Importance of Early Awareness and Access to Fertility Health

I Love Children (ILC), the community group behind the annual Know Your Fertility Wellness Campaign, released recommendations today, urging more couples to be aware of their fertility health earlier by going for fertility health checks and to make these checks more accessible. This is in line with the launch of ILC’s Fertility Awareness Campaign 2021, which focuses on reminding couples that good general health does not mean good fertility health, and that fertility issues are shared by both females and males.

This year’s campaign features key and new initiatives including:

  • Know Your Fertility Wellness webinars. Interested couples can register for free here.
  • 200 fertility health checks and 50 Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) consultations will be given out to couples. Interested couples can sign up for the package here.
  • I Love Children Fertility Go initiative for corporates who can pledge and purchase fertility health checks at special rates. Interested parties can register their interest for the pledge here.

Fertility Wellness Campaign 2020 Results

In a recent poll with 222 couples who took part in I Love Children’s Fertility Wellness Campaign in 2020, it was revealed that:

  • 91% of those who went for fertility health checks because of the campaign are now planning for a baby earlier: Knowing their own fertility health motivates couples to plan for a baby earlier, increasing chances of conceiving!
  • Of those who received a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) fertility health consultation, 70% said they would not have gone for the consultation prior to the campaign: Couples with increased awareness are more open to going for a TCM fertility consultation!
  • Of those who were not given fertility health checks from the campaign, only about 37.5% went on to pay for their own fertility health checks and of those who were given fertility health checks, 41% indicated that they would not have gone for one if not for the campaign. With most of them stating cost as their reason: The cost of fertility health checks could be a key deterrent for couples!

According to the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), fertility issues affect approximately 15% in couples today in Singapore, and among this group, 50% are males with fertility issues. KKH also revealed that female fertility potential is highest before 30 years old, but it steadily declines with age, especially after 35 years old. After 40 years of age, only 10% to 15% will be able to conceive, even with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Therefore, the success rate of a woman at or over 40, having a baby through natural conception is even lower.

“Couples deserve the right to be informed and aware of their fertility health as it can affect their choices and future. According to a survey conducted by ILC in 2019, we noted that there is a lack of fertility health awareness amongst Singaporeans with more than half of Singaporean couples not having heard of it. If fertility issues were discovered earlier, couples could have a higher chance of conceiving. Therefore, it is critical that we encourage more couples to go for fertility health checks as early as possible. We have taken baby steps in this area for too long and it is time for us to boldly change our approach in order to help more couples have children,” said Mrs Joni Ong, President of I Love Children.

“With the goal to increase Singapore’s birth rate, we believe more can be done to ensure fertility health checks are made more affordable and accessible to all couples. Families and employers can also do their part to “gift” a fertility health check to the newlyweds.” she added.

“A fertility health check is for all couples and not just those who are having difficulties conceiving although it is common that people do not think much about infertility until it happens to them. Fertility health checks are able to help couples to understand their fertility health in order to seek timely treatment and optimise their chances of conception before it is too late,” said Dr Janice Tung, Consultant O&G at Thomson Fertility Centre.

“Many patients assume that they would have no or little issues having children beyond the age of 35 and only begin seeking fertility consultation or treatment after trying for one or more years. The average age of women patients that we see seeking help is 35 years old. We need to highlight that the outcomes of fertility treatments are affected by age and it is more successful for those who come for help earlier,” said A/Prof Yong Tze Tein, Head and Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Singapore General Hospital.

 

For more information about all the events and initiatives, please visit www.ilovechildren.sg.


Images: I Love Children

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