This year the Centre for Assisted Reproduction (CARE) celebrates its 30th anniversary.
The centre was officially opened by the then Minister for Health Mr Yeo Cheow Tong in 1989. At that time, services included intrauterine insemination (IUI) and IVF.
The 30th anniversary marks a significant milestone for the unit, which over the last three decades has brought more than 2,500 babies into the world and achieved many firsts in fertility for Singapore.
The first Singapore General Hospital (SGH) in-vitro fertilization (IVF) baby was conceived at the Hospital during an IVF workshop conducted in 1988 with the help of King’s College IVF clinicians and embryologists from United Kingdom. Giving hope to his parents who had waited for 6 years to conceive, and many other families across the country. Baby Brandon would now be 30 years old.
1990: Successful pregnancy from micro-surgically retrieved sperm
1995: Successful clinical pregnancy using frozen testicular biopsied sperm (ICSI)
1995: Successful clinical pregnancy using immature sperm cell, spermatids (ICSI)
1996: Two patients with three consecutively deliveries from one fresh IVF cycle and subsequent two frozen cycles
1997: First assisted hatching pregnancy delivered
1998: First blastocyst pregnancy in SGH delivered
2002: First cetrotide (short protocol) IVF pregnancy delivered
2003: SGH egg freezing programme launched
2008: Ovarian tissue freezing service launched
The team at CARE is lean, but this allows for individualized patient care. This, the team says, not only benefits patients in terms of more tailored treatment resulting in better outcomes, but the close care has also resulted in warm relationships between the CARE team and patients.
“As a director of CARE, I have the satisfaction in seeing many projects come to fruition and success. I am also very grateful that I am supported by my great team of Doctors, Embryologist and Nurses. The mystery of creating life 30 years ago was still an enigma. I was working with infertile couples before and could not help them beyond intrauterine insemination. It was so exciting and satisfying to be able to be part of this specialty of medicine to help couples have their babies when they could not.” - Assoc Prof Yu Su Ling, Senior Consultant, Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Director, Centre for Assisted Reproduction
“This specialty gives us an opportunity to help these couples. In reality, we are not able to help everyone have a child but at least we can try and accompany them in this journey, make it as painless as possible.” - Assoc Prof Yong Tze Tein, Head and Senior Consultant, Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
“Every day that a parent who sought our help brings back the baby to visit us is memorable. It is a beautiful thank you to what we do and we feel so grateful that they trusted us in this journey together.” - Dr Rajesh Hemashree, Senior Consultant, Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
“My greatest job satisfaction is when our patients return with their babies to show their appreciation, and I always tell the little one, “Hey! I saw you first!” The motivating force that keeps us going is the challenge of our job fulfilling the dreams of infertile couples bearing their own biological children which they once felt was impossible.” – Amy Lee, Chief Embryologist, Centre for Assisted Reproduction (CARE)
“My role is to look after the eggs, sperm and embryos, to make sure that they are growing well under controlled environmental conditions, before returning the embryos back to the mother’s womb safely, just like a gardener taking great care of the whole nursery of flowers and plants.” - To Chiou Fen Carine, Principal Embryologist, Centre for Assisted Reproduction (CARE)
“My most memorable moment is seeing the joy and excitement parents expressed when they have their first ‘glimpse’ of their child in the womb, with heart beating showing on the screen.” - Wong Wai Leng, Senior Principal Imaging Technologist, Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
“My journey with CARE started about 18 years ago . I was given an opportunity to work here and immediately saw a difference in working in fertility. We get to build one on one relationship with patients. When they get a positive result we also are filled with joy with them.” - Ee Che Eng, Senior Staff Nurse, Centre for Assisted Reproduction (CARE)
“It is a blessing to be a part of building up a family with the patients. Helping them throughout their treatment with us and seeing them coming back to CARE with their baby in their arms is a fulfillment and it feels great.” - Nurliah Binte Mohamed Noor, Senior Staff Nurse, Centre for Assisted Reproduction (CARE)
Click to find out more about SGH CARE
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