Majority Believe Infertility is a Medical Condition and Want Treatments
Supported by the Healthcare System
VANCOUVER, May 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Mother's Day is a celebration honoring
motherhood but for one in six Canadian couples facing the emotional and
financial burden of infertility, it can be an unbearable day. A new
survey released today shows there is a great deal in common between
today's mothers and those who have struggled with infertility,
including the age at which they wanted to have children and the age at
which they actively began trying to conceive. Mothers also have similar
attitudes towards the causes of infertility, the challenges to access
treatment and the role government should play.
Sponsored by Today's Parent Magazine and EMD Inc., Canada, the survey
uncovers both understanding and support among Moms for couples facing
infertility. Of those Moms surveyed, thirty-six per cent faced their
own issues that made it difficult for them to conceive; twenty six per
cent indicated that it took 2 years or more to become pregnant and
eighty-three per cent believe fertility should be recognized as a
medical issue. Other findings include:
Sixty-three per cent believe family physicians/primary care providers
should be raising the issue of fertility with their patients during the
course of regular medical check-ups.
Eighty-seven per cent believe cost is the single biggest challenge for
those facing infertility.
Thirty-three per cent said geographical concerns create limitations.
Ninety-two per cent believe fertility treatments are too expensive for
the average family.
Seventy-eight per cent believe more should be done to improve access to
Seventy per cent believe governments should provide financial assistance
for fertility treatments.
"Next week is Mother's Day and I will be at home alone in silence. I
began trying to conceive at 24 and thought the fact that I was healthy
and physically fit meant I wouldn't face challenges trying," says
Casandra Sullivan, from Surrey, British Columbia. "My husband and I are
saving to start our first cycle of in vitro fertilization. But there
are challenges - the cost of this procedure is very expensive, let
alone the emotional toll it takes. I wish I'd known more about my
fertility and believe we need more resources to support people facing
"There are a countless number of Canadians who suffer from infertility.
It is a medical condition that is often suffered in silence," says
Gloria Poirier, Executive Director, Infertility Awareness Association
of Canada. "The results of this survey are important because they show
there is solidarity and support from those who have been fortunate
enough to become mothers."
"I faced infertility at 26 but was lucky to be able to afford treatment
and was blessed with twins after a complicated pregnancy and birth,"
says Misty Busch, Western Regional Director, Infertility Awareness
Association of Canada. "Today I help others facing this medical
condition. As we approach Mother's Day, I would like to challenge
Canadians to consider - if your son or daughter faced this medical
condition - wouldn't you want treatment to be available to them?"
Due to the limited access to infertility treatment services outside of
major urban cities and the average out-of-pocket cost of in vitro
fertilization treatments ranging from $6,000 to $8,000, plus
medications, 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, require a caesarean delivery, and need expensive care at
birth and throughout their lives.
Quebec is the only province in Canada to provide universal access to in
vitro fertilization through a policy that covers the cost of treatment.
"The policy has led to a "win-win" for the healthcare system and those
facing infertility," says Dr. Jason Hitkari of the Olive Clinic in
Vancouver. "Many of my patients are young and not financially in a
position to afford expensive fertility treatments. What we have learned
from the Quebec experience is that when we reduce the financial burden
on patients requiring in vitro fertilization treatment, they are far
less likely to insist on transferring multiple embryos. Replacing
fewer embryos results in significant financial savings to the
healthcare system while achieving better health outcomes for mothers
and babies. This is achieved by reducing complicated twin pregnancies
and multiple births which is not only costly to the healthcare system
and society but to families as well."
In Quebec, multiple pregnancies through IVF have been reduced from
approximately 30 per cent to well under 10 per cent, resulting in an
estimated cost savings to the health system of $30-$60 million per year
since the program's inception, according to statements by former Quebec
Minister of Health & Social Services Yves Bolduc.
Outside of Quebec, the rest of Canada, including British Columbia, has
among the highest multiple birth rates at approximately 28 per cent.
Survey Methodology: In January 2013, Rogers Connect Market Research conducted a 9 minute
online survey of adult Canadians (male and female) who have had
children/are considering having children in the near future. All
figures cited refer to Canadian mothers (defined here as women with 1
or more children). Just over 15% of all completes consisted of persons
who have made use of fertility treatments in the past or were currently
undergoing fertility treatments. A total of 1104 Canadian mothers
participated in the survey.
The Today's Parent survey on infertility was sponsored by EMD Inc.,
Canada, in support of Canadian Infertility Awareness Week (CIAW), which
runs from May 19 - 25, and the various patient associations who work to
raise awareness of infertility. EMD Inc., Canada is a pharmaceutical
company which specializes in providing products and services to address
the needs of patients in the areas of fertility, endocrinology and
neurodegenerative diseases. EMD Inc., Canada is an affiliate of Merck
KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
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.
For more information, visit: www.iaac.ca
Image with caption: "Mother's day survey reveals motherly support for one in six Canadian couples suffering from infertility. Majority of Moms believe infertility is a medical condition and want treatments supported by the healthcare system.(CNW Group/Infertility Awareness Association of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130503_C3237_PHOTO_EN_26303.jpg
SOURCE: Infertility Awareness Association of Canada
For further information:
For more information and to speak to Dr. Jason Hitkari of the Olive Clinic in Vancouver, Casandra Sullivan from Surrey, or the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada, please contact: