Fertility issues are extremely difficult to deal with, especially when having kids is a long-held dream. Fortunately for some, medical advancements have made Assisted Reproductive Technologies like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) more effective and accessible, especially in Singapore. In this guide to seeking IVF treatment, our friends at Pacific Prime Singapore tell us the basics of fertility issues, IVF treatment options, estimated costs, and how insurance can help.
Fertility concerns in Singapore: The whys and how manys
If conceiving has proven to be a challenge, it’s important to realise that it affects more people than you may think. Nearly 15% of Singaporeans are affected by fertility challenges, with SingHealth stating that these issues affect one in seven here. There is a multitude of reasons for this, including the fact that many couples now choose to have children later in life. For older women, low fertility may be due to the depletion of ovarian reserves as time goes by. Men’s fertility problems generally stem from the quantity and quality of their sperm, leaving one in 20 men with difficulty reproducing, according to Andrology Australia.
What exactly is IVF and what does it entail?
Aimed at treating fertility issues, IVF was previously a mysterious procedure that produced what people used to call “test-tube babies”. Today, most are more aware of the science behind the procedure. In essence, IVF involves combining a woman’s eggs and a man’s sperm in a laboratory, and reinserting the fertilized egg back into the womb to initiate pregnancy. The process begins with the monitoring of a woman’s ovaries and eggs, and retrieving the eggs using a needle and a vaginal ultrasound. After which, a sperm sample is either mixed with the egg in a special chamber or directly injected. Once a healthy embryo develops, it’s implanted back into the uterine cavity through the cervix.
Costs and where to seek treatment
We’re not going to lie – IVF treatment is expensive. A cycle of treatment can easily set you back between SGD 10,000 and 14,000, depending on which medical centre you choose. Institutions offering treatment include Gleneagles Hospital, National University Hospital, KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Thomson Medical Centre and Singapore General Hospital. IVF success rates for each clinic can be found inside Pacific Prime’s comprehensive In Vitro Fertilization Guide, along with a breakdown of treatment costs.
How medical insurance can help
Despite the hefty price tag, it is possible to reduce costs of treatment. Singapore citizens and expats with permanent residency are eligible for subsidies when undergoing treatment cycles at public hospitals. Costs can still be high though, making private insurance another option. However, do note that many insurers impose a waiting period of 12 months or more before coverage applies.
If you’re planning to start a family, your best bet is securing comprehensive medical insurance that offers IVF coverage. Not sure where to start? The folks at Pacific Prime Singapore been been in the business of helping families meet fertility costs and secure maternity coverage for many years now, so we recommend giving them a call. They also provide handy resources in the form of free health guides on their website.
This post is sponsored by Pacific Prime.