Prof Ivy Ng, GCEO, SingHealth (far left, in yellow); Prof Alex Sia, CEO, KKH (far left, in white); Prof Kenneth Kwek, CEO, SGH (standing far right, in white); and A/Prof Tan Heng Hao, Director, KKIVF Centre, KKH (kneeling far right, in white) with the care team at the KKIVF@three laboratory.
Singapore’s largest fertility centre – the KKIVF Centre at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) – has unveiled a new patient care and procedural wing to better cater to the growing number of patients seeking treatment with assisted reproductive techniques.
Completed in January 2018, the KKIVF@three facility is located on the third floor of the Children's Tower at KKH, and features a spacious recovery area, an oocyte pickup procedure room, embryo transfer rooms, and an enhanced IVF laboratory.
“Enhancing our hospital’s physical spaces helps to create a warmer, more welcoming environment for patients, families and staff, as well as integrating enhanced technologies to benefit patient care,” says
Associate Professor Tan Heng Hao, Director, KKIVF Centre, and Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Reproductive Medicine, KKH.
“This is just the first step in ongoing enhancements to KKIVF facilities, as we continually look for better ways to provide holistic care for couples with a variety of medical conditions, and support them through exploring individualised treatments to help prepare them for pregnancy.”
Giving couples the best chance for pregnancy
Established in 1993, the KKIVF Centre provides a holistic suite of services and treatment options to tackle the challenges that some couples may face while trying to conceive.
“Significant improvements have been made in the KKIVF laboratory culture environment,” says A/Prof Tan. “This enables the centre to maintain formation rates of blastocysts (five-day-old embryos) of more than 70 per cent, a figure comparable to international standards.”
The procedure room at KKIVF@three, where eggs (oocytes) are retrieved from a woman’s ovaries. This procedure is integral to assisted reproductive methods.|
“Leveraging on this, we have embarked on actively transferring a single blastocyst for selected patients to reduce the probability of multiple pregnancies – which are associated with higher risks for mother and baby – while improving implantation and pregnancy rates. Multiple pregnancy rates have since been on a positive downward trend.”
Since 2017, the centre has maintained an Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) incidence rate of less than one per cent – a five-fold drop compared to historical figures. This is achieved by early assessments and prompt treatments of patients who are suspected to be at risk, or already have early signs of OHSS. The debilitating medical condition occurs when too many ovarian follicles develop in response to medications.
To augment support for couples with complex subfertility issues, KKH also runs the first Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Clinic in Singapore which is staffed by specialists in reproductive medicine.
This allows patients to be cared for by specialists experienced in managing subfertility, with the capacity to refer patients for additional help from medical social workers, psychologists, immunologists and endocrinologists, when necessary, to optimise their readiness to conceive.