Hayley Fischer has been struggling to have a second baby.
The Regina family has spent more than $3,000 (not including travel) so far for treatment, including one intrauterine insemination procedure. In most cases, she explained, families go through more treatments and the costs add up.
“We know people who have spent $25,000 before having a successful pregnancy,” Fischer said. “For me, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster. The entire process is exhausting. Living in the unknown of when or if something will finally work is horrible.”
Fischer is sharing her story to highlight the steep costs of treatment in Saskatchewan, particularly in vitro fertilization (IVF). One round of IVF typically costs $10,000.
Through a petition, she is hoping two rounds of IVF treatments will be covered in Saskatchewan. Other provinces, including Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, offer some form of coverage.
“The cost of IVF is a huge barrier to people being able to grow their families,” Fischer said. “Right now, IVF is not a financial option for us.”
The result is a gamble, she said, because on average it takes two or more IVF cycles to have a successful pregnancy.
The Saskatchewan NDP, which spearheaded the petition, will be taking it to the legislature to request the changes.
“Everyone should be able to start a family. Not just those who can afford tens of thousands of dollars,” said MLA Aleana Young.
About one in six families struggle with infertility in Canada. IVF isn’t just for people dealing with infertility; it may be the only option for people who’ve had surgery on their fallopian tubes/ovaries and for people in the LGBTQ2S+ community.
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