Medical devices that preserve sperm donations used for in vitro fertilization.
Credits: JOCELYN MALETTE/QMI AGENCY
MONTREAL - Hundreds of babies have been born in Quebec since the government implemented a free in vitro fertilization (IVF) program in August 2010, QMI Agency has learned.
"This is something patients and professionals were waiting for," said Dr. Jacques Kadoch, medical director at the assisted procreation clinic of the University of Montreal Health Centre. Kadoch is particularly satisfied that he doesn't need to speak about money when working with couples.
In 2010-11, 1,350 women became pregnant in Quebec following IVF treatments, and a total of 5,188 in vitro fertilization procedures were completed.
The number of multiple pregnancies has fallen below the government's goal of 10% to only 6%.
"Since it's free, we've stopped implanting multiple embryos so that it works at all costs," Kadoch said.
Despite free access to IVF treatments, waiting lists at clinics are only slightly longer.
"There was a boom in the beginning, but not explosion," Kadoch said.
Martine Robillard, mother of a one-year-old girl born after six years of unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant with her spouse, said that "without gratuity, we would be in debt (forever) for sure. Everybody has the right to have a child and the fact the government made it possible, that's very good."
One IVF cycle costs the government on average $4,750. The two public clinics offering treatments in Quebec expect to complete 2,000 cycles per year.