Fertility Matters Canada (FMC) is the national organization that empowers Canadians to help reach their reproductive health goals by providing support, awareness, information and education and promoting equal access to fertility treatments.



Improving Fertility

Fertility Charting

Fertility Treatments

MB Fertility Treatment Tax Credit


Infertility can be defined as:

  • The inability to conceive after one year of having regular unprotected intercourse for women under the age of 35 and after 6 months for women above the age of 35.
  • The inability to contribute biologically to a conception.
  • The inability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth.

Infertility may be caused by various different biological and genetic factors and can be found in both women and men. The factors include past treatments for cancer, certain chronic illnesses and their treatments, tobacco and alcohol use and being underweight or overweight.

Factors specific to females include being over the ages of 35, having problems producing eggs, a history of sexually transmitted infection (STI), problems in the uterus, problems with the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, hormonal imbalances and early menopause.

Factors specific to men include poor sperm quality, low sperm count or lack of sperm, a history of sexually transmitted infection (STI) and hormonal imbalances.

Remember that you are not alone in your journey, there are others in similar situations as yours and there are supports to help you through these difficult times. In fact, it is estimated that about 16% of couples in Canada are affected by infertility.

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Miscarriage occurs when a fetus dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Unfortunately, about 10 to 15 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, but the number could be higher for total pregnancies since many miscarriages happen before the individual knows they are pregnant. Fortunately, most women who miscarry are able to go on to have healthy pregnancies later.

The exact cause for miscarriage varies but is usually related to problems with chromosomes, the reproductive system or infections. A variety of factors including previous miscarriages, age, being exposed to harmful chemicals, certain health conditions, drinking and smoking may increase the risk of miscarriages. If you are concerned that you are at risk for a miscarriage, talk to your doctor.

What are the signs and symptoms of a miscarriage?

Signs are defined as things that someone else can see or know about you, such as a rash or coughing, and symptoms are things that you feel yourself that other cannot see, such as a sore throat or feeling dizzy.

Signs and symptoms of a miscarriage include:

  • Bleeding from the vagina or spotting
  • Camps like you feel with your period
  • Severe belly pain

Call your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms. Your provider may want to run some tests, such as a pelvic exam or an ultrasound, to make sure that everything is okay. Many women have these signs in early pregnancy and do not miscarry.

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Improving Fertility

Whether you have been diagnosed with infertility or if you are simply trying to increase your chances of getting pregnant, there are many things your can do to improve the chances that you will be able to conceive on your own.

Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, refraining from smoking, drinking less alcohol, learning ways to manage and deal with your stress such as alternative therapies like yoga and massage may be helpful.

Other things to consider are the timing of your intercourse, ensuring that hormone levels are in balance and the health and condition of your reproductive organs. Fertility charting may be useful for knowing when to have intercourse for the best chances of successfully conceiving. If you suspect that your hormone levels are out of balance, consult your physician. They will be able to help you treat your hormone imbalance. Finally, surgery may be required to repair your reproductive organs if there is significant damage.

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Fertility Charting

Although many women have a menstrual period once a month and ovulate, or become most fertile, about two weeks before the onset of their period, this is not the case for all. Some women have longer intervals between periods, and this can affect the time at which they are most fertile. Your own fertility pattern is unique. Fertility charting is the act of actively keeping tract of where you are in your cycle and can be helpful to both encourage and avoid pregnancy. Below are some of the useful signs to watch out for to determine where you are in you cycle and facilitate your fertility charting experience:

Cervical mucus

The mucus that comes from your cervix varies in consistency depending on how close you are to ovulation. Measuring your cervical mucus can help you determine whether you are approaching your time of ovulation. As you approach ovulation, there is more estrogen in your system, and this causes your cervix to produce more cervical mucus. Increased estrogen as your body prepares for ovulation also causes the cervical mucus to become increasingly wet and slippery.

Generally, once your period has ended, your cervical mucus will start out dry. It will go through the following stages the closer you get to ovulation:

  • Dry: no mucus at all.
  • Sticky: glue-like, gummy, stiff, or crumbly, breaks easily, not easily stretched; may be yellowish, white, cloudy, or clear.
  • Creamy: feels like hand lotion, cream, mayonnaise, or flour/water solution; may be yellowish, white, cloudy, or clear.
  • Watery: clear and resembles water; may be stretchy. You are coming close to your most fertile time.
  • Egg white: looks like real egg white, stretchy and clear, or clear tinged with white or pink; resembles semen; easy to stretch between thumb and index finger. This is the cervical mucus that comes out when you are most fertile.
  • Spotting: pink, dark red or brown spots that leave a small mark on underwear.
  • Menstruation:light, normal, or heavy bleeding. Always start a new chart on your first day of menstruation.

There are various ways that you can check your cervical mucus. The easiest way is by wiping your vagina with a tissue in the bathroom. What do you see on the tissue? You may also notice some mucus on your underwear. Each time you wipe, record if there is mucus, what it looks like, its colour and consistency, how much there is, and whether you can stretch it between your thumb and index finger.

You may also choose to check your cervical mucus internally by inserting two fingers in your vagina until they touch your cervix. Place each finger on either side of the cervix, press gently on the cervix, and collect the mucus by moving your fingers to the opening of the cervix. Remove your fingers. Pull your fingers apart slowly to determine the consistency of the mucus.

Your chances of getting pregnant are highest when you have intercourse just before ovulation. Start on the day you first observe fertile cervical mucus, that is, when your mucus is watery, and have intercourse every second day after that point. If you think you have determined when your date of ovulation will be, based on previous cervical mucus charting, have intercourse every day from the day before ovulation until ovulation is confirmed by a few sustained elevated temperatures.

