How Much Does the Birth Control Shot Cost without Insurance?
The cost of a birth control shot without insurance ranges between $0 and $150 per shot. Depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate, also referred to as DMPA or "the shot, has a well-known brand-name injectable contraceptive called Depo-Provera. Many factors will affect the cost of the shot, namely the fact that you will need multiple shots to remain fully protected.
The Cost Of Depo
The cost of a single depo shot ranges between $0 and $150 and is effective for up to 12-13 weeks. There are both generic and brand name options, but Depo-Provera and Depo-SubQ Provera 104 remain the most commonly used. The table below lists the average price of the generic depo shot across five major pharmacies.
Average Cost of 150mg/ml of Generic Medroxyprogesterone Across Various Pharmacies
Cost Without Insurance
Factors that Affect the Cost of the Birth Control Shot
The cost of the birth control shot is dependent upon many factors. These include the cost of the office visit if an exam is needed and generic vs. brand name. You also have to consider where you live and if you qualify for any programs in your area that help pay for the shot.
Office Visit & Initial Exam
If you decide that you want the birth control shot, the first cost you will face will likely be the cost of your visit to the doctor. These prices depend on the clinic, geographic region, and insurance policy. An exam may be recommended before receiving the depo shot. This will be an additional cost between $0 and $250.
Generic vs. Brand Name
The generic version of a prescription drug can sometimes cost up to 80 percent less than the brand-name version. The brand name depo shot is Depo-Provera and Depo-SubQ Provera 104. The average retail price for one syringe of generic Medroxyprogesterone is $67.14. The average retail prices of Depo-Provera and Depo-SubQ Provera 104 are $160 and $174.23, respectively.
The main difference between generic and brand-name prescription drugs is the cost. The FDA evaluates generic and brand-name drugs using the same standards. The drugs will always contain the same active ingredient and hold the same efficacy rates in treating their respective conditions. To opt for the generic version of the depo shot, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
Depo-SubQ Provera 104 Cost
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Where you get your prescription filled could largely influence your total costs. Without insurance, you will be paying out-of-pocket for your medicine. Therefore, it would be best to "shop" around to ensure you get the most affordable prescription option. You can try the MiraRX savings calculator to assist in locating the most affordable rates for your prescription. This tool will help you see the cost difference between pharmacies in your specified location.
Most time, pharmacies will try to match the prices of others. This is why it is essential to call multiple pharmacies and obtain a price quote to share the quoted price with the most convenient pharmacy. Prices between pharmacies will usually vary based on location, such as a metropolitan area versus a rural town.
Free and Low-Cost Options
The Affordable Care Act and most insurance plans must cover doctors' visits related to birth control. Additionally, with most insurance plans, you can get the birth control shot at little to no cost. However, without insurance, the depo shot can be a costly expense. Free and low-cost options help make the birth control shot and its associated costs more affordable. Medicaid almost always covers the depo shot. Therefore, if you qualify for Medicaid, you should be sure to use this benefit.
One way to make the shot more affordable is to utilize your local Planned Parenthood. The clinic nearest you will work with you, whether you have insurance, to help find an affordable birth control option, including the depo shot. Because of the costs associated with a doctor's visit, consider going to a family planning or community health center to see if they can do it at a lower price or even for free. They may also offer other payment options, including payment plans.
Birth Control Shot
The depo shot is approximately 99% effective. The birth control shot is administered in the outer part of your upper arm, your butt cheek, your belly, or your thigh. Usually, the spot is given in a doctor’s office. Still, you can also administer the shot to yourself at home.
The shot works for about three months at a time so to prevent pregnancy, and you have to get one shot about four times a year, each about 12 to 14 weeks apart. The shot will immediately work if you get it within the first seven days of your menstrual cycle. If you do not get it within this window, you will need to use another form of birth control for one week.
Depo-Provera and Depo-SubQ Provera 104
The FDA approved the injectable contraceptive in 1992. Twelve years later, Depo-SubQ Provera 104 was approved by the FDA. Both contraceptives are given as a shot every three months; they work similarly to keep your ovaries from releasing an egg. The contraceptive also thickens cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching the egg. The Depo-SubQ Provera 104 version of Medroxyprogesterone acetate is given at a much lower dosage. Depo-Provera is injected deep into the muscle, whereas Depo-SubQ Provera 104 is injected just beneath the skin.
At Home Vs. In-Office Injection
In 2019, 11 states (CA, CO, HI, ID, MD, NM, NH, OR, TN, UT, WV) and the District of Columbia allowed pharmacists to provide hormonal contraceptives directly to women. This includes the intramuscular contraceptive shot and does not require you to visit a physician before obtaining the injection. Despite the option for at-home injection, healthcare providers will administer depo shots in an office or clinic. It is essential to discuss this option with your healthcare professional.
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Cost of the Birth Control Shot Without Insurance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Consider this additional information regarding birth control options and understanding the shot.
How Do I Administer The Depo Shot At Home?
If you have the Depo shot that you can give yourself at home, you will receive specific instructions from the nurse or health care professional you received the shot from. The instructions will outline the administration of the syringe into the belly or upper thigh. It is important to follow the instructions you are given, and if you have any questions, you should ask the nurse or doctor who gave you your shot prescription.
Does the Birth Control Shot Have Any Long-Term Effects?
Minor to moderate side effects have been reported when using the depo shot; however, these usually go away within 2-3 months. These short-term side effects include changes in your period, nausea, weight gain, headaches, sore breasts, or depression. The Depo-Provera and Depo-SubQ Provera shots are not recommended for longer than two years due to the concern of increasing the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures later in life.
What Are Other Options I Have Instead of the Depo Shot?
Options include IUDs, birth control implants, the pill, condoms, and more. There is no right or wrong choice regarding birth control, as everyone is different. It is your body and, therefore, your choice, so speak with a health care professional about any concerns you may have so you can find the birth control that is right for you.
Is the Depo-Shot Used To Treat Anything Else?
Some depo shots are also administered to help regulate and control medical conditions related to your menstrual cycle. These can include endometriosis, anemia, and the need to avoid or have less estrogen, among other things.
Without insurance, the depo shot costs between $0 and $150 per shot. It is an effective form of birth control that can be considered cost-friendly. There are a few additional costs associated with the contraceptive injection. However, there are many ways to ensure the depo shot is affordable.
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Kendra Bean is from Maui, Hawaiʻi. She is currently enrolled at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, specializing in Epidemiology. She is passionate about improving health literacy and access to care, specifically in rural areas.