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B.C. government's plan to fund IVF welcomed – even by some who just missed out

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The fertility journey can be a challenging one and for one Vancouver woman, it took her all the way to Greece.

Megan Sutton went there with her husband last year because the cost for in vitro fertilization locally was just too expensive.

She’s welcoming the B.C. government’s decision to fund one cycle starting next year.

“Part of me was a little disappointed this didn’t happen last year or the year before, selfishly, but ultimately I think this will be a really good thing for child-bearing people in B.C.," she said.

An Abbotsford mother CTV News spoke with shared that her treatment cost $30,000 – which she largely paid for through loans –and through members of the community helping by donating bottles and cans.

“It is actually pretty exciting for families that are going through it, because as somebody who had to pay out of pocket other than our medication that was covered to have this guy, it’s pretty exciting for those who definitely will take a huge pay load away from them, because it’s pretty expensive,” Tanya Eely told CTV in an interview, with her son Brighton, who will turn one in April.

And while the reaction to the announcement has largely been positive – some argue the government can go further and offer more than one round of IVF.

“Two IVF cycles for those who need it -- not everybody can actually have their successful miracle pregnancy and baby after one cycle,” suggested Vancouver fertility coach Laura Spencer, while welcoming the government’s move overall. “(Sometimes) it requires two or more, so for those who need it.”

One local doctor had a word of warning for anyone who is thinking about waiting for this funding to be in place.

“The age where IVF starts to really see its decline in success rates is 40 to 41,” said Dr. Ken Seethram, medical director at the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine. “So if people are on the cusp and they’re already 40, it’s not a great idea to wait. We do know that the younger you are the more successful people are at all sorts of fertility treatments. And although it’s tempting to wait, sometimes that can work against a person’s ultimate success.”

Meanwhile, Sutton’s first round of IVF in Greece was a success – and she’s expecting in July.

“Do I wish this was in place a couple of years ago – to save me the money and the heartache of having to go through this overseas – heck yes,” said Sutton. “But, I think this will be a good thing. It’s a really great first step.”

The government is earmarking $34 million annually for the program, which begins April of next year. 

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