Basal body temperature

Basal body temperature is your body temperature at rest. Basal body temperature can tell you if you have already ovulated. Ovulation usually occurs on the last day before your body temperature starts to rise. Once you have ovulated, there is a higher amount of a hormone called progesterone in your bloodstream, and this causes your basal body temperature to increase.

Recording your basal body temperature in a chart, in combination with recording your cervical mucus findings, can help you to pinpoint your times of ovulation. You can measure your basal body temperature each morning with a special thermometer from the drugstore. When checking your body temperature, follow these guidelines, as they will make your charting more simple:

Take your temperature in the morning before you get out of bed. Any activity can cause your body temperature to increase.

Take your temperature at the same time each morning.

Make sure you have had at least three hours of sleep before taking your temperature.

Record the date, time, and your temperature reading each time.

Also record any special circumstances, such as if you had to replace your thermometer, if you are ill, if you have experienced a change in climate or a change in room temperature.

Interesting facts about fertility charting

Once you have recorded your cervical mucus findings and basal body temperature for a few cycles, you can better predict when you will be most fertile and when ovulation will occur. You can determine the average length of time between ovulation and menstruation, and when your period will come. With this awareness, you can time when you have intercourse.

Determining the length and pattern of your cycle is also helpful for the doctor, if you seek medical attention for fertility problems. Your doctor will appreciate if you have charted for several cycles. The more information you have, the better able your doctor will be to analyze your charts and decide whether treatment is necessary. Knowledge of your cycle will also help the doctor determine the best timing for any fertility tests and medications.

Charting your cycle can also help you determine from early on, whether or not you have conceived, and when your due date will be. Most doctors calculate the due date from your last menstrual period, with the assumption that most women have a 28-day cycle. However, you may not have a typical 28-day cycle. Knowing when ovulation occurred can help you more accurately determine your baby's due date.

Ovulation kits

Commercial available ovulation kits are available to help you determine when you are most likely to conceive. Ovulation kits test either your urine or saliva levels each day to measure certain hormones. The kits use this information to determine the most fertile part of your cycle and the most likely time for conception

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Fertility Treatments

There is a multitude of different fertility treatments available. These treatments vary in cost and different strategies will be used depending on your diagnosis.

Fertility treatments include:

  • Ovulation-inducing drugs: These fertility drugs are used to stimulate the follicles in the ovaries to produce multiple eggs in one cycle.
  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): During an IUI procedure, a small tube carries sperm directly in to the uterus, through the vagina.
  • In Vitro Fertilization: In vitro fertilization (IVF), the manipulation of both sperm and eggs outside the body to help with fertilization. In some cases, a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is used to inject a single sperm in to a single egg to assist fertilization.

In order to make sure that you are well informed about your fertility treatment options it is important to ask your doctor or fertility expert the following questions:

  • What kind of treatments do you recommend for my situation?
  • What are the known risks of the planned procedures for me, for my spouse or partner, for a donor (if this applies), and for any children born as a result?
  • What is the full cost? Is any of it covered by my province’s health care plan, employee benefits, or private health insurance plan
  • Taking into consideration my age, diagnosis, and treatment, what are my chances of becoming pregnant?
  • If this procedure does not work, what would you suggest next?

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MB Fertility Treatment Tax Credit – Frequently Asked Questions

The MB Fertility Treatment Tax Credit is a credit that you may apply for to refund part of the cost related to fertility treatments. These treatments can be those provided to both women and men and may be claimed on a calendar year basis.

The tax credit applies to treatments received or medications prescribed on or after October 1, 2010 and paid for in the tax year.

Either spouse or partner may claim the credit on their income tax return however, the credit cannot be split between spouses or partners.

The following is a sample list of fertility treatments eligible for the tax credit: Ovulation Induction, Therapeutic Donor Insemination (TDI), Hyperstimulation/Intrauterine Insemination (HS/IUI), In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Frozen Embryo Transfer, Oocyte Donation, Assisted Hatching, Fertility Preservation Surrogacy and Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)

An example of an ineligible procedure would be reversing vasectomies or tubal ligations.

The tax credit is equal to 40% of the cost of fertility treatments provided by a Manitoba licensed medical practitioner or infertility treatment clinic.

There is no limit on the number of treatments you can claim, however you can only claim $20,000 in annual eligible costs for a maximum yearly Fertility Treatment Tax Credit of $8,000.

You can only claim the Fertility Treatment Tax Credit for expenses that were not reimbursed to you.

All costs associated with treatments received or medications prescribed outside of Manitoba are not eligible for the Fertility Treatment Tax Credit. However, costs associated with follow up treatments by a Manitoba physician would be eligible for the tax credit.

Travel costs and other associated costs (like board and lodging) cannot be used in the calculation of your Fertility Treatment Tax Credit.

I don't have to pay income taxes, am I still eligible for the Fertility Treatment Tax Credit? The Fertility Treatment Tax Credit is refundable and is payable to you regardless of whether you pay income taxes. However, in order to receive the credit, you or your spouse or common-law partner must file an income tax return.

Yes. Eligibility for the Fertility Treatment Tax Credit is not dependent on treatment results

Eligibility for Manitoba's Fertility Treatment Tax Credit requires that all the following conditions be met:

  • 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

An application is not required. You apply for the Fertility Treatment Tax Credit when you file your income tax return. You should keep all documentation and invoices related to your infertility treatment in case you are subsequently asked to produce them.

Contact the Manitoba Tax Assistance Office at (204) 948-2115 or 1-800-782-0771 Toll Free in Manitoba.

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