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Know Your Fertility Wellness Campaign 2021 was held online through Zoom and live-streamed on Facebook. Two sessions were held, catch the highlights here:

 

Had a question that was not answered during the webinar on 12 November 2021? A/Prof Yong Tze Tein, the Head and Senior Consultant of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Singapore General Hospital, answer those questions in this article.

A/Prof Yong Tze Tein

 

1. What can couples with low sex drive do to increase chances of conception? 

They should explore the cause of the low sex drive and seek medical help to find out if is due to medical causes. Low sex-drive can be due to work schedule and fatigue or there might be a need for improved communication between the couple. Women can try self-insemination or intrauterine insemination as an option if there is minimal male-factor problem.

 

2. Could the Covid-19 vaccination cause an irregular menstrual cycle or affect the sperm count or quantity? 

There have been reports on COVID-19 vaccines impacting women’s menstrual cycle but there is no impact on fertility.

 

3. What should I do if I have had multiple biochemical pregnancies? 

Consult a doctor and check if it is possible to find treatable causes for it. The doctor will be best suited to explain and explore these options with you.

 

4. Does caffeine and alcohol affect chance in conception?

While studies offer conflicting evidence when it comes to caffeine and female fertility, it’s wise to limit the consumption of caffeine when actively trying to become pregnant. Excessive caffeine is linked to an increased risk of miscarriage,  in early pregnancy, and consuming high levels of caffeine can result in low birth weight babies.

While a few cups of coffee, tea, or cola is not known to affect male fertility, caffeine in excessive amounts, such as that found in 4-6 cups of coffee per day (400 mg) or more can lower sperm count.

As for alcohol, it’s advised for the females to stop the intake of it as important stages in their baby's development start right after conception. If a woman has conceived and is unaware of it and continues drinking alcohol, it can give rise to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) which is a combination of permanent physical and mental defects. Hence, it is best to avoid alcohol when trying to conceive.

We would advise males to reduce alcohol intake while trying for conception as well as it may significantly help to improve their sperm count.

 

5. How soon after a miscarriage can we try to conceive again? 

You can try to conceive again as soon as you are physically, mentally and emotionally ready.

 

6. When should a couple consider going for IUI or IVF?

Couples can consider going for IUI if they meet the following criteria:

  • Aged below 40
  • Face a mild male-factor problem
  • Females have healthy fallopian tubes that are not blocked
  • Couples who have problems having intercourse or if the frequency of intercourse is low
  • Couples with unexplained infertility

 

Couples can consider going for IVF if they meet the following criteria:

  • A couple who has tried conceiving but unsuccessful for 2 years.
  • Findings show that the woman has blocked fallopian tubes
  • Female with endometriosis or ovulation problems
  • Male who has to surgically retrieve sperm or has a very low sperm count               

 

7. Any tips for couples preparing for Assisted Conception Procedures (ACP)? 

  • Attend counselling
  • Ask questions and make sure to be well-informed
  • Stay healthy
  • Be physically active
  • Practice stress relaxation techniques
  • Get enough sleep
  • Complete necessary vaccinations
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Have a healthy diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Check with doctors regarding medications or medical conditions that need to be well controlled before IVF

 

8. What are the tests and checks required before undergoing ACP? 

  • Ultrasound scan
  • Full blood count
  • Egg reserve test
  • Sperm count test
  • Infection screening for
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Syphilis

 

9. Does stress affect egg and sperm quality for IVF? Any way to improve egg and sperm quality? 

Yes, stress does affect the egg and sperm quality for IVF. Avoid smoking and maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight range. Do IVF at a younger age rather than at an older age. Be physically active and have a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables.

 

10. Any recommended supplement or diet for both men and women preparing for IVF? 

Again, a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables. Folic acid would be good for women. There are some supplements that may be recommended for specific conditions but this should be as advised by your doctor.

 

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