This year, I Love Children held its Know Your Fertility Wellness Campaign online through Zoom and live-streamed on Facebook. Two sessions were held, and this feature covers the second session held on 13 November 2020, hosted by Johnathan Chua, Co-Founder of GRVTY Media, who is currently trying for a baby, and featured doctors from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) and Singapore General Hospital (SGH).
Do’s & Don’ts of baby-making
According to Dr Andy Tan, Consultant with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at SGH, there is no “right” age to have a baby and it is best to conceive earlier than later. As the egg reserve and quality in women, as well as sperm quality in men, reduces with age.
- The Do’s - Exercise regularly, have a healthy BMI of 19 to 24, avoid alcohol and smoking.
- The Don’ts - Use saliva as a form of lubrication
Also, there is no such thing as the best position to conceive. Most importantly, couples need to not stress and are encouraged to have sexual intercourse regularly and not just during the woman’s ovulation period. Ideally, if couples are able to have sexual intercourse every alternate day, there is a very good chance of conception and couples do not need to worry about sperm depletion as sperm are produced every day.
Is it safe to get pregnant during the pandemic?
Dr Lily Kho, Consultant with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at KKH, shared that it is definitely safe for couples to get pregnant during this pandemic. She further added that being in Singapore, everything is very well managed, and hospitals are taking all necessary measures to keep the hospitals safe. Therefore, couples should continue to visit the hospital for their check-ups or treatments.
It is important for individuals to adhere to safe distancing measures, practice stringent personal hygiene, and avoid crowded areas.
Common causes of infertility
As shared by Dr Chua Ka-He, Consultant with the Department of Reproductive Medicine at KKH, there are many causes of infertility.
“If the couple is younger 35 years old and has been trying to conceive for a year but still unsuccessful, please see a doctor and/or do a fertility check.” ~ Dr Chua
Common causes of infertility in Women
- Ovulation disorder - where eggs are not released from the ovary. Women suffering from this condition may have irregular menses and abnormal menstrual bleeding. The most common cause is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- Reduced ovarian reserve - Every woman is born with a finite number of eggs, they lose a number of eggs each month even before puberty until they reach menopause when there are no more eggs left. Some women have accelerated egg loss which could be due to past ovarian conditions, cysts, and chemotherapy. Being exposed to toxins and excessive drinking can also reduce egg count leading to infertility.
- Fallopian tube blockage - The fallopian tube which is a transport pathway for the sperms to reach the egg can have blockages due to previous pelvis conditions/operation or cyst growth. Endometriosis can also cause blockages in the fallopian tube.
Infertility in Men
Men can also have fertility problems such as low sperm count and motility. Past medical conditions such as testicular surgery or undescended testis can lead to infertility. It is also important for men to exercise and have a healthy lifestyle as it will naturally increase their testosterone, leading to increased sex drive and performance.
Is there a right time for fertility treatment?
“Fertility declines with age more so for women than men, and the success rates of fertility treatments also decline with women’s age”, shared Dr Serene Lim, Consultant with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at SGH.
Dr Lim advised that it is best to seek fertility advice earlier than later. Most hospitals in Singapore have access to fertility treatments and Singaporean couples are eligible for Co-funding for assisted conception procedures.
She also shared that couples can access the Health Buddy App to understand some fertility conditions and treatments:
She also added that it is important to eat well, reduce stress, and have a diet that is rich in antioxidants which will be good to promote egg and sperm quality. Dr Lim further added that it’s important for couples to continue trying naturally even if they plan to go through fertility treatments as some may get pregnant before their treatments begin.
In conclusion, the doctors advise that couples who are trying to conceive to seek medical advice earlier than later.
Read the highlights of session one held on 6 November 2020 Boosting Fertility – Western Medicine and TCM here!
If you’re looking for peer support while trying to conceive join I Love Children’s Fertility Support Group Singapore today!