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IPOH: The Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital here created history when a woman delivered triplets on April 18 following in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
The hospital had carried out IVF since 2008, but this was the first time triplets had been delivered.
Hospital consultant obstetrician gynaecologist and fertility specialist Dr Tham Seong Wai said “in most IVF procedures, only one baby can be conceived”.
The triplets were delivered through Caesarean operation at 32 weeks, because of their size and weight.
The first, a boy, weighed 2.1kg, followed by a girl at 1.8kg and the third, a boy at 1.7kg.
The babies are in stable condition and under observation.
IVF is one of several assisted reproductive techniques to help women who cannot conceive naturally.
In this procedure, eggs (ova) from a woman's ovaries are removed and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory procedure. The fertilised egg (embryo) is returned to the woman's uterus.
Dr Tham said IVF had been carried out at the hospital since 2008 and some 300 couples had undergone it, with a success rate of 20 to 30 per cent.
At present, fertilisation of the eggs and sperm are done at the fertility labs at Kuala Lumpur Hospital and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC).
The procedure costs between RM6,000 and RM6,500.
The triplets were born to Lee Foong Theng, 30, and her husband, Chan Keng Long, 33, owners of a restaurant.
The couple had cause to celebrate as they had waited seven years to have a child.
"I was expecting only one, but now I have three. It's a miracle," said Lee.
During her pregnancy, Lee said she had problems sleeping because the size of her stomach made it difficult for her to get into a comfortable sleeping position.
"I also had to walk slowly because of my weight. But, overall, I didn't have any problems."