Fertility treatments can be hard on your body and your bank account.
A group of Saskatoon women — Kelsey Connell, Dani Friesen and Wendy Winiewski — want to ease the financial burden of treatments through a new non-profit organization called the Family Fertility Fund of Saskatchewan.
"How many people have $20,000 just floating around in their account for the news that you're never going to be able to have a child?" Connell told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.
Following the birth of her first child, Connell and her husband tried to conceive a second, using many fertility methods along the way.
"I ended up having three back-to-back miscarriages, and we ended up doing a treatment in there," she said.
Connell stayed on the lower scale of treatments, paying about $1,000 on an oral medication called Clomid. But she has heard of women spending upwards of $40,000. That doesn't include hours missed from work, travel expenses or accommodations.
"We only have the [Aurora Reproductive Care] clinic here in Saskatchewan, so if you're in La Ronge or in Regina, you have to take full days off of work to come," she said.
Most provinces, like Saskatchewan, don't cover the costs of in vitro fertilization and other fertility treatments. A single cycle of IVF can cost between $10,000 and $15,000.
"If it works out you can say, you know, that was worthwhile. But the thing is, it often doesn't and people spend a lot of money," Winiewski said.
Over the course of two-and-a-half years, she spent about $18,000 on various types of fertility treatments, including intrauterine insemination and IVF before becoming pregnant with her daughter.
"Eventually it worked for us and not all people can say the same."
Through fundraising methods, the Family Fertility Fund of Saskatchewan will assist successful applicants from within the province with the cost of reproductive treatments.
"As long as you fit the application criteria for financial aid and health — that it's a viable option for your health — then, yeah, it's open to all families. We're inclusive," said Friesen.
She added that the group hopes to be able to award its first recipient with a $5,000 grant for IVF by Christmas.
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