Many BC residents waiting to conceive will face health and cost
challenges as a result
VANCOUVER, March 27, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - While one in six couples
currently struggle with infertility, new research indicates that this
may come as a surprise given most people have a startling lack of
knowledge about their own fertility. It also reveals those numbers are
likely to rise in the coming years as more women and men delay
childbearing - which can lead to costly procedures and complicated
Conducted by Dr. Judith Daniluk, Counselling Psychology Professor at the
University of British Columbia (UBC), a recent national fertility
awareness survey revealed that although most adult men and women know
there is a decrease with age in a woman's chances of conceiving
naturally, there remains significant knowledge gaps:
51 per cent of women and 66 per cent of men don't realize that a woman's
eggs are as old as she is.
91 per cent of women and 92 per cent of men incorrectly believe that
in vitro fertilization can help most women to have a baby using their
81 per cent of men and 73 per cent of women incorrectly think that for
women over 30, overall health and fitness level is a better indicator
of fertility than age.
Only 41 per cent of men and 43 per cent of women know that a man's age
is an important factor in a couple's chances of becoming pregnant.
Fewer than half (47 per cent) of men and only 51 per cent of women
surveyed know that egg freezing before age 35 can significantly prolong
a woman's fertility.
"The findings suggest that many British Columbians may be choosing to
delay childbearing, and may face fertility challenges or unintentional
childlessness in the future, based in part on inaccurate information."
says Dr. Daniluk. "Sadly, having a child may be out of reach for many
British Columbians due to a lack of awareness about their own
fertility, which is only compounded by a lack of access to treatments
due to cost."
According to Statistics Canada, the average age for women to have their
first child has risen from 25-29 to 30-34 since 1991, and the birth
rate for women in the 40-44 range has doubled between 1988 and 2008.
Age is a contributing factor in infertility. Fertility starts declining
as early as age 28, while the risk for complicated pregnancy and birth
rises considerably. In addition, infertility can strike at any age and
many common diseases contribute to infertility, including
endometriosis, diabetes, anorexia, obesity, and cancer; and lifestyle
choices such as smoking.
As the trend to delay childbearing continues, more British Columbians
will need to turn to in vitro fertilization, the clinical best practice
to treat infertility, in their efforts to create their families. A
recent study by the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada
revealed that currently, forty-two percent of British Columbians are
unable to proceed with this treatment because of the cost. Without
public funding for in vitro fertilization, many more British Columbians
will end up childless in the future. "If we believe in the importance
of families for all British Columbians, not just those who are
economically advantaged, we must publically fund IVF - so all British
Columbians struggling with infertility have the opportunity to have
children," says Daniluk. "This will make starting a family more
accessible for British Columbians in all corners of the province and
will ultimately pay health, social and fiscal dividends into the
future. But we can't stop there. Fertility education is also critical.
Women and men need to have accurate information about the consequences
of delayed childbearing and the limitations of assisted reproductive
technologies, so that they can make more informed fertility and
In an effort to support more informed reproductive decision-making, and
with a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Daniluk
has created MyFertilityChoices.com to support British Columbians of all
ages in making the best possible fertility and childbearing decisions.
This online interactive educational strategy represents a novel way to
provide accurate and current information and strategies to support more
informed childbearing and family planning decision-making. The
information on the site may result in some individuals choosing not to
delay childbearing. It may also prompt individuals to have their
fertility tested, to pursue fertility preservation, and to seek medical
advice - thereby reducing the chance of facing infertility and needing
in vitro fertilization in the future.
To speak to Dr. Judith Daniluk, Professor of Counseling Psychology and
creator of MyFertilityChoices.com, please contact:
National Fertility Awareness Survey: 3345 currently childless women and
599 men, between the ages of 20 and 50.
About the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada
The Infertility Awareness Association of Canada Inc. (IAAC) was founded
in 1990 and originated from an Ottawa voluntary group called the
Infertility Self Support Group, which began in 1983. IAAC is committed
to providing educational material, support and assistance to
individuals and couples who are experiencing the anguish of
infertility, a reproductive health disease which affects over half a
million Canadian men and women.
SOURCE: Infertility Awareness Association of Canada
For further information:
IAAC website - www.iaac.ca
IVF4BC website - www.ivf4bc.ca
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ivf4bc/122328164594435
Twitter - https://twitter.com/ivf4bc/
MFC Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MyFertilityChoices
MFC Twitter - https://twitter.com/FertilityChoice