Today Online Friday • September 12, 2008
THE question seemed out of place in a lecture theatre of over 100 young university students: “Are you at risk of childlessness?”
Yet, as obstetrician-gynaecologist Teoh Seng Hin went on to point out, eight to 15 per cent of couples will experience fertility problems at some point in their lives, and couples who have sex during their fertile periods stand only a 30 per cent chance of conceiving.
“When people use contraception, the underlying assumption is that they are fertile,” he said.
But while female age is the overwhelming factor in sub-fertility, men’s age is “grossly overlooked”, said Dr Teoh, who was speaking yesterday at a sexual health awareness talk at the Nanyang Technological University organised by the Singapore Planned Parenthood Association, Bayer Schering Pharma and the university.
From the time men are in their late 20s, the chances of their contributing to a successful pregnancy fall by 11 per cent each year.
The chances of a successful live birth also dip, while the likelihood of passing on genetic abnormalities increase, warned Dr Teoh. Dr Teoh — who also has a Master’s degree in men’s health and andrology — said he was sharing his experience with the students so that they can be forewarned about the problems that may emerge later in their lives.
“If you see enough patients, you’ll find that a lot of them miscarry,” he said.
“Many problems can’t be reversedbecause of age,” he added.
Another fertility doctor, Prof Christopher Chen, told Today that none of the men in the couples who consulted him in the last five years has passed the “sperm test”.
“I have couples who come to see me to ask if they are all right making babies in two to three years’ time.
I tell them, ‘You don’t have to worry about contraception or abstaining because your sperm is poor anyway.’
“Within their means, couples should try not to delay too long,” advised Prof Chen, who runs a private practice at Gleneagles Hospital.
Now I think they are getting overboard with trying to get Singaporean to have babies.
They are not giving talk to University Students telling them not to delay too long, quickly go and make babies as soon as you can.
University student qre like, 19-24 years old women and 21- 26 years old men. Most are able to have kids physically but I don’t think they are mentally mature to raise a child.
Ask them how many of them cook for themselves and wash their own laundry?
How many of them are still taking pocket money from their parents?
Geez…. Give them some chance to start work, experience what it is like in the REAL world and then let these kids decide whether are they willing to work the rest of their life to feel an extra mouth or two.