Nearly three-quarters of British Columbians Support Public Funding for In Vitro Fertilization

Almost half report having been affected by infertility

VANCOUVER, Dec. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - The holiday season is a time for family, but not everyone is blessed with a child. In fact, almost half (43%) of British Columbians report having been affected by infertility personally or through family, friends and acquaintances. The Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC) has released a survey showing that nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of British Columbians believe the province should adopt public funding for in vitro fertilization (IVF), similar to the policy in Quebec.

In 2010, Quebec became the first province in Canada to provide universal access to IVF through a policy that covers the cost of treatment and mandates single embryo transfer. This policy has led to a reduction in multiple pregnancies from approximately 30 per cent to well under 10 per cent, resulting in better health outcomes for mother and baby, and an estimated cost savings to the health system of $30-$60 million per year since the program's inception, according to former Quebec Minister of Health & Social Services Yves Bolduc.

"British Columbians live in a province that puts families first," reinforced Rita Schnarr, Regional Manager Western Canada for the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC), a patient advocacy group representing infertile couples and families in the province. "Publicly funding IVF would support that principle by giving families suffering with infertility the opportunity to build their families safely. British Columbians understand that, and what's more, they see it as smart policy that is working elsewhere in Canada."

IVF is often the most effective and only treatment option available to couples who suffer from infertility. Transferring one embryo per treatment cycle is considered a clinical best practice in IVF because it ensures only one healthy baby is delivered per pregnancy cycle. By reducing the likelihood of a multiple birth, single embryo transfer serves to protect the health of mother and baby.

However, due to the limited access to infertility treatment services throughout the province and the average out-of-pocket cost of IVF treatments ranging from $5,800 to $8,000, plus medications, many couples choose to transfer more than one embryo per treatment cycle to increase their chances of getting pregnant. As a result, outside Quebec, the rest of Canada, including BC, has among the highest multiple birth rates through IVF at approximately 28 per cent. Unfortunately, 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.

Highlights: Of British Columbians Surveyed,

  • 73 per cent agree that British Columbia should adopt a policy of publicly funding IVF treatments in a way similar to Quebec.
  • 70 per cent believe funding IVF will result in better health outcomes for women and children
  • 68 per cent agree there should be equal access and opportunity for British Columbians to build a family, regardless of income or geography.
  • 65 per cent agree that British Columbian families should have some form of public coverage for fertility treatments.

"These results send a strong message that the majority of British Columbians understand the arguments behind publicly funding in vitro fertilization," said Schnarr. "Publicly funding these treatments not only gives all British Columbians the opportunity to build a family, regardless of their income or geography, it also supports better health outcomes for mother and baby while delivering cost savings to the health system."

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:

Website - www.iaac.ca
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ivf4bc/122328164594435
Twitter - https://twitter.com/ivf4bc/

About the Survey

From October 25th to October 31st 2012 an online survey was conducted among 1,608 randomly selected adults who are residents of British Columbia and who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of British Columbia. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

SOURCE: Infertility Awareness Association of Canada

For further information:

and to speak to the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada:

Jeremy Twigg
Fleishman-Hillard
604-688-2505
Jeremy.twigg@fleishman.ca

Organization Profile

Infertility Awareness Association of Canada

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