12 May 2016
High Recognition That Infertility is Due to Medical Reasons Affecting Both the Man and Woman
A survey of 1,009 women in Singapore aged 18 to 50 commissioned by Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore found that 92 per cent of those surveyed recognised that medical problems affecting both the man and woman is the most likely reason a couple may need fertility treatment to have a baby. It also showed that 63 per cent of respondents will seek advice from a doctor on fertility-related concerns.
In line with the survey results, Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore has launched a campaign called ‘Better Together’, which encourages couples to undergo fertility assessment together. This will enable them to identify causes of infertility and seek treatment that will help them in their family planning.
In Singapore, infertility affects 1 in 6 couples. In 40 per cent of couples, the cause of infertility is attributed to a sperm factor; in another 40 per cent, the cause is found within the female reproductive system. A rest will have a combination of male and female factors.
“While infertility is often thought of as a women’s condition since a woman’s age is the most significant factor affecting a couples chance of conception, research shows that male infertility is the next most significant factor affecting a couple’s inability to conceive. However, many men are reticent about seeking help,” said Dr Yeong Cheng Toh, fertility specialist at Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore.
“Our aim is to heighten awareness of the need for couples to be assessed together when it comes to delay in conceiving, as well as to emphasise the importance of mutual support when embarking on the fertility journey,” said Dr Yeong.
“Although our community is reasonably well educated on the medical condition of infertility we see many couples who describe having delayed seeking help for fear of the stigma around needing assistance to conceive – something we all expect to achieve naturally and quickly. We want to put in to perspective how common infertility is and encourage people to talk openly and seek help earlier,” he explained.
Fertility assessment of women includes evaluating overall reproductive health, including blood tests and ultrasound scans to check for ovulation. “The most important fertility test for men is a semen analysis which measures the volume, shape and movement of sperm. Treatment protocols will then be developed based on the results of these assessments.”
“Fertility treatments may include intrauterine insemination (IUI) where prepared semen is inserted through the neck of the womb close to the time of ovulation, or in vitro fertilisation (IVF), which involves placing eggs removed from the ovary with many sperm to facilitate fertilisation and embryo development in the laboratory, before the embryo is transferred to the womb,” said Dr Yeong.
The Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore Fertility Awareness Survey was conducted in December 2015. The findings are based on responses provided by 1,009 women in Singapore aged 18 to 50 across various ethnicities, education levels and marital status.