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Published June 18, 2024
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Fertility Treatment Costs in Canada: What You Need to Know

A financial guide to fertility treatments in Canada, including IUI, IVF and surrogacy costs.

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Fertility treatments are a complex and expensive journey for many Canadians. Knowing what costs to expect can help you plan for the future of your family.

The prevalence of infertility in Canada

One in six Canadian couples experience infertility, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal[1].

While Canadians might recognize that fertility treatments come at a cost, they may not be prepared for the scale and scope of the financial mountain they’ll be tasked to climb.

“The biggest surprise is not that it’s going to cost some money,” says Dr. Ari Baratz, double board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and a medical specialist at the CReATe Fertility Centre, Toronto. “It is the magnitude […] and the fact that it’s not guaranteed.”

Fertility treatments encompass a broad spectrum of methods and costs. Knowing the differences can help you navigate this challenging landscape and plan accordingly.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI): $1,283 on average

Intrauterine insemination is a procedure that involves placing collected sperm directly into the uterus using a catheter. 

IUI may be recommended for couples struggling to conceive as a result of medical conditions like endometriosis or low sperm count. This fertility treatment may also be an option for single women and same-sex female couples using donor sperm to achieve pregnancy.  

“I was given the advice by my doctor to start medicated IUIs the month after my natural pregnancy ended in miscarriage,” Toronto-based 28-year-old administrative assistant Nina Plewa, said in an email. Plewa underwent four rounds of IUI. 

“One month of IUI is very unlikely to work,” says Dr. Baratz. “In general, we say that IUI maxes out at about a 15% to 18% success rate per IUI cycle.” He recommends three to four IUI cycles to maximize the chances of a pregnancy.

Plewa estimated a combined total of about $3,000 for her IUI treatments. Promotional pricing lowered Plewa’s fees, which could have amounted to $200 more per treatment. Following four failed IUI cycles, Plewa said she has begun to explore her in vitro fertilization (IVF) options.

In vitro fertilization (IVF): $13,454 on average

In vitro fertilization is a procedure that involves transferring a lab-fertilized egg to a patient’s uterus. The sperm and eggs used for IVF may come from a donor, a couple or an individual seeking treatment.

The age of the egg provider plays a significant role in the success rate of IVF. Dr. Baratz explains that people with uteruses under the age of 32 may see success rates as high as 50% per IVF transfer. This rate declines with age, dropping to 20% per transfer for those in their late 30s or early 40s, to under 5% for those over the age of 43.

While the age of the person who supplies the eggs influences IVF success rates, the cost of the procedure is swayed by other variables. IVF treatment prices increase with genetic testing add-ons and the use of donor eggs or sperm. 

Plewa said she received government funding that helped cover the costs of her IVF procedure but paid for her IVF-associated medications and tests out of pocket. She estimated that her IVF medication cost at least $2,000 and that her pre-implantation genetic screening package cost an additional $4,000. Plewa did not use or pay for donor eggs or sperm as part of her IVF treatment.

Surrogacy: $84,000 on average

Surrogacy is the process through which a woman carries and delivers a baby for someone else. Pregnancy is achieved for surrogates using IUI or IVF. In addition to carrying the child, the surrogate may be genetically related to the baby if they donate their eggs as part of the surrogacy arrangement. 

Canadians typically seek a surrogate if they do not have the means to conceive or sustain a pregnancy, either for medical reasons or because they do not have a uterus. 

Under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, paying for surrogacy as a service is illegal in Canada, though surrogates can be compensated for out-of-pocket costs related to the pregnancy, like legal fees, maternity clothes, counselling services, medical expenses and more.

Canadians can find surrogates through surrogacy agencies. A legal agreement between the intended parent or parents and the surrogate is required before treatment can begin.  

For Canadians, third-party reproduction represents the highest financial investment in fertility treatments. “When you’re starting to use donor gametes, like donor eggs or donor sperm or surrogacy, that’s a whole other kettle of fish right here,” says Dr. Baratz. “You’re now moving into sort of the 80- to 100K-range of treatment.”

The cost of fertility treatments may be a major unexpected expense, but Canadians aren’t without support. There are multiple ways to offset fertility-related costs.

Funding fertility treatments

You may need to shoulder some reproductive assistance costs, but not everything must be paid out of pocket. Financial relief can take many forms:

  • Government funding. Certain provinces offer financial support for some fertility treatments, including Ontario and Quebec.   
  • Employer benefits. Your employer may offer fertility treatment benefits as part of your overall benefits package.  
  • Fertility grants and charities. There are Canadian non-profit organizations, like Modern Miracle and Fertile Future, devoted to connecting Canadians with financial support for reproductive services.   
  • Lending products. Applying for a personal loan or line of credit may provide some extra financial wiggle room. Check the fine print of the lending product to ensure that your intended use of the loan funds is permitted. 
  • Family and friends. Money can be a sticky subject of conversation, but there may be people in your life who can provide financial support. 

The decision to pursue fertility treatment is multi-faceted. Figuring out where to start is a challenge in and of itself. 

“What you think you’re budgeting for may not even be relevant to you,” says Dr. Baratz. He urges those exploring fertility treatments to begin with a medical assessment to better understand their treatment options and potential costs.

Plewa echoes Dr. Baratz’s advice with some added provisions: “My advice would be to get some general testing done first,” Plewa said in an email. “I wish in my panic of miscarriage someone had told me to just give my body time. You have to be your own advocate, take notes and be on top of things.”

The fertility treatment landscape can be convoluted and costly, but with strategic planning, Canadians can navigate the tricky terrain and begin growing their family.

Article Sources

Works Cited
  1. Canadian Medical Association Journal, “Infertility treatment and risk of severe maternal morbidity,” accessed June 18, 2024.


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