Today I am sharing my infertility story to shine a light on the lack of IVF Funding in BC.
It was December 2007. I was preparing for our second round of infertility treatments when I was unexpectedly diagnosed with pneumonia. You’d think that would have stopped the process or delayed it, but with thousands and thousands of dollars already paid for hormones and procedures, I was prescribed a round of antibiotics and advised to carry on. On New Year’s Eve, we received the life changing news that we would become parents.
After two years, our infertility journey was finally over. But as I learned through research, and the blogs I read, and my own friends who have struggled with this disease, the journey continues for so many others.
1 in 6 couples struggle with infertility in BC
These families are facing an uphill battle that is physically, emotionally and financially demanding. They will go through so much – fear, disappointment, challenging medical procedures, financial stress… and there are no guarantees of a happy ending.
I am personally disappointed that the Province of BC does not provide any financial support to families who must undergo IVF to have their children. In most cases (80%), infertility is caused by a known medical problem such as endometriosis or premature ovarian failure.
So why is it that the most common treatment – IVF – is not covered in the same way other medical procedures are when patients are facing costs of $10,000 to $13,000 per IVF cycle? There are families in BC who simply cannot afford these costs and will not be able to have the family they have dreamed of. Others will face unfair financial stress – working multiple jobs, taking out a second mortgage or high interest loan to help pay for the treatment they need to conceive.
I have learned that four Canadian provinces do provide financial support – Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and New Brunswick. Manitoba offers a tax credit while New Brunswick offers a one time grant of up to $5,000 to infertility patients. Ontario will pay for one cycle of treatment for patients under 43. Quebec offers a tax credit for expenses related to IVF based on income level and covers fertility drugs.
I can tell you that any of those things would have made a difference to us when we were going through this difficult time of our lives. IVF funding in BC is desperately needed.
The Province of BC can and should do better based on their Families First BC agenda. With the BC election coming up in 2017, let’s advocate for our community of friends and neighbours who are struggling with infertility to get IVF funding in BC.
You can join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #IVF4BC #BCPOLI or on Facebook.
Disclosure: I am partnering with IVF4BC and Thrifty Mom Media and have been compensated to share my story of why IVF funding makes sense for infertility patients in BC. All opinions are my own.