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'Updates in Infertility Treatment' 2018 congress held in Madrid

The congress is held every other year and is considered to be somewhat of an overview of everything that happened in the field of ART. Larisa Singh, reproductologist and specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, was a Life Line representative at the congress. There she had a chance to meet colleagues from Japan, Australia, Israel, the USA, the RSA, and a dozen European countries.

They gathered in Madrid to actively discuss all the achievements made in reproductive medicine for the last two years since the previous Updates in Infertility Treatment Congress held in Lisbon, Portugal.
The format of the congress is the combination of lectures, panel discussions, and report presentations. American scientists were talking about successful human genome correction that has to defeat some hereditary disorders. The Japanese presented a report on ovarian follicle activation technique in case of diminished ovarian reserve. Australian scientists reported on the way immunology can solve the problem of unsuccessful implantation.

We asked Larisa Singh which methods and discoveries discussed at the congress seem to be particularly promising in her opinion.

“The session devoted to polycystic ovarian syndrome included an interesting report presentation about the employment of metformin in patients with such disorder. It had been considered that this medicine can be administered only prior to planning a pregnancy. The latest research results showed that the patient should not stop administering metformin when the objective has been achieved. It has a positive impact on the course of pregnancy in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome alongside baby health and it is a medical drug for gestational diabetes mellitus treatment. Delivered babies are healthy and of normal weight (unfortunately, low birth weight infant is a common consequence of polycystic ovarian syndrome). Besides, metformin prevents the baby from inheriting the syndrome from her mother. This medicine minimizes the impact of androgenic hormones on the fetus so that the daughter would later have normal ovaries instead of multifollicular ones. All of the above is western practice. In Russia, the pregnant woman with the polycystic ovarian syndrome cannot be prescribed to administer metformin. Yet, there is a talk that this ban will soon be lifted. Once it is done, our clinic will adopt the administration of this medical drug in the management of intended mothers with the polycystic ovarian syndrome and gestational diabetes mellitus.

Transfer of healthy ovarian tissues is another greatly promising method. It allows for the preservation of reproductive potential in women who are having chemotherapy. It is conducted as follows: ovarian tissue is harvested from a woman before chemotherapy, then the sample is frozen. Once treatment is undertaken, the tissue is injected in the ovarian area, under ligament. Ovarian tissue starts to function gradually (the recovery process takes approximately 6 months). It means that the transferred tissue initiates follicular production. The next step is IVF cycle. Several women have already became mothers via this technique.

The section devoted to unsuccessful implantation issues and treatment methods turned out to be quite eventful as well. Speakers discussed the endometritis influence, genetic factor, importance of the second cycle phase support (which medicine to prescribe, when the patient should start and stop its administration). Another topic brought to the audience’s attention covered such cases where pregnancy doesn’t start due to the rejection of transferred embryos by the woman’s immune system recognizing them as foreign.

Notably, some techniques presented at the congress have already been introduced in Life Line care center. For example, during one of the sessions, we would listen to the arguments for vitrification being an optimum method of egg and embryo conservation. It is the only method of oocyte and embryo freezing we conduct in our center. Besides, scientists there would argue over the necessity of more widespread implementation of preimplantation genetic screening that for the Life Line specialist has already become an every-day examination technique.

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