Birth Control

What is Birth Control?

Birth control (also called contraception) can prevent pregnancy and be used to regulate periods/ reduce heavier periods. Some methods (condoms) also lower the risk of sexually transmitted infections. 

Popular methods include birth control pills, condoms, IUD’s and more. Learn about the types of birth control here and consider which birth control methods work best for your lifestyle.

How to Get Birth Control Online

UCSC students can get birth control pills, the vaginal ring, or the birth control patch online—no appointment needed! Just fill out an online form in Health e-Messenger, and within three business days you’ll get a notification to pick up your birth control at the Student Health Center pharmacy. 

For students with the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP), online consultations and contraceptives are covered at 100%. 

For students who have insurance other than UC SHIP, the fees are shown below:

  • Online consult: $25 for students with CruzCare or other insurance.
  • Pill packs: $15 per pack for students with CruzCare or other insurance.
  • Vaginal ring: $150/ring for students with CruzCare or other insurance.
  • Transdermal patch: $120/ box (3 patches) for students with CruzCare or other insurance.
If you have other insurance please check with your plan for what your copay will be at an off-campus pharmacy. Your non-UC SHIP plan may cover your contraceptives at an off-campus pharmacy. Note: Brand name pills have an extra out-of-pocket cost


When you're filling out the online form, our system will refer to your "appointment." This is not a real, in-person appointment. Don't put it in your calendar! It's just how our system keeps track of your request.

You will need to have had a recent blood pressure check during the past 12 months to complete this online form. If you’ve been seen at the Student Health Center in past 12 months, you are good to go! If you haven’t, you can use the blood pressure self-check station outside SHOP next door to the Student Health Center, right by the Pharmacy on the first floor; go to a retail pharmacy like Walgreens, or CVS; or use a home blood pressure monitor.


  1. Log into Health e-Messenger below after reading all seven steps of these instructions. Note: If you have never been to CAPS or the Student Health Center before, you will need to click on “Medical Clearances” first and complete “Notice of Privacy Practices, General Consent, and Assignment of Benefits.”
  2. Click on "Appointments." 
  3. Select "Online Birth Control Request."
  4. Select a time slot and click “Schedule.” Remember: this is NOT an in-person appointment.  Select any time and the system will forward you to the online form. 
  5. Complete the online form. 
  6. Look for a secure message from Health e-Messenger within three school days. The message will have your next steps. 
  7. Set up text notifications by adding your cell phone number to "Profile" in Health e-Messenger.


Information About Other Types of Birth Control

UC SHIP covers all types of birth control at no extra cost. If you want to stock up on EC, pill packs, and condoms, just stop by the Pharmacy or SHOP for support and supplies.  

Questions? Birth Control Patrol Can Help!

birth-control-patrol-logo.jpgBirth Control Patrol is an anonymous drop-in resource offered at SHOP throughout the week. Highly trained students can offer information on contraceptive options and assist students in making appointments at the Student Health Center (with UC SHIP) or assist in finding health clinics off campus if they don't have the Student Health Insurance Plan. Additionally, SHOP is here to support students and their partners around preventing pregnancy. This peer to peer service is here for you! 

The Birth Control Patrol is here for you! 
Pop into SHOP to talk to our Contraceptive Educators.