Family planning services


Advice on contraception and prescriptions for contraceptive drugs and devices are provided by GPs, voluntary organisations and specialist private family planning clinics. The Crisis Pregnancy Programme provides the website for information about contraceptive options and services.

If you have a medical card, you are entitled to free GP services including contraceptive advice and prescriptions for contraceptive drugs and devices. If you do not have a medical card, you may be able to get help with prescription costs through the Drug Payment Scheme or tax relief on medical expenses.

Voluntary and private family planning clinics also provide contraceptive services. The voluntary providers usually have charges but may waive them or have lower fees in certain cases.

Surgical procedures

The decision to have a sterilisation operation for family planning purposes is a matter for the patient in consultation with their doctor or specialist.

Your entitlement to free services is the same as for public hospital services generally. These procedures are also available in some private hospitals, where the full cost is payable.

Crisis pregnancies

A crisis pregnancy is an unplanned pregnancy that represents a personal crisis for the pregnant woman.

The Crisis Pregnancy Programme aims to reduce the number of crisis pregnancies by the provision of education, advice and contraceptive services.

It also funds crisis pregnancy counselling services. Information about these services is available at

Page edited: 20 June 2018