Considering In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) options but not sure where to start? Here’s your essential guide to IVF and the IVF clinics in Singapore.
If you’ve arrived at this article, chances are, the baby-making journey has been all but an easy ride. Indeed, successfully conceiving can be a process that takes not just weeks, but months or even years. For some, it requires medical procedures in order to successfully conceive, and one such method couples can opt for is IVF (in-vitro fertilisation).
If you’re considering IVF to help you and your partner conceive, here’s a handy guide to IVF and finding an IVF clinic in Singapore.
What is In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)?
In-vitro quite literally means, outside the living body. Hence, unlike natural conception, IVF refers to the fertilisation of the egg with the sperm, outside of the human body. More specifically, IVF is an Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART) that consists of a series of procedures, in order to help a couple conceive, or to prevent genetic problems .
It is at times seen as a last resort for couples trying to conceive, having exhausted all other means such as adjusting their lifestyle, using conception tools, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and more.
For couples considering IVF, here are the procedures that make up IVF, in a nutshell [1, 2]:
- Egg stimulation via hormone injections
- Assessment of eggs via ultrasound and blood tests
- Retrieval of mature eggs
- Sperm retrieval, typically through masturbation
- Fertilisation of egg by sperm in a lab
- Freezing of embryos
- Transfer of embryos into womb
While a full IVF cycle takes around three weeks, it could be prolonged as these procedures are split into parts, and this also does not factor in the screening and consultation timeline .
What do IVF clinics offer?
Unlike signing up for an exercise class and simply showing up, there are many layers to successfully enrolling into an IVF program.
Firstly, there will be an assessment ordered by the IVF clinic to check on your fertility and potential causes of infertility. This will help the doctor to make a better recommendation on the most suitable form of treatment, as well as ensure that you meet the IVF criteria. It is possible that after a fertility check, you could be recommended other conception methods besides IVF .
Besides executing the IVF procedure shared above, IVF clinics also offer other additional services including:
- Fertility evaluation
- Other reproductive services such as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
- Semen analysis
- Egg freezing
- Egg donation
- Support services such as counselling
If you’re still hoping to conceive naturally, you could also consider home conception aids like the twoplus Sperm Guide. A fertility product for men and women, the Sperm Guide helps retain more sperm throughout the vaginal tract and ultimately increases the odds of natural conception.
Costs of IVF
IVF treatment does not come cheap. However, that also doesn’t mean that it's only reserved for the wealthy ones among us.
The average cost of an IVF cycle comes up to around S$13,000 to S$15,000 in the private sector, and this typically includes the following fees .
- Fees charged by IVF laboratories (S$8,000 to S$10,000)
- Medication fees (S$2,000 to S$5,000)
However, do note that there is no one-size-fits-all, and the costs could differ from couple to couple, depending on the individual needs. To add, costs would also typically be subjected to prevailing government taxes.
It is also important to keep in mind that IVF is not a sure-fire way of getting pregnant. Success rates depend on factors such as age, weight, cause of infertility and more . Hence, not every IVF cycle will be a success and it could require multiple IVF cycles for a couple to successfully conceive.
And if you would like to try other methods of conception before diving into IVF, you could first consider affordable home insemination tools like the twoplus Applicator Extra. It's a self-insemination syringe that allows you to direct-deposit sperm right where it matters in the vagina.
Government subsidies and MediSave to tap on
Are there any government subsidies for couples trying to conceive via IVF? Yes, since 1 January 2020, couples can get up to 75% of the costs co-funded by the Ministry of Health (MOH) for Assisted Conception Procedures (ACPs) in public Assisted Reproduction (AR) centres .
For IVF couples, this co-funding will cover their ART treatment, up to a total of three fresh and three frozen ART cycles. Two of the key requirements for you to receive this co-funding include having to be below 40 years of age at the start of the ART cycle (with the exception of the last two cycles), and being evaluated by a doctor to meet the requirements necessary for ART .
For full details on this co-funding, refer to this page.
Can one use CPF or MediSave to help offset the costs?
Yes, you can opt to use MediSave to pay for ACPs such as IVF. However, there is a limit to the amount you can use from your Medisave for these procedures.
Medisave limits for ACPs are capped at S$15,000 per patient, and broken down as such :
- First cycle: S$6,000
- Second cycle: S$5,000
- Subsequent cycles: S$4,000
Best IVF clinics in Singapore
There are quite a handful of IVF clinics for you to choose from in Singapore. To keep costs low, one of the ways is to visit a public provider, compared to a private hospital.
Public hospitals you can go to include:
- KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH)
- National University Hospital (NUH)
- Singapore General Hospital (SGH)
Here’s a detailed look into some of the private IVF clinics in Singapore to help you come to a decision.
1. Thomson Fertility Centre
The first IVF centre in a private hospital, Thomson Fertility Centre has been around since 1987. They pride themselves in providing comprehensive and holistic fertility services, with an expert team of fertility doctors and embryologists.
Based on 2016 data, the overall pregnancy rate with IVF at Thomson Fertility Centre is 60% .
