An IUD is one of the most effective methods of birth control. Without insurance, it’s expensive and can be difficult to afford for most people.
The cost of an IUD can reach $1500 without insurance. There’s such an extensive price range because the cost of an IUD depends on a few factors, such as the type of IUD you opt for and the city or clinic you choose to use.
We’ll explain these contributing factors, as well as the additional costs you can expect to pay during the process of getting an IUD.
What Is An IUD?
An IUD is an intrauterine device used for contraception. There are a few variations of the device, including a copper T-shaped device or a coil-shaped device.
The device is placed into the uterus and acts as a long-term contraceptive, preventing pregnancy by making the uterus an unfavorable environment for both sperm and fertilized eggs.
This means the protection it offers is twofold: it aims to prevent sperm from ever fertilizing an egg, but if an egg does get fertilized because a sperm cell was able to survive the unfavorable conditions, it prevents the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
This means the fertilized egg will never be able to mature into anything more.
Some IUD devices are also coated in the hormone progestin. This thickens your body’s cervical mucus and thins the lining of your uterus. The thinned lining makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus, and the thick cervical mucus makes it difficult for a sperm cell to travel beyond your cervix.
IUD devices that use progestin are more expensive than devices that simply act as a barrier. The copper IUD is merely a barrier device – it doesn’t make use of hormones, only thickening your cervical mucus because its presence causes slight irritation and this is your body’s response.
The progestin-coated IUD is the one that also thins the lining of your uterus, and it does so using the hormone. Because the hormone is an addition to the regular IUD, this device is the most expensive option.
There are also a few brands available for each type of IUD, and that will factor into the cost. Some brands cost more than others, and clinics price their services accordingly.
Additional Costs Associated With Getting An IUD
As with most healthcare services, the price you’re quoted for a surgery or procedure is never the full price. Although the IUD procedure itself costs up to $1500, there will be additional costs associated with the procedure that need to be taken into account.
These can get pricey, so you’ll want to budget for them. They might not all apply to you, so check with your doctor which additional costs apply to your specific case before booking your procedure.
An ultrasound is a procedure that uses sound waves to produce images of structures inside your body. It’s a common, non-invasive procedure. It’s commonly used to produce imaging of the uterus before any procedures such as the placement of an IUD are performed.
This is to make sure that there are no underlying conditions that an IUD could exacerbate. It also allows your doctor to check that there’s no existing pregnancy that an IUD could harm.
When getting an ultrasound, a trained sonographer will perform the procedure by pressing a small device against the area your uterus is in. The device is called a transducer. It sends sound waves into your body and collects the sound waves that are sent back. These are organized into a picture by a computer, which your doctor can examine for any abnormalities.
The scan takes between 15 and 45 minutes to complete. It’s completely pain-free.
Your doctor will also do an ultrasound once your IUD is in place. An IUD can cause perforations if it isn’t positioned properly, and the ultrasound helps your doctor confirm that it is where it should be.
Ultrasounds can be as cheap as around $100 but can be as expensive as $410 without insurance. If you’re having it done as part of another procedure, such as the placement of an IUD, there’s a high chance you’ll get a price on the cheaper end of the scale. The cost will also depend on the type of facility you’re in.
STD testing is sometimes part of the process. If you have an IUD inserted when you have an untreated STD, you are putting yourself at risk for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. This is why it’s important to get the all-clear before having one inserted.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs. It’s commonly caused by STDs, but can also be related to other infections not related to STDs.
If left untreated, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease can lead to abscesses developing in the reproductive tract. This can cause permanent damage and scar tissue, and hinder your ability to fall pregnant if you want to one day.
It can also be life-threatening if it’s not treated with antibiotics. In short, it’s important not to skip the STD tests before having an IUD inserted.
A pregnancy test is recommended by the CDC before your IUD is inserted if your doctor is unsure of your pregnancy status. This is important because there are cases where even when the patient thinks they’re not pregnant, they actually are.
If you happen to be pregnant and have an IUD inserted, you’re put at risk of an ectopic pregnancy. This is when a pregnancy implants in one of your fallopian tubes instead of your uterus.
