Infertility Dreams and Awareness

IVF Treatments Should Be Covered

At the end of last summer WonderMoms posted several blogs regarding in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Since then lots has happened, but then again, much of the same has happened also. There are several grass roots organizations out there who are trying to garner support from different levels of government to try to persuade them to cover the costs of IVF. In our original posts we quoted Conceivable Dreams and the data that they had compiled regarding costs, trends in birth rates and the stress and strains, emotionally and financially that this puts on "wannabe" parents.

I, for one, am all for aiding couples in becoming parents. It is by far the most rewarding part of being an adult. As a mother of 4 beautiful girls, it has not always been a bed of roses. There were struggles in the beginning just trying to conceive. Luckily for my husband and I, we were able to finally have the family that we so eagerly wanted without the stress of going through IVF. We had discussed the possibilities of not being able to get pregnant and what would we do if that indeed was the case. IVF was on the radar.

Some of the highlights of our previous posts were:

- 1 in 6 Ontario couples struggle with infertility issues
- Quebec pays for IVF treatments
- Healthcare costs would actually go down if IVF were to be covered
- Multiple births decreased by over 80%

And lets not forget Cassandra, who shared her views openly on this very sensitive topic. She told us, "funding would allow those that could only afford one attempt to try again, and if successful create future tax paying citizens who will more than repay the debt their conception created." This is very rational thinking coming from someone who struggled for years to get pregnant. Her son's arrival was the result of IVF and not of the decision to try and a wonderful night of passion.

Since our last post, we have been given some in-depth data conducted by Generations of Hope Fertility Assistance Fund. An organization not unlike Conceivable Dreams who want only the best for those of us struggling through infertility and the stresses that go along with it. The data and research results are amazing to say the least, with strong recommendations towards full funding of IVF treatments.

Among the key findings, the study concluded that over the first five years after funding began, there would be an overall 60% reduction in the rate of multiple births through the use of IVF. 44% fewer twins, and 90% fewer triplets. Reductions in prenatal, delivery and neonatal costs of approximately $29 million. An estimated reduction in the of long term disability is pegged at a staggering $156 million with a net savings to the healthcare system of $78 million when everything else is factored in. I can only imagine the reason that the Province of Ontario is balking at opening up discussion on this procedure is the fear of what it will cost.

No matter which research data you view, they are all saying the same thing and that is, "overall healthcare costs associated with IVF coverage would decrease if it were publicly funded." It makes sense as more and more couples would get pregnant and not have to resort to multiple embryo transfers. The increased birth rate of multiples is a direct link to transferring that same multiple embryo. There is a dramatic increase in costs of hospitalization, medication and overall care as the child grows, as there is also a link to health issues with multiple babies. There is no dispute, multiple births cost more as there are more doctors and nurses required for the birth let alone the after care at home. Increases in respiratory disease due to early arrival. Premature babies just cost more, it really is that simple.

In countries where assisted reproductive technology (ART) is funded there has been a corresponding reduction in the rate of multiple births by at least 50%. Proof again that it will end up costing less overall if funding is made available.

The direct cost of funding IVF treatment cycles in Alberta was compared with the medical and social services costs that would be avoided due to a lower rate of multiple births. The overall projected savings were huge. The information was dissected and analyzed over a 7 year period (2002-2009) and concluded that there would be an increase of about 5% per year of IVF treatments before a leveling off period.

If couples know the funding is there to support their desire to be parents, they will no longer be inclined to transfer multiple embryos. This will reduce potential issues for not only the birth mother, but also the fetus. More often than not, the patients will choose for elective single embryo transfer (eSET). A much more positive level of live birth was also recognized when this form of IVF was practiced, and a decrease in healthcare issues and associated costs.

The take away thus far in all of this is, lets consult with our local and provincial governments and medical practitioners to see if we can get this worthy cause funded for the greater good. I realize that the governments have an agenda to stick too, but really, you are after-all elected by us. Take what we say to heart and make the right decision.

Funding of IVF is the right thing to do, period!


Report urges Alberta to follow Quebec's lead in adopting government-funded in-vitro fertilization.  

Alberta could save $78M over five years and reduce high-risk multiple births, study concludes