Infertility doesn’t mean an end to your dream of becoming a parent; the Island Fertility Centre provides the best fertility care to help you embark on your journey to parenthood.
Building a family or bringing children into the world is an exciting phase of life for most couples. But for some, being unable to bear children can prove to be a painful reality to handle. Here at Island Fertility Centre, we seek to provide couples experiencing infertility with reliable quality treatment by practising the most appropriate Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). As we understand that it is an emotional encounter for most couples, we also guide and counsel couples through their journey in fulfilling their dreams of having children with our team of doctors and nurses.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a procedure where a sperm is introduced directly into the uterine cavity around the ovulation period. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperms reaching the fallopian tubes, thus increasing the chances of fertilisation. IUI is commonly recommended for couples who experience:
Before IUI is conducted, ovulation-stimulating medications like Clomid, hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin), and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) may be used, along with close monitoring to determine when the eggs will be mature. After 24 to 36 hours in a surge of LH hormones that indicate ovulation will occur soon.As for the male counterpart, he is advised not to have sex or masturbate 2 to 5 days prior to providing a semen sample. The sample is taken when he ejaculates into a collection cup in a private room at our fertility centre or at home, which must be kept at room temperature and sent back to us within an hour, where it be washed by the lab to separate the semen from the seminal fluid.
During the IUI procedure, a catheter will be used to insert the sperm directly into the uterus. This will maximise the number of sperm placed in the uterus, thus increasing the possibility of conception.
In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
What is IVF? In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process where an egg is combined with a sperm outside of the body, usually in a lab. It is often the first option if:
IVF Procedure Details
Day 1: Consultation with Doctor
A series of tests and bloodwork will be carried out to determine whether you and your partner are suitable to undergo the procedure. Our doctor will then discuss with you/your partner regarding the possible treatment methods.
Day 2 – Day 16: Taking Fertility Medication
Our doctor will prescribe suitable fertility medications to the female fatient in the form of daily injections to stimulate the ovary’s follicles to mature more eggs. It can be self-administered or done by the A&E staff at Island Hospital. You are also advised to be present for all injections and scheduled monitoring processes.
Day 17: Egg Retrieval and Fertilsation
The next step is triggering the immature eggs to complete the final stage of maturation. To achieve this, human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is injected at an exact time to ensure that the immature eggs mature properly. Once they have done so, the female patient will be lightly sedated and sent to the operating theatre to retrieve the eggs. A semen sample will be collected and washed for fertilisation. Our embryologist will then place around 10,000 sperms with an oocyte in each culture dish. After placing them into a special incubator, they will be inspected for 12 to 24 hours for signs of fertilisation.
Day 17 – Day 22: Pre-implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A)
During the PGT-A, a few cells will be removed from the embryo’s cell layer 5 days after its development. While the embryo is frozen, these cells will be inspected for any chromosomal abnormalities which may lead to genetic disorders such as Down’s syndrome. PGT-A can also determine the embryo’s gender. Once the test clears the embryo of any chromosomal problems, it will be placed into the uterus. Additional embryos will be frozen for future use.
Day 22: Embryo transfer
The embryo is placed into the uterus via a thin, flexible plastic tube, which is gently passed through the opening in the cervix leading to the uterus’ interior. If you’re not suitable for a transfer, the eggs will be frozen to be transferred on to the next cycle
Day 36: Pregnancy test
You are required to wait for two weeks before taking a pregnancy test. If the test is postivie, our doctor will schedule a follow-up/ultrasound session within two weeks.
At Island Hospital Fertility Centre, the average age of women undergoing IVF is 38 to 45 years old. With the objective of providing reliable, quality infertility treatments by performing suitable Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), we have also recorded a significant success rate, with a rate of 40% to 50% for implantation, and a 30% to 40% rate for babies born (as of 2018).
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is rather similar to IVF, with the only difference being the method of fertilisation. In this procedure, a single sperm is injected directly into an egg by an embryologist in the laboratory. A high amount of sperm is not required and its ability to penetrate the egg is no longer of importance thanks to assistance from this technique. But, fertilisation cannot be guaranteed as it still needs to occur naturally once the sperm has been placed in the egg. Circumstances that deem ICSI as appropriate include:
Egg and embryo freezing
The procedure for egg and embryo freezing is rather similar to IVF and takes around two weeks to complete. The female patient will undergo a series of daily hormonal injections to stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs and will have to come to our centre frequently to monitor the growth of the egg follicles through blood tests and ultrasounds. Once the eggs are ready to be harvested, it will be collected and frozen if you and your partner opt to use it at a later date.Egg and embryo freezing is a viable option if you/your partner:
Sperm and egg donation
Also known as “third-party reproduction”, there may come a time when you and your partner choose to have another individual donate sperms or eggs to aid you in your fertility journey. Donors can be either a known or anonymous individuals.
There are several criteria that must be met by the donor before the donation can take place:
To ensure this, all egg/sperm donors are required to undergo an infectious disease and genetic testing screening. These screening processes are in compliance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Tissue Establishment manufacturing Human Cells and Tissue products.
