Go for infertility treatment before the age of 35: Expert

National 1 minute, 43 seconds

BRUNEI MUARA

WOMEN should start their family and seek infertility treatment before the age of 35 to avoid complicated pregnancies, advised a fertility expert from Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC) yesterday.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Head of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine Unit at JPMC, Dr Chitra Karat said a growing number of women aged above 35 are seeking In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment at JPMC.

In 2014, 22 patients sought IVF treatments, while last year saw a record of 35 patients undergoing the procedure.

The specialist added that JPMC is expecting 40 patients to seek IVF treatments at their centre.

Dr Karat pointed out that the growing trend does not necessarily mean Bruneians are having more trouble having children, but noted the fact that couples prefer having babies at a later age.

“If couples want to start trying for a baby, I would suggest they do before the women turn 35 because chances of getting pregnant after that age decrease,” she said.

The health expert said female fertility does fall with advancing age, and at the same time, the likelihood of losing a pregnancy and complication increases.

She urged women in their late thirties who have not conceived within six months of their marriage to seek help and go for a fertility check up, adding that many do not seek assistance up to 10 years of marriage.

“Don’t wait because by the time you decide to go for the treatment it won’t be as effective,” she said.

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.

While IVF is a growing trend amongst older women, women as young as 22 years old have also sought infertility treatment at JPMC. “We usually advise patients (below 35) to try to conceive for a year, and we don’t offer treatments to those after 45 years of age,” she said, noting that JPMC keeps up with the ethics and rules of the Singapore infertility society.

The Brunei Times