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At Mount Elizabeth Fertility Centre, we offer a comprehensive range of assisted reproductive technology (ART) services to help couples overcome a range of fertility issues and improve their chances of having a baby.
Our services include:
Mount Elizabeth Fertility Centre's dedicated donor sperm programme assists couples who are unable to achieve pregnancy due to male infertility.
Before undergoing treatment, you will go for a psychological counselling session with our counsellor. This session will help in your consideration and discuss the legal, social, genetic and moral aspects of conceiving a child from a sperm donor.
We work with 3 of the largest sperm banks in the United States. All sperm donors are screened for genetic diseases, chromosomal abnormalities and infectious diseases. These sperm banks are licensed and inspected by the Food and Drug Administration.
Mount Elizabeth Fertility Centre works with one of the largest egg donor banks in Europe to import donor eggs.
To ensure the safety and quality of the donated oocytes (eggs):
When you are ready to embark on our donor egg programme, we will facilitate and coordinate with the overseas egg bank to handle all the shipping logistics for you.
If you have eggs, sperm or embryos in storage overseas, it’s possible to move them into Singapore.
Our fertility team is able to assist you with the importation and transfer process, so that you can continue your assisted reproductive treatment with minimal interruption. We have worked with numerous medical couriers and Fertility Centers based in the United States, Europe and other Asian countries.
Overseas importation and transfer of frozen eggs, sperm and embryos are permitted by the Ministry of Health, Singapore.
Our team of fertility specialists are up-to-date with the current IVF technologies and protocols, to provide comprehensive personalised care with ideal clinical outcomes. This includes preserving fertility of cancer patients prior to undergoing cancer treatment.
Read on to learn more about some of the advanced fertility technologies we employ.
The EmbryoScope time-lapse system is an innovative technology that is used to closely monitor the development of embryos. It pairs with an incubator, a high resolution camera with an integrated computer software that can provide up to 135-hours, minute-by-minute microscopic video, documenting the growth of an embryo without disruption.
The benefits of using an EmbryoScope include the following:
Embryos incubated inside the EmbryoScope will never need to be removed for analysis thanks to the time-lapse system.
Development and key morphological features of embryos can be monitored by and analysed by embryologists via high quality images and video (up to 7,200 mins) captured by the built in camera. Anomalies that may not be visible during standard embryo culture can be shown in EmbryoScope.
In-depth and accurate data obtained via EmbryoScope provides comprehensive visual development of an embryo to aid in embryo selection and ranking. Our embryologists are able to identify the highest quality embryos for transfers or for cryopreservation and subsequently increase the chances of healthy pregnancies.
We provide sperm selection using magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS) Annexin V system, which is designed to separate healthy sperm from those that have begun apoptosis (cell death) due to a high level of DNA fragmentation.
The purified sperm population shows a higher overall quality in terms of morphology, motility, DNA integrity and cryosurvival rate – thus yielding an improved sperm fertilisation potential and good embryo or blastocyst.
MACS can benefit patients who have:
Beyond the parameters that we look at in a normal semen analysis, there are other diagnostic tests that can provide more insights into sperm health.
These tests include:
DNA fragmentation of sperm correlates to the integrity of the genetic material in sperm, and high DNA fragmentation can be an explanation for infertility, recurrent miscarriages and poor IVF outcomes.
The major contributing factor for high DNA fragmentation is oxidative stress associated with advanced chronological age, alcohol, diet, increased testicular temperature, infection, occupational pollutants, smoking, stress and varicocele (an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum).
A DNA fragmentation test can provide a reliable sperm analysis at a molecular level by detecting abnormal genetic material within the sperm, which in turn helps to identify men who are at risk of subfertility.
Hyaluronan binding assay (HBA) assesses the maturity of sperm. Hyaluronan (HA) is a sugar molecular surrounding the egg and only mature sperm can bind to it. Sperm that binds to HA have enhanced levels of developmental sperm maturity, including fewer chromosomal abnormalities and higher sperm DNA integrity.
The HBA test is another component of the sperm analysis that is reliable in the diagnosis of suspected male infertility, to predict sperm performance and fertilisation potential.
The Oxisperm test assesses the oxidative stress levels of sperm. High level of oxidative stress in sperm indicate an elevated level of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which have a direct negative impact on sperm DNA integrity and motility. Exposure to substances such as tobacco, alcohol, household appliances, radiation (from laptops, TV and UV rays), and heavy metals can lead to elevated levels of ROS.
Oxidative stress refers to an imbalance between the generation of ROS and the body’s ability to neutralise their harmful effects through antioxidants. Sperm is highly susceptible to oxidative stress and when in this state, peroxidative damage will be induced in sperm plasma membrane resulting in DNA fragmentation.
High oxidative stress has been associated with poor sperm motility and function, leading to poor embryo formation, miscarriage, and infertility. Conditions such as varicoceles, infection, inflammation, and spinal cord injury, have also been associated with oxidative stress-induced infertility.
These pre-diagnostic tests provide information that can help in clinical diagnosis, management and treatment of male fertility, and increase favourable outcome for assisted reproduction procedures.
Patients who may benefit from these tests may have indicating factors such as:
Our strict laboratory standards with ideal culture conditions allow us to support the growth of embryos to the blastocyst stage.
Our ability to develop embryos to the blastocyst stage allows us to select the healthiest embryos with the highest potential for implantation at the time of transfer.
Only 1 or 2 blastocysts will be transferred, versus the traditional transfer of 3 or 4 early-stage embryos, back to the mother. This reduces the risk of multiple births from IVF, while improving pregnancy rates.
Our chief embryologist, Ms Ng Lai Cheng, has been culturing blastocysts since 1993, first as part of an animal research co-culture team in blastocyst culture and transfer and later on in clinical embryology.
Patients with poor ovarian response while undergoing IVF treatment can have renewed hope with the double stimulation protocol. Poor ovarian response could be due to multiple factors, including diminished ovarian reserves or older age.
In classic IVF procedures, only 1 oocyte retrieval (egg collection) is performed using mild ovarian stimulation during the early follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. In the double stimulation protocol, a second oocyte retrieval is performed during the luteal phase.
Double stimulations are performed during both the follicular and luteal phases in the same menstrual cycle, leading to higher opportunity to retrieve more oocytes. This allows for better chances in obtaining quality blastocysts and therefore higher pregnancy success rates.
We routinely apply a laboratory technique known as freeze-all IVF, which gives couples more options than before.
Vitrification is a method for the safe freezing of blastocysts. It avoids the formation of ice crystals, which can be extremely damaging to frozen embryos.
Vitrification in IVF allows for better survival rates of thawed embryos and improved pregnancy rates after frozen transfer procedures. This translates to better pregnancy outcomes and a lowered chance of obstetric complications such as pre-term labour or foetal growth restriction.
Quality blastocysts (advanced day 5 or day 6 embryos) that remain after the end of a treatment cycle will be saved, via vitrification, for future use.
The freeze-all blastocysts strategy is especially beneficial for women who: