We debunk five myths about fertility health. Read to find out more!

Myth #1: I am unlikely to face fertility health issues as I am generally healthy  

Fact: There are underlying medical conditions which affect fertility health

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.

  Underweight Normal Overweight Obese
BMI Range< 18.518.5 - 24.925.0 – 29.9≥ 30

Myth #2: Only women's fertility declines with age

Fact: Fertility declines with age for both men and women.

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. 

Myth #3: My lifestyle choices will not affect chances of conceiving

Fact: Smoking and heavy alcohol consumption can affect fertility health

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.

Myth #4: I can still get pregnant easily through Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) treatments when I get older

Fact: Success rate decreases with age 

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.   

Success rates of ART treatment by age (for women) in Singapore ​ ​
30 – 34 years old35 – 39 years old40 years old and above

*based on 2016-2020 data

Myth #5: There is limited financial support for fertility-related treatments 

Fact: The Government has progressively enhanced financial support for couples undergoing fertility-related treatments

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:

  • Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) treatment, for a maximum of 3 fresh and 3 frozen ART cycles. 
  • Up to $1,000 per cycle for three cycles of Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI).
  • Up to two out of the existing six co-funded ART cycles for women aged 40 and above, if they have attempted assisted reproduction (AR) or IUI treatment before age 40).

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. 

 1st IVF Cycle (Fresh)2nd IVF Cycle (Fresh)3rd IVF Cycle (Fresh)4th IVF Cycle (Frozen)5th IVF Cycle (Frozen)6th IVF Cycle (Frozen)
Average Cost$12,000$12,000$12,000$3,100$3,100$3,100
Government Co-funding$7,700$7,700$7,700$2,200$2,200$2,200
75% of cost or up to $7,700 ​ ​
75% of cost or up to $2,200 ​ ​
Costs after Co-funding$4,300$4,300$4,300$900$900$900
MediSave Withdrawal$4,300$4,300$4,000$900$900$600
Withdrawal is capped at the lower of the outstanding amount and the MediSave withdrawal limits for ACP (i.e. $6,000 for the 1st cycle, $5,000 for the 2nd cycle and $4,000 for the 3rd and subsequent cycle, up to a lifetime limit of $15,000 per patient) ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
OOP $0 $0 $300 $0 $0 $300

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.

Useful resources

  1. To book an appointment with public AR centres: 
  2. Community support groups: 

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.