Feature - IVF and Fertility Treatments in Singapore: Costs and Risks

. Health insurance brokers Pacific Prime explain the costs and risks associated with fertility treatments in Singapore...

With exceptional public and private health care systems, and a plethora of families, both expatriate and local alike, looking for conception assistance, there are few better places in the world than Singapore to consider In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injections (ICSI) or similar fertility treatment procedures.

Depending on the treatment(s) recommended by the fertility specialist and ultimately chosen by the couple, the actual process can vary greatly: ranging from a series of simple out-patient doctor’s office visits and regular hormone stimulation medications to more involved, injection-based methods – some of which may require a stay in hospital for a few days for monitoring to increase likelihood of conception.

To make the process a little easier and less worrisome, it is important to know what to expect; including potential risks and costs.

Like any medical procedure, there are inherent risks to both mother and baby. Furthermore, cost can be a limiting factor for many families, since conception assistance is not cheap and treatments may not be covered by some health insurance policies.

Common IVF Health Risks

Well in advance of beginning any fertility treatments, it is vital that you have frank discussions with both your partner and your doctor regarding your hopes and expectations for conception, as well as the reasonable likelihood of success conceiving a healthy baby based on the parents' ages and personal health histories. Some health risks to both mother and potential child that should be considered are:

  • Congenital birth defects
  • Multiple potential miscarriages
  • Multiple fertilizations and/or births
  • Premature/underdeveloped birth
  • Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHS)
  • Ectopic conception or pregnancy
  • Labor and delivery complications
  • Depression due to unsuccessful conception
  • Approximate IVF Costs in Singapore

Conception assistance treatment costs vary widely depending on the procedure selected, length of each treatment cycle, and the facility chosen. While the Singapore Ministry of Health has increased the subsidy for approved conception assistance treatments to 75% for up to three cycles of treatment in 2013, this program is only extended to citizens, their spouses and permanent residents. Therefore, expats should be aware that most will not qualify for any government aid, and will be expected to pay in full out-of-pocket or via their health insurance cover.

The typical cost for IVF in Singapore for a young, healthy woman often ranges from SGD$10,000 to $20,000 per treatment cycle, though the cost can be higher if additional testing, treatments, or therapies are required. As a result of the broad range in pricing based on the facility and specialist chosen, it pays to shop around for a clinic that offers both reasonable fees and payment schedules, and a high success rate.

Of course, this is a very topical discussion of just a few of the many options for conception assistance available in Singapore. Consulting with a fertility expert is necessary to have a clear understanding of the advantages, disadvantages, and potential success rates of each kind of treatment.

Finally, because undergoing IVF or any other form of fertility assistance is very costly, it’s critical that you make sure that your treatments will be covered by a comprehensive health insurance policy.