Media Advisory

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Infertility Program At LHSC Celebrates Its Baby Boom

(LONDON, Ontario) It will be a celebration of life and ART - Assisted Reproductive Technologies - when hundreds of children conceived through the infertility program at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) gather for a huge birthday party.

LHSC's Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) program was one of the first in Canada when it began in 1984. Since that time, more than 3,000 babies have been born in London and across southwestern Ontario as a result of the program and that is why staff, physicians, patients and families will be celebrating.

"What is unique about LHSC's infertility program is that it offers a multi-disciplinary approach that provides psychosocial support and patient centred care," says Dr. Valter Feyles, medical director of LHSC's infertility program. Feyles adds, "Fertility treatments have radically changed and improved over the last 19 years providing better outcomes for our patients and a 30 per cent success rate per cycle." In the early years, IVF required a woman to undergo surgery to retrieve eggs while she was ovulating. However, now IVF is done on an outpatient basis and surgery is no longer required, which sharply reduces the risk of complications.

Feyles also says, "More and more people are turning to infertility programs, recognizing that we can help to try to fulfill their very strong desire to have children. We find that there are couples who will do whatever it takes to become parents because it is so important to their life."

The media is invited to attend LHSC's "Celebration of life and ART". The first IVF triplets born in Ontario, and only the second in Canada were the result of LHSC's IVF program. The three sisters, now 18, will be available for interviews. Eleven-year-old triplets who will be celebrating their 12th birthday the day of the celebration will be cutting the birthday cake.

Date: Sunday, October 19, 2003
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: London Convention Centre
300 York Street, London

For further information, please contact:

Debbie Neufert
Media Relations, Communications Consultant
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 74772

LHSC's Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Program

  • LHSC's REI/IVF program was one of the first in Canada

  • LHSC's IVF program began in 1984. Other LHSC infertility programs such as Donor Insemination (DI) began in 1972

  • LHSC's infertility program is a hospital-based program offering comprehensive care to infertile patients. The care team also includes a social worker, psychologist, and a psychometrist that provide psychosocial support to patients. The program also has a strong research focus.

  • Since 1984, more than 3,000 babies have been born in London and southwestern Ontario as a result of LHSC's infertility program

  • 1,400 babies have been born through LHSC's IVF program alone

  • Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) at LHSC includes the following:

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- medications are used to first stimulate the development of multiple eggs
- mature eggs are then removed from a woman and fertilized outside her body (in vitro) using her partner's or donor sperm. After 72 hours of growing the fertilized eggs (embryos), they are transferred to the uterus to potentially establish a pregnancy

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
- similar to IVF, prior to and following the fertilization step
- at the time of fertilization, the sperm are injected directly inside the eggs with a micro-needle to facilitate sperm penetration of the eggs

Intra-uterine Insemination (IUI)
- a partner's sperm is inserted into the uterus to try to fertilize a woman's egg at the time of ovulation to potentially establish a pregnancy

Donor Insemination (DI)
- a donor's sperm is inserted into the uterus to try to fertilize a woman's egg at the time of ovulation to potentially establish a pregnancy

  • Ontario's health insurance plan (OHIP) only covers IVF treatment in the program if there is bilateral tubal occlusion. Otherwise the couple has to pay for the costs.

  • The procedure component for IVF presently costs $4,000. ($5,000 if ICSI is included in the protocol). If the couple does not have a drug benefit plan their cost for medications can range between $3,000 and $5,000 depending on individual requirements.

 

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Last Updated June 5, 2007 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada