Infertility affects up to 15% of couples. Medical treatments such as IUI and IVF can help increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.
For many married couples, starting a family is considered a natural progression in their shared journey.
However, in recent years, Singapore has experienced a significant decline in fertility, resulting in the country's fertility rate plummeting to a historic low of 1.05 in 2022.
This decline in fertility rate can largely be attributed to social factors – such as rising income, attitude changes, higher education levels – which might deter couples from starting a family.
But there is another major reason why married couples might not have children: infertility.
Defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a couple's inability to conceive after one year of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse, infertility currently affects about 15% of couples in Singapore. The causes of infertility are relatively evenly split between male and female factors.
Dr Judith Ong, Associate Consultant, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, NUH explained, “Achieving pregnancy is a complex series of steps that involve a woman’s ovaries releasing an egg from one of the ovaries, then travelling through the fallopian tube, being fertilised (or joined) by the man’s sperm to form an embryo and attaching to the womb lining successfully (implantation).”
Ultimately, by seeking help and exploring the many available treatment options for infertility, couples can increase their chances of achieving a successful pregnancy and starting a family.
The Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Division at NUH Women's Centre offers comprehensive fertility assessments and a range of ART options.
In consultation with Dr Judith Ong, Associate Consultant, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, NUH.