Couples with difficulty to conceive

Doctor, is it true that subfertility is more common nowadays?

This question is commonly pose to me during my consultation with couples seeking treatment for fertility.  The figure quoted for prevalence of this problem is 1 in every 7 married couple.  However, there is no local data available (at least that I can recall).  Doctors are seeing more subfertility cases because (1) Better access to fertility treatment, (2) Increased patient awareness, (3) Couple delaying childbirth and (4) Higher prevalance of lifestyle disease.

When to seek treatment?

The probability of pregnancy for a healthy couple is 30% per month. This is known as fecundity rate.  This low figure is just to show that Man are poor reproducer. Despite this low pregnancy rate, most couple with regular unprotected sexual intercourse (2-3 times a week), should be able to conceive within a year.  Fertility is influenced by age, duration of subfertility, presence of poor sperm count and past history of pregnancy. It is important for couple to seek treatment after 1 year of trying to conceive but sooner if they have the following problem.

  1. Women aged more than 35years.
  2. Irregular menstrual cycle.
  3. Previous history of Endometriosis,  pelvic infection.
  4. Poor sperm count.

Difficulty to conceive- seek treatment early

See also “Women Health” section for couples with difficulty to conceive or  click here.



Author: Dr Ng Soon Pheng

Dr. Ng Soon Pheng MD(USM), M.Med (O&G), Fellow Reprod Medicine (Singapore), AM (Mal) Dr. Ng Soon Pheng qualified from University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Malaysia. After obtaining his post graduate degree, Dr. Ng Soon Pheng continued his clinical fellowship training in the field of IVF in Singapore. He was also the recipient of Yayasan Sultan Iskandar (Johor) Scholarship for the fellowship stint. Dr. Ng Soon Pheng has more than 10 years of working experience in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the public and university hospital, with special interests in infertility. He was an Associate Professor with the Department of O&G in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) specialising in infertility. Dr. Ng Soon Pheng is currently Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with special interests in infertility at Columbia Asia Hospital - Puchong.