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Questions and Answers

How Do I Get Birth Control in Montreal?

Winking blue condom protection cartoon

If it’s your first time getting a birth control prescription, you can visit a nurse for a 6 month prescription of the birth control pill, patch, injection, or vaginal ring. To renew the prescription or get one for longer, you’ll need to see a doctor. If you’re under 25, we recommend going to the walk-in hours of Head & Hands near Vendome to get a prescription. If you’re older than that or if that’s too far for you, you can find the CLSC closest to you by calling 811!

Which birth control option is right for me?

Before going to see your doctor, it is a good idea to think about your birth control options. You can research different options and then go to your appointment with specific questions and ideas.

How old do I need to be? Do my parents need to know?

If you’re over 14, you don’t need your parent’s permission to get birth control, and doctors and nurses won’t tell them. If you see a nurse or doctor you can ask them about their policies around confidentiality to know your rights. Some clinics will ask you if it is okay to leave phone messages at the contact number they have on file. If they don’t, then you can ask them to make a note in your file about calls.

If you’re using your parent’s private insurance plan, they will be able to see your prescriptions and appointments.

How much does birth control cost if…

I’m covered through my parents or legal guardians?

For people who are under 18 and whose parents or guardians are on RAMQ insurance and the provincial prescription drug plan, hormonal methods like the pill, NuvaRing, and the patch are free. If you’re unmarried, 18-25, going to school full-time, and living with your parents, you can also get these for free if your parents are on the public drug plan.

If your parents or guardians have private insurance, you may be able to use their insurance card to lower your costs.  Private insurances will cover different amounts, and you may want to ask the company how much something’s covered. Also know that information about what you get can sometimes end up in your parents’ bill. If you’re over 14, you may also be able to get your own confidential card or look at private plans.

I’m an adult with RAMQ?

If you’re not covered under your parent(s) or legal guardian(s)’ plan or private insurance and have RAMQ, you can register for the Quebec Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan. This plan covers 65% of the cost of many prescription drugs, including birth control pills and IUDs.

This means that when you go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription you pay 35% of the cost. There is also a $20 fee you pay the first time buying prescription drugs each month. The maximum you will pay per month is $88.

For example, if you’re getting a hormonal IUD (which is about $300 without coverage) you pay the monthly maximum of $88.

If I’m not from Quebec? Or go to McGill or Concordia?

For Canadians living in Quebec, you can look at your home province’s health insurance to see what they cover. Often, you’ll need to pay for birth control at the pharmacy and then get the money back later.

For university students, you can make an appointment or go to drop-in hours at your university health clinic to talk to a nurse or doctor about birth control options. The “I have a Plan” insurance covers some prescription birth control methods (up to 80%). To make sure your birth control is covered, you can call “I Have a Plan” with the name of the birth control or the “drug identification number” and they can tell you if it is covered.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield covers most international students. If you get a prescription for birth control from a Canadian doctor, the cost will be covered up to 80%.  You can call Blue Cross Blue Shield with the name of your birth control to make sure its covered before going to the pharmacy.

I don’t have coverage?

If you don’t have insurance, you may have to pay the full price of your birth control. Here are the average costs for some kinds:

  • The pill is usually the cheapest. It costs between 20-60$ a month, depending on the brand. The patch is around the same price.
  • The birth control shot is usually around 35-45$. It lasts 3 months.
  • The IUD is a little bit more expensive upfront. The non-hormonal copper IUD is 60-200$. The hormonal IUD is 300-350$. Depending on which you get, these can last 3-10 years before you need to get it removed.

If you’re worried about the cost, you can definitely talk to a doctor or nurse about it to find the option that’s right for you!

Emergency contraception

If a condom broke, birth control didn’t work, you had sex without either, or you faced non-consensual sex and you’re concerned about pregnancy, you can find out how get emergency contraception in Montreal.

Morning after pills go by many names. You might see Plan B, Ella, Option 2, or emergency contraception (EC).  The “Morning After” pill (Plan B) is 95% effective in preventing pregnancy if taken within 24 hours. You can take it up to 3-5 days after, but it becomes less effective the longer you wait. It works best if taken within 24 hours.

You can get Plan B without a prescription from your Montreal pharmacy. It costs about $30, and some plans will cover it. The cost can change for different brands or pharmacies.

If you don’t have a prescription, you’ll also need to do a quick consultation with the pharmacist, where they’ll talk about how to use it. With a valid Quebec health card (RAMQ), this consultation is free. If not, it costs around $10-30.

More info:

  • Emergency Contraception – Sex & U

    This website explains the different methods of emergency contraception available in Canada, as well as when and how to use them.

  • Are you old enough? (Youth law)

    This website from Educaloi has a basic list of how provincial (Quebec) and federal (Canada) laws can affect you, based on your age. Covers a wide variety of topics but includes some sexual health topics.

  • Obtaining Birth Control in Quebec pamphlet

    This pamphlet provides info on how to get birth control in Quebec.

  • Head & Hands Health Services

    Head and Hands is a health clinic for youth ages 12-26 near the Vendome Metro station. They offer free, anonymous STD testing, even if you’re not covered by RAMQ. Head and Hands also has a lot of other services, including medical checkups, getting contraception, transitioning, and more.

    They offer a walk-in clinic on most Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 4:45pm. It’s first come first serve, so it helps to arrive early.

    They recommend bringing your RAMQ card if you have it, but you can still see someone if you don’t have it.

  • Teens Health Birth Control Pill

    http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/contraception-birth.html

  • The Quebec Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan

    The Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) explains the public provincial insurance plan and its costs for people under and over 18. 

  • Contraception – Sex & U

    All about contraception, aka birth control. Contains pages on emergency, hormonal, non-hormonal, and natural contraception.

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