Infertility is a serious medical condition and emotionally devastating for the couples that are struggling to have a family. Why is it that British Columbia funds infertility testing, yet won’t fund the most effective treatment for infertility?
Vancouver, Canada (PRWEB) May 09, 2011
May 15th kicks off Canadian Infertility Awareness Week. More than 350,000 Canadian couples struggle with infertility. For many, IVF is their best or only chance of getting pregnant. Yet Canada, with the exception of Quebec which implemented public funding August, 2010, is one of the only developed countries where IVF is not publicly funded.
The new Québec program, "includes a single embryo transfer policy, [and] will actually result in savings for Quebec tax payers due to an 83% reduction in multiple birth pregnancies: 77% fewer twins and 95% fewer triplets. In addition, there will be 1,368 fewer low-birth-weight babies," according to the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC).
Dr Al Yuzpe, co-founder and co-director of Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver, serves on the IAAC board and has been advocating for provincial funding for IVF since the 1980’s. He wonders if BC's new Premier and her "Families First" agenda will follow Quebec's lead in funding IVF.
"Infertility is a serious medical condition and emotionally devastating for the couples that are struggling to have a family. Why is it that British Columbia funds infertility testing, yet won’t fund the most effective treatment for infertility?"
Not only would publicly funded IVF alleviate significant financial and emotional hardship for couples suffering from infertility, but economic studies show that by including a single embryo transfer policy it would be a great cost savings to the public health care system.
"Multiples have been glamourized by celebrities like Celine Dion. But what people don’t realize is that for multiples, even twins, there is a higher risk of premature birth, cerebral palsy, respiratory diseases, blindness, deafness and death as compared to singleton pregnancies," says Yuzpe.
Genesis has been performing elective single embryo transfers (e-SET) since 2006. "To date our clinic has performed the most e-SETs of any clinic in Canada," says Yuzpe. "With a 68% pregnancy rate for women under 35, we feel confident that we can provide women with an excellent chance of getting pregnant without the higher risk of miscarriage or health problems associated with multiple pregnancy."
Yuzpe is hopeful that Canadian Infertility Awareness Week will increase the public understanding about issues around infertility and that the awareness of the hard economic and health data will get the new BC premier to consider funding for IVF.
Genesis will be participating in a public information forum on fertility Tuesday May 17th at 950 West 41st Avenue, Gallery Room, Vancouver Jewish Community Center. Space is limited. To reserve a seat call 604-678-8600 or e-mail jenn(at)acubalance(dot)ca
Since opening its doors in 1995, Genesis has grown to be one of the largest IVF clinics in Canada offering a comprehensive range of assisted reproductive technologies, including IUI, IVF, ICSI, PGD, surgical sperm retrieval, cryopreservation, oocyte and sperm donation.