Coping with Infertility


"73% of Ontarians believe province should fund in-vitro fertilization"

Lets take a look at how we got these very influential and one-sided results. As I said to you all before, I experienced the frustration of not getting pregnant right away. When a couple, be it young or old, decides that now is the time for having a family and struggle for months with no positive results, it can only lead to unwanted stresses and heartache. I have been there, and expect that many of you have too. Being raised by a very wonderful mother and father, it was very easy for me to make the choice of starting my own family when I got married.

There are however, situations in life that are designed by their very nature, to test our resolve and dedication. Planned parenthood, I believe is one on them.

The very respected research marketing company, Leger Marketing, a Canadian-owned market research and polling firm were tasked with compiling data for the following questions;

Should Ontario families have some form of public coverage for fertility treatments?
Should the Ontario government follow the lead of Quebec and support this initiative?

The results that came back were based on a sample group of respondents 25 years of age or older and totalling 943 people. Whether you agree, or disagree with the proposed coverage of IVF treatments, probably has more to do with whether or not this problem has ever stopped you from becoming pregnant. Lets be honest, if you don't want children, you won't care either way. True?

New survey data shows that 73% of Ontarians agree that Ontario should adopt a policy of publicly funding IVF treatments that is similar to Quebec's. 63% of Ontarians surveyed also agree that Ontario families should have some form of public coverage for fertility treatments. Within the general public, support for some form of coverage was highest among those with children at 71% and women at 68%. 55% also agree that cost should not be a barrier to infertile couples who need assistance with reproduction.

Several provincial MPP's of all stripes have also spoken favourably to funding this issue. The stumbling block is always going to be, the perceived cost involved in rolling out any initiative and how it will be responded to by the general public. I get that. Politicians, for the most part are concerned about the polling numbers and how it will affect their own ratings. Being fearful of making a mistake, cannot however be the deterrent in making this wonderful medical opportunity available to those who can't afford it otherwise.

The research shows that couples are more likely to have multiple births using IVF. There are higher costs involved there too. The multiple mom needs more assistance, as do the children, perhaps medically. This is not an attack on parents of multiples either. More children means, more work. I have 4 kids, trust me, I get it. We hear more about smaller birth weights in multiple births and perhaps more medical issues being involved.

We know that there is a decrease in multiple births when only using one embryo. It looks like the associated cost savings to the health provider (OHIP), would offset the reduction in multiple births with medical problems. Quebec data shows that they are on track to save tens of millions of dollars as the number of twins and triplets in neonatal intensive care units begins to drop significantly. There is no disputing the facts, premies need more help to start their lives. The anguish the parents go through could also be reduced as well.

Conceivable Dreams, a coalition of like minded people who believe their voice speaks for the wannabe parents and whose sole purpose is to lobby the provincial government to aid sufferers of infertility, and get this worthy cause paid for by our health benefits. I have not polled them myself, but can imagine there is a number of them who have suffered through the stresses of not being able to conceive on their own. I remember the sleepless nights, wondering what is wrong with me?

I thank god everyday for the province and country in which we are fortunate enough to live in. I love the fact that I feel safe waking up in the morning and getting my children off to school in a healthy environment. Ontario gives us that opportunity.

I think the Ontario government has a responsibility and duty to review the data and make an educated decision on whether funding can be made available. The numbers don't lie. It works in Quebec, they are reaping the rewards of a reduction in multiple births needing more medical assistance and the costs associated with them. I don't believe this would even be being discussed if we were not talking about where the money is going to come from.

I for one believe that the funds should be made available to couples who just want to be like me, a happy wife and mother. Without the stresses of wondering where the money is going to come from. Getting pregnant in the first place is stressful enough. Lets not compound the problem by asking who is going to pay.

I am sure over the next few weeks as we head into the provincial election, we will hear more about what really affects Ontarians. Provincial politicians should take notice, and listen to what we are really talking about. Fund this worthy cause.