EPF Withdrawal for IVF
EPF Withdrawal for IVF: A Step Forward on the Journey for Baby

Anything but Simple I was recently asked, “How do couples finance their infertility treatments?”  My answer to this was, “In just every way possible.” I have witnessed family ‘crowd-funding’ where grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins came together to pool resources for a couple to undergo fertility treatment, notwithstanding the number of cycles it may or could take. In other cases, couples dipped into their life savings, took out personal loans and used credit services. The next question that followed was, “Why do people take such extreme measures to finance fertility treatments?” My answer was simple, “They want a baby and they will do everything in their power to realise that dream.” Nonetheless, as a fertility specialist, I can attest that the journey for a baby is anything but ‘simple’ – physically, emotionally and financially. A Deeper Concern In the latest development, the Malaysian Government has stepped in to provide an alternative to finance fertility treatments. Couples are now able to fund In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatments by withdrawing from their Employee Provident Fund (EPF). This decision, though, comes from a deeper concern. According to figures released by the Department of Statistics, the fertility rate in 2019 registers at 1.8 babies per woman (down from 1.9 babies in 2017) and a drastic decline from 4.87 in 1970. In broader terms, this implies that the number of children produced by a woman during her reproductive years is insufficient to replace herself and her partner, a clear and present sign that dropping fertility rates threaten national productivity. No Short Cuts To couples battling infertility, the option to take from their EPF savings is a much-welcomed move. However, this does not alleviate the fact that addressing infertility can be as complicated as it is straightforward. There are no short cuts to treating infertility and I elect to stay with proven methods that bring the best results. For over a decade, I have journeyed with hundreds of couples to build a family, but despite the best prognosis, we have had our fair share of ‘-ve’ results. Thus, it gives me no pleasure to caution that at the end of the day, there is no guarantee; and if one is to cash out one’s retirement fund, one must do so with eyes wide open. Financial Reprieve That said, the EPF Withdrawal for IVF option is a move in the right direction. There are no limits set as to how much one can withdraw. Legally married couples below the age of 55 years can apply to withdraw from their Account 2 savings for the following fertility treatment(s):- Intrauterine insemination (IUI) In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) The process of reimbursement is fairly straightforward, and one that we will assist with. However, couples are advised to enquire and/or discuss with EPF should they have questions. For more information about reimbursement for fertility treatment, please visit the following link: EPF Fertility Treatment Reimbursement This blog is intended for educational purposes only. All contents here is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances. Please consult with your health care professional to ensure you get the right diagnosis and treatment. (Everybody has a chance to build a family) by Dr Navdeep

Happy Birthday Louise
Happy Birthday Louise – 25th July 2020

“The IVF procedure, first used in 1978 gave the Browns their first daughter and it will continue to give to give couples around the world hope to build a family.” – Dr Navdeep Singh Pannu “Yes, I do remember the first time I performed the In vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure. It was in 2011. I was nervous then and still am now, anticipating the outcome after each procedure,” shared Dr Navdeep Singh Pannu responding to the question as to whether he remembers the first time he did the IVF procedure. “I have done close to 1000 IVF procedures since. When the results are positive, it is a high all around. When it is not, it can be an emotionally very stressful for everyone involved,” said Dr Navdeep. Dr Navdeep was commenting on the upcoming birthday of Louise Brown on 25th July, the world’s first baby conceived via the IVF procedure. “On 10 November 1977 in a hospital in Oldham UK, over 40 years ago, the egg and sperm united in a petri dish by scientist Dr Robert Edwards and gynaecologist Dr Patrick Steptoe, had divided into eight cells.” It was implanted in Lesley Brown, and after nine years trying and failing to conceive due to blocked fallopian tubes, she became pregnant. 38 weeks later, Louise Joy Brown, the world’s first IVF then known as a test tube baby was born. “Interestingly, 67 days after the birth of Louise Brown, Kanupriya Agarwal alias Durga was born in West Bengal, India, as a result of a similar procedure conducted by Dr Subash Mukhopadhyay,” added Dr Navdeep. Unfortunately, Dr Subhash had taken his own life, due to the dejection of not being allowed to share his achievements with the international scientific community. “More than 8 million IVF babies and counting later, the IVF technique continues to achieve tremendous advancements,” said Dr Navdeep who was scheduled to perform five IVF procedures on the day this interview took place. “There are discoveries made every day and these achievements are taking us closer to achieving higher pregnancy rates and healthier pregnancies,” said Dr Navdeep paying homage the technique. “What we know now is only a drop in the ocean. Science is evolving at a break neck speed,” said Dr Navdeep pointing out that there could come a day when a womb may not be needed to implant an embryo in. “Each advancement made is a chance for someone to hold that baby that they so wish for. To me that will always be magical and I am invested to make that moment come true for couples. A very happy “Birth Day” to all babies born via IVF and for the many more who will come into this world through this procedure. This blog is intended for educational purposes only. All contents here is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances. Please consult with your health care professional to ensure you get the right diagnosis and treatment. (Everybody has a chance to build a family) by Dr Navdeep