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Ask Dr Fong Yang: Fertility (IVF & IUI)

Posted on 23 Aug 2018

Dr Fong Yang, an accredited Ministry of Health IVF clinician, has been practicing Obstetrics and Gynaecology for the past 18 years. He is one of the rare few IVF clinicians who treat both male and female infertility. He was the first in Singapore to perform percutaneous sperm aspiration for men – a procedure to overcome a condition whereby sperm cannot be produced due to obstruction of the sperm ducts. 

He is very passionate about his field of specialisation and often shares his expertise at local and international forums. He is also an avid contributor to numerous magazines, newspapers, and makes media appearances to educate and increase awareness of male and female fertility issues.

Most of the time, people don't know that they have fertility problems until they are trying to have a baby because there are often no symptoms for infertility. Men and women are equally at risk for fertility problems. 

Dr Fong answered readers' questions on: 

  • How to choose between IVF and IUI
  • Factors to consider before deciding on fertility treatments 
  • Cost of IVF in Singapore
  • Success rate of IVF in Singapore
  • Health risks of IVF to child and the mother
  • Causes of failures in IVF

What can I expect from a fertility assessment?

A fertility assessment would start with a detailed history of both you and your partner/spouse. This would serve to shed light on your general health, existing medical problems (if any), and issues specific to your chances of conception. A physica examination would follow, and for ladies an ultrasound scan of your pelvic organs (ie. womb and ovaries) is essential.

This would then enable the doctor to tailor investigations specific to your condition. For example, if you ...

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Are there any alternatives to IVF treatment if I am afraid of needles?

IVF Singapore Picture

IVF is one end of a spectrum of fertility treatment options, and it is usually used when all other methods have not worked. 

There are simpler means of conceiving, from ultrasound scans to tracking egg development and timing of ovulation, pills to enhance the chances of egg growth, and techniques like intra-uterine insemination (IUI) to improve the odds of sperm-egg fertilisation. These methods do not, or hardly involve the use of injections...

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If you have decided on doing IVF, then the most important thing is not to delay or procrastinate any further. Consult your fertility doctor as soon as possible, and bring all available medical records and/or medication with you during your first consultation. 

If you have existing medical problems, eg. thyroid, diabetes, SLE etc, please consult your respective specialists at the same time to have these conditions controlled. When you speak to your fertility doctor, it would be...

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How much does stress affect my chances of conceiving with fertility treatments?

IVF Singapore Picture

Stress is inevitable in modern society, and especially so in a place like Singapore.

We know from research that prolonged or chronic stress is bad for health, be it fertility or mental health or even general well-being.

We have to acknowledge that it is impossible to eliminate stress completely, but by learning to manage it or reducing the level of stress, the impact on health may be quite remarkable.

In the field of subfertility, stress is known to affect menstrual cycles, cause ovulation irregularities and occasionally egg quality too. This is very clearly seen..

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What do I need to know when choosing between IVF and IUI?

Both methods can be effective, but a lot depends on your medical condition and the causes of your subfertility in the first place. 

IUI is relatively simple, less invasive, less costly and less time-consuming, but the success rates are lower. Certain existing conditions make IUI less favourable, for example if your husband’s sperm count and quality are low, or if you have 1 or both fallopian tubes blocked.

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Do prior fertility treatments improve our chances of conceiving naturally the next time?

This really depends on the reason why you had to do IVF in the first instance.

If IVF was done because you felt it was the fastest way to have a baby, or if you failed to conceive naturally even though no obvious cause was found, then the next pregnancy may be easier naturally, or ...

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How do I choose the best doctor for fertility treatments?

Most fertility doctors in Singapore are very well trained, so you will be in good hands.

You may want to meet with the doctors and discuss your issues. That way you can also have a feel of each doctor’s approach to your needs; it is important that you are comfortable with whoever you decide to seek treatment with, and that you develop a good rapport with him.


Ever wanted to ask a health question to a specific renowned specialist in Singapore? DxD Sessions are when these expert doctors answer all your questions!

View the complete list of upcoming DxD Sessions here.

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