Sexual health experts fear people strapped for cash are avoiding vital screening for sexually transmitted infections.
Dublin Well Woman Centres speculated the recession was to blame for a drop in the numbers attending STI check-ups, as well as visits for emergency contraception and fertility issues.
Alison Begas, chief executive, said 2010 was the first year in the last decade that there was a decline in numbers across all areas.
"We can only assume that people are now postponing sexual health checks and other associated visits because they are increasingly feeling the strain of the recession," Ms Begas said.
"To this end, for some people, sexual health services are being considered as a luxury or secondary outlay that can no longer be budgeted for."
The number of people who attended Well Woman centres for full STI screening last year totalled 1,600, compared to almost 3,000 in 2007.
Well Woman centres charge 120 euro for full STI testing, or 200 euro for a couple.
General consultations at the three centres are charged at 55 euro and 35 euro for a general nurse consultation.
The organisation said that while emergency contraception is now available over-the-counter in pharmacies, there was still a decline in the numbers attending for the service in 2010 before the roll-out.
Ms Begas said emigration could be a factor for the fall-off in numbers.