Helping Ontarians Grow their Families
“Infertility is a serious issue that affects thousands of Ontarians who have dreams of starting their own families. Children are our future and, by creating a more equitable and accessible fertility program, the government is supporting family-building for those who couldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to have children.”
Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Fifty clinics across the province will now be offering government-funded fertility treatments. Starting today, Ontario is making fertility treatments more accessible by contributing to the cost of one in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle per eligible patient per lifetime. This funding will help support over 5,000 Ontarians per year who are trying to start or expand a family.
It is estimated that one in six Ontario couples is affected by infertility at some point in their lives.
The province is also working with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to ensure that patients receive the highest quality fertility services, whether services are received in a hospital or in a non-hospital fertility clinic.
Who is Eligible
Patients with medical issues causing infertility as well as patients with non-medical forms of infertility, such as single people or same-sex couples, are eligible under the new Fertility Program.
Women under the age of 43, after speaking to their health care provider to determine if IVF is the most appropriate family-building option for them, will be eligible for IVF funding.
What is Covered
“Today marks a significant milestone for thousands of Ontarians who, due to the high cost of IVF, have been unable to seek the medical intervention needed to improve their chances of conceiving. Conceivable Dreams members would like to thank the Ontario government for taking the time needed to put forward a strong funding program that will help ensure equitable access to treatment for patients struggling with infertility. We will continue to advocate on behalf of these individuals once the program gets underway.”
Danielle Xavier, President of the IVF advocacy group Conceivable Dreams
Ontario will fund one cycle of IVF and unlimited rounds of artificial insemination for eligible people at fertility clinics across the province.
One cycle of IVF includes one egg retrieval, which may yield multiple eggs and result in multiple embryos. The program will also cover the cost of the one-at-a-time transfer of all viable embryos to allow for the possibility of multiple chances for pregnancy and to reduce the occurrence of higher-risk multiple births.
Patients or their private health plans will be required to pay for some supporting services such as fertility-related drugs and storage of embryos.
The government will continue to work with the fertility implementation advisory working group to monitor the success of the new Fertility Program. The province will be in regular contact with participating clinics to examine wait lists and other issues related to implementation. Further details on eligibility and coverage are available on the Fertility Program website.
Expanding access to fertility services is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that’s sustainable for generations to come.
“This is a great day for Ontario residents who require assisted reproduction to form families. It is truly a big step forward. We look forward to working with the ministry for quality assurance evaluation and program oversight to allow for ongoing refinements and to ensure that public funds are being used wisely.”
Dr. Ellen Greenblatt, Chair of the Implementation Advisory Working Group
- IVF is a complex medical procedure where an egg is retrieved and then fertilized by sperm outside the body, and the resulting embryo is then transferred to the uterus for implantation.
- In October 2015, Ontario announced it is investing $50 million a year to expand access to IVF treatments, in addition to the $20 million per year currently spent on IVF and other assisted reproduction services under OHIP.
- Ontario worked together with an implementation advisory working group of physicians and clinic owners to effectively and thoughtfully implement Ontario’s new Fertility Program.
- Age is the single most important factor affecting fertility Female fertility starts to decline at age 30, and starts to rapidly decline at age 35. Male fertility begins to decline around age 40, and the risk of birth defects doubles.
- Ontario is also helping to grow families by strengthening the adoption system to help more children and youth find forever homes and to help more families care for their adopted children and youth.