Organized by United Eastern Medical Services (UEMedical) represented by HealthPlus Fertility Centers, the 1st HealthPlus Middle East Fertility Conference started today at the Sofitel Hotel Downtown in Dubai attracting over 250 healthcare professionals from the region. Participants included experts in IVF, obstetrics and gynecology, IVF lab technicians, nurses, and pharmacists. Accredited for 19.25 Continuous Medical Education (CME) hours, 28 speakers from the UAE and outside the UAE discussed new methods in the field of infertility and IVF treatments and the latest advances that help increase pregnancy rates, lowering twin pregnancy rates for conceiving healthy children.
Mr. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Managing Director and CEO of UEMedical in Abu Dhabi said that the recent advances in the field of fertility and IVF, along with the new technologies that help increase pregnancy rates, made it necessary for the group to organize an international conference that brings together experts and specialized physicians in this field from the UAE and worldwide to exchange expertise and learn more about the latest technologies and advances.
Mr. Al Shorafa Al Hammadi added that the conference coincides with our recent expansion in Dubai including the opening of our second branch of HealthPlus Fertility Centers few months ago, which comes as part of our expansion plans in the region.
Mr. Majd Abu Zant, CEO of HealthPlus Network of Specialty Centers said that topics covered at the conference lead to important recommendations that will draw the road map for specialized clinicians in fertility and IVF, as speakers shared their practical experience and the latest protocols in fertility treatments that are adopted internationally.
In his opening speech, Dr. Wael Ismail, Medical Director at HealthPlus Fertility Center in Dubai, Obstetrics & Gynecology and IVF Consultant welcomed all attendees and speakers. He said, “the different sessions over the 2 days include 28 lectures presented by experts and specialists from key institutions in the UAE, UK,Spain, Italy, Egypt and Iraq, along with 3 hands-on workshops on the latest techniques in IVF labs, practical training on egg extraction and embryo transfer, as well as cosmetic gynecology treatments during the different stages of a woman life that may be needed as a result of the effects of pregnancy and vaginal delivery, or to treat urinary incontinence. These workshops include hands-on training modules that give a realistic experience while training on simulator models.
Dr. Walid Sayed, Group Medical Director of HealthPlus Fertility Centers, Obstetrics & Gynecology and IVF Consultant, who co-chaired the first session of the conference said, “the new technologies during the past few years increased the success rates of infertility treatment cycles and increased the pregnancy rates for hundreds of cases that were trying to conceive for many years. We are proud that fertility treatments are spearheading in UAE, and such technologies are adopted successfully locally and at HealthPlus Fertility Centers.”
During her first presentation, Dr. Bohaira El Geyoushi, President of the Conference, Obstetrics & Gynecology and IVF Consultant at HealthPlus Fertility Center in Dubai said, “It is vital for us to decrease multiple pregnancy rates in IVF. Latest studies prove the importance of transferring one embryo during IVF, however in special cases it could be recommended to transfer two embryos or more depending on each case as treatment plans are individualized for each case. Pregnancy and healthy live birth rates are also higher when frozen embryos are transferred, according to some of the latest scientific researches.”
She also added, “UAE has become a central hub in the region for fertility, IVF treatments and assisted reproductive techniques as a result of the growing number of specialized centers and experts that are attracting patients from all over the region, Far East and Africa in addition to serving a huge expat community.”
Dr. Nahla Kazem, Obstetrics & Gynecology and IVF Specialist at Tawam Hospital spoke about the latest techniques in dealing with infertility cases and the role of augmented and virtual reality in fertility treatments to avoid possible errors, through the use of advanced head mountable glasses during egg retrieval procedures. These glasses allow doctors to see all related data about the wife and husband, see tests results including ultrasound images and patients’ relevant treatment information, which all appear on the glasses in front of the treating physician without the need to go back to the medical records of the couple on the computer.
She added, “this technology is now discussed at Tawam Hospital with one of the specialized organizations which will indeed help develop advanced models that can help physicians in different treatment stages.”
Dr. Salem El Shawarby, Reproductive Medicine Consultant and Director of Corniche Fertility Center at Corniche Hospital in Abu Dhabi presented a lecture about the latest methods in assessment of ovarian reserve in women, and the use of these tests in designing ovarian stimulations protocols in the field of assisted reproduction & IVF. He highlighted the fact that ovarian reserve naturally decreases as women grow older. He also stated that low ovarian reserve is more commonly seen in women attending fertility clinics in the Arab region and GCC for a variety of medical and social reasons where they constitute about 30%, as compared to the widely quoted 5 – 12% for this problem internationally. In his second lecture, he presented the latest international developments in the medications used in the luteal phase to enhance the pregnancy chances after Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) cycles, IVF cycles, and the medicated cycles in which frozen embryos are being transferred.
From Spain, Dr Jose Merazadat presented an important paper on new tests to diagnose and treat hidden infections in the endometrium to increase implantation and pregnancy rates.
From Danat Al Emarat Hospital, part of UEMedical, Dr. Sadoon Sadoon, Obstetrics & Gynecology Consultant and Minimally Invasive Surgeon spoke about the use of minimally invasive surgeries in gynecological procedures while Professor Hisham Al-Anany from Egypt gave a lecture on ovarian tissue preservation. Joining from London was Dr. Fakhera Feroz-Zaidi, Clinician Scientist of Gynecology and Obstetrics who gave a lecture on “Endometrial Transcriptome and Proteome Profile in Women with Impaired Fertility”. Moreover, Dr. Rawaa Al-Janabi, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Iraq, spoke about Polycystic Ovaries which is one of the most common reasons of delays in pregnancy.
The conference also discussed important topics including freezing of ovarian tissues to preserve future fertility of women, genes and chromosomes screenings and testing, improvement of existing techniques to increase the number of eggs to raise the incidence of pregnancy, the latest technologies used in freezing embryos and eggs, latest methods of selecting healthy embryos, and the use of minimal access surgery as therapeutic methods for many cases to increase the incidence of pregnancy.
The 2-day conference, organized by Lilla Events Management, also included a medical exhibition where leading pharma companies presented their latest products and technologies in the field of IVF and Gynecology.