One in six couples of reproductive age will experience infertility. Infertility can be a devastating diagnosis, financially, emotionally and physically.
Male infertility makes up about 40 % of all infertility cases. But somehow male infertility seems to have less awareness than female infertility. In fact the split between the genders and infertility rates is close to equal at 40 % each. There are many causes of infertility from cancer to Crohn’s Disease. A prior sexually transmitted disease can mean you might be at high risk for infertility.
There are a few myths and facts here I wanted to share about male factor infertility. Whether infertility is caused by male or female factors, or unknown causes, we know there is a highly effective treatment for infertility which is IVF, or in vitro fertilization. ICSI is also commonly used where male factor infertility is the cause of a couple’s inability to conceive. Unfortunately in many provinces such as BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan there is still no funding for IVF. At a cost of $10,000 to $13,000 a round, even when IVF is prescribed as the best course of action, it is often financially not feasible.
Public funding for IVF coupled with single embryo transfer has proven to save money in many countries where funding exists. When couples experiencing male infertility or female infertility need to remortgage a home just to pay for necessary medical treatment, they often take more chances with their health transferring multiple embryos. Multiples come with higher lifetime health needs and costs. Where funding is in place, the rate of costly multiples is reduced.
It’s time for every province to invest in the future and support infertile couples. Public funding for IVF makes sense, saves money and creates healthier moms and babies. That’s a win win for everyone.