13 September 2021, by Patrina Tan

To IVF, or not to IVF?

It has been close to 2 months since our last discussion with a gynaecologist, on the options we may have when it comes to conceiving with endometriosis. And it ended off with going for IVF as our best bet.

 

Even though I rejected the thought of going for the counselling in July, because I felt that everything was happening too fast, I am slowly reading up more about IVF and coming to terms with it. So the question now is, to do it or not to do it?

I remember sitting John down and attempted to have this discussion. But it always ends with “It is up to you babe, I am in it when you are”. Ladies will understand why this answer is frustrating. Because it’s not a question of, “What do you want to eat?” or “Should we go Bali for holiday next year?”. It’s “Do you want a baby who might potentially change our lives?” But I also understand why that was his answer. By saying yes, he feels that he might be pressuring me to do it. And by saying no, it might dash my dreams of becoming a mum. But through this process, it kinda amplifies my decision of wanting a kid and I was just waiting for his answer to validate it. Women. Hahahahaha!

After reading up more (mostly forums on women who have gone through IVF), I learnt that:

  1. The jabs are not as painful as they might be
  2. The later you consider doing it, the lower the chance of your success rate
  3. IVF carries a slightly increased risk of miscarriage as compared to natural pregnancies

With the 3 points above, I am slowly leaning towards going for the counselling session. The push factor is point 3 actually. Like what the gynaecologist said, we are 31 this year and considered quite young. We wanted to give it another 2 years before we decide on IVF. But I don’t know how I will handle a miscarriage at 33. I might not even want to try again if it happens then. Doing it this year might give me more time to think about Plan B if “choy, touch wood”, I encounter a miscarriage.

While my decision is not confirmed, I decided to share with John how I felt and what came next was unexpected. He said ok immediately and gave me a big grin. This man wants to make a baby with me! Wow. I was anticipating some questions but nope, he just agreed. It was firm and I like it. Hahaha! He started reading up on how to assist me in the jabs and how the process is like. I felt that we both made a decision that we will be carrying for the rest of our lives. I felt supported.

For one to start on IVF, there is a mandatory counselling/briefing that the couple will need to go through. But before that, you and your husband will need to walk into the clinic to do a blood test. The counselling/briefing is chargeable and it is close to $400. Non-refundable if you subsequently decide not to proceed with the IVF process. I tried to research what will be covered in the counselling but can’t seem to find anything on it. I have noted down some questions for the session and hope that they will be answered.

  1. How often do I need to come to the hospital?
  2. What are the possible side effects of the jab?
  3. How long later can I try again if I encounter a miscarriage?
  4. Are there any extra risks for IVF babies?

As for payment, we are lucky to be living in Singapore. There is a subsidy from the government according to the couple’s citizenship and Singaporeans can use their Medisave too. I did ask the nurse about the remaining out-of-pocket. She said it depends on individuals. But if all is good, there shouldn’t be any except for the counselling/briefing fee. Based on the tables below (from madeforfamilies.gov.sg), it seems like I will be covered for close to $13,000.

If you are considering IVF like us, I hope this helps. I am clueless and looking for more sharing from others. But so far, all the stories I heard are saying that it’s not that daunting. I am feeling a bit of everything so I’m not sure if I will proceed with it in November. But I hope that I will find the courage to or for a miracle to happen before November. Don’t let anyone scare you with their experience and don’t let the naysayers who think that “test-tube babies” are not natural, affect your decision. Because at the end of the day, you do what makes you happy. The road ahead is tough but I don’t want to regret the chances that I didn’t take. All the best to you ladies out there! Ending with 2 photos that we took this year with our friends’ offsprings. Ours will come one day. I have faith. 🙂

Love,

Pat

 

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