Adoption and Family,  infertility

A Fertility Pop Quiz For Ontario #OHIP4IVF #onpoli

Shutterstock Image I purchased.

This is a throw down. That’s right. This post is a challenge to all my readers. I want to know what you know, or understand, about fertility and infertility. So pop quiz. I will put the correct answers at the end of this post. I totally trust you my loyal readers to be honest and grade yourselves. For those of you who live in Ontario, I am extremely interested to know your answers, so please leave me a comment stating whether or not you live in Ontario. Thanks!

By way of background – In 2009, the province of Ontario spent many dollars and hired many experts including Governor General David Johnston to come together and create a report called Raising Expectations. The report was intended as a blueprint of sorts for future planning for fertility issues, infertility and adoption in this province. The report concluded the province of Ontario would save billions by providing adoption subsidy for children with special needs who were adopted, by streamlining the adoption process, and by funding three rounds of IVF (in vitro fertilization with single embryo transfer) for couples who are infertile and where IVF is the recommended medical course of action. So what happened with the report? Well, like many government reports, it was largely ignored.

To be fair, a few recommendations were enacted – sort of. A recommendation that adoption subsidy accompany special needs children over the age of two was altered and implemented as adoption subsidy should be provided when crown wards over the age of ten, or sibling groups are adopted together after June 15, 2012. And this is contingent on a couple’s combined income. There is no criteria for special needs adoption, because as I understand it the government in Ontario felt it was too negative a term to be tied to the subsidy. So here’s the reality of adoption in Ontario. About 16 kids over the age of 10 are adopted each year. So that investment was not an investment but the slightest concession and is of NO help to any of the adoptive families I know. Let me just add here that I know a few adoptive families because I speak internationally on the topic of adoption, I co-facilitate an adoption group in London, and I also cofounded a national non profit called the Canadian Coalition of Adoptive Families.  On the infertility front nothing has been done despite a lengthy list of recommendations. Additionally, there was, according to Ontario government, an education campaign about fertility. But nobody I know has seen any evidence of this campaign. So where is it? How has that money been spent? Who is educated about fertility and infertility? I frankly haven’t seen much evidence there is an education campaign at all.

Paula’s pop quiz

1. At what age does your fertility begin to decline? A. 40? B. 28? or C. 32?

2. Did you have any difficulty conceiving? Yes, or No?

3. When was the last time your family doctor talked to you about fertility (not birth control but fertility)?

4. Did you learn about fertility in school? Do schools teach anything about fertility and infertility or just birth control and reproductive facts (biology)?

5. What is a regularly quoted statistic of how many people are impacted by infertility? Is it 1 in 10, 1 in 20, 1 in 6, or 1 in 8?

6. Which province in Canada funds in vitro fertilization as a medical procedure? (SET upto three rounds.)

7. Can you name one other jurisdiction, state or country globally that funds IVF or most of the IVF procedure?

8. How much does IVF cost for one round roughly in Ontario?

Disclosure: I am community manager for Conceivable Dreams. I am also a cofounder of the CCAF. For more information about Conceivable Dreams follow
For more information about adoption groups, or adoption in Ontario, you can visit AdoptOntario or the CCAF.

Answers: 1. is B. 2 is individual to you, as is 3. I have actually never had a doctor speak to me about infertility or fertility. Have you? 4. My answer is No, please tell me if yours is different. 5. is 1 in 6 couples struggle with infertility and suggestions lately this may be as high as 1 in 5. 6. Quebec only. 7. Australia. 8. At least $13, 000 upto $15,000 with the medicines.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Jane | @janelebak

    In my experience, most doctors have no clue how a healthy menstrual cycle works in the first place, so even when you walk in with fertility charts showing a very clear problem, the doctor will glance at them with eyes glazed over and then say, “Well, would you like to be on the Pill?” No, I don’t want to be on the Pill, I want to lengthen my luteal phase to something that will sustain a pregnancy.

    I’ve heard of women who visit doctors with fertility charts showing they clearly have not ovulated, but because they’re bleeding every 28 days, the doctor says, “You’re probably fine. These charts don’t show anything.”

    NaPro doctors are trained to read charts, and really, anyone who’s read Take Charge Of Your Fertility can read a chart. So why can’t most doctors read a chart? Why do most doctors scoff at the data a woman collects about her cycle when medical science is predicated on collecting data?

    But I think that’s the answer as to why doctors don’t talk about a woman’s fertility: because many don’t understand it, and therefore they wouldn’t really know how to counsel a woman about it in the first place.

    • Paula Schuck

      You have obviously given this a lot of thought. Thanks for the detail. You might be right. I often think we could solve many issues socially and health wise by adding a simple course at teacher’s college and at med school.

  • Annie Brown

    I will admit that I am not educated in any way on fertility or infertility. It is sad when I did your pop quiz and realized how little I do know about this topic. The cost of IVF is staggering to me. How can anyone afford it? It looks as though Australia is paving the way on funding IVF also wish we could model ourselves after them.

    Great article and thanks for educating me on this topic!

  • Kelly @ City Mom

    Whenever I read your posts on this topic it really gets me thinking. I am so thankful I did not have to deal with infertility issues. And no, no doctors have ever brought the subject up. I’m just realizing now how wrong that is.

    • Paula Schuck

      Kelly: it is totally wrong! Is it embarrassment or ignorance? Either way, fertility is a huge part of women’s health care. This drives me nuts right now. Same for the pat answer I get all over town re: some if my daughter’s special needs : “well, it’s not my area of expertise!” Huh? Then fix that or find someone who will.

  • Little Miss Kate

    I have a few friends that are “older” (late 30s) TTC – and no my doctor had never talked to me about fertility and only briefly mentioned in school that fertility decreases over time, more so for women than men.
    More education on this would be very helpful.

  • Jennifer

    Holy Cow! My fertility started to decline at 28! Eeek. I had no idea. Then again, we were lucky that we didn’t have any problems conceiving either of our girls, but I have a good friend struggling with infertility right now and it’s just painful to watch her go through it. Three rounds of IVF and nothing…so sad.

  • Kristen

    I had an ectopic pregnancy and didn’t know it. I thought I had a miscariage and my family doctor agreed after a cursory pubic exam. She didn’t send me for blood tests or anything. A couple of months later, my fallopian tube burst and I almost died from blood loss. Thankfully everything was ok and I now have 2 healthy sons but it was lack of knowledge (the doctor’s and my own) of fertility issues that almost cost me my life.

    You can read the full story here if you want.