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12th Apr 2024

Free contraception scheme to be extended to women up to age 35

Kat O'Connor

Irish women have welcomed the expansion of the free contraception scheme

The Government has confirmed plans to extend the free contraception scheme to women up to the age of 35.

It is understood that women aged 35 and under can now avail of free contraception from their local pharmacy.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly is planning on introducing the expansion during the summer months.

Women will still need to get a prescription for the pill from their doctor, but there are plans to give pharmacies the responsibility for prescribing the pill. However, this will be rolled out at a later date.

Women can visit their GP for free under the free contraception scheme.

The scheme has been a major success since it was rolled out in 2020. In 2023, the Department of Health noticed a significant increase in women accessing the programme.

Around 200,000 women availed of the scheme last year with numbers expected to rise as the scheme is expands.

How can I access the free contraception scheme?

To access free contraception, you need to:

  • be aged 17 to 31
  • live in Ireland
  • have a PPS number

People do not need a medical card to avail of the free contraception service.

You will need to make an appointment with your doctor or GP to discuss your options for contraception.

Both the appointment and approved products are covered in the scheme.