<b>YOUR HEALTH | </b>By Theresa Goffredo Herald writer
Birth control is again gaining attention on the national stage with President Barack Obama’s mandate that employee health plans include free contraceptive coverage.
This national debate raises the question: So what does birth control cost these days?
Here’s a primer on some of the more popular contraceptives available, how they work and their approximate cost, based on information from Planned Parenthood.
Birth control pill | The hormones in the pill prevent a woman from ovulating or releasing eggs. The woman must take the pill daily. The cost is between $15 and $50 each month.
Birth control implant | The hormone released by the implant prevents a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs and prevents pregnancy by thickening a woman’s cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg. The implant is a matchstick-sized rod inserted into the arm by a doctor. The implant costs between $400 and $800 up front, but lasts up to three years.
Birth control patch | The hormones in the patch are the same as in the birth control pill and work by preventing ovulation. The hormones are released from a small patch that sticks to your skin. The cost is between $15 to $80 each month.
Birth control shot | Like other methods of birth control, the shot releases a hormone that prevents ovulation. One shot lasts for three months and costs $35 to $75 per injection.
Birth control vaginal ring | The hormones in the ring are the same as in the birth control pill and work the same way. The small ring is put in your vagina once a month for three weeks and costs about $15 to $80 a month.
The cervical cap | The cervical cap must be used with spermicide cream or jelly. The cap blocks the opening to the uterus and spermicide stops sperm from moving. The cap lasts for up to two years and costs between $60 and $75.
IUD | The intrauterine device is a small T-shaped piece of flexible plastic inserted into the uterus by a doctor and affects the way sperm move, preventing them from joining with an egg. The IUD costs between $500 and $1,000 up front, but lasts up to 12 years.