Thursday, 29 August 2019

Age limit for IVF to be removed, more funding for couples seeking fertility treatments

There are various kinds of assisted reproductive treatment(ART) procedures, with the most common one being in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

From January next year:
  • The Ministry of Health (MOH)  will lift the age limit for women to undergo ART treatments and remove the cap on the number of ART cycles for all women.
  • Women aged 40 and above will be eligible for Government co-funding for up to two of the six co-funded ART cycles, as long as the couple had attempted assisted reproduction (AR) or Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) procedures before age 40, and are assessed medically fit by their doctor to carry a pregnancy to term.
  • Eligible couples can receive co-funding of up to S$7,700 per fresh cycle and S$2,200 per frozen cycle for three cycles each.
  • Government co-founding will also be rolled out for the less invasive IUI procedure. Those undergoing IUI procedures at public AR centres will be able to receive co-funding of up to 75%, capped at S$1,000 per treatment cycle for three cycles, as long as the woman is below 40 at the start of the cycle. The couple must also have been assessed by a doctor at the centre and one spouse has to be a Singapore citizen.

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Just a single 20-minute spin on a bicycle could boost cognition and memory in the over-60s

Scientists from the University of Iowa analysed 34 people, aged 60-to-80, who rode an exercise bike for the short amount time of 20 minutes.

After a single work out, brain scans showed a burst of activity in the participants' hippocampus, which acts as the 'memory centre'.

They also had increased connectivity between the hippocampus and the parietal and prefrontal cortexes, regions involved in both memory and cognition.

'Day-to-day' activities could be all it takes to reap the benefits, with the researchers stressing people should not feel they have to 'train for a marathon' to keep their memory sharp.


Scam warning: Singtel warns about scam calls involving fake technicians, customer service officers

Singtel on Wednesday (Aug 28) warned of a scam targetting the personal details of its customers.

There have been callers claiming to be a Singtel technician or customer care officer, offering to troubleshoot customers' Internet connection, said the telco.

These callers ask for personal details including NRIC numbers, Wi-Fi passwords and router numbers.

"This is a scam," said the company. "Singtel does not ask for Wi-Fi passwords and router numbers during troubleshooting calls."

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Bye to cold sores


Why do we hiccup?

Maybe it was because when the waiter asked, “Still or sparkling?” you chose sparkling. It could have also been that you were ravenous and ate a little too much. Or, possibly, it was your ex, who happened to be dining at the same restaurant and stood a little too long over your table making awkward small talk. All of these things, hic, might cause spasms, hic, in your diaphragm, hic.

Most hiccups are benign and last only a few minutes or hours. But sometimes hiccups are indicative of a more serious health issue, particularly when they recur or do not go away for days, weeks or years. Beyond being embarrassing, the muscle contractions can be physically exhausting. They can interrupt sleep and make it hard to eat. Approximately 4,000 people in the United States are admitted to the hospital every year for hiccups.

Doctors say there are as many causes for hiccups as there are crazy remedies, including tugging on your tongue, standing on your head and swallowing granulated sugar. Some actually work. Others are more likely just entertainment for friends and family who watch while you try to cure yourself.

Everyone gets the hiccups, and yet nobody knows why.