Health and Wellness Q & A - Answers

Submitted Question:

Are there options for free birth control somewhere on campus?

A great (and very common) question!

In terms of truly 'free' birth control options available at U of M, you'd be looking at condoms. External and internal condoms can be picked up for free from multiple locations on campus, such as:

  • Healthy U office hours or Health and Wellness Office (Student Counselling Centre, 474 UMSU University Centre)
  • Peers Office (150 UMSU University Centre)
  • Womyn's Centre (190 Helen Glass Centre for Nursing)
  • Rainbow Pride Mosaic (99 Helen Glass Centre for Nursing)
  • University of Manitoba Residence Life (120 Dafoe Road) & your Residence Advisor
  • University Health Service (104 UMSU University Centre)

If you are willing to go off campus, there are a couple of free birth control resources, depending on financial need, with more options than just condoms available to you (which is often what people want!) including:

  • Women's Health Clinic -located in downtown Winnipeg at 419 Graham Avenue, and easily accessible by transit.
  • Youville Clinic - Their teen clinic across from St. Vital Centre on Tuesdays from 4:00 - 7:00 pm is actually for individuals up to the age of 20 years old.

The next best option for birth control methods are those methods that may be free-of cost depending on your health insurance. One downside to insured birth control options is that some insurance companies will ask you to pay at point of purchase and submit an insurance claim receipt to them for reimbursement. If you're looking to keep this information private, this may not be the best option for you, as anyone (e.g. parents or family members) who has access to your insurance account will be able to see the prescription. So as an example, if you have insurance coverage through a parent's work, your parent would be able to see the insurance receipt claim made for the birth control.

If you're interested in hearing about some insured birth control options, keep on reading!

U of M students enrolled in the UMSU Health and Dental insurance plan will have insurance coverage for 70-80% of the cost of prescription medications. The remaining 20-30% may be covered by Manitoba Pharmacare, a prescription drug benefit program that Manitobans with a Health Card and U of M students enrolled in the Student Health and Dental Plan can enroll in for free. For more information, visit Pharmacare.

Insured birth control options include:

  • Most brands of birth control pill (oral contraceptives)
  • Hormonal intrauterine system (IUS): Mirena & Jaydess are covered by U of M and Pharmacare insurance. However, this method of contraception is still costs approximately $100 after insurance coverage, although it does last longer (up to 5 years).
  • The birth control injection (Depo-Provera)

As of 2016/2017, the birth control patch, the vaginal ring, and copper IUDs are not covered by UMSU insurance.

For more information on birth control methods and other healthy sexuality topics, here are some fantastic additional resources:

Feel free to drop by Healthy U Office Hours for more information and resources on birth control or other health topics!

The Healthy U Team