Fertility FAQ

1. How many babies are born each year in Canada using in vitro fertilization?

In 2010, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 11,806 IVF treatments were performed at Canada’s 28 IVF centres. These cycles resulted in 3,188 live births. (source: Canadian Assisted Reproductive Technologies Registry – CARTR)

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2. How does this compare with other countries?

The rates of pregnancy and live birth in Canada’s 28 fertility clinics are on par with other national registries.

3. Who tracks these figures?

Canadian Assisted Reproductive Technologies Registry (CARTR) is a registry where IVF clinics in Canada send their yearly results for compilation into a national average.

Starting in January 2013, CARTR merged with Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) Ontario, the Ontario perinatal registry. This collaboration will enable improvements in CARTR data collection, analysis, and reporting.

Click Here for the most recent CARTR report.

4. Are IVF treatments covered by provincial health plans?

In all provinces except Quebec IVF treatment is not covered by the provincial health plan. In August 2010, the Quebec government began funding up to three rounds of IVF treatment for couples, with the proviso that only one embryo be transferred at a time. The aim of this is to reduce the number of multiple births, which bring higher risk than “singletons”. Early results from Quebec are promising, showing a decrease in twins from 27.2 per cent to 5.2 per cent in the first 6 months of government funding.

Click Here for a presentation on these results.

5. How widespread is the problem of infertility?

The Royal Commission for New Reproductive Technology found that a quarter of a million couples in Canada are affected by infertility – defined as an inability to conceive after 12 months. [source: Reproductive Infertility: Prevalence, Causes, Trends and Treatments, January 2001]

6. What changed with the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision on Assisted Reproduction?

In 2007, the government of Quebec challenged Canada’s Assisted Human Reproduction Act arguing that healthcare was a provincial matter. Among other things, the Supreme Court ruled that several key powers, including regulating fertility clinics, would now fall under provincial jurisdiction. A ban on the purchase of sperm, eggs, embryos and surrogacy remains.

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