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From Infertility to Parenthood

From Infertility to Parenthood

E_Dr Wong Pak Seng

Dr Wong Pak Seng   Fertility Specialist

For many newly married couples, the joy of starting their own family and nurturing a child in a house full of warmth and love is definitely an experience to look forward to. It can be very discouraging, therefore, when the pregnancy test comes back negative despite repeated attempts to conceive.

But infertility is not something that you should feel ashamed of. It is not a sign of personal failure, as the causes of infertility, which you will see later, are many and varied, some of them outside of your control. Increasingly, infertility is recognised as a medical problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines infertility as “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse”.

There are medical specialists who are devoted to helping people in overcoming infertility. They are called fertility specialists. Dr Wong Pak Seng, a fertility specialist, assures couples who have tried unsuccessfully to conceive that infertility issues can be treated and they have the medical technology to help these couples create a life despite what seem like difficult odds.

Meet the fertility specialist

A fertility specialist is an O & G specialist who focuses on treating conditions that may prevent or cause difficulty for a couple to have a child. He or she usually provides diagnostic methods and treatment options not offered by a typical O & G specialist. Therefore, the fertility centre is naturally the next destination for couples who are unable to conceive despite their attempts.

According to Dr Wong, the following is a good guide to determine whether there is a need to see a fertility specialist.

  • < 35 years old: Unable to conceive after 1 year of trying
  • ˃ 35 years old: Unable to conceive after 6 months of trying

Findings on Fertility

According to the Starting Families Asia study, released in 2013[2]:

  • 71% of Asian women attribute their unsuccessful attempts to conceive to “God’s will”, 42% believe that this is a result of “bad luck”.
  • 51% are not aware that a man can have infertility issues even if he can achieve an erection, 49% are not aware that a man can be infertile even when he can produce sperm.
  • 30% of women who suspect that they have fertility issues do not actively seek treatment.
  • 52% of women surveyed have no idea where the nearest fertility centre is.

References:

Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE). (2013). Starting Families Asia Study. Geneva, Switzerland: Author. Retrieved from http://www.fertilityasia.com/asia.country.fertility/en/images/SFA%20Study%20Report_Merck%20Serono_tcm662_14502.pdf

World Health Organization. Infertility definitions and terminology. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/infertility/definitions/en

[1] World Health Organization. Infertility definitions and terminology. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/infertility/definitions/en

[2]Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE). (2013). Starting Families Asia Study. Geneva, Switzerland: Author. Retrieved from http://www.fertilityasia.com/asia.country.fertility/en/images/SFA%20Study%20Report_Merck%20Serono_tcm662_14502.pdf

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