Here are some common misconceptions about fertility health, and steps you can take when trying to conceive.
We debunk five myths about fertility health. Read to find out more!
For women, these include polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes or uterine fibroids. For men, these include abnormalities in their sperm's shape and movement, or low levels of sperm.
You may also have prior medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disease, eating disorders, or cancer treatment) that may require you to be on medications that affect your fertility or are not be suitable to be taken during pregnancy.
In addition, being underweight, overweight or obese may cause ovulation- or sperm-related issues.
For men, sperm quality deteriorates with age, which could reduce the chances of conception and increase potential risk of gene defects. For women, the best chance of conceiving is in their 20s, as fertility declines in their 30s, particularly after age 35, as the number and quality of eggs that remain in the ovaries decrease with age.
Lifestyle choices such as smoking and heavy alcohol consumption* can affect fertility health. Reduce alcohol consumption and avoid smoking before trying to conceive.
*Read on more on the effects of alcohol here.
ART treatments are medical treatments and procedures that typically include intra-uterine insemination (IUI) as a first line treatment, followed by in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). The procedure consists of five to twelve sessions in total, with each treatment cycle spanning between two to five weeks. Women are typically given two weeks of hospitalisation leave after embryo implantation for recuperation. There may be consultation and counselling to review the couple's treatment progress, details on procedures, financing and expected costs.
According to the 2021 Marriage & Parenthood Survey, many are not aware that reproduction technology cannot compensate for age-related decline in fertility. Over 70% of married and single respondents have the misconception that ART treatments have very high success rates for women above age 40. While ART treatments increase the chances of conception, the success rate is still dependent on the age of the woman. As seen from the table below, the success rate of the ART treatment decreases quite significantly as the age of the woman increases.
*based on 2016-2020 data
As of 2020, the estimated cost of fresh and frozen IVF cycle at public Assisted Reproductive (AR) centres is $12,000 and $3,100 respectively, excluding other treatment charges. Eligible couples undergoing assisted conception procedures in public AR centres may receive up to 75% in co-funding (up to $7,700 per cycle) from the Government, which will cover:
For more information on eligibility and co-funding support available, please visit https://go.gov.sg/financial-schemes.
You can also tap on your own or your spouse's MediSave to help with the costs of ART treatments and IUI at both public and private AR centres. The MediSave withdrawal limits are $6,000 for the first treatment cycle, $5,000 for the second treatment cycle, and $4,000 for the third and subsequent cycle, subject to a lifetime limit of $15,000 per patient.
The following is an example of the treatment costs for a Singapore Citizen (SC) couple at public AR centres.
This example assumes that the patient undergoes three fresh IVF cycles followed by three frozen IVF cycles and is not an actual representation of the AR journey that all patients will undergo. Patients' AR journeys will differ and are tailored to patients' unique needs.
Undergoing treatment for fertility issues can be stressful for couples, and while they receive support from the Government and community groups, we would like to encourage the wider community, especially workplaces, to extend support and understanding to these couples as well.
Together, let's build a supportive environment that is Made For Families.
Read this infographic below to help you better understand fertility health.
This article was last reviewed on
Friday, February 17, 2023
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