IVF Funding Matters because Families Matter

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Everyone can see we’re together
As we walk on by
And we fly just like birds of a feather
I’m not telling no lie

All of the people around us to say
Can we be that close
Just let me state for the record
We’re giving love in a family dose, yeah

We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up ev’rybody and sing

-excerpt from We are Family Lyrics performed by Sister Sledge, composed by Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers

Family is so important in our culture that’s it’s the stuff of movies, dreams, and songs – but creating a family isn’t easy for everyone. As we celebrate Family Day, I would like to draw your attention to the 1 in 6 people who struggle with infertility in BC; they need our support to obtain IVF funding from the BC government to complete their families.

IVF Funding

My husband and I overcame a two-year struggle with infertility to conceive our amazing son (who is now 8 years old). There were many moments during my infertility journey that I suffered anxiety and sadness, fearing I would never become a mother. The experience took a terrible emotional toll on me and I am so grateful for our happy ending.

Years later, I am rooting for my sisters in life – the 1 in 6 who are facing infertility. I am troubled by the fact that lack of money may be standing in the way of them realizing their dreams of having children.

There is no medical coverage to treat a diagnosis of infertility for BC patients needing IVF. Infertility is caused by medical issues in almost all cases.

Infertility is a disease that is almost always caused by medical issues such as endometriosis or premature ovarian failure. When we were diagnosed, IVF – the most common treatment – was prescribed by our fertility clinic. I could not have been more blown away when I learned BC patients face costs of $10,000 to $13,000 per IVF cycle and that there is no medical coverage for these costs. Given that multiple IVF cycles may be needed, the cost means that fertility treatments are not affordable to many families in BC.

The cost of treatment is unaffordable for many BC families. They either will give up their dream of having children or will go into serious debt to have a baby. There is something very wrong with this picture.

Currently, four provinces provide some form of financial support to assist families seeking IVF: Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and New Brunswick. Manitoba and New Brunswick offer a tax credit and a grant. Ontario pays for one cycle of treatment for patients under 43. Quebec has a sliding scale tax credit for expenses related to IVF based on income level, and continued coverage of fertility drugs, which means it is still better to live in Quebec than it is to live in BC if you are an infertility patient.

What I like about Family Day is the recognition that family time matters, and families matter. With its Families First agenda, I’d like to see BC be the next province to step up to the plate with some kind of coverage for IVF treatments. You can help by spreading the word and supporting your community of friends, neighbours, and family members who have or will deal with infertility. Here’s how:

  • Join the conversation to support BC Families facing infertility via Twitter using the hashtags #IVF4BC #BCPOLI or by engaging on Facebook
  • Sign this petition urging the BC Government to fund IVF.

IVF funding matters because families matter. You can make a difference!

Disclosure: I am working with IVF4BC and Thrifty Mom Media to tell the story of why IVF funding makes sense for infertility patients in BC, and as such I have been compensated. This is my story.

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