Besides the copper IUD, on which I plan to do its own post on because it’s my absolute favourite form of frugal birth control, seeing as it’s hormone-free, almost 100% effective, costs $50 and lasts for 5-10 years, there exists several other options.
The birth control pill is one of the more expensive options, and thus not included.
Ranked from cheapest to most expensive.
By far the cheapest and most effective form of birth control. Unfortunately, also unrealistic for most. Except for the Duggars. Abstinence also assumes sex is consensual, which unfortunately, we know it’s often not.
Free. But fairly ineffective: “About 20 percent of women will become pregnant using this method over the course of a year, even if their partner is always successful at withdrawing in time.” It’s also putting much of the control in the man, which can be nerve-wracking for women.
Cheap. Also can be free because they give out free condoms during Gay Pride week, and at Planned Parenthood centres. Don’t be shy, scoop up the whole bowl! That’s what it’s there for! A MAJOR PLUS is that condoms are the only form of birth control that also protect against STIs! (But not HPV…you can get HPV from any boxer to boxer contact) However, they’re only moderately effective against pregnancy – 82% with typical use. Don’t you find that scary low? This is almost the same efficacy rate as pulling out! Best to use this method with another form of birth control.
Between $250-$400 in Canada and can last for 3-5 years. Similar to the copper IUD, but it works through releasing progestin in your uterus. Various brands are now available. If you’re not afraid of hormones, this is a much better option than other hormonal options like the pill and Nuva Ring. It’s cheaper, can lighten or stop your period altogether and requires no management: just insert and forget! (By that I mean, your doctor will insert it and you will be in 10 seconds of blinding pain, but no one ever said being a woman was easy). Notable: A hormonal IUD offers the highest efficacy rate against pregnancy of all available options.
Between $140–$180 per year. Every 12 weeks a doctor injects you with progestin (the same stuff in a hormonal IUD). It also may lighten or stop your period. Of course there can be the usual nasty side-effects associated with hormones, like, you may not be able to get pregnant for two years after stopping injections. But again, if you’re not afraid of hormones, it’s easier and cheaper than taking a pill every day. It’s considered the most effective reversible form of birth control when used correctly.
Remember: no matter how much birth control costs, a baby is guaranteed to cost $298238 times more. This is one arena in which you have full permission to splurge!