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Q & A during Fertility Seminar By Dr Peter Chew at Novotel on 25 October 2014

1. Is it possible that ovulation prediction kit test shows negative but we may still be ovulating?

Ans: The OPK can give false positive (i.e. patient not ovulating but the test is positive as well as false negative result.

2. Does oral sex kills sperm?

Ans: Saliva, if used as lubricant for vaginal sex can affect the motility and viability of the sperm. Chances of conception may be reduced.

3. What is basal temperature and how do you measure it?

Ans: Pl refer to the article on “fertility tips” It should be taken when you wake up in the morning before getting out of bed.

4. How long does it take for the birth control pills to "wear off" in the body?

Ans: There is no “wearing off” period. You can try for baby as soon as you are “off” the pills.

5. a) Should caffeine be avoided to conceive? b) Any advice on products like maca powder and goat weed?

Ans: a) Moderation is key. One to two cups a day is fine.        b) Maca and goat weed are herbal supplements that may help improve female fertility 

6. a) Is there medical evidence to prove the effectiveness of acupuncture and TCM for fertility? b) If acupuncture is good for fertility, what is the recommended frequency?

Ans: a) There are instances where acupuncture and TCM may boost the chances of fertility.     b) See your doctor for further advice.

7. Is there a max age to try conceiving? 

Ans: There is no maximum age when trying to conceive, but do bear in mind that fertility declines with age for both male and female. Try for baby earlier in life to avoid complications that come with age.

8. Will the chance of conceiving be reduced if you have inverted/ re-troverted uterus?

Ans: No. Retroverted womb is present in 20 % of normal females. It has no relationship to infertility.

9. With age, quality of sperm decreases. How does the quality of the sperm affect the chances of pregnancy or the health of the foetus or the baby eventually?

Ans: Sperm quality and quantity decline after 35. Depending on the age of the spouse, the chances of natural conception will decline after she passes 26 years, as the optimal age for women to conceive naturally is between 22 to 26. Miscarriages happen even in younger women. It’s the body’s natural way of discharging an unhealthy foetus.

10. What diet will help increase quality of sperm for a 40 year old?

Ans: According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine,  a healthy diet including plenty of fish, vegetables, and whole grains will help increase quality of sperm A diet high in trans fats may lower the number of sperm .

11. I would like to know what and when is ovulating period? How about the case for irregular menstruation?

Ans: the ovulation period can be assessed even if the periods are irregular by        o   Basal Body temperature        o   Ovulation prediction kits        o   Vaginal ultrasound examination

12. Does IPL hair removal affects fertility. Does it apply to male and/or female?

Ans: IPL hair removal does not affect male or female fertility.

13. Is pre-conception check good for trying couples?

Ans: Pre-conception checks are recommended for couples who are trying for baby. Any re-structured hospitals and private medical centres in Singapore would be able to provide this service.

14. a) What are the possible causes of failure in IVFs? b) What is the recommended resting period between IVFs?

Ans: a) There are many causes of failed IVF, the ovary may fail to respond to the drugs, the egg may not be retrieved during the procedure, the quality of the egg retrieved may be of lower grade, failure of the egg to be fertilized, the fertililsed egg may fail to get implanted in the womb.        b) There is no hard and fast rule as to the rest period between IVFa three to six months of rest period is advised for patient to grieve over the failure but there are women who would try again without any break.

15. Does chronic disease affect fertility?

Ans: There are many chronic diseases e.g Diabetes, heart diseases that affect fertility. Seek medical advice and go for pre-conception checks when trying for baby.

16. My menstrual cycle is irregular and I'm having a hard time conceiving. My doctor told me that I may not be releasing eggs during ovulation because I'm still breastfeeding my 19m daughter. I have never heard about this. Is this true?

Ans: Breastfeeding is a “natural contraception”. However, this does not mean that you cannot get pregnant when you are nursing your child. During breastfeeding, there could be months that you may not be releasing eggs therefore, you will not be able to get pregnant.

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