21 September 2019, UAE: On its last day in Dubai, the 2nd HealthPlus Middle East Fertility Conference recommended to perform a holistic comprehensive evaluation for all infertility cases that are undergoing IVF treatment looking into managing chronic diseases, especially obesity management which increases success rates of pregnancy and limiting miscarriages.

During the conference, organized by HealthPlus Fertility Centers, part of United Eastern Medical Services, participants encouraged women who suffer from cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy to freeze eggs before treatment, to allow themselves to get pregnant in the future.

Physicians also emphasized on the importance of performing preimplantation genetic testing on embryos on the 5th day of fertilization in the lab 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 unless medically indicated, based on international studies, taking into account possible risks and complications.

Dr. Wael Ismail, Medical Director and IVF Consultant at HealthPlus Fertility Center in Dubai said that these scientific lectures allowed participants to learn from international and local experts and exchange knowledge on the latest diagnostics and treatments in infertility, with over 400 attendees. The three workshops organized today on cosmetic gynecology, embryo vitrification and hysteroscopy were highly engaging and beneficial with practical training.

The conference continued its lectures in the second day with Dr. Bohaira ElGeyoushi, Conference President and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Fertility Consultant at HealthPlus Fertility Center in Dubai, said that scientific studies have not yet proven the benefit of hormonal drugs used to prevent pregnancy loss but there are hopes for new drugs to be launched. She also said that early miscarriages happen in 20 – 25% of total pregnancies and recurrent miscarriage rates between 1 – 3%, and various hormonal treatments are used to prevent unexplained cases.

In her second lecture on egg freezing in certain medical cases, Dr. Bohaira Elgeyoushi stated that some women who suffer from cancer or chronic diseases and need chemotherapy, as well as women who delay marriage and pregnancy later in life for various reasons, fertility preservation would be a viable option, as frozen eggs are considered an opportunity for pregnancy in the future. This is done by inducing ovulation then performing an ovum pickup procedure and freezing them without fertilizing them or forming an embryo.

Dr. Nikoloas Polyzos, Fertility Consultant from Dexeus University Hospital, Spain, said that the number of eggs in the fetal ovaries counts for up to 2 million eggs in the twentieth week of pregnancy, and drops to half a million eggs at the birth of the child, and drops to 300 thousand eggs at puberty and then 72 thousand eggs at the age of 30 years, and drops to 25000 at the end of her thirties and gradually declines to 1000 eggs when women reach menopausal age. He stressed on the importance of assessing the health status of women suffering from this problem in search of one of the causes of poor ovulation reserve, including pituitary and thyroid diseases, in addition to increased rates of milk hormone in the body, and obesity.

Prof. Ahmed Sekotory from the National Cancer Institute in Egypt spoke about the latest in fertility preservation in gynecological cancer patients outlining the options of the initial surgical approach in dealing with gynecological cancer patients in order to help them preserve their fertility years.

He said during his lecture that 20% of gynecological cancer patients are during reproductive years. Fertility can be preserved in early unilateral epithelial ovarian cancer via conservative staging, where the remaining normal looking ovary and uterus can be preserved. Cervical cancer, affecting mainly young females, can be treated in its early stages via either local excisional procedure with or without lymph node dissection. The other option is the radical trachelectomy procedure which is as effective as radical hysterectomy in terms of oncological outcome; nevertheless, it allows 60% of affected young women to conceive either naturally or via assisted reproductive techniques.