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Ask The Doctor From Raffles Medical Part 1 of 2

By Published On: October 22nd, 2012

Hey Mothers,

We conducted the Ask-A-Doctor at Raffles Medical. We got a huge response and here’s part 1 of the questions.
Thank you for participation. We’ve sorted them into the major categories for your convenience.

Response by Dr Seng Shay Way, Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology & Consultant, Raffles Fertility Centre

1. How much is your package on IVF procedure and how many months is the management?

The average cost of an IVF programme is between S$13,000 to S$15,000 this is inclusive of all medication, clinic visits and hospital and IVF lab procedures. A portion of the IVF cost can be claimed by Medisave, this applies to all hospitals including private hospitals. Currently our centre is using the antagonist protocol which shortens the whole IVF process to just 1 month, the first 2 weeks is the most intensive consisting of injections, ultrasound scans and the egg pick up and embryo replacement. After the replacement of the embryos, the following 2 weeks is just a wait for the pregnancy test.

2. Can I eat prenatal vits while trying to get pregnant?

Yes, you are encouraged to take prenatal vitamins while trying to get pregnant for which the most important is foliate acid.

3. Recently, I had an ectopic pregnancy and had forgone a major surgery. Will I ever get pregnant again? And what should I prevent that it will never happen again?

Yes there is a very good chance you can get pregnant again. Current data shows that there is no different in pregnancy rates for patients who has surgery for ectopic pregnancies compared to patients without surgeries. Even if one tube is removed during the surgery for ectopic pregnancy and the other tube is normal, there is no change in the pregnancy rate. However there is no way we can prevent an ectopic from occurring again.

4. If menses is not fixed like 28 days, when exactly is the ovulation period? Is having intercourse every alternate day easier to hit it?

If your cycles are shorter than 22 days and longer than 45 days, there is a high chance that you are not ovulating. You should see your gynaecologist or fertility specialist for a check-up. But if you cycles are regular intercourse every other day gives you an excellent chance of conceiving.

5. I’m already 32yo and have not had a baby. I did have hydrocephalus when I was 2. Have had several operations since. Any advice how I can get pregnant?

I would advise you to follow up with the surgeon who did the operation for you to assess whether you are medically fit to go through the trial of pregnancy and labour. Secondly it would also be wise to see a fertility specialist to assess whether the operations and hydrocephalus have affected your reproductive function and hormones. If you are medically fit and the reproductive hormones are normal, you should have no problem getting pregnant.

Response by Dr Karolyn Goh, Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology & Consultant, Raffles Women’s Centre

1. Is it safe to do hair colouring or re-bonding during pregnancy?

Hair dyes and straightening agents are chemical agents. There are very few studies conducted on the use of such products during pregnancy to qualify the risks to the baby. It is best to avoid dying or rebonding as there is no reliable data about timing and safety on their uses.

2. Is it true that we cannot eat sashimi? My gynae is ok with me eating but so many people said no.

Cooked sushi is safe to ear while raw sushi may not be a good idea. Raw food may contain bacteria or parasites. Although the chances of infection are not high, the consequences may not justify the risk. Besides pregnancy suppresses the immune system, you may be more susceptible to serious illness from any food-borne organisms.

3. I’ve lost weight during the first 3 months and on the 4th month I gained 5kg, is it normal or can there be any risk in gaining so much of weight in 1 month?

Weight loss may be usual in the initial stage of pregnancy as a result of loss of appetite. But weight gain should be gradual after that. Rapid weight gain may be as a result of mummy overcompensating for the initial loss. Please get doctor’s advice on total wellbeing and embark on a proper diet plan to achieve gradual weight gain.


1. Breastfeed and expecting at the same time. How to ensure enough breast milk and both babies are well developed? Any complication?

Breastfeeding while pregnant is really a personal decision. There are situations where it is not safe for example if the mum has a history of premature births or miscarriages, or bleeding in pregnancy. It is best to seek your doctor’s advice for a thorough assessment before any decision making.

2. Is it ok to have traditional massage after Caesarian operation?

Traditional massage after caesarean section can only be done after the wound has healed. This is usually after one month. Seek approval from your doctor before starting.

Dr Seng Shay Way, Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology & Consultant, Raffles Fertility Centre  Dr Karolyn Goh, Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology & Consultant, Raffles Women’s Centre

Raffles Medical conducts monthly LIVE Q&A Session. Sign up here #ASKRMG

They also offer Water birthing. Check out their service here: #Water Birthing