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Egg Freezing & IVF

Egg Freezing in Singapore: How Much It Costs & What You Should Know

profileHui Juan Neo

Growing up, I’ve always wondered what life would be like if I marry and start a family at a later stage, say in my 40s.

This, coupled with personal reasons, has led me to wonder if I would have difficulty conceiving because it’s been proven scientifically that the quality of eggs will reduce as women age.

Thankfully, the Singapore Government has announced that from 2023, elective or social egg freezing will be allowed for women aged 21 to 35 years, for non-medical reasons.

This is regardless of marital status.

Source: Giphy

This is a symbolic and welcomed move towards recognising that some women wish to preserve fertility because of their personal circumstances.

This enables ladies to avoid the issue of declining egg quality which is a common problem faced by women as they grow older.

The main benefit of egg freezing is that it preserves fertility as the age of the eggs remains unchanged, from the moment they are frozen.

While egg freezing may be done without regard to marital status, the use of frozen eggs is restricted to legally married couples.

If you are seriously considering this option, this guide will give you a better sense of the level of financial, health and mental commitments you need to know.


TL;DR: Cost of Social Egg Freezing in Singapore, Payment Method and Important Considerations You Need To Have

Process (Per Cycle)Average Cost
Egg Freezing Package: Ovarian stimulation & egg retrieval preparation, Egg retrieval process, Egg freezing, Anaesthesia
From $10,000
StorageFrom $5,000
IVF Treatments (Private)$13,000 to $30,000
Total Costs (Private)From $28,000
IVF Treatments (Public)$10,000 to $15,000
Total Costs (Public)From $25,000
Additional Costs: Consultation, Preliminary testings & Additional fertility drugsVary

Click to Teleport:


Cost of Social Egg Freezing in Singapore

Egg freezing, also known as Oocyte Cryopreservation, is a procedure that involves retrieving, freezing, and storing a woman’s eggs (oocytes) in order to maintain the fertility of a woman who wants to conceive later in life.

Source: Singapore Motherhood

Typically, one egg freezing cycle is between 10 and 14 days, beginning with medication on the first day and ending the process with egg retrieval.

According to the medical centers listed below, the cost of social egg freezing will only be made available from 2023, we can look at the cost of egg freezing for medical reasons as a reference. Egg freezing for medical reasons will cost you about $10,000 or higher, depending on the number of eggs that can be retrieved for freezing.

The number of eggs retrieved is determined by your age, individual fertility, and response to the operation.

Note that the cost above is mainly for hormonal stimulation, egg collection, anaesthesia, freezing and storage and may or may not include the cost of medication and consultations.

The older you are, the more eggs you’ll need to freeze to achieve one successful pregnancy and hence, a woman may not be able to acquire enough viable eggs in a single cycle.

As a result, you might need to undergo multiple egg collection and freezing cycles to obtain a sufficient number of eggs, for a reasonable chance of future pregnancy success.

That’s not all.

Source: Giphy

Storage of Eggs

There are ongoing and future costs of egg freezing.

The eggs must be kept frozen until they are used or thrown away. This means you’ll have to pay for storage until you make a decision on its usage.

Likewise, eggs are normally preserved for a specified duration following the procedure, which might range from no storage, 90 days to three years.

In Singapore, there is no time limit on how long eggs frozen for medical reasons can be kept frozen.

The cost of keeping the eggs frozen is then charged separately.


Additional Costs For IVF & ICSI To Use The Eggs

Once you’re ready for pregnancy, you will have to go through an Assisted Conception Procedure (ACP), or Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).

ACP/ART involves lab-based fertility treatments that use eggs and sperm outside of the human body to start conception.

In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is the most common ART used for fertility treatment.

 

Source: SMG Women’s Health

The IVF initial egg retrieval process is similar to that of egg freezing.

Traditionally, the IVF process involves combining thousands of sperms and eggs in a laboratory setting and by natural selection, the eggs will be fertilised.

Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a more advanced procedure involving a single sperm inserted into an egg in a laboratory setting to cultivate embryos.

This technique is commonly used in combination with IVF to improve the success rate of fertilisation.

Once the eggs are fertilised, the resultant embryo(s) will be transferred to the female’s uterus.

Source: Giphy

There are no published rates of IVF treatments using frozen eggs alone as elective egg freezing will only be legalised from 2023, but based on medical centers listed in the table below, one complete cycle from egg retrieval to putting back into the uterus ranges from $13,000 to $30,000 in private hospitals, and $10,000 to $15,000 in public Assisted Reproductive centers.

PrivateCost of IVF per cycle
Thomson Fertility Center$15,000 to $20,000
Virtus Fertility Center$18,000 to $20,000
Mount Elizabeth Fertility Center$25,000 to $30,000
Raffles Fertility Center$20,000 to $25,000
PublicCost of IVF per cycle
KK Women’s and Children’s IVF Center$10,000 to $15,000
Singapore General Hospital Center for Assisted Reproduction (CARE)$10,000 to $15,000
National University Hospital Clinic for Human Reproduction (CHR)$8,000 to $12,000

Note that the list is non-exhaustive. 


