Having a baby is a blessing because being pregnant is always a matter of chance.
A normal healthy couple in their 20s, having regular sex, has about 20% chance of conceiving in any particular month. For a couple in their 30s, the chance is about 10%. You may have fertility issues if you do not successfully conceive after one year of regular intercourse without the use of contraceptives.
In general, the most critical factor in determining a couple’s fertility is female age. At KKIVF, the clinical pregnancy rate per fresh transfer in the years 2014 was :
|Women's Age||Clinical Pregnancy Rate|
|< 30 years||56.1%|
|30 - 35 years||48.2%|
|36 - 39 years||34.2%|
|40 - 44 years||13.5%|
Women are born with all their eggs for their lifetime already formed (unlike men, who produce sperm constantly for most of their lives). By the time women approach the age of 40, the eggs tend to lack the energy they need for the early stages of development.
Also the chance of producing abnormalities such as Down Syndrome increases with age. These can result in failed fertilisation, failure of the embryo to implant, and early miscarriage. In addition to age, results will depend on the condition of the uterus, the number of eggs obtained, the number of eggs fertilised, and the number of eggs or embryos transferred. If spare eggs are fertilised and stored, the overall chance of pregnancy from one simulation will be higher.
What is IVF?
IVF in a nutshell simply refers to – In vitro fertilization, a series of medical procedures used to help with fertility or prevent genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child.
During IVF, mature eggs are retrieved from a woman’s ovaries and fertilized by sperm (retrieved from her husband’s) in a lab. Then the fertilized egg known as an embryo is transferred to her uterus. One full cycle of IVF takes about three weeks. You will know if it is successful within 2 weeks after the transfer procedure is done.
Who is IVF suitable for?
IVF is usually recommended for couples who are unable to get pregnant despite actively trying for at least a year without the use of contraceptives (or more than 6 months for women aged 35 and older).
A fertility test should identify the underlying reasons on why people have problems conceiving. Some common fertility problems include: low sperm count/motility, blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, endometriosis, ovulation problems, PCOS, uterine fibroids and etc.
In some cases, IVF is adopted when a cancer patient opts to freeze their sperms / eggs for use later because treatments such as chemotherapy may affect fertility.
What is the cost of IVF in Singapore?
You have a choice of seeking IVF treatments in either public hospitals or private hospitals in Singapore.
The costs of IVF treatment in public hospitals are between S$10,000 and S$15,000 per cycle at:
- KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
- National University Hospital
- Singapore General Hospital
For private hospitals, the IVF treatment packages range between S$12,000 and S$20,000 per cycle at:
Gleneagles IVF Centre
- Mount Alvernia Fertility Centre
- Mount Elizabeth Fertility Centre
- Thomson Fertility Centre
You should find out the costs of IVF treatment at your shortlisted public / private hospitals and decide which is the most suitable option for you without breaking your bank.
Are there subsidies for IVF?
Most definitely. Singapore’s government has always adopted a pro family policy in a bid to increase birth rates in our tiny island. You can get up to a max cap of 75% of the IVF costs co-funded by MOH. The government co-funds for up to two out of the existing six co-funded ART (assisted reproductive technology) cycles for women aged 40 and above*.
Since 2013, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has a co-funding scheme of up to 75% for assisted reproduction treatments at public hospitals, up to 3 fresh and 3 frozen cycles.
*The couple must have previously attempted ART treatments or IUI procedures before age 40.
In addition, a Singaporean or PR couple can use their Medisave to help pay for IVF treatment:
The lifetime withdrawal limit of S$15,000 per patient applies here.
Additionally, medical tests are also required to determine if a couple has met the clinical criteria and assess their suitability to undergo ART treatment, and this process may take up to 3 months before a couple can commence their ART cycle.
The decision to embark on the IVF journey should be carefully thought out and discussed before you embark on it. It takes time and commitment and perhaps a number of heartbreaks before you finally have your own baby. Alternatively, you may think about adopting a child. Whichever choice you make, it should be in the best interest of you and your spouse as you embark on this new milestone together.