19 October 2021

International scientific congress lecture highlights GPs education role with assisted reproductive techniques

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IVF Australia

International scientific congress lecture highlights GPs education role with assisted reproductive techniques

A/Professor Christos Venetis, a fertility specialist and clinical researcher, has been invited to one of the most important global scientific meetings in fertility and assisted reproduction to present the latest evidence, clinical progression, and effectiveness of personalization of embryo transfer and calls on GPs to help educate fertility patients to better understand frozen-embryo transfers (FETs) and their reduced obstetrics risks.

“Frozen-embryo transfers represent 33% of all embryo transfers in the US and 39% in Australia. With these numbers continuously rising, GPs, and their vital role of ongoing fertility care, can help patients understand evolving IVF treatment options,” said Professor Venetis.  

“Personalization of embryo transfer and appropriate use of hormonal markers, to determine patient pathways in terms of optimised pregnancy rates and obstetric outcomes with fresh or frozen embryo transfer, is one of the hot topics currently in reproductive medicine.

“Over the past decade researchers have optimised the clinical practice of frozen-embryo transfer worldwide. It’s estimated that these changes, combined with more efficient cryopreservation protocols, have increased the number of babies born after IVF by 3-4% worldwide, which is a major achievement.

“Frozen-embryo transfer is the future, with better obstetric outcomes; however, many patients need additional reassurance with FET cycles, particularly when they are asked to defer an embryo transfer by one month, compared with a fresh embryo transfer.

“As a fertility specialist, it’s our ongoing responsibility to communicate to patients the latest IVF developments that can help them have babies in the safest and most efficient way. GPs can play an important part in helping provide ongoing counselling and reassurance of the benefits of FET transfers.

“Frozen-embryo transfer is now at the forefront of clinical interest, and I predict frozen-embryo transfer will soon be the first line treatment for most patients undergoing IVF,” said Professor Venetis.

Professor Venetis, fertility specialist and Director of Clinical Research at IVFAustralia, part of Virtus Health, is presenting at the 2021 Scientific Congress of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the second largest scientific society globally in reproductive medicine.

At this virtual event, Professor Venetis summarises over a decade worth of research on how to optimize reproductive outcomes with fresh and frozen embryo transfers. He addresses the latest evidence on the role of progesterone to guide fresh or frozen embryo transfers, aiming to help an interprofessional audience including GPs and researchers, to better understand how to improve the outcomes of their patients.

Professor Venetis discusses artificial endometrium preparation: how to prepare the lining in a frozen-embryo transfer cycle and how to interpret the values of progesterone to achieve the best obstetric outcome and optimise the IVF cycle.

“There is new evidence identifying the importance of the protocol used to prepare the endometrium for the obstetric outcomes of the pregnancy. Particularly as research shows women having had an artificial preparation of their lining, have significantly higher chances of hypertension during pregnancy,” said Professor Venetis.

“Compelling evidence supports the use of progesterone as a biomarker of endometrial receptivity and this change has been implemented in most clinics world-wide. This, in turn, has led to an increase of the pregnancy rates per embryo transfer and has reduced the number of small for gestational age babies.

“Good maternity care is a multidisciplined approach and includes GPs overseeing the care for pregnant individuals after ART. GPs know the importance of identifying high risk pregnancies and are aware that an artificial preparation of the lining carries extra risks of gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia. Increased monitoring or interventions can apply for high-risk pregnancies to reduce the risk to the pregnant woman and their baby,” said Professor Venetis.

The two pre-recorded lectures, part of a postgraduate course, will be available for ASRM members to watch on-demand from 21 October to 31 December 2021.

Professor Venetis said continuous new developments in the optimisation and personalisation of fresh and frozen embryo transfers are helping fertility patients have babies in the safest and most efficient way.


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