The Pill Pay Gap: Kin’s Climate of Contraception report reveals gender disparity in contraception access and cost

New research reveals that 82% of women take on the cost of contraception alone, regardless of their relationship status.

Kin Fertility is a comprehensive digital healthcare service on a mission to empower women to take control of their reproductive health through education and access.
As part of this mission, Kin commissioned a survey to examine the current climate of contraception in Australia. They surveyed over 1000 Australian men and women aged 16-49 and uncovered the significant obstacles faced by women when navigating contraception, compared to men. They also assessed the steps needed to achieve a more equitable landscape. 

Addressing the barriers to access

The results of the survey revealed that access to preferred contraceptive methods is a leading issue. While 70% of men reported obtaining their preferred contraceptive from a supermarket, a staggering 73% of women reported needing to consult with a doctor to access theirs. Female participants in the survey highlighted various challenges, including geographic barriers to lengthy appointment waiting times and high medical expenses. 

The key figures: 

  • 3 in 4 women need a doctor to access their preferred method of contraception
  • 7 in 10 men get their contraception from the supermarket

The top challenges in accessing contraception for women

The unequal cost is hard to swallow

The survey suggests that cost further compounds the problem, with 71% of women believing contraception costs are unequal between genders compared to only 44% of men.

Most contraception methods, including birth control pills, incur an ongoing cost for women. With women already paying ‘the pink tax’, which refers to the gender disparity in pricing for consumer goods, the cost disparity for contraception only further exacerbates this.

The key figures:

  • 82% of Australian women take on the cost of contraception alone regardless of their relationship status
  • 47% of Australian men think that it’s fair that women spend more on contraception costs than men.

One female participant from QLD stated: “When GPs no longer bulk-bill and all I need is a new script for the birth control I’ve been on for over six years — it’s ridiculous the amount of money I have to spend.”

What’s the solution?

Potential solutions emerged from the study, including the need for more male contraceptive options, shared cost responsibilities between partners, and government subsidies for contraception through Medicare.

The key figures: 

  • 62% of Australians think that more male contraception options will help
  • 54% believe that a partner should share the cost of contraception
  • 62% believe that the Australian Government could subsidise contraception methods and medications through Medicare

One male participant stated: “It’s a team game.”

Dr Kirsty Wallace-Hor, GP, believes: “Applying to have a new medicine listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is a long and expensive process. There is little incentive for pharmaceutical companies that produce contraceptives to make a submission - an oral contraceptive pill hasn't been added in over 25 years.

“If the Australian government made this process easier, it would help to have a massive impact on the accessibility for many people and serve as a step forward in resolving the healthcare gender disparity.” 

Despite these challenges, Kin Fertility remains committed to empowering women in their reproductive health decisions. You can read the full breakdown of the research from Kin here.


Nicole Liu
Product Lead
Dakota O'Brien