More than 50 clinics in the province offer the Ontario Fertility Program for patients who qualify. You must have a valid Ontario health card and be under 43 to access the program. Patients who qualify are eligible for one IVF cycle per lifetime. The Ontario Fertility Program has made all the difference in the world to many infertility patients like Jacquie. Jacquie asked to remain anonymous because culturally, she said, it’s still not acceptable to share infertility experience.
“No one in my family or friends circle know that we suffered with infertility. My background is Indian, and most people don’t talk about their fertility struggles.”
The Ontario Fertility Program launched in December 2015. Jacquie was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, and Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome, (PCOS) a condition where the ovaries sometimes produce many cysts and irregular periods are common. It is the most common endocrine disorder for women in their reproductive years.
Jacquie is a medical secretary. Her husband works in the service industry. Both work full time and they only recently managed to save money to buy a condominium in the Toronto area. Although both work full time they were not anticipating the cost of paying for IVF when they took out a mortgage. Borrowing more money to do treatment was not an option. Dr. Marjorie Dixon, a well known Toronto fertility doctor at ANOVA Fertility, recognized that they were a couple who qualified for the Ontario Fertility program.
Jacquie’s experience with the Ontario Fertility Program has been a good one.
“All the doctors, and nurses were super helpful and always were willing to help and answer questions.”
The soon-to-be Mom says she is currently feeling great. The start of the pregnancy was rocky with hyperemesis gravidarum. She had to take 2 months off work because of the amount of vomiting and nausea she had. It got better at 16 weeks, and eventually went away at 26 weeks.
In the New Year, Jacquie says looking forward to the chance to be a Mom and can’t wait to meet the new baby. Jacquie doesn’t know whether the baby will be a boy or girl and she’s looking forward to being surprised.
“The funding has meant so much to so many women suffering from infertility. They are finally able to get a chance at IVF if they were not able to afford. The Ontario Fertility Program meant we could access treatment and have a chance at building a family.”
Hope For Others Starting in the Ontario Fertility Program
Asked what she would tell infertility patients who are still hoping to do a funded IVF cycle, she said: “My advice is stay positive and patient. From my IVF cycle, I had 18 follicles, 7 mature eggs only and 1 Embryo. I had no hope as to that 1 embryo would work as most people get a couple. My embryo was frozen on day 3, and thankfully it worked when I did the transfer. Don’t lose hope; Anything can happen.”