Do more to help infertile couples

Babies at KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
Babies at KK Women's and Children's Hospital.PHOTO: ST FILE

I have been married for 10 years, and trying for children for eight. Three years into my marriage,

with one miscarriage, and still childless, my husband and I consulted a fertility doctor, only to find out that because of fertility problems, only in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) would give us the greatest chance of success.

We went for it, and succeeded on our second try.

Two years on, when my child was two, I went for my third IVF cycle.

With that cycle, we exhausted the limit we could withdraw from our Medisave accounts.

For my current frozen cycle, we had to pay hard cash of more than $3,000, and that is after deducting the $1,200 government subsidy.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's speech at the annual Ho Rih Hwa Leadership in Asia lecture touched on the importance of Singaporeans procreating, and that the Government would do more to help Singaporeans have babies ("Balancing family, career requires trade-off: PM"; Wednesday).

While I really applaud every effort by the Government to encourage Singaporeans to start a family, I urge it to also do more for infertile couples who wish to have babies.

Subsidising three fresh and three frozen cycles is definitely not enough.

For my husband and me, we have trodden very carefully in terms of spacing out our IVF treatments because we are well aware of how dear those treatments are.

I am still fertile, and with IVF, we could and would have more children. Sadly, after this current cycle, we simply cannot afford any more IVF treatments.

Additional and timely subsidywould definitely help give us more opportunities to go for IVF treatments. With my biological clock ticking, I do not have much time.

Lim Lay Hoon (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2015, with the headline 'Do more to help infertile couples'. Print Edition | Subscribe