We’ve been getting a bit frustrated recently feeling like we’re on the same old routine – take clomid, get a scan, get a trigger shot and hope for the best. Even though this worked for us once before, we’ve been doing this now for the last six months, with a couple of IUI treatments thrown in, and still no luck so we decided to get a second opinion from another doctor.
We visited Dr Ann Tan at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, who is supposed to be one of the top gynaecologists in Singapore. She seems to be very self promotional. When you open her website you’re greeted with a glamourous picture of Dr Tan herself. In her waiting room she is on the front cover of Inside Magazine talking about Fertility and the Singapore woman – just one of many media titles she’s been in. Despite working in PR myself, this kind of promotion from a doctor normally puts me off. She seems like more of a businesswoman than a doctor. But I had a recommendation from a friend so I thought I would give it a go.
It was a relief seeing her. Straight away she started talking about other tests we can do and other potential problems we can look at. She is doing an anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) test, which measures the size of the pool of growing follicles and therefore thought to reflect the size of the remaining egg supply, or ovarian reserve. She is also doing a more comprehensive hormone profile for me – one thing she mentioned is that a high level of thyroid antibodies may mean an increased risk of miscarriage. And whilst we’ve had tests for the quantity and mobility of my husband’s sperm, we haven’t tested functionality, or their ability to fertilise an egg, so this new test will help us to see if this is a potential issue.
All this comes at a price though. Dr Tan’s fees are even higher than my previous doctor. We’ve spent an eye watering SG$1,300 this week on consultations, scans and tests.
These tests may or may not uncover any problems, but it feels like a step in the right direction. It’s really frustrating not understanding why we can’t conceive. All I can hope is that if it gets us closer to finally having a baby it will all be worth it.
If you’re struggling to conceive and not sure where to start, here are some of the key things to check with your doctor:
- Sperm count
- Sperm motility
- Percentage of abnormal sperm shape
- Blockages in the fallopian tubes
- Polycystic ovaries
- Thyroid function – Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroxine (T4) levels and Thyroid Antibodies
- Hormone profile – Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Estradiol, Progesterone and Prolactin levels
- Ovarian reserve