Fertility & IVF

Tech for Good: How Medical Technologies Can Help Couples Tackle Fertility Issues

November 21, 2022

Advancements in medical technology such as the availability of IVF procedure can help more people to achieve their dreams of parenthood faster

Tech for Good: How Medical Technologies Can Help Couples Tackle Fertility Issues

Did you know that the current fertility rate in Malaysia stands at 1.7 babies per mother, the lowest the country has seen in 40 years[1]? In comparison – in 1970, the rate was 4.9 children per woman.

Currently, the mean age of a mother at first live birth is 28 years old. Factors related to this delayed parenthood include lifestyle changes, late marriage and economic status, particularly due to the lack of financial stability brought on by the pandemic. Ageing may affect this declining trend of births and fertility, but there are new and improved technology that can increase couples’ chances of getting pregnant. They can opt for various solutions to address fertility issues, one of which is In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

Dr Ashley Chung Soo Bee, Consultant Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and Fertility Medicine Specialist from Sunway Medical Centre Velocity (SMCV) shares that assisted reproductive technology is effective in helping couples to conceive– with IVF being one of the most effective procedures available at this present moment.

“IVF may be an option if you and your partner has fallopian tubes blockage, previous tubal sterilization or damage, endometriosis, ovulation disorder, impaired sperm function or production, male sterilization, unexplained fertility, genetic disorder or as fertility preservation for cancer condition.”

“Pre-implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) is a breakthrough technology in the fertility fraternity. PGT-A is a screening technique along with IVF to determine whether an embryo is healthy or not. PGT-A can increase pregnancy rates, decrease the risk of miscarriage, minimise risk for chromosomal anomalies and allow chromosomally normal embryos to be transferred to the womb or frozen for future use,” Dr Ashley shares.

Another advanced laboratory technique used for IVF is intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) where high magnification is used to identify tiny defects in the sperm head that would not be visible with standard procedure and injecting normal looking sperm into the oocytes thus increasing the fertilisation rate.

As IVF treatment is personalised to each woman, with each responding differently to different medications and different time, Dr Ashley advises patients to go through a thorough clinical examination and blood investigation to find out the causes of infertility before embarking on the procedure.

“Some women might successfully begin a pregnancy after a cycle of IVF, while others might need to try a few cycles before they begin parenthood. Some of the challenges include dealing with daily IVF treatment injections to stimulate the ovaries to produce mature eggs for fertilisation by the sperm later on. Before you begin your IVF cycle, our nurse will talk you through everything you need to know about these injections,” Dr Ashley adds.

Identifying male infertility and its appropriate treatments