Infertility is a growing issue across Canada that often costs families thousands of dollars in treatments.
A study shows that 1 in 6 people worldwide have experienced infertility, with higher rates found among those 35 to 44 years old.
“In-vitro fertilization (IVF) refers to a procedure in which an egg (or oocyte) is fertilized outside of the body and then transferred into the woman’s uterus. Today, IVF is the most commonly used treatment to improve your chances of pregnancy,” according to IVF Canada.
For anyone unable or struggling to conceive, IVF can be an effective pregnancy plan. But provincial healthcare does not cover the treatment. The unwieldy cost can be a deterrent for some families.
The average price of IVF treatment in Canada is $10,000-$15,000 per cycle, putting it out of reach for many Canadians.
Some private insurance plans cover medication or infertility assessment costs, but rarely cover the procedure itself.
Unfortunately, simply following the treatment plan and undergoing the transfer process is not successful every time. The embryo may not implant or the woman may miscarry.
Without a guarantee that the treatment will work, it’s a hard decision for hopeful future parents to make. They must weigh the hope for a family against handing over a significant part of the family’s income.
The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society outlines success rates for IVF treatment in Canada:
The live birth rate per embryo transfer:
- for women under 35 years of age – 33.7%
- for women 35-39 years of age – 28.7%
- for women 40 years and older – 21.9%
In an effort to assist potential parents to make an informed decision, The Health Insider offers up a province-by-province breakdown of costs and any potential provincial coverage available for residents.
We have also provided a basic outline of out-of-pocket costs based on a selected clinic within the province. We encourage you to continue your own research by comparing different clinics, pricing, and reviews before making a decision.
Provincial health insurance does not cover IVF, but the BC Medical Services Plan may cover some fertility services.
The provincial government reports that services provided by MSP are, “diagnostic services, including x-rays, provided at approved diagnostic facilities, when ordered by a registered physician, midwife, podiatrist, dental surgeon or oral surgeon.”
PCRM in Burnaby lists out-of-pocket costs for IVF treatment as $9500 per cycle. Additional costs include:
- Medications: varies (Approx. $3600 – $8600)
- Some of the medications used for this treatment:
- Gonal F 450 (DIN 02270390), Puregon 600 (DIN 02243948), Menopur (DIN 02283093)
- Orgalutran (DIN 02245641), Cetrotide (DIN 02247766), Lupron (DIN 00727695)
- Prometrium (DIN 02166704)
- Lab Fee: $650
- Annual storage fee: $650
Provincial health insurance does not cover IVF. Assessment for infertility is covered, according to Alberta Health Services.
Oasis Fertility in Calgary prices IVF treatments at $7,800 for fresh embryos and $8,900 for treatment with frozen embryos. Check out the IVF pricing table on their website for any possible additional costs including donor sperm/eggs.
Medications are not covered by provincial health insurance, but may be covered by private insurance plans. Check with your provider to find out if they’re covered.
Provincial health insurance does not cover IVF, but most fertility assessment services are, according to Saskatchewan Fertility Care (SFC) Pathway.
They report IVF costs as $6000 per treatment for IVF, acknowledging that more than one round of treatment may be required. This price point seems to differ from what clinics list on their websites.
Aurora Reproductive Care (ARC) in Saskatoon prices IVF as $9,315 plus medication, which costs between $3,000 to $8,000.
ARC states, “Saskatchewan Health insures most of the investigations to determine cause of infertility and the most appropriate course of treatment in your situation. This would include services like consultations, some ultrasounds, and fertility testing.”
Payment will be made to the physician or the clinic where you are receiving care. SFC recommends, “before you request a treatment, make sure to ask about the cost, and what payment options are available. Full payment may be required in advance.”
Provincial health insurance does not cover fertility medications. Check with your private insurance provider to see if your plan covers the fertility medications.
Fertility treatment costs can be a medical deduction on your income tax – so keep all receipts.
Provincial health insurance partially covers IVF. Manitoba offers a Fertility Treatment Tax Credit.