However, before you consider sperm/egg donation, it is highly recommended that you and your partner take into account all legal and emotional implications that may arise as a result of the procedure.
Advanced IVF Technology At Island Hospital, we use advanced technology to enhance the results for our patients such as blastocyst culture system and transfer, and blastocyst vitrification (embryo freezing) which have significantly increased the number of live births in each IVF cycle.
1. Blastocyst CultureThis is a specialised IVF technique where an egg in its blastocyst stage of development (5 days after fertilisation) is being transferred into the womb, where it will begin to attach itself to the uterine lining during the implantation process.
One main advantage of this procedure is that it increases the chances of implantation as the blastocyst phase matches the uterine environment, thus allowing fewer embryos to be replaced. It also reduces the risk of multiple pregnancies. At Island Hospital, the rate of eggs able to achieve the blastocyst stage ranges from 50% – 60%. However, this is dependent on how healthy the egg and sperm is.
2. Blastocyst vitrification
The procedure involves three components: first, the embryo is exposed to high levels of cyroprotectants (a substance that prevents damage to the cells during freezing) that allows the cells to dehydrate quickly without suffering any damage; two, the embryos are then loaded into tiny storage devices, usually in the shape of a straw, to help facilitate the rapid cooling process; and third, the straws are cooled to -196°C in 2-3 seconds.
The high cooling rate, combined with the use of high concentrations of cryoprotectants allows the embryos to turn to a glass-like substance instead of ice. By avoiding ice formation, it protects the embryos from damage and allows them to be warmed later, thus reaping consistent survival rates of above 90%.
Advantages: Our gynaecologists, embryologists, nurses, and technicians are always ready to render help in the form of sound counsel, diagnosis, and management of treatment plans for patients struggling with infertility as part of our commitment in fulfilling every couple’s dream of having a child.
What is the cost of treatment at Island Fertility Centre?
Kindly email us at email@example.com for an initial cost estimation. Please note that the figures provided are estimates only and may vary based on your condition.
Are there any risks involved with IVF?
There are several risks associated with the procedure, such as:
Will I experience any side effects from IVF?
While IVF is a relatively safe procedure and most women can usually resume normal activities almost immediately, you may experience some side effects such as mild cramping, bloating, constipation, breast tenderness, and passing clear/blood-tinged fluid after the procedure. Fertility medications can also bring about other side effects including mood swings, headaches, and hot flashes. However, if you experience heavy vaginal bleeding, pelvic pains, blood in your urine, or high fever, contact your doctor immediately.
Is an IVF procedure painful?
Generally speaking, IVF is a relatively painless procedure. However, some may be overwhelmed by the prospect of injecting themselves daily with fertility medications. As such, you will be taught how to administer the injections or allow our A&E staff to do so instead. Light sedation will also be given to you during the egg retrieval procedure, where you may experience slight cramping in the ovaries which can be treated with appropriate medications.
How long is the entire IVF journey from 1st consultation to conceiving?
An IVF cycle typically takes around four to six weeks to complete. If you choose to undergo a PGD testing, this would add another four to five weeks to the process.
How can I increase my chances of getting pregnant through IVF?
Here are a few ways you can boost your chances of pregnancy: Maintain your weight with a body mass index (BMI) between 20 and 25
How soon can I undergo IVF again after having a miscarriage?
From the physical perspective, doctors would usually say that you will be able to attempt another IVF cycle following the first normal menses after a miscarriage, though some might recommend two menses or more. However, the first menses’ onset is variable and unpredictable, taking place any time from four to eight weeks after the miscarriage. Furthermore, it takes several days for all fetal tissues to exit from your body and around two weeks for the cervix to close after the miscarriage. Thus, it is best for your body to fully recover before going for another IVF cycle. As for the emotional perspective, it is best for you and your partner to take some time off before considering having another go at IVF as the procedure can place a huge emotional and financial strain.
Will my child have birth defects due to IVF/ICSI?
Multiple researches have suggested that between IVF and ICSI, children conceived through ICSI have a higher chance of suffering birth defects, especially in the heart, eyes, reproductive organs, and urinary systems. If you are concerned that your unborn child may be at risk for birth defects, you can opt for a pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) test to determine any possible genetically-linked disorders. You are also strongly encouraged to consult your doctor about the risks related to IVF/ICSI.
How does pre-implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) benefit the pregnancy?
PGT-A also known as PGS (Preimplantation Genetic Screening) is a procedure that allows the determination of the chromosomal status of IVF embryos by screening all 23 pairs of human chromosomes. This test helps these couples identify embryos carrying a genetic disease or a chromosome abnormality, thus avoiding diseased offspring. PGT-A (Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy) also known as PGS (Preimplantation Genetic Screening) is a procedure that allows the determination of the chromosomal status of IVF embryos by screening all 23 pairs of human chromosomes. Only embryos with the correct number of chromosomes will be able to implant and develop into a healthy baby and the gender is also revealed.
What should I do if my embryos were to get mixed up? At Island Hospital Fertility Centre, we strive to practice the highest standard of safety and accuracy by conducting strict verification to assure our patients that no error will occur in the embryo implantation process.