Understanding Treatment

  • How do I know if IVF-ET is an appropriate therapy for me?

    IVF-ET is the preferred fertility treatment in three situations. Firstly, when the fallopian tubes are blocked or badly damaged. Secondly, when the sperm count is very low. Finally, when simpler alternative assisted reproductive techniques have failed repeatedly.

  • Is there an increased chance of conceiving an abnormal child after IVF-ET?

    To date, the incidence of birth defects in the thousands of babies produced by IVF-ET is no higher than what is expected in spontaneous pregnancies populations.

  • Am I more likely to have a boy or girl after IVF-ET?

    Following standard IVF treatment, the sex ratio is almost identical to that seen in the general population. Furthermore, the Singapore Government forbids sex selection procedures.

  • How much time do I need to commit to the treatment cycle?

    This depends on the treatment protocol that has been planned for you. However, it seldom exceeds two months, for which your involvement will be more frequent for two weeks in the second month.

  • How many days am I involved during treatment cycle?

    This depends on the treatment protocol that has been planned for you. It seldom exceeds two months, for which your involvement will be more frequent for 2 weeks in the second month.

  • How long do I need to stay in Singapore?

    We recommend you wait till the second or third day of your menstrual flow to come for your first visit. Unless unexpected problems arise, you should be able to return to your country on the same day. You do not need to stay longer than two weeks for your second visit.

  • What should I bring for my first visit to Thomson Fertility Centre?

    Please bring along all medical records for you and your spouse.

  • What will I go through in the first consultation?

    1.      The first consultation can take an hour, during which our doctor will thoroughly evaluate your fertility status. He will then discuss the relevant treatment options with you. Together with our team of experts, we will formulate an IVF treatment plan specifically for your needs. You are encouraged to bring up any concerns you might have about the programme. 


    We want to allay your fears and help you manage the stress and expectations of your treatment. The doctor will then perform a thorough examination to assess the condition of your womb and ovaries for conditions like fibroids, endometriosis, cysts, and more. A blood test for you and your partner will also be done to assess your fertilty health. A semen test will also be done on your first visit.


    For your convenience, we offer a specially-designated private room in which to produce the semen sample. Alternatively, you can produce it at home and have it delivered to our centre within an hour.

  • What happens during the second consultation?

    Please come for your second visit on the second or third day of your next menstrual flow. Our doctor will review all your test results with you. If all is as expected, then the previously formulated plan of IVF treatment will continue as planned.

  • Will I experience any side effects from the drugs used to stimulate my ovaries?

    Many of the women we treat say that they feel very tired during the 10 to 14 days of ovarian stimulation. We therefore advise you not to schedule too many activities during this time. Abdominal bloatedness is also a frequent complaint.



    A simple diet avoiding oily and spicy food often helps to minimise this discomfort. Some women have a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome that puts them at a higher risk of a complication called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. It is important to discuss this with your doctor.

  • Are there any foods that will improve my chances of success?

    We advocate maintaining a healthy lifestyle encompassing a balanced diet, moderate exercise and adequate rest. There is no special diet or vitamins that are known to enhance fertility.

  • How does my doctor know if my eggs have fertilized in the laboratory?

    Our team of embryologists will examine the eggs until they fertilise, where two spots called pronuclei are seen. These disappear after six to 10 hrs and the egg divides into two cells, then four cells, and so on.

  • What is the success rate of IVF?

    On the average, 20 to 30 per cent of patients who have embryos replaced get pregnant. Predicting the chance of success in any one woman is difficult, though generally speaking younger women have a higher success rate. 

    Therefore, the sooner you start the programme, the better your chances. A successful outcome is also related to the quality of the eggs, sperm and embryos.

  • On average, how many embryos is it safe to place back into the uterine cavity?

    Between 2-3 embryos will be placed in the utereus using a fine catheter. A smaller number may be transferred if insufficient embryos are available or in younger patients. 

  • What happens if I produce more than four embryos during a treatment cycle?

    Embryo freezing is available and the spare embryos can be stored for extended periods . However, MOH does not allow embryos to be stored beyond 10 years, although under special circumstances extension beyond 10 years may be allowed.

  • Will I be placed on medication after the embryo replacement?

    We will give you a combination of oral, intra-vaginal and injectable hormones to keep your womb stable. These drugs will need to be continued to the 12th week of pregnancy.

  • Is there a higher chance of having a miscarriage after IVF-ET?

    There appears to be a slightly higher risk of miscarriage after IVF (25 to 30 per cent) compared to spontaneous pregnancies (15 to 20 per cent). This is probably because the problems causing infertility may also contribute to miscarriage. 


    IVF may not overcome some of these problems, thus resulting in a slightly higher chance of miscarriage.

  • Does my age affect my pregnancy chances with IVF-ET?

    Up to the age of 35, pregnancy statistics do not change dramatically. Above the age of 40, though, pregnancy rates do decrease and the incidence of miscarriage increases significantly.

  • What is ICSI?

    ICSI stands for intracytoplasmic sperm injection and is an extension of conventional IVF. It is used in cases where sperm is unable to penetrate the shell of the egg and/or fuse with the egg. This can occur when the sperm is abnormal or when the sperm count is very low. 



    It results in failure of fertilisation of the egg. ICSI overcomes these problems by selecting a single sperm from a prepared sperm sample and injecting it into the egg. This technique requires high technical skill. ICSI allows men to father their own children where previously donor sperm or adoption were the only options.