The Province of Manitoba states: “The tax credit is equal to 40% of the cost of fertility treatments provided by a Manitoba licensed medical practitioner or infertility treatment clinic.”
While there is no limit on the number of treatments you can undergo while claiming the tax credit, “you can only claim $20,000 in annual eligible costs for a maximum yearly Fertility Treatment Tax Credit of $8,000.”
- treatment and related medications must be a qualifying medical expense for a resident of Manitoba. For information on qualifying medical expenses, please refer to the Canada Revenue Agency Income Tax Folio S1-F1-C1: Medical Expense Tax Credit;
- fertility treatment must be provided by a Manitoba licensed medical practitioner or fertility treatment clinic;
- treatments must occur on or after October 1, 2010 and must have been paid for in the tax year.
The Medical Expense Tax Credit may cover medications, according to the Government of Canada.
Heartland Fertility in Winnipeg lists out-of-pocket IVF treatment (for those ineligible for the Fertility Treatment Tax Credit) costs as $10,781 per cycle.
Provincial health insurance covers IVF for one treatment cycle per patient for participating fertility clinics. Click here for a list of participating clinics.
Eligibility for provincially covered IVF treatments requires patients to live in Ontario, hold a valid Ontario health card, and be under the age of 43, according to the government website. Ontario will cover one additional cycle if you are carrying a child for someone else (i.e. surrogacy).
Ontario lists the following services as not covered by provincial health insurance:
- any fertility drugs needed
- about $5,000 per IVF cycle
- about $1,000 per artificial insemination (or Intrauterine insemination) cycle
- genetic testing
- storing sperm, eggs and/or embryos
Generation Fertility in Vaughn and Newmarket prices out-of-pocket IVF treatment (for those ineligible for provincial coverage) as $12,100 per cycle.
Provincial health insurance covers IVF for one treatment cycle per patient, according to the government website.
Eligibility requirements for provincially covered IVF treatments:
- must be insured by the public health insurance plan,
- must have infertility problems or are unable to conceive on their own (single women and female–female couples),
- have not undergone voluntary sterilization (such as tubal ligation),
- partner has not undergone voluntary sterilization (such as vasectomy or tubal ligation),
- are age 18 or over when treatment begins,
- The maximum age for women to receive MAR treatment is:
- 41 years less a day to begin treatment. See the temporary reimbursement program to find out the exceptions to this criterion;
- 42 years less a day for embryo transfer
- The maximum age for women to receive MAR treatment is:
- have not received identical insured services since program inception (except in the case of insemination after a live birth).
Covered IVF services listed:
- up to two ovarian stimulations as per medical indications,
- one egg retrieval,
- standard IVF services (sperm retrieval and washing or surgical aspiration and micro injection of sperm [ICIS], as well as assisted hatching),
- one straw of donor sperm from distributors approved by Health Canada,
- a single surgical sperm cell collection,
- freezing and storage of supernumerary embryos for one year, and
- the transfer of each embryo (fresh or frozen) from the IVF cycle
Montreal Fertility lists out-of-pocket costs for IVF treatments (for those ineligible for provincial coverage) as $6,000.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Provincial health insurance partially covers IVF. Newfoundland and Labrador offers an IVF Subsidy Program.
Newfoundland and Labrador Canada reports that eligible patients can receive a subsidy of up to $5,000 per cycle with a lifetime maximum of 3 covered treatment cycles.
Eligible patients must:
- hold a valid MCP card,
- be referred for IVF services by the Newfoundland and Labrador Fertility Services (NLFS) clinic to an IVF clinic, of the individuals choice, within Canada,
- be followed by NLFS for the duration of a pregnancy achieved through IVF; and
- not have previously received a provincial subsidy for more than three cycles of IVF services.
Since there are no fertility clinics offering IVF in the province, patients can only receive IVF treatments for the first 5 weeks at a fertility clinic in Newfoundland and Labrador before they will need to travel to another province for the transfer in the final week.
According to Planned Parenthood, IVF treatment in the province costs between $12,250 and $17,750. On top of this, travel and accommodations for the final week of treatment create an additional cost. Donor eggs/sperm may also cost more, if needed, in the province where you complete the transfer.
