“First comes love;
then comes marriage;
then comes Lena with her baby carriage…”
Sounds simple enough, right? Love, marriage and babies – preferably in that order. And I’m not going to lie; I was that girl. My husband and I had procreational sex exactly twice – and if you do the math, I have two little boys.
But it doesn’t always happen that way. And it doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate the emotional toll and financial stress on couples desperately trying for a baby. In fact, I’m willing to bet that everybody knows someone who has struggled with fertility – and has witnessed the highs and lows of trying to conceive firsthand.
I want to discuss in-vitro fertilization (IVF). It may be a taboo subject depending on your religious, cultural or political views, and for that reason I invite you to check out of this conversation if you’d rather not read on. To tell the truth, when first approached to blog about this topic, I questioned whether my readers would find it “too touchy”. But for those who feel that sometimes nature needs a little push – and have healthy, beautiful and vivacious children in their life because of successful IVF, please do hear me out.
I’m sure you all will agree that infertility is an emotionally painful experience. But did you know that it impacts 1 in 6 Ontarians? That’s more than 15% of our society – made up of friends, colleagues, family members and peers – suffering with the inability to conceive. Infertility is certainly not a choice; it is a devastating medical condition.
Did you know that IVF was once fully funded in Ontario?
Of course, making babies was not on my radar back then (phew!) so it’s no surprise that I was out of touch with that particular piece of legislation. But in the mid 90’s the government severely restricted infertility funding; hence couples were left to incur the hefty costs of IVF should they choose to seek assistance in realizing their dreams of starting a family.
We can change that.
Quebec recently introduced funding for up to three cycles of IVF to help create families. In turn, this helped reduce the number of multiple pregnancies in that province from 27.2% to 5.2% in just 6 months. And Quebec is now on track to save hundreds of millions of dollars as the number of twins and triplets in neonatal intensive care units is expected to drop significantly.
Furthermore, it’s estimated that Ontario could realize similar savings by providing OHIP coverage for IVF – between $400-$550 million in savings over 10 years, actually. And if you’re following my train of thought, you’d see that these savings could offset the cost of providing IVF and other “Assisted Reproductive Technologies” to patients who require treatment to start their families. Making babies and saving money in the long run? Yes please.
Introducing Conceivable Dreams.
“Conceivable Dreams, the OHIP for IVF Coalition, is the provincial voice for thousands of infertility sufferers and their supporters across Ontario. Their goal is to have OHIP coverage of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) reinstated by the Ontario government.”
So what can you do? Make your local candidates earn your vote; ask them where they stand on public funding of IVF. You can bet I’ll be posing this question to every candidate who calls, knocks on my door or asks me to participate in polls.
You know how much I love feedback – would you like to share your personal fertility story?