Many couples in Singapore have difficulty getting pregnant despite having regular unprotected intercourse. This was true for M and her husband. They had been trying to conceive for more than a year before they visited Dr Chee Jing Jye at The Obstetrics and Gynaecology Centre, a subsidiary of Singapore Medical Group.
Dr Chee is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with more than 13 years of experience. Her current practice includes all areas of general obstetrics and gynaecology. She sub-specialises in Maternal Fetal Medicine with expertise in areas such as First Trimester Screening for Down Syndrome and high-risk pregnancy.
At 33, M had built a successful career and the couple now felt they were financially comfortable to have children. Getting pregnant was not as easy as they thought it would be. Dr Chee explained that it’s becoming more common for couples to encounter fertility problems, especially in developed countries where there is an upward trend of women delaying starting a family to pursue their careers.
The chances of becoming pregnant naturally reduce as a woman gets older because female fertility decreases with age. However, there are many options for struggling couples to consider.
What is wrong with me?
M and her husband were worried that there might be something ‘wrong,’ which meant that one or both of them would not be able to conceive naturally. They had heard of various Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) but did not fully understand the process.
Having seen similar cases a number of times, their gynaecologist explained that there are factors on both the male and female side which can cause difficulty in getting pregnant. The highest risk falls with the woman, around 40% of issues, then around 20-30% due to issues with the man, and 20-30% combined factors. On the other hand, there are also around 10% of fertility issues which cannot be attributed to either side.
Dr Chee needed to spend more time with M and her husband to establish what the cause of their sub-fertility was. She explained that a series of treatments can be administered to determine such issues.