At 25, I didn’t think of having kids at all. At least not just yet! But with the whole cancer fiasco, it wasn’t long before the issue of infertility came to mind. It was a potential side effect of my life-preserving treatment. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I loved kids. But I’ll take travelling over changing diapers for now.
The thing with such treatments is that it comes with a fear-based approach unfortunately. And yes, even if kids weren’t on my top list of things to achieve by 30, I was also scared of completely losing out on my shot at motherhood.
Hence, the decision to freeze my eggs.
So there I was, injecting myself everyday for weeks with hormones. And then, it was harvest season. An uncomfortable, vagina-probing procedure to extract my precious little eggs. All in all, it was a straightforward procedure. Egg freezing, at least that was one big thing off my mind before starting chemotherapy.
This whole process however, positioned me right smack in the middle of some of our society’s most questionable policies when it comes to comprehensive health and IVF or assisted reproductive health. In the little island of Singapore, married couples are heavily subsidised for IVF treatments. Pretty much as how it would be in most first world countries.
Well, guess who did not fall under this coverage? Yours truly.
Much to my dismay, there is absolutely no subsidy for people like myself because I’m not married. I find it hard to understand that a rich country (with an almost non-existent fertility rate) could not extend the slightest form of assistance to support young cancer patients! I was not doing this for some self-indulgent purpose, I did it due to a malignancy which I did not ask for.
My idea of comprehensive health coverage was to really cover all your bases (while you can) so I’m not sure what the explanation is for such a policy that displays a glaring lack of support for adults who are caught in the middle of crucial treatments.