On 21st July, SMG Women’s Health held a fertility and pregnancy workshop for couples seeking to fulfil their parenthood dreams. 3 of our fertility specialists and gynaecologists from our partnering clinics shared tips for couples at different stages of their journey to getting pregnant. It was a full-house event, with more than 20 couples present, and couples had the chance to interact with our gynaecologists after the talks. For those who missed the session, here’s a summary of what was shared by the doctors:
1. How to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy
Dr Watt Wing Fong from The Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre first shared about how couples, who are planning to start a family, can start preparing their bodies for a health pregnancy. This was not just meant for the ladies, but for the husbands as well. Some things that couples could do include lifestyle modifications such as:
- Stop smoking and avoid alcohol
- Obtain a balanced and nutritious diet, for example starting on folic acid supplementation
- Weight management, applies to ladies who are both underweight and overweight as each carries with it a risk to the foetus and the mother if pregnancy occurs
Dr Watt further shared on pre-conception screening as a means for couples to get a better understanding of their health prior to pregnancy. It could also serve as a means to detect any underlying gynaecological problems that a woman might have, some of which could have an impact on fertility. Apart from that, pre-conception screening also helps the couple to assess for any genetic or hereditary conditions, infections and immunity against certain diseases such as Rubella and Chickenpox.
2. Conditions that may impact fertility
A/Prof Fong Yoke Fai from Astra Laparoscopic & Robotic Centre for Women and Fertility then went on to share about some gynaecological conditions that could impact fertility, the symptoms, and also the treatment options available to manage such conditions.
A/Prof Fong cited Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis as the common causes of infertility in women. Certain ovarian cysts and fibroids can also affect fertility depending on their size or position.
In terms of treatment options, there is a wide range, from medications and injections to surgical procedures such as laparoscopic surgery (key-hole) which is minimally invasive. The key take-away from A/Prof Fong is the importance of early diagnosis as that often leads to better outcomes, and also offers women a wider choice in terms of treatment options. To enable that, women should seek medical advice from a gynaecologist when they find that symptoms are affecting their quality of life e.g. severe menstrual cramps and heavy bleeding during menstruation.
Watch A/Prof Fong’s video on Understanding Endometriosis.
3. Options and advances in fertility
Dr Fong Yang, from Astra Centre for Women and Fertility finally shared about options for couples who find it challenging to conceive. He stressed the importance of the woman’s age, as maternal age is a critical factor that impacts fertility. For couples who repeatedly try during their fertile period yet are unable to get pregnant, he offered a rule of thumb on when they should see a gynaecologist. Subsequently, the options available to help enhance fertility range from ovulation stimulation with medications to intra-uterine insemination (IUI), and even in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
As an MOH-accredited IVF clinician, Dr Fong Yang went on to share about some advances in IVF processes such as Intra-cytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI), which allows the selection of better sperms after viewing them under high magnification, as well as the freezing of embryos before transferring back to the womb and assisted zona hatching to aid in implantation.
Lastly we would like to thank our partners, BMB and Bove Maternity for co-hosting this event with us. To all our participants, we wish you success in your endeavour to conceive. Baby dust to all our couples!
This is brought to you by our SMGWH editorial team.
For those who missed our session but require help on your fertility issues, kindly check out our fertility assessment package below: