So after my first post on In-Vitro Fertilization the hits to my blog have been through the roof for me, however that has not translated into posted comments. Instead I have received emails, many without links to blogs and the majority of them anonymous. I will say that I have had some really nice, supportive comments from IVF supporters and like-minded Conservatives, and some not so nice comments from the other side – anti-IVF folks, what I suspect might be Liberals and general complainers.
To the detractors, I say, go find something better to do. I have made up my mind and since this is my blog, I choose the topic and I posted my opinions after doing a lot of research looking at all sides of this issue. When looking at both sides of the coin the one thing that jumps out at me over and over again is the financial benefit to the Province and the taxpayers, should the government fundi this procedure. If you can argue there are no cost savings, then please enlighten me. If, however, you want to tell me we should not be interfering in G-d’s work, then please, don’t.
I have also had conversations with aspiring political leaders on the left and on the right and they both agree this needed to have been funded back in 2007 as the Liberals promised and that this McGuinty promise fell by the wayside with many other incentives the Liberals brought forward to get themselves elected. It’s a very telling tale.
In discussing this post among people who have read this, I have been asked a few times why the interest in IVF, and I’ll tell you why. I know a lot of families who have gone through IVF and I know many who were preparing to go through it. In most of these cases it come up when we start talking about having kids and itgoes from there. But the cost… $10,000.00 a treatment, really adds delays to the conversation. That’s a lot of money and that amount is only the correct amount if it works the first time. In cases we have known, couples have spent 5 or 10 times that amount in effort to have children. They have taken loans, used up savings, by passed down payments on houses in order to grow a family. That is dedication and I respect that a lot. It just goes to show if you really want something bad enough, everything else is insignificant.
While IVF is not guaranteed to work 100% of the time, it does give couples hope that they will be able to conceive children of their own and in the cases I know about where the procedure did not work out as planned, the couples were that much more overjoyed when going through the adoption process (also VERY expensive, mind you).
So let’s take a step back and look at IVF, and why is it necessary?
As a refresher to those people who forgot grade 10 health class, or who may not know, women are born with around 400,00 eggs in their ovaries. Once a month, during a woman’s regular cycle, her body produces hormones to grow and mature some of these eggs which nest in the wall of the uterus. When these eggs are mature, ovulation occurs, and the egg(s) are ready to be fertilized by the male’s sperm. If the egg(s) are not fertilized they disintegrate, and about 2 weeks after that, menstruation begins and the cycle restarts.
What IVF does, is that medication is given to stimulate the ovaries to allow for many eggs to grow and mature. Those eggs are then surgically removed once they are mature enough and they fertilize in a laboratory. As the embryos grow, they are then placed back into the uterus in the hopes that they will implant and cause a pregnancy. Not exactly rocket science, but a very scientific process.
So how many Ontarians are impacted by infertility issues? Would you believe 1 in 6.
When Quebec recently introduced funding for up to three cycles of IVF to help create families. It was found that this also helped reduce the number of multiple pregnancies in that province from 27.2% to 5.2% in just 6 months. As a result, Quebec is now on track to save hundreds of millions of dollars as the number of twins and triplets in neonatal intensive care units is expected to drop significantly.
No surprise that Ontario could realize similar savings by providing OHIP coverage for IVF — between $400-$550 million in savings over 10 years.
So I’m still puzzled as to why we’re discussing this?!?
For more information I recommend you drop by Conceivable Dreams, http://www.conceivabledreams.org.
Conceivable Dreams, the OHIP for IVF Coalition, is the provincial voice for thousands of infertility sufferers and their supporters across Ontario. Their goal is to have OHIP coverage of IVF funded by the Ontario government as is being done in Quebec. With an election coming up right now in Ontario, now is the best time to ask all candidates where they stand on public funding of IVF.