BB Week 3

Before Baby - Week 3

What is ovulation induction? What’s the difference between artificial insemination, IVF and ICSI? Let us explain.

What you need to know about fertility treatment   

Sometimes we need a little help to fall pregnant. Some of the most common fertility treatments are artificial insemination, IVF (in vitro fertilisation) and ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), but even if you’ve already done a ton of research, you might be feeling confused about which is which and what does what. And how does ovulation induction fit into the picture? 

To help prepare you for your journey to parenthood, it’s worth understanding what these treatments do and how they could potentially help make your baby dreams come true. 

Ovulation induction

This is a form of medication that brings on ovulation, encouraging eggs to develop in the ovaries and be released. It’s designed to improve your chances of conceiving – both naturally and through artificial insemination. Ovulation induction can be used for women who are producing low levels of hormones for ovulation, or are not ovulating at all (but have normal fallopian tubes and a male partner with a normal semen analysis).

Artificial insemination

Also known as IUI (intrauterine insemination), artificial insemination is where sperm is inserted into the uterus close to the time of ovulation, to enhance the chances of pregnancy. It’s one of the simpler, less invasive forms of fertility treatment, and is often used when there’s a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, what’s known as hostile cervical mucus or minor sperm abnormalities. It’s also used when the male’s sperm has been frozen previously (due to cancer treatment, for example). In the case of single women or same-sex couples, artificial insemination can also be used with donor sperm.  


This is probably the most well-known fertility procedure, but that doesn’t mean we all necessarily have a good understanding of what it involves. In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is where a woman’s ovaries are stimulated for around two weeks to create more eggs, which are then surgically removed. In a laboratory, those eggs are joined with sperm, and the fertilised egg (also known as an embryo) grows in a protected environment before being transferred into the woman’s uterus later. 


Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a procedure done as part of IVF, but only in certain cases. It involves a single sperm being injected into each egg to assist fertilisation, using very fine micro-manipulation equipment. It can be recommended when there’s been a diagnosis of male fertility issues, such as low sperm count or motility, anti-sperm antibodies or after a vasectomy. It can also be used when poor (or no) fertilisation has occurred during standard IVF.

If you’re concerned about your fertility and want to explore your options, give us a call on 6460 4555 or click here to make an appointment.

Your Guide to Understanding IVF Success Rates

If you’re currently starting IVF treatment or are considering choosing a fertility clinic, it’s natural to take an interest in a clinic’s IVF success rates to help you determine your own chance of falling pregnant with IVF. But what do these figures really mean and how do you compare them between clinics? Let us explain.

When it comes to IVF, there is no agreed standard for reporting 'success'

Sometimes, IVF success rates are quoted per completed IVF treatment cycle - a complete IVF collection and treatment cycle can involve multiple transfers of embryos collected from one egg collection.  Success rates measured this way will therefore naturally be higher than success rates measured per embryo transfer.

At Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore, we report our success rates per embryo transfer as we want to give you the most realistic understanding of your chance of success following each individual embryo transfer.

However, it is important to understand that unfortunately, not every treatment cycle will result in an embryo transfer. For some women, no eggs will be collected and sometimes after the eggs have been collected, there may be no transfer because embryos have not developed.

Age remains as the most important factor

We previously talked about the importance of the woman’s age on fertility, and this impacts both the chance of spontaneous conception as well as the success of IVF. A woman’s fertility starts to decline slowly from her early 30’s onwards but declines rapidly after the age of 40.  When comparing statistics, be sure to look for a clinic that is transparent with its success rates and breaks them down into age bands. This will help you determine what is applicable to your own chances of success.

Make it about you

Whether you are embarking on fertility treatment for the first time, or seeking a second opinion after previous unsuccessful cycles, the best way to understand the likelihood of success for you and your partner is to have a consultation with a fertility specialist. Our role is to give you a thorough understanding of where you are now, and to work with you to develop the most suitable treatment plan moving forward.

Remember bar graphs are not always what’s important – achieving a pregnancy and delivering a baby is the definition of success. Focus on finding a fertility specialist you are comfortable with and who is caring for you, constantly refining your treatment to maximise the chance of success. 

When it comes to choosing a fertility clinic, here are a few things to look out for:

  • Does the clinic offer a range of fertility treatments and assessments?
  • Have you found a doctor you connect with, and who has the right specialty area for you? Do they listen to your concerns, understand your goals and answer your questions?
  • Is the clinic in a convenient location?
  • Does the clinic have leading technology, particularly in the laboratory?

Remember, every fertility journey is unique, just like you!

The first step is to have a consultation with a fertility specialist.

SGN Before Baby Recipe 3.PNG

Be an iron woman with Claudia Correia's Black Bean, Corn & Quinoa Salad.

Before Baby week3 - pilates

In this week’s Pilates class, Professional Specialist Pilates and Movement Instructor, Fiona Malone, is focusing on building strength using a thera-band for resistance.

finance week 3

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

Need a fertility friend? 

During this programme you can head to our private Facebook group and chat with others who are trying to conceive. Hearing the experiences of other people on a similar fertility journey can be an invaluable source of support and encouragement.

During this programme you can head to our private Facebook group and chat with others who are trying to conceive. Hearing the experiences of other people on a similar fertility journey can be an invaluable source of support and encouragement.

Hear from our fertility specialists on what factors affect your fertility and what you can do to maximise you chances of conceiving.

In case you missed it last week: Week 2 of Before Baby >>>>