More couples turn to IVF treatments at JPMC

National 2 minutes, 15 seconds


MORE couples are turning to in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments at the Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC) to bear a child.

Dr Chitra Karat, JPMC’s head of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine Unit, said there was an increase in the number of patients seeking IVF treatments from 22 patients in 2014 to 30 last year.

In an interview, she said the main causes of infertility are due to women focusing on their careers, getting married late and starting family planning late.

“Many do not seek assistance up to 10 years of marriage. I would like to urge here that (if the wife has not conceived within one year (of marriage) and if she is below the age of 35, or (cannot conceive six months after the age of 35), they should seek help. At least have a check-up to know if all is well,” the department’s head said.

Dr Karat said their success rate in IVF in 2014 was 58 per cent.

However, the department has temporarily stopped IVF treatments for patients as they are currently getting their IVF laboratory fitted with a HEPA filter, that makes the air “very clean”, Dr Karat said. “The sperms, eggs and embryos are very sensitive to environmental pollutants. At JPMC, we want to provide the best for our patients and so we are improving the quality of air in the laboratory to get better results.

“We have temporarily stopped doing IVF till this is ready which we hope will be completed in three months,” she added.

Dr Karat said those seeking fertility treatments are encouraged to undergo the intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatment and ovulation induction for six months. However, if they are still unable to conceive, JPMC would then offer IVF treatment.

“The treatment of subfertility is always a sensitive issue for the patient. Many feel shy or inhibited to come forward with their problem. We like to inform all couples that there are so many options available for increasing your family,” she said.

Dr Karat added: “You need to seek help first for us to help you. IUI is a simple procedure where the husband’s sperms are taken, washed and injected into the uterus of the woman through the cervix (mouth of the uterus).”

JPMC has been treating up to 90 patients undergoing IUI annually. These patients are aged between 30 to 45, she said.

“We do not treat (patients) after 45 years of age, keeping with the ethics and rules of Singapore infertility society. The chances of having abnormal babies steadily rises with age,” she said.

Dr Karat also attributed the increase in ICF and IUI to increased awareness on fertility treatments.

She added in the future, JPMC is looking to offer IVF treatments to promote medical tourism.

The Brunei Times