Subsidies Available IVF Treatments

1. Medisave

A Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident couple can also tap on their MediSave for IVF treatment at both private and public Assisted Reproduction centres.

The withdrawal limit is set at $15,000.

Treatment StageWithdrawal amount (Limit to $15,000 per patient)
First cycle$6,000
Second cycle $5,000
Third cycle$4,000

2. Government Co-Funding

It may come as no surprise that our ahgong is very supportive of pro-creation.

Under the Marriage and Parenthood Scheme, couples can opt to co-fund their Assisted Conception Procedure at a public Assisted Reproductive center.

This will allow couples to receive up to 75% in co-funding from the Government.

You are considered eligible if:

  • You are below 40 years of age at the start of the cycle (except for the last two cycles for couples where the wife had previously attempted an ART/Intra-Uterine Insemination procedure before age 40);
  • You have not already received three co-funded fresh and three co-funded frozen cycles in the past;
  • You have been assessed by a doctor to fulfil clinical requirements for any ART;
  • You or your spouse must be a Singapore Citizen at the start of the ART cycle.
Source: Giphy

For those who are 40 years old and above, the co-funding will cover up to two out of six ART cycles, provided you have attempted the treatment or an Intra-Uterine Insemination procedure before age 40.

Couple's citizenshipBoth Singapore Citizens1 Singapore citizen, 1 Permanent Resident1 Singapore citizen, 1 foreigner
Fresh Assisted Reproduction Technology cycles75%; up to $7,70055%; up to $5,70035%; up to $3,600
Frozen Assisted Reproduction Technology cycles75%; up to $2,20055%; up to $1,60035%; up to $1,000
Intra-Uterine Insemination 75%; up to $1,00055%; up to $70035%; up to $500

3. Insurance

Just like LASIK, elective egg freezing is considered a personal choice, hence it is currently not covered by any insurance schemes and Medisave.

However, there is prenatal/pregnancy/maternity insurance that cover IVF treatments.

Such insurance pays out a lump sum of money and/or hospital benefits if a pregnancy complication occurs. Depending on the insurer, different pregnancy complications may be covered.

There are now more insurers such as Great Eastern, NTUC Income, Manulife, and Singlife with Aviva, that offer policies.

Most maternity insurance policies have a 10 to 12-month “waiting period” (the time between purchasing the policy and being eligible to use it), so try to get it beforehand.

4. Clinic-specific Payment

Some clinics such as Virtus Fertility Center offers Gap-only payment is also available if you are claiming Medisave for your treatment cycle.

This means that you pay only the difference between the total fees and the claimable Medisave amount, and you can significantly reduce the upfront payment you are required to pay for your treatment cycle.

Thomson Fertility Center also has an interest-free instalment payment plan for finance management.


Considerations Before Egg Freezing

1. No Guarantee of Successful Pregnancy

Source: Giphy

There is no guarantee that freezing your eggs will successfully result in a baby when you’re ready.

Medical evidence shows that the success rate of egg freezing leading to a live birth is 2% to 12%.

Given the low success rate of live births, there is no guarantee of motherhood.

Other challenges imposed include aged parenthood, and risks imposed on late pregnancy.

2. Age Matters

Source: Giphy

Sadly, age does matter when you are considering egg freezing.

While there is no age limit for medical egg freezing, social egg freezing is only available for ladies aged 21-35.

This age limit is set to be aligned with the age limits for egg donation.

The older a woman is, the more eggs will be required to achieve a pregnancy, therefore more cycles will be required.

The lower the patient’s ovarian reserve, the more eggs are needed. This is because the low ovarian reserve is not only associated with a lower number of eggs in the ovaries, but also with poorer egg quality.

As the egg numbers decline with advancing age and with declining ovarian reserve, under both of these circumstances women will need more cycles to freeze an adequate number of eggs.

For this reason, egg freezing after age 38 is no longer considered economical. If you are older, you can consider IVF instead of egg freezing.

3. Invasive Procedure and Risks

Indeed, egg freezing is an invasive procedure and every woman who is considering this option should understand the implications.

Although rare, the egg retrieval process may lead to complications such as bleeding or infection of one’s bladder, bowel or blood vessel.

There is also the risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome.

This is when a woman takes injectable hormone medication to promote egg development in the ovaries, causing one’s ovaries to swell or bloat.

Similarly, there are risks imposed by having babies at an older age, among other things.


Closing Thoughts

Whether you decide to go ahead with egg freezing and/or IVF later, I personally find it important to ask ourselves if we are able to handle our emotions when dealing with unsuccessful pregnancies.

This is certainly a huge commitment both financially and emotionally. If you are still young, talk to your parents and friends to find out what they think about your choice.

If you are shy and not too sure where to seek a second opinion, hop over to our community on Seedly where such topics can be discussed at length, without judgments!

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