Ontarians polled on fertility to kick off Canadian Infertility Awareness
Week May 24
TORONTO, May 22, 2014 /CNW/ - A new survey on infertility reveals most
people have a startling lack of knowledge about their own fertility,
and the treatment options available to them. Yet, when it comes to
issues around cost and access, a majority of Ontarians feel fertility
treatments are too expensive for the average family, and support public
funding of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The national survey was conducted by Conceivable Dreams in partnership
with other Canadian infertility patient advocacy groups, in support of
Canadian Infertility Awareness Week - kicking off May 24 - and the
upcoming Ontario election on June 12.
When it comes to general knowledge, the survey revealed a majority of
Canadians don't know when to seek treatment for infertility, and few
are having conversations about fertility with their doctors. Among the
Over half of Canadians (53 per cent) don't know women and men have equal
incidence of infertility.
Nearly one third of Canadians (32 per cent) and almost half of men (42
per cent) don't realize a woman's eggs age with her.
Over half of Canadians (51 per cent) and of men (59 per cent) don't
realize a man's sperm ages with him.
Two thirds of Canadians (66 per cent) don't know that in vitro
fertilization (IVF) is the most effective treatment for infertility.
Over half of Canadians (55 per cent) don't realize they should seek
treatment for infertility after actively trying to get pregnant for one
The majority of Canadians (81 per cent) think it is the family doctor's
responsibility to educate Canadians on their fertility but only 15 per
cent of Canadians report having that discussion.
[Note: Infographic link below.]
Many common diseases contribute to infertility, including endometriosis,
diabetes, hypothyroidism and cancer. For those experiencing
infertility, many will turn to IVF, the clinical best practice to treat
infertility, in their efforts to create their families.
Due to the limited access to IVF services outside of major urban cities
and the average out-of-pocket cost of treatments ranging from $8,000 to
$14,500, including drugs, many couples either can't proceed with
treatment or are faced with the decision to transfer more than one
embryo per treatment cycle to increase their chances of getting
pregnant. Transferring more than one embryo can often result in a
multiple birth. Multiples are not only a high risk pregnancy but are
also 17 times more likely to be born pre-term and need expensive care
at birth and throughout their lives.
In Ontario, the poll was conducted immediately following that province's
announcement on April 10th that it planned to fund one cycle of IVF, not including drugs, for all
forms of infertility, starting in 2015.
Ontario is just the latest province to support funding for IVF. Other
provinces have already taken steps to support residents suffering from
infertility: Quebec has been publicly funding in vitro fertilization
treatments since 2010, and the Government of Manitoba provides a tax
credit to cover the costs of infertility treatment up to 40 per cent.
When it comes to the cost barriers to treatment, according to Ontario
Eighty-eight per cent of Ontarians agree that the cost of fertility
treatments is too expensive for the average family.
Sixty-one per cent agree all families should have access to some form of
public coverage of fertility treatments.
Sixty-eight per cent agree other provinces outside Quebec should adopt a
policy of funding IVF.
Seventy per cent agree with funding IVF, provided it is tied to a policy
of single embryo transfer.
"These survey results show that Ontarians are acutely aware of the
financial barriers to accessing IVF - arguably the best practice for
helping infertile couples deliver a healthy baby," says Joanne Horibe,
co-founder of Conceivable Dreams. "And, more importantly, they agree
with policies designed to ease the financial burden of IVF, so that
couples, who through no fault of their own have trouble conceiving, can
one day realize their dream of becoming parents."
"The Ontario Government's recent decision to fund one cycle of IVF is
welcome news to the countless families across the province affected by
infertility," says Sandra David, whose challenges with fertility are
caused by medical treatments her husband received for cancer which was
discovered shortly after they were married. "As we approach Canadian
Infertility Awareness Week, I would like to encourage Ontarians to
raise this issue with their local MPPs. Funding in vitro fertilization
isn't a partisan issue - it deserves support from all parties to ensure
that whoever is elected as the next government delivers on the Budget's
promise to make IVF funding a reality."
"The possibility for affordable IVF treatments in Ontario is welcome
news to many of my patients, as well as the countless others suffering
from infertility who have not been able to afford treatment to start
building their families," says Dr. Marjorie Dixon, Medical Director at
First Steps Fertility in Toronto. "Many of my patients are simply not
financially in a position to afford expensive fertility treatments.
Publicly funding IVF treatment tied to a single embryo transfer policy
will result in significant financial savings to the healthcare system
while achieving better health outcomes for mothers and babies."
About Conceivable Dreams
Conceivable Dreams is a broad-based organization of patients, family
members, health professionals and other supporters dedicated to
achieving equitable access to funding for in vitro fertilization (IVF)
for men and women facing fertility challenges.
PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2014/05/22/20140522_C9320_DOC_EN_40600.pdf
SOURCE: Conceivable Dreams
For further information:
and to speak to Dr. Marjorie Dixon, Joanne Horibe, co-founder of Conceivable Dreams, or Sandra David, please contact:
Justin Hane, FleishmanHillard