Many people defer starting a family due to reasons such as pursuing an education, career, lifestyle and financial stability.

The majority of couples conceive without difficulty or undue delay. However, one in six couples will have an infertility problem. Increasing age has an important effect on fertility. As a woman grows older, she has fewer eggs (and they are less likely to be fertilized). The fertilized eggs have a lower chance of developing as well), There is also a higher risk of genetic problems in the fetus of women above 35 years of age. Do consider starting your family as soon as you are ready in order to have the best chances of successful pregnancies and healthy babies.

atment usually starts when a couple is unable to conceive naturally after one year of unprotected intercourse. Infertility treatment includes lifestyle changes, medical or surgical treatments. Although there is no guarantee of a successful pregnancy, there is every reason to be optimistic about the many advancements in treatment as almost three quarters of infertile couples seeking help will eventually succeed in having a child.

June is World Infertility Month. World Infertility Month is celebrated in more than 40 countries and was created to foster understanding about infertility and its treatments. This brochure was produced with an aim to increase awareness about infertility and the availability of treatment options in Singapore.

A large proportion of couples with infertility can achieve position results with simple treatments such as:

• Weight management

• Lifestyle changes (avoiding smoking and drug abuse)

 • Ovulation induction with fertility medications

 • Timed intercourse in the most fertile stage of the menstrual cycle

• Artificial insemination programmes using husband's sperms

Some couples may need advanced medical techniques that includes:

• In-vitro fertilization (IVF) where eggs are fertilized in the laboratory and resulting embryos are transferred back into the uterus; this is also called 'Test-tube Baby Program"

• Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) where fertilization of an egg is achieved by injecting a single sperm into the egg

• Microsurgical sperm aspiration (MESA) where sperms are obtained surgically from the testes • Reversal of male/female sterilization • Donor programs requiring donated sperms, eggs or embryos