Who is a fertility specialist and how can they help you?

IUI vs IVF Treatments in Singapore: Which Treatment is Right for You?

Infertility is becoming more and more common for millions around the world and the path to parenthood, for many, is a difficult one. According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2023), one in every six people worldwide is affected by this condition. So what is infertility, and how can this condition be addressed? Read on to find the answers to these questions and learn how fertility specialists at a registered fertility clinic in Singapore can assist couples on their journey to parenthood.

What is Infertility?

Generally, infertility is defined as a couple's inability to conceive after one year of unprotected sex. For women aged 35 years and older, this window could be as short as six months. However, many couples who experience infertility can successfully conceive with the help of a fertility doctor.

Who is a Fertility Doctor?

Fertility specialists or fertility doctors are medical professionals who specialise in diagnosing and treating infertility in both men and women. They have extensive training and expertise in reproductive medicine and play a crucial role in offering expert advice, personalised treatment plans, and emotional support to patients.

  • Education and Specialisation

The path to becoming a fertility specialist is rigorous and requires dedication. After completing medical school, fertility doctors complete a residency programme in obstetrics and gynaecology (OB-GYN) for over 6 years to become eligible for board certification. Following this, they pursue a highly competitive fellowship programme in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI). This specialised training equips them with in-depth knowledge of reproductive physiology, hormonal function, and fertility treatments.

  • Areas of Expertise

Specialists at any MOH-registered fertility clinic in Singapore will come with vast expertise in the field of reproductive medicine, including the following.

Reproductive anatomy and physiology: Fertility doctors have an in-depth understanding of the intricate workings of the male and female reproductive systems.

Infertility diagnosis: They will be able to identify the underlying causes of infertility through comprehensive evaluations. They generally recommend the following evaluations to determine the cause of infertility:

  • Examining past medical conditions, medications, and family history.
  • Physical examination of reproductive organs for any abnormalities.
  • Evaluating hormone levels and thyroid function through blood tests.
  • Semen analysis to assess the sperm quality, including count, motility, and morphology.
  • Hysterosalpingography (HSG): X-ray imaging of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
  • Ultrasound to evaluate ovarian follicles and the uterine lining.

Common Infertility Issues and Fertility Treatment in Singapore

Upon thorough evaluation and assessment, a fertility doctor will come up with a detailed treatment plan to address the particular concerns of the couple trying to conceive. They are well versed in modern treatment methods and can effectively treat a range of conditions, including:

  • Ovulatory disorders: PCOS, anovulation, and irregular menstrual cycles.
  • Endometriosis: A condition where uterine tissue grows outside the uterus.
  • Uterine fibroids: Benign non-cancerous growths made up of muscle and fibrous tissues that can affect conception.
  • Male factor infertility: Sperm disorders like low sperm count, poor motility, or abnormal morphology.
  • Tubal factor infertility: Blockage or damage to the fallopian tubes.
  • Unexplained infertility: When no clear cause for infertility can be identified.

As with all medical conditions, when it comes to infertility, no two couples are the same. Therefore, your fertility clinic in Singapore will draft a personalised treatment plan to address your unique circumstances and goals. Factors such as age, diagnosis, lifestyle, and personal family goals will be taken into account when designing a treatment strategy that offers the highest chance of success.

The commonly practised fertility treatments in Singapore include:

Medications: Drugs to stimulate ovulation, regulate hormones, or treat underlying medical conditions.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Sperm is collected and 'washed' (to remove debris and non-motile sperm) and placed directly into the uterus using a small catheter to increase the chances of fertilisation.

In vitro fertilisation (IVF): Eggs and sperm are extracted and fertilised outside the body in a petri dish/tube and then the fertilised egg, called the embryo, is transferred to the uterus.

Assisted reproductive technologies (ART): This includes IUI, IVF, and other assisted reproductive technologies like social egg freezing, sperm freezing, and embryo freezing.

Seng's OG Practice: Your Fertility Clinic in Singapore

When faced with infertility, your journey towards parenthood can be physically and emotionally challenging. Fertility doctors know this, and are there to provide valuable emotional support and guidance throughout the treatment process. They provide comprehensive services to address and treat infertility issues and empower couples on their path to parenthood.

Dr. Seng Shay Way, our fertility specialist at Seng's OG Practice, is dedicated to helping couples overcome infertility challenges. He comes with over 20 years of expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of reproductive issues. If you and your partner are struggling to conceive, our fertility specialist can offer the knowledge, guidance, and support you need to achieve your dream of parenthood. Call us for a consultation.