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Infertility Is too Common

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Let me begin by saying that what we are about to discuss is neither, taboo or a bad word. IVF (in-vitro fertilization) is a medical procedure whose sole purpose is to make people who want to have a child of their own, be parents.

Infertility, is something that I personally have struggled with. There was a time in the beginning, when we decided to start our own family that I said to myself, why am I not already pregnant? We had been trying for about 12 months. The self doubt began to creep in; is there something wrong with me. We met with our family Doctor and he was going to set up a specialist appointment for us, presto we finally conceived. Trying for the second baby was very challenging, as we suffered a miscarriage and shortly after that they discovered a cyst that needed to be surgically removed. Finally after waiting a month post surgery we conceived our second baby. Four years after our first child. We did not need IVF, but I have many friends that have struggled emotionally and financially.

Conceivable Dreams  is an organization whose sole purpose is to lobby the government in hopes of garnering funding coverage through OHIP to have IVF covered. This process is one that can break a couple financially and mentally with absolutely no assurances of ever becoming pregnant.

Last week they challenged the three provincial political parties to demonstrate a true commitment to families, leadership in healthcare and fiscal prudence by supporting IVF treatments, a policy they say has proven successful in other areas of the country.

Support for the working families, healthcare and the economy are emerging as the major themes of this election and OHIP coverage of IVF supports all three.

I can tell you about friends of ours who have suffered through this struggle for almost 15 years. They were married shortly after my husband and I were. Everyone who knows them would agree that there is no one who deserves a child of their very own more than these two. Consultation with Doctors and Specialists lead them to try IVF. Luckily for them, they are financially secure and they can afford to pay for the treatments without suffering any great hardships. That says nothing about the emotional ones they must go through every time the treatment is not successful. That is another story all it's own.

There are other family members who have had a great amount of success with IVF. We have a nephew who without this wonderful treatment would not be here to make us laugh and cry with all his crazy antics.

I am more than happy to assist Conceivable Dreams in getting the word out to our WonderMoms family. There are probably many of you out there who either don't want to talk about it or just can't.

In Ontario, where the cost of IVF is not covered by OHIP, most couples choose to transfer multiple embryos rather than a single embryo. As a result, the rate of multiple births from IVF in Ontario is roughly 28% compared to 10% in other jurisdictions. All these couples want is to become parents. Loving, caring, people with something to give back. Multiple births are more likely to be born pre-term and may require additional medical care to the infant in order to help them get started.

A panel was convened in 2009 with a goal of determining whether or not to cover the costs associated with IVF treatment. The results came back and recommended that the province of Ontario cover up to 3 cycles of IVF and adopt policies that reduce the number of multiple pregnancies through IVF. The panel estimated that the savings to the healthcare system through a reduction in the number of multiple births through IVF would be between $400 million to and $550 million.

In August 2010, the province of Quebec became the first jurisdiction in Canada to publicly fund comprehensive IVF treatments. One year later, it has become a leader in the reduction of multiple pregnancies by bringing the rate down from 27.2 % to 5.2%. The results are there for our provincial leaders to soak up. It works!

I challenge any provincial politician who has suffered through the agonizing times of trying to get pregnant and failing to look deep inside and make the right decision. We are at a point in our existence where we should really be a leader in everything we can, and that includes the funding of IVF.

Surveys have been conducted recently by Leger Marketing and 73% of Ontarians agree that we should follow the leadership shown in the Province of Quebec and make the funds available to those, who only wish to become parents.

Now with 1 in 6 Ontarians struggle with infertility, do you think we need a change?