Ontario's Fertility Program - Eligibility
Who can join the program?
If you are trying to start or expand a family, you may be eligible to receive government-funded fertility treatments. The program is available to eligible Ontarians of any sex, gender, sexual orientation or family status.
What is infertility?
A common definition of infertility is not being able to become pregnant through intercourse after 12 months of trying, or experiencing repeated miscarriages after becoming pregnant.
While single people or people in same-sex partnerships may not be medically infertile, they may use fertility treatments in order to build their families.
Age is the single most important factor affecting infertility. Female fertility starts to decline at age 30, and starts to rapidly decline at age 35. Male fertility begins to decline around age 40 and the risk of birth defects doubles.
Eligibility for fertility treatments:
You must be an Ontario resident with a valid OHIP card to be eligible for any of the fertility treatments under the program.
For the one-time cycle per lifetime for in vitro fertilization, women under the age 43, after speaking to their health care provider to determine if IVF is the most appropriate family-building option for them, are eligible.
To be eligible for government-funded fertility preservation (i.e. freezing of eggs), you must also have a medical reason. For example, patients undergoing cancer treatment may be at risk of infertility in connection with their treatments.
Types of fertility treatments:
The program offers the following fertility treatments:
Artificial insemination (AI) is a medical procedure used to transfer sperm into the vagina or cervix.
Intra-uterine insemination (IUI) is a type of AI where sperm is directly injected into the uterus with a catheter. The egg is fertilized inside the body.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex medical procedure where an egg is retrieved and then fertilized by sperm outside the body. The resulting embryo is then transferred to the uterus for implantation.
Fertility preservation (FP) involves the freezing of sperm or egg samples to be used later in either AI or IVF for patients, who are preparing to undergo treatment that may lead to infertility.
Ontario's Fertility Program covers the following:
Artificial insemination (AI), including intra-uterine insemination (IUI)
One in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle per eligible patient per lifetime, including:
The one-at-a-time transfer of all viable embryos to allow for the possibility of multiple chances for pregnancy
One additional funded IVF cycle, if acting as a surrogate. This can occur either before or after receiving a funded IVF cycle for the purpose of building your own family
One fertility preservation (FP) cycle, including sperm and egg freezing for medical reasons, per eligible patient per lifetime.
Limited Government Resources:
The program will provide approximately 10,000 patients with AI and IUI services every year. It will also provide over 5,000 patients annually with IVF and FP services. Each of the 50 selected fertility clinics in Ontario is given a certain number of funded cycles, and it is estimated that the demand will exceed availability thereby generating wait lists across the province.
What is not covered under this program:
Ontario pays for the costs of AI, including IUI, IVF and FP treatments, but does not cover the costs of fertility medications. You would still need to cover these drug costs yourself.
The approximate drug costs are:
$1,000 per cycle of AI/IUI
$5,000 per cycle of IVF
Some private health plans may cover some of these drug costs.
You would also have to pay for the cost of any other associated services, such as genetic testing, and the storing of sperm, eggs, and embryos.