They also offer a joint IVF management system, whereby their fertility doctors will work with Obstetrician and Gynaecologist specialists who do not practise IVF, both locally and abroad. This allows patients that are overseas to tap on the expertise of Thomson Fertility Centre, while being able to rely on their doctor back home for continued support .
- Average of S$13,000 to S$19,000 for a full IVF cycle .
- Other services offered include fertility screening which costs S$450 excluding consultation , and holistic fertility consultation at S$199 .
Phone: 6252 7766
Address: Paragon Medical Centre, 290 Orchard Road #19-01, Singapore 238859
2. Virtus Fertility Centre
Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore, is part of Virtus Health Limited, the largest Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) healthcare provider in Australia, that has helped more than 50,000 couples start a family .
Uniquely, Virtus Fertility Centre has an elective 'freeze all' approach, where all embryos are freezed to be used later in a natural cycle, or in a cycle with hormonal replacement. This approach has seen good pregnancy outcomes in all age groups, with Virtus Fertility Centre achieving 55% success rates for IVF treatment since it opened in January 2015 .
Besides IVF, Virtus Fertility Centre also offers a range of fertility services, including fertility checkups, IUI, Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) and more .
- Fertility Assessment: S$330.65 w/GST ($309) for Basic, S$481.50 with GST ($450) for Comprehensive
- Oocyte (Egg) Retrieval: S$9844 to S$10,272 with GST (S$9200 - S$9600)
- Embryo Transfer: S$4,494 to S$5,671 with GST (S$4,200 - S$5,300)
Phone: 6460 4555
Address: 9 Scotts Rd, #09-01, Singapore 228210
3. Mount Elizabeth Fertility Centre
Located within Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Fertility Centre has been offering fertility services since 1988. Although acceptance of IVF patients depends on factors such as age, hormone levels, and more, Mount Elizabeth Fertility Centre does not reject patients that have a low likelihood of success. In fact, they pride themselves in helping patients who have not been able to receive fertility treatment or have not had success elsewhere .
Like Virtus Fertility Centre, Mount Elizabeth Fertility Centre also routinely applies the freeze-all IVF technique, which helps women diagnosed with low ovarian reserves, or women who have poor ovarian response during IVF .
The Mount Elizabeth Fertility Centre’s scientific team is led by Ng Lia Cheng, their chief embryologist with more than 24 years in embryology. In 2020, the pregnancy rate at Mount Elizabeth Fertility Centre was 55% .
- Basic fertility assessment: S$374
- Oocyte (egg) retrieval, more than 6 eggs: S$9,400 to S$10,500
- Oocyte (egg) retrieval, 6 eggs or less: S$8,500
- Frozen embryo transfer: S$4,000
- Magnetic Activated Cell Sorting (MACS) System: S$749
- Pre-diagnostic sperm tests: S$66 to S$560
Phone: 6731 2693
Address: 3 Mount Elizabeth, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Level 3, Singapore 228510
4. Sincere IVF Centre
Sincere IVF Centre offers services including assisted reproduction, fertility screening and IVF packages. Their team comprises fertility specialists, who are pioneers in the reproductive medicine space . For the year of 2017, the pregnancy rate for cycles that reached embryo transfer was 51.49% .
Sincere IVF Centre also offers free tours to give potential patients a chance to view the facilities and environment, with the exception of the laboratory .
Overseas clients, particularly those in Malaysia, are more than welcome. Sincere IVF Centre has concierge services that include accommodation, language interpretation, transport, travel-related assistance, visa extension, and more. They also have partners in Malaysia that can assist with certain procedures of the IVF journey, making it ideal for couples residing in Malaysia as it reduces the amount of time required to be in Singapore .
Cost: The cost of IVF at Sincere IVF Centre varies, depending on the amount and types of drugs used, procedures completed, and ultimately, the individual’s response .
Phone: 6507 0766
Address: 8 Sinaran Drive #06-09/10/1, Novena Specialist Centre, Singapore 307470
Centre for Assisted Reproduction (CARE)
The Centre for Assisted Reproduction (CARE), located within Singapore General Hospital, is a fertility centre with over 30 years of experience. Notably, more than 2500 healthy babies have been born through assisted reproduction techniques with CARE.
Besides assisted reproduction techniques like IVF and IUI, CARE also offers andrology, fertility preservation procedures such as ovarian tissue cryopreservation and autologous semen storage, freeze banking and egg donation.
Phone: 6321 4377
Address: Block 5 Level 1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Singapore General Hospital Outram Road, Singapore 169608
Increase your chances of natural conception
Before you firmly decide on using IVF to conceive, you could also try conception aids such as the twoplus Sperm Guide to help boost your chances of getting pregnant by providing a safe space for sperm to reach the egg.
Alternatively, you could also choose to use the twoplus Applicator, to direct-deposit sperm higher up the vaginal tract. For couples who experience painful sex but want to conceive, this artificial insemination tool may prove useful as there's no need for penetrative sex.
Finally, if you want to visit a fertility clinic to check on your reproductive health, you could consider taking a hormone test in the comfort of your own home, to get an overview of your reproductive health.