The cost-effectiveness of the various contraceptive methods has become an important consideration for family planning clinics in light of rising prices. From the clinic standpoint, cost-effectiveness can be evaluated only crudely, by measures such as the initial cost, how much clinic time must be spent with the patient, and whether follow-up is necessary. Given the characteristics of a given clinic population, a method that is cost-effective in one clinic may not be in another. For a method to be cost-effective, women must be very motivated to use it. For example, barrier methods are associated with relatively few costs, but this advantage is irrelevant if insufficient time is spent counseling diaphragm acceptors and the device is not used. Just 15-30 minutes of counseling can instill self-confidence in a patient and make her a more cost-effective user of a given method. The small investment of time in counseling has a high rate of return for both the clinic and patients. Included with this article is a chart designed to help clinicians compare the initial, annual, and related additional costs of the various contraceptive methods.