Your university health clinic may not have birth control pills in the clinic itself. But, you can make an appointment with a doctor or nurse at the clinic and ask them to write you a prescription for a birth control pill. If your university has a sexual health website or education team, they can be a great place to go for more specific information.
What will the appointment be like?
If it’s your first time going on the birth control pill, the doctor or nurse will probably ask you some questions. These most often cover…
- What kinds of sex you may have had
- What other forms of birth control you’re using (like condoms)
- Whether or not you smoke
They will also probably do some light physical examinations, like checking your blood pressure.
Health professionals ask these questions and do these examinations because hormonal birth control can affect your body in bunch of different ways, like raising your blood pressure. It’s important that you take the right kind of pills for your body.
How much does the appointment cost?
When you visit the clinic you should bring both your student ID card and any health card you have. Your provincial health insurance (RAMQ, OHIP, BC Care Card, Nova Scotia Health Card, etc.) will cover the cost of your appointment. If you’re an international student, you should check your coverage, which is most often with Blue Cross Blue Shield.
If you don’t have provincial health insurance the appointment can cost anywhere from $20-$70. The cost of the appointment is up to the doctor based on how complicated your visit is. Sometimes, any private insurance you have may cover some or all of the cost.
If you’re under 25, you can also visit Head & Hands. It’s a drop-in medical clinic open on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. You will not need a health card there.
How much does the pill cost?
The birth control pill can cost anywhere from $20-$50 a month depending on which kind you use. Some insurance covers birth control pills entirely, so you don’t pay anything. Others cover part of it, and some don’t cover it at all.
If you didn’t opt out of a student health plan, that may cover some of the cost. You can see what might be covered by typing in your student society at ihaveaplan.ca. If your school is not listed there, then you can get in touch with your student society to find out more.
If you have private or public insurance, you can check the website of your particular insurance to find out what is and isn’t covered. Some insurances cover prescriptions when you get them at the pharmacy. Others need you to pay upfront and send them the receipts to be reimbursed later. It’s a good idea to check which kind yours is before visiting the pharmacy.
Does my university provide other kinds of birth control?
Yes. They can write prescriptions for other options like the pill or the patch. Some clinics even offer IUDs after a couple appointments. You can talk about which option is right for you with the doctor.
If your school has sexual health services, they can provide you with more specific info on where to go to get different kinds of birth control near you.
ihaveaplan.ca / studentcare.ca
ihaveaplan.ca or studentcare.ca is a resource for students to check the health coverage provided to them by their university.
Contraception – Sex & U
All about contraception, aka birth control. Contains pages on emergency, hormonal, non-hormonal, and natural contraception.
The Pill: Risks and Side Effects – About.com
About.com looks at the risks and side effects of the combination birth control pill, and who it might not be ideal for and why.