I am reminded yet again the beauty of being part of a family. With the kids starting to get settled into their routines, I am reminded how much I love being a mom. I am blessed to have three children that bring nothing but joy to my life. I really cannot remember a time that I did not want to be a mom. I never considered a life without children. It perplexes me when people don’t want to have children and it saddens me when I meet people that do want to have children and cannot. I have come to understand a few truths: dealing with infertility is not about ‘making the wrong choices’ or ‘delaying the decision’. Often infertility is due to other causes like cancer treatment, PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) or endometriosis. Couples don’t choose to go the long road. It still amazes me to know that 1 in 6 couples struggles with infertility and there are thousands of women and men who have been unable to access in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments they need due to inequitable of often prohibitive funding barriers.
As an supporter of those Canadians seeking help with IVF treatment, it’s important to see that some of the milestones in the progress to get public funding continue. We, as a country, are new to the publicly funded formula of to help with infertility treatment. Acknowledging that infertility is a legitimate health issue and medical condition, is a step in the right direction for publicly funded IVF solutions. Infertility treatment In Canada is mostly privately funded with people having to pay between $10,000 –13,000 per round of treatment. This can be taxing on any couple or young family so the need to have a publicly funded program continues to be a priority for both patients, doctors and clinicians. Currently, New Brunswick has some funding ($5,000 grant), Manitoba has a tax credit and Quebec still has a plan (although it is under review and likely to be dramatically altered). Over a year ago, the Government of Ontario had promised a program and we anxiously await the announcement of what that will look like in the near future. As Canadians we need to ensure that there is a continued dialog to create funding for infertility treatment across the board. If you want to further understand where we are in this landscape nationally, I encourage you to read this great post by Paula Schuck at Thriftymomma’s Tips. She gives you a better perspective on where each province is in this mouse trap.
Continued advocacy from patient groups, like Conceivable Dreams gives us hope that the input that they were able to give during the building process of the Ontario Infertility program is time well spent. It is not easy to put together a comprehensive programs that will be beneficial and equitable. We do know that experience from around the world show that established IVF funding programs provide consistent health and safety standards, positively impact the mental and physical health of those affected by infertility and significantly reduce the rate of higher multiple births. This leads to improved health for mom and babies and will also reduce the cost to the healthcare system.
Important Events in the next Two Weeks
- In the next two weeks there are events bringing greater awareness in the infertility world. The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) annual meeting/ conference takes place Oct. 1-4 . The CFAS is the recognized Canadian multidisciplinary authority in reproductive science and medicine. They will be discussing is the merits of public funding for IVF.
- At the conference (in conjunction with IAAC) the Family Matters Challenge will take place. For the last two years, IAAC supporters have been successful in raising their voices to say that family does matter. You can join in as they are still looking for volunteers.
- IAAC is also launching a new web site (they are the national support for infertility patients.) They will now be called Fertility Matters. You can follow them on twitter @FertilityMattrs.
It’s time to take stock of what’s happening for infertility patients in Canada. Please join Conceivable Dreams, the Ontario Infertility Patient Advocacy Group,(@IVF4ON), Paula Schuck (@Inkscrblr), myself (@DownshiftingPRO) and our @LinkedMoms community for a Twitter Party on Wednesday, September 30 at 8 pm ET
Website: Conceivable Dreams
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2015
8:00 – 9:00pm (EST)
7:00 – 8:00pm (CST)
6:00 – 7:00pm (MST)
5:00 – 6:00pm (PST)
HASHTAGS: #IVF40N #ONPOLI
@inkscrblr – Paula Schuck
@DownshiftingPRO – Margarita Ibbott