The 2nd Fertility Middle East Conference was launched today at Sofitel Dubai Downtown, attracting over 400 physicians, specialists, IVF lab technicians, nurses, pharmacists and technicians from different fertility centers and hospitals in the UAE and the region. The 2-day conference is organized by HealthPlus Fertility Centers, part of United Eastern Medical Services (UEMedical) and is accredited by Dubai Health Authority for 17.25 CME hours. Lectures during the first day focused on the latest fertility treatment techniques and advanced technologies, and scientific papers were presented on pregnancy complications and infertility problems.
Mr. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, CEO and Managing Director of UEMedical Group in Abu Dhabi revealed that as part of the group’s expansion plan, 50 Million dirhams were allocated to construct two new IVF centers in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; one in Jeddah and will be operational in few weeks and the second in Riyadh to be launched in 2020.
Mr. Al Shorafa Al Hammadi said, “the group focuses on fertility services using the latest advancements in the field since the opening of its first center in Abu Dhabi in 2010 and its second center in Dubai in 2018. HealthPlus Fertility Centers adapt the latest technologies, and encompasses an in-house genetic laboratory, an advanced IVF lab, and is led by a highly qualified team of IVF experts, which help in providing quality care to sub-fertile couples here in the UAE without the need to travel abroad.
Mr. Al Shorafa also praised the role of the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, Dubai Health Authority and the Ministry of Health and Prevention in providing the appropriate environment for fertility centers and other healthcare facilities, facilitating and encouraging the usage of the latest diagnostic and treatment technologies to achieve the best results possible. He also stated that this annual fertility conference comes in line with the group’s strategy to exchange knowledge and bring in international expertise which ultimately benefits the patients and general population.
Mr. Majd Abu Zant, CEO of HealthPlus Network of Specialty Centers said that the conference attracted renowned international experts and local specialists, who discussed during the conference the latest in fertility. “As a group, we pioneer in specialization and thus has put special focus on fertility expanding regionally in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jeddah and soon in Riyadh, applying the best international standards which has resulted in over 35% of the market share in Abu Dhabi, and to clinical outcomes and success rates that are comparable to international published statistics in leading IVF centers world-wide.
Dr. Bohaira Elgeyoushi, Conference President, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Fertility Consultant at HealthPlus Fertility Center in Dubai said, “7 experts from USA, Europe and Middle east presented during the conference, as well as over 20 speakers from different IVF centers in the UAE. The 2-day conference included over 20 presentations, as well as 3 workshops targeting physicians, embryologists lab specialists and genetics experts; has gathered healthcare providers from different public and private fertility centers in the UAE.
Dr. Walid Sayed, IVF Consultant and Group Medical Director of HealthPlus Fertility Centers in the UAE, shared a case-study for an Emirati couple who have gone through 23 unsuccessful IVF attempts at centers inside and outside the UAE, and had undergone a successful treatment in Abu Dhabi and gave birth.
Dr. Walid discussed the case in his lecture named: “Repeated failures of IVF and new technologies to overcome them”. Dr. Walid said that the couple were thoroughly examined when they visited the center. A comprehensive treatment plan including multiple specialties and technologies was tailored for the couple including multiple tests for chronic diseases, immunity diseases, preimplantation genetic testing for the embryo, weight management as obesity and such chronic diseases has a negative effect on the success of IVF treatments. The team was keen to choose the right time for the embryo transfer, and the couple were provided with mental counselling throughout the treatment journey, which all continued to the positive outcome.
Dr. Wael Ismail, IVF Consultant and Medical Director of HealthPlus Fertility Center in Dubai, has stated during his lecture on preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) that testing a sample of the fertilized egg (embryo) on the 5th day of IVF and before transferring it to the uterus may increase the success rate of the treatment, as compared to samples taken on the 3rd day of the embryo, based on international studies, taking into account possible risks and complications.
During the doctor’s lecture, he stated that the idea of embryo chromosomal testing has its supporters and critics. There are medical conditions that obliges PGT as it may increase the success rates of pregnancy in some cases. IVF in particular utilizes such testing in about 50% of the cases, and therefore, each case must be considered separately.
Dr. Martin Imhof, from University of Vienna, Austria and one of the international speakers at the conference spoke about sperm DNA fragmentation and related female reasons of frequent abortion. Dr. Imhof said, “Studies have showed that around 20% of men suffering from infertility problems was due to DNA fragmentation of the sperms and its inability to fertilize the egg. Causes of DNA fragmentation in sperms, include aging, smoking, alcohol, some drugs and radiological or chemical treatments, exposure to environmental pollutants and pesticides, malnutrition, varicocele, and hormone dysfunction.”
During the conference, one of the IVF specialists participating has shared with the attendees her personal experience with fertility preservation.
The physician, Dr. Varsha Anand, Obstetrics, Gynecology & IVF Specialist at HealthPlus Fertility, has been working in the UAE for several years, and said, “I have delayed getting married, and decided to freeze my eggs to preserve the opportunity for pregnancy later in life. Studies show that number and quality of eggs in women decreases by age, causing a decrease in pregnancy rates, and increased rates of complications, and thus I made my decision to go for eggs freezing.”