Reproductive Medicine Update! NEFS Annual Meeting 2019
The Annual Meeting of the New England Fertility Society (NEFS) offered powerful speakers, a look back at the incredible IVF history in New England, insights into an exciting future, and also a great deal of fun!
The NRM team attended a packed lecture program and celebrated 30 years of NEFS while having fun with the Star Wars theme “May the fourth be with you.”
Popular talks guided us to:
- Learn how science may be able to regenerate eggs and sperm in the future from somatic cells (such as cells from inside your cheek) to combat the fertility struggle with aging and increase the number of embryos to identify disease-free embryos; and discuss the associated ethical questions (Dr Eli Adashi, Brown University, Rhode Island)
- Discover how embryos can be tested to detect whether they normally divided (also called pre-implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy/ chromosome status)- possibly without even biopsying the embryo itself, but rather looking at the proteins and metabolic output of the embryo from the culture media around the embryo in the petri dish. This non-invasive way would eliminate the risks of taking a biopsy sample out of the embryo itself (Dr Mandy Katz Jaffe, Colorado Center For Reproductive Medicine, Colorado)
- Gain insight from successful phase 1 studies using stem cells to rejuvenate the uterine lining of patients who have scar tissue (“Asherman Syndrome”) to allow them to carry a baby (Dr Carlos Simon, Igenomix Foundation, Valencia, Spain)
- Explore ideas of how to make IVF easier and more accessible for patients by increasing affordability and possibly simplifying some of the complex steps (Dr Kevin Doody, Center for Reproductive Medicine, Texas)
- Investigate and question emerging and future technologies – we are on the cusp of a Genetic Revolution– and how these will affect everything from having babies to the world we live in (Jamie Metz, JD, phD, author, and technology futurist) “Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity“
- Examine how the environment and pollution affect our fertility, and what we can do about it (Dr Shruthi Mahalingaiah, Boston University, Massachusetts)
- Search for evidence regarding supplements that may benefit fertility, such as inositols, Co-enzyme Q10, and many more. (Dr Corina Dunlap, Naturopathic Doctor, Portland, Maine)
- Consider when surgery may improve fertility (Dr Jeff Goldberg, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio)
- Recognize our diverse population and stay aware of varying needs as we provide care (Paula Dwan, Nurse Practitioner, Boston IVF, Massachusetts)
- Question how body weight, dietary patterns, and even sleep affect success with fertility therapy and what we can do about it (Dr Emily Jungheim, Washington School of Reproductive Medicine, Missouri)
- Understand how to advocate in our states for reproductive rights and much-needed insurance coverage of fertility therapies (Barb Collura, President of Resolve, The National Infertility Association)
Not only did the conference engage us in the latest science and developments, but the meeting also allowed us to have fun and network with colleagues from across New England! This invaluable connection with providers from clinics all over our region creates a rich source of resources to best provide care in our ever-evolving field.
And to top it off, with a Vermont President, of course all New England Fertility Society Attendees received a 30th Anniversary bottle of Vermont Maple Syrup.