Friday 30th January saw a meeting of minds as practitioners, scientists and policy makers from around the world met to discuss the future of assisted reproduction technologies at this year’s ISMAAR conference.
Designed to promote education, training and research into women’s reproductive health and particularly into mild reproductive technologies, ISMAAR brings together leaders in the field of assisted reproduction. This conference exemplified that ethos, with members of the scientific community coming together to talk through a number of pertinent issues in assisted reproduction.
The day covered all aspects of the mild approach to reproductive technology, including scientific breakthroughs in the field, the role of the private and public sectors in providing treatment, the importance of ultrasound and the common myths in IVF.
The day started off with scientific lecture-style talks, where scientists from around the world shared details of their ground-breaking research in delayed implantation and personalised embryo transfer. It then moved on to talks about minor differences in patient management that can have a big effect on treatment (e.g. thyroid hormone levels and lifestyle changes); these talks gave the practitioners in the room an opportunity to think about how best to treat their patients. The afternoon sessions had a more workshop feel, and were broken down into related topics that formed the basis for discussion: the roles of the public and private sectors in IVF, egg freezing and the ‘right’ to have a baby and the role of ultrasound and common myths in IVF. This provided an opportunity for plenty of discussion, with a healthy amount of disagreement over some of the issues raised.
Overall the day provided an interesting space for some of the people at the forefront of IVF to get together and share ideas, which will hopefully lead to the progression of the field. It was above all an opportunity to learn more about the key issues and advancements in mild reproductive technologies today.
5 things I learned from the conference:
By Anna Byrne-Smith