“Why am I not getting pregnant?”: 5 common fertility problems in Singapore
Have you been trying for a baby but without any luck? Fertility problems are actually more common than one might think. In fact, one in six couples worldwide have difficulty conceiving, a trend that is closely mirrored in Singapore. Couples can, however, increase their chances of getting pregnant by undergoing fertility checks to detect any underlying problems as early as possible. In today’s article, we look at some of the most common fertility problems couples face in Singapore, and whether Singapore health insurance covers fertility tests and treatment.
5 most common fertility problems in Singapore
Here are the top 5 causes of infertility in Singapore – and possible solutions to them:
As mentioned in our recently released In Vitro Fertilization in Singapore Guide, endometriosis is one of the most common causes of infertility. Affecting 1 in 10 women in Singapore, the condition is especially prevalent in women over the age of 30. Endometriosis alters the uterine environment, and occurs when the tissue that normally outlines the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterus. This makes it difficult for the fertilized embryo to implant, and may also affect the quality of the egg produced for fertilization.
Endometriosis can be treated via laparoscopic surgery. This involves a surgeon making a small incision in the navel to remove excess endometrial tissue. Treating endometriosis via laparoscopic surgery can help raise the chances of success with reproductive treatments.
2. Low sperm count and poor sperm quality
One of the most common fertility problems men face is low sperm count and poor sperm quality. A low sperm count means the semen contains fewer sperm than normal, which reduces the chances of a sperm fertilizing the egg. Poor quality sperm may not be able to successfully reach the egg or break through the membrane to fertilize it.
Low sperm count or poor sperm quality is usually diagnosed via a semen analysis test. As there are many underlying reasons behind why men have this condition (e.g. lifestyle factors, medical conditions, medication), treatment will depend on the cause of the fertility problem. In the event that no cause is found, Assisted Reproductive Treatments (ART) like IVF can in some cases help improve the chances of conception.
Fibroids are noncancerous growths that grow in and around the uterus. Only one in three women experience symptoms, which include painful periods, pain during sex, abdominal pain, etc. And, depending on where they’re located, fibroids can affect the number of sperm being able to enter the uterus. They can also reduce fertility by blocking the fallopian tubes (making implantation difficult), and weakening the lining of the uterine cavity. Fibroids are usually diagnosed via a pelvic ultrasound, and removed through surgery (myomectomy).
4. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects millions of women worldwide. Women with PCOS produce higher than normal levels of “male” hormones (androgens), which causes women to have problems with their ovaries. Those with PCOS often have irregular periods, or have small cysts on their ovaries. PCOS can be diagnosed through a blood test, and can be treated via a number of ways, including taking medications that encourage ovulation.
5. Erectile dysfunction
If a man finds it difficult to maintain or attain an erection, whether for physical or psychological reasons, he won’t be able to have proper intercourse. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a number of factors, including certain medical conditions (e.g. diabetes can affect nerve signals), psychological factors (e.g. depression or stress), and age (it affects one in four men over the age of 60). Treatment can involve lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery.
Do Singapore health insurance plans cover fertility checks and treatment?
Tests and treatments for fertility problems can be very expensive in Singapore, so it’s a good idea to check whether your current health insurance can cover this type of care. When it comes to costs associated with investigating infertility, it’s important to note that usually only the more comprehensive Singapore medical insurance plans will cover such tests. Additionally, it can be hard to prove whether infertility is a pre-existing condition or not, leaving the policyholder feeling frustrated if the insurer rules it as such.
If you’re looking for health insurance that covers ART treatments like IVF, please remember that a number of caveats will likely apply. For instance, insurers may require that you obtain maternity insurance to gain access to coverage, while others may attach long waiting periods of up to two years on this benefit.
To learn more about your expatriate health insurance options in Singapore, be sure to give us a call today. Our team of advisors are on hand to select the best plan for your medical needs, answer all your questions, as well as give you a free quote. Alternatively, be sure to download our FREE In Vitro Fertilization in Singapore Guide for an in-depth look at IVF and your health insurance options in Singapore.
When she's not typing away on her keyboard, she's reading poetry, fueling her insatiable wanderlust, getting her coffee fix, and perpetually browsing animal Instagram accounts.
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