I received so many emails requesting for the password to my TTC Posts and most of the question you girls asked;
“Where do i start and is fertility treatment costly?”
I am not an expert on fertility treatments but i’ll share what i went through.
Getting a headstart
Most gynae would recommend you to try naturally for a year before u start on Fertility treatments. We tried naturally for more than a year before we decided to get help.
We first tried going to a private gynae, Dr Adrian Woodworth at Thomson Women Clinic (CCK).
At this point, i was still working with my ex-company and couldn’t afford to take frequent Annual Leaves as the team was short of manpower and because the Clinic operates on weekend nights and Saturday mornings, i figured this would be the best option for us.
Dr Adrian prescribed me Clomid for the next cycle and although i ovulated that month with great-looking follicles, i wasn’t pregnant. I stopped seeing Dr Adrian because i couldn’t foster a relationship with him. There was no chemistry. He was too hasty in his consultation and that wasn’t what i’m looking for in my Gynae.
Upon Ain’s recommendations, i went to see Dr Tham at Thomson Women Clinic (Bt Gombak).
He did a scan in his clinic and he was the one who discovered something suspicious at my tubes area. He suspected my tubes could be blocked. However, because his Ultrasound machine is very basic, he referred me to the Women’s Clinic at NUH to do a detailed vaginal scan. I went back to Dr Tham’s Clinic right after the Scan at NUH and that was when he told me i have bilateral blocked tubes, where both tubes were blocked. However, to check on the severity of the blockage, i would have to go through HSG.
I love Dr Tham for giving me an option. He told me , if it’s true that my tubes were blocked, he would recommend a Laproscopy to remove the tubes and proceed to IVF straight but he warned me Laproscopy at Thomson Medical Centre will be costly. He asked if i would prefer to go through the subsidized route instead and he would be fine with referring me to the Polyclinic with my full medical report and i find that very nice of him. I would have hugged him there and then if i wasn’t too overwhelmed with the news of the blocked tubes. I remembered, right after stepping out of the clinic, i composed myself, told myself it’s ok and went on to call my hubby. I kept telling myself not to cry cos i didn’t want him to worry. But when i heard my husband voice, him telling me “it’s ok, we’ll go through this together” , i couldn’t contain those tears. This was the man i married and whom i know will stand by me come what may. 🙂
Getting a referral
Off i went to Polyclinic. It was a long wait (what’s new!) but the consultation was really short. I told them i am trying to conceive, would like a referral and would prefer to be at NUH. I went to the Polyclinic on Saturday and got an appointment to Clinic G at NUH on Tuesday morning. That kind of took me by surprise really cos i was anticipating a 1 month wait before i can see a gynae! I guess i underestimated our public hospitals.
Dollars & Cents
The most-asked questions among my friends who are trying to conceive as well.
My consultations with the gynae is $33 after subsidies. That is if i don’t have any bloodworks done or take any medications. Blood test costs varies depending on what kind of tests they are doing on you and also the amount of blood they are taking from you. The previous tests, it cost me $200+ for 5 tubes of blood for different bloodtests. That was the highest i paid so far at Clinic G. Usually, my fees goes from $33 – $80 per session. The HSG was about $250 – $300 if i’m not wrong.
With the private gynae, i left the clinic at least $200.00 poorer per visit.
That includes ultrasound scans, consultation fees and medications & vitamins (Clomid & Folic Acid)
I went for 4 visits before they could detect the blockage.
Which way to go?
Again, i’m often asked this question. This is a matter of preference really.
But from my point of view, if i was still in the workforce, with limited time and annual leaves, i’ll have to settle with going private clinics / hospitals.
I’m solely going thru the subsidised route because i have more time in my hands because i’m self-employed and the waiting time, if you are punctual for your appointments, never go beyond 30mins. Ever. I can only speak for NUH subsidised clinic though cos from what i’ve heard KKH Subsidised clinic waiting time is horrendous.
The other reason is also cos we knew from the start i might have an underlying problem and would require more tests to be done.
More tests to be done = More visits to the hospitals = More payments.
Why i chose NUH was because it’s a convenient option for me. I just need to take cab, go thru Upp Bt Timah Road, Clementi and im there in 15 mins.
So far, Clinic G has been great. The nurses are forever all over the place so yes that’s how busy they are but when it’s your turn, the gynae and the nurses will give full attention to you. I’ve not experienced bad service at Clinic G so far although i feel the service at the NUH Women’s Clinic (equivalent to The Private Suite at KKH) is even much better when i went for my Ultrasound Scans previously. They are just so warm and genuine.
As for gynaes, although im on the subsidised route, i’m always seeing Dr Shakina Rauff and occasionally Dr Stephen Chew or Dr Anupriya will sit in and offer their expertise and opinion. I’m thankful i don’t have to be seeing so many doctors and repeating the same thing all over again. Dr Shakina is a wonder to work with, offering her support when i had to go through the Laproscopy to remove the tubes so it’s sad i’m not gonna see her for awhile since i’m now transferred to the NUH Centre of Human Reproduction (CHR) for my IVF sessions. I’ll still be seeing Dr Chew and Dr Anu there though.
My next appointment is on 14th January to see Prof P C Wong, head of Fertility in NUH. Not sure why but i’m really excited to meet him to get more insight on the procedures i’ll be going through. The last IVF counselling i did, the nurse told me the Doctors will probably advise me on transferring 1 embryo only since my AMH level is quite high and as much as possible, they would like to prevent multiple pregnancies. I would like to hear from Prof Wong’s point of view but really i leave it to Allah to decide as we embark on our IVF journey.
I am scheduled to start my IVF in March 2014. They initially scheduled it for January 2014 but i had to postpone it cos we made prior travel arrangements for January & February 2014 and the last thing i wanna do is jeopardise our chances because of the travelling.
Come March 2014, it’ll be a new routine for us. Keep us in your prayers! 🙂