Your uterus expands as a pregnancy develops, but your fallopian tube is unable to do so. When the pregnancy becomes too big for the fallopian tube, the tube bursts. This is dangerous, as blood pools in your abdomen, you’re at risk for infection, and your fallopian tube needs to be removed right away.
This is why it’s essential that you’re not pregnant at the time of IUD insertion. These measures are put into place to keep you as safe as possible, so it’s important not to skip them.
Depending on your doctor, you’ll either need to take an over-the-counter pregnancy test or a blood sample test. OTC pregnancy tests can cost as little as $1. The most expensive one you’ll find will be around $15.
A blood sample test will cost about $49. This is the more expensive option, but also the more accurate one.
A pap smear isn’t a requirement when getting an IUD inserted, but it is recommended. This procedure checks for cervical cancer, and it is recommended as a screening every three years for patients aged 21 and up.
If you’re getting an IUD for the first time and have never had a pap smear done, now is the best time to do so to make sure everything is healthy. If your cervix is infected with HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer, it’s not a good idea to have an IUD put in place. You’ll need immediate treatment.
If you have the pap smear done and you’re given the all-clear, you won’t need to worry about the screening for another 3 years!
The cost of a pap smear and pelvic exam is about $331 in the US without insurance. It’s not the cheapest screening, but you only need it every three years.
If you struggle to save this amount, insurance is the best way to go. At Enhance Health, we’re able to recommend affordable plans based on your income and lifestyle.
IUD removal is another cost that should be taken into account. The device can last anywhere between 5 and 10 years once it’s inserted. You can have a doctor take it out at any time though. It’s common for women to have them removed before they reach their expiry date because they’re ready to fall pregnant.
If you don’t go that route and want to continue preventing pregnancies, you’ll need to have your doctor remove your IUD and replace it with a new one when it reaches its expiry date.
The consultation cost is another additional expense you need to consider. Your doctor will decide on this cost, taking their physical location and years of experience into account.
The average cost of a doctor’s consultation is $100-$200.
What Affects The Cost Of An IUD?
There are two main factors that can affect the cost of your IUD: The type of IUD you choose and the location of your clinic.
The Type Of IUD You Opt For
You can choose between a hormonal and non-hormonal IUD. A hormonal IUD costs a bit more and includes popular branded options such as the Mirena and the Skyla. These brands are highly trusted and cost more as a result.
The Mirena device costs $1109 with no insurance. The Skyla isn’t far behind, costing $998 out-of-pocket. There are other brands available, but all price points are similar to these.
There is only one non-hormonal IUD that’s been approved by the FDA and is therefore available to purchase. It’s called ParaGuard and is priced at around $943 per device.
The hormonal options are slightly more effective than the non-hormonal IUD because they provide two layers of protection. The non-hormonal option is 98% effective though, so it is still a viable birth control method.
The Location Of Your Clinic
The location of your clinic can impact the price of your IUD. If the clinic is in a big city, the building likely costs your doctor more in rent and maintenance than if they were in a small town.
These costs are factored into your treatment cost, which increases it. Doctors in more rural areas pay less in rent, so your overall treatment is a bit cheaper.
Does IUD Insertion Hurt?
IUD insertion shouldn’t hurt too much. There is a small amount of pain caused by the procedure, but most women describe the pain as minimal.
Each person has a different pain tolerance, though. If you’re prone to feeling more pain than other people, the procedure will likely hurt. If this is the case, you can ask your doctor to administer numbing medication before the procedure.
It’s also recommended that you take someone with you to the appointment. Some people experience dizziness or discomfort after the procedure and need help getting home.
Is An IUD Affordable Without Insurance?
Unfortunately not. There are so many costs associated with getting an IUD. The device itself is also a large upfront cost. And although you might only need to front this cost around once or twice a decade, it’s a large cost that most people can’t afford.
Having insurance in place prevents you from needing to front costs like this out-of-pocket. After all, these are only the costs of one procedure when you could need dozens of procedures over the same time period.
At Enhance Health, we recommend affordable insurance options starting at $0 per month from the nation’s top insurance carriers. We use an easy three-step process that gets you covered in no time, even if you’re unemployed.
Get in touch today to find out how we can help.