Facts about egg and sperm donation in Singapore

Ever wondered what the egg and sperm donation process is in Singapore? We got the experts to walk us through…

Conceiving-–-Facts-about-egg-and-sperm-donation-in-Singapore

Egg and sperm donation can be used to help couples conceive. It is rather rare in Singapore, though — about 5 per cent of couples going through fertility treatment may need a donor, according to Virtus Fertility Centre.

          Says the Centre’s scientific director, Dr Liow Swee Lian, “Egg or sperm donation may be needed in a case where the man has no sperm, or low sperm quality, or if the woman has premature ovarian failure, premature menopause, no eggs, or possibly recurrent miscarriages.”

          Before the procedure, the couple will have to undergo psychological, health and financial counselling.

Sperm donation

If donor sperm is required, the couple may look to MOH-approved sperm banks overseas, usually in the US.

          Dr Liow explains that his Centre will facilitate this by pointing the couple to a website, where they can choose a sperm donor. “The donor is identified with a code number, and possibly a picture of him when he was a young child.”

          There may also be specifications such as the donor’s education level, his hair and eye colour, and blood type. “The couple will be asked to pick two or three potential donors.”

          It’s important for the bank to be an approved institution as the donor has to be screened for all blood diseases, as well as his psychological profile, before he can qualify as a donor.

          Back in Singapore, the fertility centre has to check with the bank whether the chosen donor’s sperm has been imported into Singapore before, and if so, how many live births resulted. “The government limits it to be three live births here, per donor,” adds Dr Liow. “This is to reduce the chance meetings of half-siblings.”

          If the requirements are met, the sperm will be imported, and the centre can receive the sample within a week to prepare for insemination.

If you want an egg donation in Singapore, you’ll need to source for the egg donor yourself.

Egg donation

The egg-donation process is slightly more complicated here, as eggs aren’t easily available. “There are egg banks in the US, but these are meant for US citizens,” says Dr Liow. If you want an egg donation in Singapore, you’ll need to hunt for the egg donor yourself. No commercial transactions are allowed.

          There are several requirements for the egg donor: First, she should be between 18 and 35 years old. She cannot be related to the husband, but can be related to the wife, or may be a complete stranger. The donor will also need to go through a health screening for sexually transmitted diseases and other conditions.

          The donor, as well as the couple will need to go through separate counselling processes and psychological assessments. This is to ensure that the donor is a willing donor, and to see if both the husband and wife are willing to accept the egg donor as part of their fertility treatment.

What does the egg collection process involve? Read on…