Five Reasons Why Public Funding for In Vitro Fertilization Matters to Maternal Health:
1. The emotional and physical stress of infertility is magnified by the financial stress of having to figure out how to pay for in vitro fertilization. Infertile people often have to find $10,000 or more to pay for IVF. In many provinces in Canada IVF is not covered by provincial health care plans. In fact Quebec is the only province in which full funding for IVF exists. The impact of health care stress, compounded by financial stress, is devastating for the entire family.
2. When the cost of IVF is that high and couples need to remortgage homes, take out a line of credit and/ or take on three jobs they take risks with health. They often transfer multiple embryos hoping that will impact outcome. This often leads to multiple births. Twins and triplets are adorable but they carry greater lifetime health care costs. Greater risks to both Mom and baby.
3. Multiple birth pregnancies also carry high risk of caesarean section and gestational diabetes for Mom. Single embryo transfer provides better outcomes in most situations.
4. Multiple pregnancy is the most powerful predictive factor for adverse maternal, obstetrical, and perinatal outcomes. Single embryo transfer provides better outcomes. One healthy singleton birth is much less taxing on mother and the health care system as well.
5. Neonatal mortality in twins is 7x that of singletons and the risk of Cerebral Palsy is 4-fold. Obviously mother’s health is intertwined with child health.
Conceivable Dreams is the Ontario infertility advocacy group seeking public funding for IVF. I am community manager for the group and as such I am compensated. Follow the conversation with the hashtags #ivf4on #onpoli