Infertility hurts. That slogan is used on many fertility sites when discussing this topic. Infertility does hurt. It is imbedded into a woman from a very young age that every woman can be a biological mother. It is imbedded on our education of sexuality that from the time that a woman begins to menstruate, you can become pregnant.
So much money, time, and effort is placed on the importance of protecting yourself from conceiving until you are ready. When the time comes that you are ready, it is assumed that as soon as you have unprotected sex you will get pregnant. For a certain percentage of the population, this is in fact the case. For some, upwards of twenty percent of the population, fertility issues will occur.
Fertility issues can be either due to the man, the woman, or both. In most cases, if the man is infertile then sperm donation is the solution. It is an easy and cheap way to solve that problem even though it means that the father isn't the biological father. When a woman is not as fertile as you can be, the solutions are costly and time consuming. The fact that women are denied the chance of becoming biological mothers because of their financial situation is tragic and needs to be changed.
Each province in Canada and each State in the U.S. has very different rules and regulations regarding how fertility treatments are funded. It is only ethical and moral that all government entities fund certain fertility treatments for all women who need it. I am not suggesting that everyone be allowed to go through these treatments. It was rumored that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt went through IVF because they were impatient about conceiving. This is not at all my suggestion. This funding would be for women who, after a medical exam and specific testing, would be deemed unable to conceive without medical assistance.
The list of fertility treatments is extensive. Each has its pros and cons. Other than the health risks to the mother, the main risk is the chance of multiples -- conceiving and carrying to term more than one baby. The majority of twin and triplet pregnancies occur without major complications. The strain on the medical system happens when women carry to term four, five, or more babies. Based on medical research, as well as common sense, women don't conceive that many babies naturally, but through drugs that induce ovulation. This also occurs when a woman has many embryos implanted while going through in vitro fertilization (IVF).
A clear cut suggestion for women dealing with fertility issues would be for the government to pay for multiple IVF treatments where only one or two embryos are implanted each time. Currently women are being given ovulation inducing drugs or only a few rounds of IVF, but with a high number of embryos implanted each time. They are paying for this treatment and would rather only go through one round of it and save money.
Yes the argument can be made that regular tax payers should not have to pay for this however it would make a country better in the long run. The birth rates of most developed countries are declining. Immigration is the only way that the population is remaining static. Increasing the chances of women to have biological children will increase the birth rate overall.
The theory is that the more eggs implanted, the better chance of one surviving to term. Of course, what is happening instead is that either a women does not get pregnant and has already exhausted all financial avenues, or becomes pregnant with multiples. A system where a woman knew she had repeated chances of a specific treatment without the risk of multiples would put less strain on the medical system.
Financially speaking, the cost to care for a premature baby is extreme. I have been told it can cost upwards of ten thousand dollars a day when taking into consideration staffing, medical procedures, equipment, and surgery. This is quoted from a Canadian hospital so it might not be accurate in other countries.
The more babies born at one time astronomically increase the chance of them being premature. The cost incurred through IVF treatments is much less. Based on an Ottawa based company, one round of IVF is six thousand dollars. This does not include drugs and assumes that donor sperm is not being used. Once again, the fee might be different in other countries. Clearly having governments pay the smaller amount is much more cost effective and better on both the physical health and mental health of women dealing with infertility.
Infertility is a tragic situation that no woman should go through. The pain and suffering can be drastically reduced if governments paid for fertility treatments instead of allowing women to carry four or more babies to term. Women do not choose to carry multiples when going through fertility treatments. They do so out of desperation and a need to become a biological mother.