Provincial health insurance partially covers IVF for one treatment cycle per household.
The Special Assistance Fund offers $5,000 to eligible patients struggling with infertility.
The New Brunswick government states, “A claim of 50% of eligible incurred costs can be submitted for reimbursement of in-vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination procedures and related pharmaceutical products, up to a maximum of $5,000.”
To be eligible for the grant, patients must:
- be full-time New Brunswick residents with valid Medicare coverage at time of infertility treatment,
- have been diagnosed by a physician with fertility problems and have received infertility treatment after April 1, 2014.
Conceptia in Moncton states out-of-pocket costs for IVF treatment (for those ineligible for the Special Assistance Fund) as approximately $8,350.
Provincial health insurance partially covers IVF. Nova Scotia offers a Fertility and Surrogacy Rebate.
The government of Nova Scotia states, “The Province will offer a refundable tax credit equal to 40 per cent of the cost of fertility treatments provided by a Nova Scotia-licensed medical practitioner or infertility treatment clinic and for surrogacy-related medical expenses.”
Created in 2022, 2023 is the first year Nova Scotians can claim the rebate on their taxes. “To qualify for the credit, you need to file your 2022 income tax return (including Form NS428) and have eligible fertility and surrogacy expenses.”
There is no limit on the amount of times patients can claim the rebate in their lifetime, “but the maximum annual claim is $20,000 in eligible costs for a maximum annual tax credit of $8,000.”
AART in Halifax lists out-of-pocket costs for the base IVF treatment (for those ineligible for the Fertility and Surrogacy Rebate) as $8,100. Additional services such as using donor sperm will add to the cost.
Prince Edward Island
Provincial health insurance partially covers IVF. PEI offers the Fertility Treatment Program.
The program is based on household income and will cover between $5,000 to $10,000 annually for a maximum of three cycles.
|Annual Family Income
|$50,001 and $100,000
To be eligible, patients must:
- Be a permanent PEI resident as defined by the Health and Dental Services Cost Assistance Act;
- As per the Health and Dental Services Cost Assistance Act, “resident” means a resident as defined in the regulations under the Health Services Payment Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. H-2, but does not include persons who are resident pursuant to a temporary resident visa, study permit, work permit or other similar visa or permit issued by the Government of Canada;
- As per the regulations of the Health Services Payment Act, “resident” means a person legally entitled to remain in Canada and who makes his or her home in and is ordinarily present in Prince Edward Island, but does not include a tourist, a visitor to the province, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, students ordinarily resident in another jurisdiction, or a person serving a term of imprisonment in a penitentiary as defined in the Penitentiary Act (Canada) R.S.C. 1985, Chap. P-5;
- have a valid PEI Health Card; and
- have filed your most recent income tax return.
Not all expenses are eligible for the program. PEI states, “Expenses that are not covered include storage of eggs/sperm, travel and accommodations, initial consultation fee at clinic.”
There are currently no fertility clinics in the province offering IVF, so patients will need to travel out of province to receive treatment.
Nunavut and the Northwest Territories do not have any fertility clinics and therefore do not offer IVF treatments. Although Yukon does have a fertility clinic, it does not offer IVF services.
The territories currently do not offer any financial assistance for IVF treatments. Patients will pay full price for IVF treatments unless they are covered under private insurance.
Residents of the territories in Canada will need to travel out-of-territory for IVF for the duration of treatments.
Some Last Thoughts About Payment for IVF
Olympia Benefits, a Canadian insurance and benefits company suggests that patients submit medical expenses under the Medical Expense Tax Credit through income tax.
Additionally, they recommend applying for private grants, checking with private insurance providers to see how much, if any, of the costs are covered, discussing a possible payment plan with the clinic, crowdfunding, and using a health spending account.
Finally… Remember that the stress associated with not conceiving can in of itself further reduce your chances for success.
Do what you can to mitigate the stress during the period when you’re seeking treatment. Yoga, mediation, and ecotherapy are a few things to consider. And stay hopeful. In the words of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”