If you have been trying to get pregnant but are experiencing some infertility issues, there is another option that has been successful for a lot of couples who want to start a family. Learn more about IVF in Singapore in this article.
What is IVF?
The most successful type of assisted reproductive technology is IVF. A set of complex treatments known as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are used to help with fertility, prevent genetic issues, and aid in child conception.
The process is possible with the use of the couple’s own sperm and eggs. A known or unknown donor’s eggs, sperm, or embryos may also be used during IVF. A gestational carrier, a woman who has had an embryo implanted in her uterus, may occasionally be employed.
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In IVF, mature eggs are removed from ovaries and fertilised in a laboratory using sperm. The fertilised egg (or eggs) is/are then transported to a uterus. IVF cycles are completed in roughly three weeks. When these steps are divided into separate steps, the process can sometimes take longer.
In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is expensive and invasive–but if you are trying to get pregnant, it often works.
In Vitro Fertilization: Why It’s Done
IVF is chosen by people for a variety of reasons, such as infertility problems or when one couple has a pre-existing medical condition. Some people will try IVF if other fertility treatments haven’t worked for them or if they’re past the prime of pregnancy. IVF is an additional reproductive option for same-sex couples or individuals who want to become parents on their own.
IVF is a possibility if you or your partner has:
- Fallopian tubes that are damaged or blocked.
- Low sperm count or further sperm defects.
- Other ovarian diseases, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
- Fibroids in the womb.
- Issues relating to your uterus.
- The possibility of passing on a genetic condition or disease.
- Unexplained infertility
- Are using a gestational surrogate or an egg donor.
In contrast to normal conception, which occurs when sperm fertilise eggs in a woman’s womb, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) literally means that the woman’s egg is fertilised outside the human body.
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The IVF method will involve steps to harvest the egg from the woman and the sperm from the male before the sperm and egg meet in a test tube for fertilisation to occur since the sperm and egg meet outside the body. Here are the steps a couple takes to get an IVF procedure:
Step 1: Egg Stimulation
In order to produce a large number of eggs at once, the ovaries are first stimulated by a hormone injection. Beginning on Day 2 of the menstrual cycle, the patient can administer the injections at home. From the time of the initial injection until the eggs are removed, it
Step 2: Assess Egg Maturation
The gynaecologist will next conduct a quick ultrasound exam on Days 8 or 9 of the cycle to see whether the stimulated eggs are mature.
Step 3: Egg Retrieval
Once a mature egg has been seen, the woman will undergo a day surgical operation at the reproductive clinic in Singapore to remove it. This surgery is carried out while sedated. The time span is roughly 10 to 12 days from the initial injection to the egg retrieval.
Step 4: Fertilisation with Sperm
On the day of the egg retrieval, an embryologist carries out IVF in a lab using the collected sperm and eggs. Embryos are the resultant products of successfully fertilising eggs. The defective or unhealthy embryos are subsequently culled over the subsequent 3- to 5-day growth period. In order to track the development of the embryos in the IVF lab over these five days, an embryoscope may be employed.
Step 5: Freezing of Embryos
Those embryos that are deemed to be in the best condition are then frozen and returned to the mother’s womb 1 to 2 months later. Before the transfer is done, the woman must take hormone pills every day.
Step 6: Transfer of Embryos
A quick operation is performed in the IVF clinic to place the embryo back into the woman’s womb. This transfer procedure won’t require anaesthesia and will last for 20 to 30 minutes.
Step 7: Verify the success of IVF
A pregnancy test (blood test) will be performed 2 weeks following the embryo transfer to determine whether the lady has successfully conceived.
Is There a Limit on the Number of IVF Cycles a Woman Can Undergo
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There is currently a limit on how many IVF cycles a woman can have. For women under the age of 40, this is set at 10 cycles, and for women over 40, it is at 5. On the other hand, this cap was lifted on January 1, 2020.
The first three stages of an IVF cycle, from the beginning of the hormone drug injection through the egg retrieval, typically take 10 to 12 days. However, depending on whether or not additional tests or treatments are required before beginning the IVF process, this may
Your age and the underlying cause of your infertility are only two of the many factors that can affect IVF success rates. IVF may be demanding, time-consuming, and expensive. If more than one embryo is inserted into the uterus during IVF, it may result in a pregnancy with several foetuses (multiple pregnancy).
Your doctor can go over how IVF works, any risks, and whether it’s a good option
Risks of IVF
The following risks are connected to IVF treatment:
1. Premature labour
Premature labour is more likely in pregnancies that result in multiple deliveries.
2. Premature birth
Your baby may be born earlier or with a lower birth weight, which could put you at a little increased risk.
The rate of miscarriages is similar to that of natural conception pregnancies.
4. Ectopic pregnancy
The disorder known as ectopic pregnancy occurs when your fertilised egg implants outside of your uterus.
5. Egg retrieval complications
This might include bleeding, infections, and injury to your bladder, bowel, or reproductive organs.
6. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)
A rare illness that results in shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, and the inability to urinate.
IVF in Singapore: Success Rate
IVF has success rates that vary between 50 to 60 per cent. In recent years, it has been shown that freezing the embryos before implanting them back into the woman’s body improves IVF success rates. The fundamental hypothesis is that frozen embryos are more robust and therefore have a better chance of becoming pregnant. These days, many IVF doctors routinely transfer frozen embryos.
According to a 2002 report by the Singapore Ministry of Health, 1,569 couples underwent IVF in Singapore. The majority (around 70%) of them sought treatment in public hospitals, with the most popular hospital being KK Womens and Childrens Hospital.
The report indicated that the average success rate of IVF in Singapore, treatment ranged from 16 to 28 per cent across the various institutions, with the highest success rates coming from Gleneagles Hospital and National University Hospital.
IVF in Singapore: Cost and Where to Have It
As part of the government’s ongoing initiatives to promote and support marriage and parenthood, the Ministry of Health of Singapore announced in August 2019 that Singapore would be removing the age restriction for women undergoing Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures, such as In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatments.
In addition, more government co-funding for ART procedures was announced.
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Both governmental and private hospitals and medical facilities in Singapore offer IVF treatments. The 3 public hospitals that now provide IVF services charge between S$10,000 and S$15,000 per cycle for IVF treatment:
- KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital;
- National University Hospital; and
- Singapore General Hospital.
IVF treatment packages may be available from private medical facilities for between S$7,999 to S$20,000 each cycle. The following services could be included in their treatment plans:
- Fees for medical consultations during follicle scans
- Follicle ultrasound scans
- The cost of a doctor’s services for egg transfer and collecting
- Laboratories’ fees
- Charges for the use of the operating room, standard supplies, and the recovery area.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that some IVF packages might not cover initial doctor consultation fees, medicines, and other optional treatments that come at additional expense.
To find the most economical choice for you, compare the prices for IVF treatment at both public and private clinics.
In Singapore, a couple may only commence IVF procedures if there are justified indications for the procedure mainly:
- Tubal disease and/or obstruction
- Endometriosis – failed alternative approaches to treatment
- Idiopathic sub-fertility where no cause to be found after full investigation, at least three years of marriage, and having completed alternative approaches to fertility management for at least one year (this will not apply to female patients over 35 years of age)
- Premature ovarian failure
- Other conditions acceptable to the local medical obstetric/gynaecology community
You should speak with a specialised gynaecologist who is an accredited IVF clinician if you are thinking about IVF therapy. They will be able to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have regarding IVF in Singapore.
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Updates from Matt Doctor
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