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What Is In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)?

For couples having problems conceiving the natural way, medical advancements in assisted reproductive techniques (ART) may present the best solutions to achieving their dream of parenthood and overcoming infertility issues. One of the more popular infertility treatments under ART is In-Vitro Fertilisation or IVF.


Background: The Challenges of Conceiving

Starting a family is one of the most exciting stages in a couple’s life. They eagerly wait for that moment when they can finally hold their adorable child in their arms and enthusiastically share to one another all their dreams and hopes for their little bundle of joy. For some, having a baby would come very easily and with no worries. But for others who are having troubles conceiving, starting a family can actually become a really frustrating and emotionally draining period in their lives.

There can be a lot of reasons why having kids might become a challenge. Some women may have hormonal problems such as Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or ovulation issues that prevents them from producing mature eggs. Others may have physiological difficulties like blocked or damaged fallopian tubes that stop their eggs form getting to the uterus.

Similarly, men can also encounter different infertility problems. For example, sperm issues such as low count, poor motility (the ability of the sperm to move), and abnormally shaped sperm can all be possible reasons of male infertility. There can also be male tube blockages in the vas deferens or the epididymis, which are the tubes that bring fertile sperm.


How In-Vitro Fertilisation Can Help Couples Conceive

When couples are not able to conceive through the natural way due to hormonal and physiological problems, assisted reproductive techniques can help them through IVF.

IVF is fertilisation that happens outside of the woman’s body. It involves different steps, which usually starts with a fertility drug treatment and hormonal injections for women to help her produce as many healthy and good quality eggs as possible. For men, it can start with a semen analysis to accurately measure the number of sperm, their motility, and size and shape.

After the initial treatments and tests, doctors surgically remove the woman’s eggs and combine them with the man’s sperm sample. This process in called insemination and once done, the eggs and the sperm are stored in a controlled environment for incubation. After about three to five days, a fertilised egg then splits into an embryo and is then ready to be implanted into the woman’s uterus. If the fertilised egg sticks to the lining of the womb and grows, the pregnancy begins.

After a successful IVF embryo transfer, it’s very important for the woman to take precautions about her health and try to stay as relaxed as possible in order to also have a healthy pregnancy and reduce the risk of miscarriage.

Needless to say, each couple will most likely have different circumstances going into an IVF treatment, but there will always be physical and emotional concerns during the procedure so it’s very important for couples to get not only the support of family and friends, but also the expertise of fertility specialists/medical professionals, nurses, and staff who are experienced and knowledgeable in providing the best patient care and outcome for the couple.

In general, IVF can be a very beneficial treatment if any one of these factors is present:

In Females:

  • Ovaries are unresponsive to fertility medications
  • Endometriosis-related infertility
  • Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes, including past tubal ligation
  • Implantation problems – the fertilised egg does not attach to the lining of the uterus
  • Immunological factors
  • Unexplained infertility

In Males:

  • Low sperm count
  • Testicular damage resulting in an inability of the testicle to produce sperm
  • Sperm being blocked from release
  • Abnormal sperm and poor sperm quality
  • Unexplained infertility

Watch our short video presentation to learn more about “A Guide to the IVF Process in Singapore” below.

Consult with a reproductive health specialist today to know more about IVF and how it can help you fulfill your dream of parenthood and realise the joy of family life.

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