Free contraception

Free contraception is available to women, girls, trans and non-binary people who need prescription or emergency contraception.

How to get free contraception

To access free contraception, you need to:

  • be age 17 to 31 - this will be extended to 35 year olds on 1 July 2024
  • live in Ireland
  • have a PPS number

You do not need a medical card to access this service.

Make an appointment with your GP or doctor to discuss your options for contraception.

You do not have to pay for the visit or the prescriptions you get for approved products. Talk to your GP or doctor about the prescriptions that are included in this service.

Talking to your GP about contraception

Your information

You will need to give your PPS number, name, date of birth and address at your appointment and the pharmacy. We need this to make sure that you are in the 17 to 31 age group covered by the free contraception service. 

If you do not have a GP or do not want to go to a GP

You can also get free contraception from some family planning clinics, women’s health clinics, student health clinics or health centres.

Search for a clinic offering free contraception

What costs are covered

The costs covered include:

  • GP or doctor’s appointments - to talk about contraception options and for repeat prescriptions when needed
  • prescriptions given by your doctor - approved products will be given free of charge at participating pharmacies
  • your choice of contraception - from the types covered below
  • fittings and removals of implants and IUDs or IUSs (coils) 
  • any check-ups or other follow up care needed, relating to your implant or coil
  • emergency contraception (morning after pill)

Types of contraception covered

There are many types of contraception covered by this service. You may need to experiment to find what works best for you. Emergency contraception (morning after pill) is also covered.

You can choose from a range of contraceptives listed below. 

These include short-acting contraceptives and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). 

Short-acting contraceptives

Short-acting contraceptives are types of contraception that depend on you remembering to take or use them regularly or each time you have sex.

These include the:

LARCs

Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are types of contraception that you do not have to remember to take every day.

These include the:

  • implant
  • injection
  • intrauterine device or IUD and intrauterine system or IUS (these are also known as coils)

Currently, the 'IUB Ballerine' is the only type of copper coil available free of charge under this scheme.

Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if your contraception fails. For example, a condom slipped or you missed a pill.

If you need the emergency contraceptive pill (morning after pill), this can be given over-the-counter at participating pharmacies for free.

You will need to give your PPS number, name and address at the pharmacy. We need this information to make sure that you are in the age group covered by the free contraception service.

The copper coil is not free as emergency contraception under this scheme. If you want to use a copper coil as emergency contraception, you will need to pay for the device. The cost of the GP appointment and insertion is covered.

More information on emergency contraception

Condoms

Condoms are not included in this scheme but using condoms correctly and every time you have sex will reduce your risk of getting an STI.

Condoms and lubricant are available for free and can be accessed by anyone from the age of 17 years through postal services or community venues. For more information visit where to get free condoms page

Contraception resources

Download a contraception guide in plain English (PDF, 474 KB, 34 pages)

Download translated contraception guides