hormones and will be made of copper, or they will produce hormones and will be made of plastic.
The device is narrow and formed like a T. It is inserted into the uterus by a medical professional.
Depending on the kind of IUD, a person can continue to use the same one for anywhere between three and ten years.
In addition to this, it reveals that the success rate is more than 1%.
Other forms of hormonal birth control are:
There are several options available when it comes to birth control pills, including a combination pill that includes both estrogen and progestin as well as a tablet that solely contains progestin.
It is important for the individual to take the pill at approximately the same time each day.
If a person takes these pills exactly as directed, they will have a success rate of approximately 93%.
This hormone patch made of adhesive comprises a combination of several hormones.
It is placed on the individual's lower abdomen or buttocks, and it is changed out once each week for the first three weeks of the month.
In the fourth week, the individual will stop using the patch in order to allow menstruation to take place. The effectiveness of the patch is 93%.
The implant is a little device that is fashioned like a rod and is inserted underneath the skin of the upper arm by a qualified medical expert.
A local anesthetic will be injected into the affected area, and the procedure will take place at a doctor's office.
The hormones are released via the implant, which maintains a success rate of 99% for up to three years.
Every three months, progestin will be injected into the buttocks or upper arm by a qualified medical specialist. It is effective 96% of the time.
After inserting the ring into their vagina, the individual will change it out once per week for the first three weeks of the cycle. The ring is successful 93% of the time.
Condoms and spermicides are only two examples of the many barrier methods of birth control that are readily available over-the-counter.
The diaphragm and the cervical cap are the two types of barrier birth control that require a visit to the doctor in order to be properly fitted.
In comparison to other methods of birth control, barrier methods typically have a lower rate of success.
Failure rates of common barrier devices range from 13% for condoms to 27% for sponges.
It's possible that women who have already given birth will find the sponge less useful than those who have never experienced pregnancy.
There are a few different options available for emergency contraception.
It is possible for someone to use it in the event that their primary method of birth control does not work or if they have engaged in sexual intercourse that could result in pregnancy but have not used any form of birth control.
Both levonorgestrel (known under the brand name Plan B) and ulipristal (known under the brand name Ella) are hormone-containing pills that can be used as emergency contraception in the United States.
It is also available as Paragard IUD.
There are several of these that do not require a doctor's prescription.
Surgical procedures, which are collectively referred to as "sterilization," are the only methods of birth control that are permanent.
A tubal ligation can be performed on any individual who possesses female reproductive organs.
During this treatment, the fallopian tubes are either cut, cauterized, or tied off.
A vasectomy can be performed on any person who has male reproductive organs.
Less than 1% of patients who undergo male or female sterilization experience complications after the surgery.
Access to free birth control can be affected by a variety of circumstances, including the following:
- Access to family planning clinics and public health offices that provide free or low-cost options
- Whether a person’s employer has an exemption so that its health insurance does not need to cover the cost of birth control, such as for religious reasons
- The preferred type of birth control
- Insurance coverage
Before deciding on a method of contraception, the American College of Gynecologists advises patients to take into account the following factors:
- Any ongoing health conditions or health-related factors that may be relevant
- Whether it protects against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Whether a prescription is needed
- How easy it is to use
- How effective it is
A qualified medical expert can discuss the available choices with a patient and assist them in making a decision.
The cost of birth control can be affected by a number of different factors, including the following:
- Your income (People with lower incomes are eligible for some assistance programs provided by the government)
- What type of birth control you’re accessing
- What insurance you have (if any)
- Where you live
- Most significantly, the type of birth control you're able to obtain will determine how much you'll have to pay.
To compare, the cost of an external condom is under a dollar, whereas the cost of an IUD can be over a thousand dollars (without insurance).
People who opt to go without insurance should budget between $0.00 and $250.00 yearly (between $0.00 and $20.00 monthly).
Those without insurance should expect to pay anywhere from $20 per month to $50 per month, or a total of $200 to $600 per year, unless they are eligible for Medicaid or another government-funded program that helps cover the cost.
If you don't have health insurance but want birth control, your best bet is to visit a neighborhood health clinic or Planned Parenthood clinic.
Health insurance policies in the United States must pay for FDA-approved forms of birth control, as well as related services including counseling and education, under the Affordable Care Act.
Vasectomy and other services relating to the male reproductive system are not required to be covered by insurance policies.
Specifically, plans must pay for the following under the Affordable Care Act:
- Patient education and counseling
- Female sterilization procedures
- Emergency contraception
- IUDs and other implanted devices
- Hormonal methods
- Barrier methods
If you are reading this, you have probably already decided that birth control is something you should consider, or you are at least curious about it.
But what should you do first?
These are the details that people with and without insurance need to know.
The health departments in your city or county should be able to advise you on the best birth control options for you and assist you gain access to them.
The cost of a doctor's visit and birth control prescription is usually between $10 and $25.
It's possible to get birth control at the time of your appointment if you're getting an implant, injection, or IUD.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintain an online search engine that will help you locate your regional health department.
The next step is to make a phone call and ask about the availability and cost of their birth control services.
Medicaid and the majority of insurance policies are accepted at Planned Parenthood locations.
And don't worry if you don't have insurance.
Depending on budget, these clinics frequently offer a discount on birth control.
Numerous nonprofit organizations provide affordable and free birth control choices for all, irrespective of their insurance position.
Try searching on Google with your city added at the end to see if you can find one nearby.
Many colleges and universities provide their students with more affordable birth control options.
Call the health center at your school and see whether they do.
There are LGBTQIA+ centers in many cities that provide family planning services.
Others maintain a database of nearby LGBTQIA+ friendly service providers even though they don't supply those services themselves.
Use the CenterLink LGBT Community Center Member Directory to find your neighborhood LGBTQIA+ center.
Call the community center closest to you after entering your location to inquire about birth control options.
People who engage in sexual intercourse may want to talk about their options with a healthcare provider who can explain the variety of contraceptives, give recommendations, and perform STI screening.
A person should contact a doctor about birth control if:
- They believe they might be pregnant.
- They exhibit other new or alarming symptoms or abrupt changes in their menstrual cycle.
- They currently use birth control but want to switch to another method.
- They've been using birth control, and now they're thinking about getting pregnant.
- They are exploring surgical alternatives, hormonal methods, or IUDs.
In the absence of thorough preparation, the short response is "too much."
Cost-effective birth control is challenging to budget for. Pricing varies widely.
Obtaining low-cost birth control is a learned skill, regardless of whether you have health insurance.
You may have heard that using a long-term birth control method like the pill, an implant, or an intrauterine device (IUD) can make it difficult to conceive in the future.
The usage of contraception will only prevent a woman from becoming pregnant while it is in use.
Taking combined hormonal contraceptive tablets (the most popular type of birth control pill) has not been linked to weight gain, despite the fact that other forms of hormonal contraception have been.
There is a wide variety of birth control available.
In some cases, a person will need a prescription or to visit the office of a physician in order to have a device fitted to them or implanted.
As a result of the Affordable Care Act and the coverage provided by their health insurance, a large number of people in the United States have access to birth control at no cost.
People who do not have health insurance may be eligible for free or low-cost birth control at a clinic run by a local nonprofit organization, a community organization, or a university.