Advice on contraception, and prescriptions for contraceptive drugs and devices, are provided by GPs, voluntary organisations and private family planning clinics.

You can also find information about contraceptive options and services on the website which is provided by the Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme.

If you have a medical card, you are entitled to free GP services including contraceptive advice and prescriptions for contraceptive drugs and devices. There is a prescription charge for items you get from pharmacies under the medical card scheme.

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.

Unplanned pregnancy

If you have an unplanned pregnancy and need support, the Health Service Executive provides free confidential counselling and information services to help you consider your options and access the services that you need. You can read more about these services in our document on unplanned pregnancy.

Page edited: 12 February 2020