The FIGO Committee on Reproductive Medicine
The FIGO Committee on Reproductive Medicine (FIGO CRM) was created by Professor Gamal Serour (see biography) when he was FIGO President. The committee’s first meeting was in London in March, 2010 to determine its vision, mission and strategic goals. This was done in detail and approved by the Executive Board of FIGO in June, 2010.
The initial major challenge was to determine what aspects of reproductive medicine the Committee would address. We defined reproductive medicine as the branch of medicine that uses medical, surgical, psychosocial and other interventions to help people maintain or improve their reproductive health. The Committee decided to focus on helping infertile women become pregnant and/or alleviating the burden of infertility. The Committee decided not to focus on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), but work within the range of generalist obstetricians and gynecologists and mid-level healthcare providers, including lay providers and the public.
The concept of The FIGO Fertility Toolbox was developed and then expanded. We reviewed current policies and guidelines relevant to access, quality and evidence-linked reproductive care that were available at the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Latinoamericana de Reproducción Asistida (RED), the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS) and other professional organisations, and also the literature. We identified a summary literature to educate Committee members on international sensitivities with respect to culture, religion, politics and economics.
Following this a great deal of work was performed by electronic communications, teleconferences, FIGO CRM meetings while attending professional association international congresses, and one annual 2 day meeting in London, England. The alpha version of The FIGO Fertility Toolbox was first presented at the FIGO meeting in Rome in 2012. After preliminary experience in Chile, India and South Africa the beta version of the Toolbox was launched in 2015.
This is an entirely new and novel instrument or ‘tool’ that is intended to be simple, usable, meaningful (i.e. provide value to users), multifaceted and evidence-linked. It is hoped that this tool will be used by many providers of women’s healthcare to increase access to quality, cost-effective infertility prevention and management.
The FIGO Fertility Toolbox is still in its early developmental stage; however, its principles and content have been agreed upon by the FIGO CRM. It is emphasised that this is intended to be a very flexible and evolving instrument that will hopefully be applicable in very many different environments and countries and change with time and use.
It is hoped and expected that the FIGO CRM can continue to improve the Toolbox based on experience gained with its use. Furthermore, we hope that FIGO national obstetrics/gynecology organizations will identify novel ways to use The FIGO Fertility Toolbox in their countries. The FIGO CRM will work to expand awareness and use of the Toolbox globally.
In addition to the Toolbox , our committee also began educating FIGO members about reproductive medicine, with the first postgraduate workshop held in Cairo, 2010. The second meeting in Agra, India, in March 2011, enabled relationships to be established with the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) and the Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction (ISAR), and with academic and private physicians. A third workshop was held in Cairo in December 2011, and we participated in the FIGO 2012 Rome Congress where the FIGO Fertility Toolbox was first presented. The FIGO CRM has been actively involved in FIGO educational programmes and, specifically, in development of the FIGO programme for Vancouver 2015.
The Committee has also developed a template to create and deliver better educational programmes, which has been presented to the FIGO Committee for Capacity Building in Education and Training.
Relationships with other stakeholders in reproductive medicine have been established including the WHO, ESHRE, IFFS, ASRM, ICMART and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Specifically, the Toolbox is being assessed for inclusion in the WHO initiative on infertility. We look forward to increasing mutually beneficial working relationships with other organizations in the reproductive medicine.,.
David Adamson, MD, FRCSC, FACOG, FACS (Chair)
David Adamson, MD, FRCSC, FACOG, FACS is a reproductive endocrinologist, surgeon and Medical Director, Palo Alto Medical Foundation ART Program. He completed his medical school and residency at the University of Toronto in Canada and his Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellowship at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He holds clinical professorships at Stanford University and University of California, San Francisco. He is Past President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, AAGL, Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, Society of Reproductive Surgeons, four other major gynecological societies, and currently Chair of the Committee on Reproductive Medicine for the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Chair of the International Committee Monitoring ART, President of the World Endometriosis Research Foundation and Board member of the International Federation of Fertility Societies. He is a member of over 20 professional societies including the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society, Society for Gynecological Investigation and Society of Gynecological Surgeons. He has been an advisor, consultant, and reviewer to government, industry, professional, patient and non-profit organizations and has published and lectured extensively nationally and internationally on endometriosis, assisted reproductive technologies, reproductive surgery and infertility. He has been recognized as one of the best 400 physicians for women in America, the top 1% in his specialty by Best Doctors and by the World Health Organization as an expert in infertility. In 1997 he founded Advanced Reproductive Care, the largest physician national network company that provides financial programmes and other services to IVF practices and their patients. In 2006 he received the Outstanding Achievement in Medicine award from the Santa Clara County Medical Society, and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community. In 2015 Dr. Adamson was awarded the Barbara Eck Founders Award from National RESOLVE in recognition of his leadership in the infertility field and positive impact in the lives of people struggling with infertility.
Prof. Siladitya Bhattacharya MBBS, MD (University of Aberdeen), FRCOG (Co-Chair)
Siladitya Bhattacharya, MBBS, MD, FRCOG received his medical degree from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, his MRCOG from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and his MBBS from the University of Calcutta in India. Dr. Bhattacharya is a Professor in Reproductive Medicine at the University of Aberdeen and is Honorary Consultant NHS Grampian. Currently, he heads the Section of Applied Clinical Sciences, Division of Applied Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Aberdeen. Past positions included Senior Lecturer and Reader at the University of Aberdeen and various House Officer posts in India and in the UK. He chairs the Reproductive Medicine Clinical Studies Group (RCOG) within the National Reproductive Health Research Network in the UK and is Deputy Chair of the Reproductive Health and Childbirth Specialty Group. Several Committee memberships include the European IVF Monitoring Committee of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology, ESHRE; the Standards and Practice Committee for the International Federation of Fertility Societies, IFFS; the International federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (FIGO) Reproductive Medicine Committee; and the Academic Committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. He is an editor for the Cochrane Collaboration, Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group and is widely published. His research interests comprise health services research in reproductive health, including randomised trials, epidemiology of reproductive failure and systematic reviews. Ongoing projects in infertility include randomized trials in infertility, systematic reviews, epidemiology of reproductive failure and patient preferences in fertility treatment. Other areas of interest include management of heavy menstrual disorders and the effects of alternative modes of delivery on reproductive outcome and long-term health in women.
John Collins, MD, FRCSC, FRCOG, FACOG
John Collins, MD, FRCSC, FRCOG, FACOG is an obstetrician, gynaecologist and reproductive medicine specialist who is Professor emeritus at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) and Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia). Dr. Collins received his medical degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1960 and his Licentrate from the Medical Council of Canada in the same year. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Cananda) and of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 1999. Dr. Collins practiced at the University of Western Ontario, where he became an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education. He subsequently moved to Dalhousie University and served as the Department Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and as the Chief of Staff of Grace Maternity Hospital in Halifax. Following these, Dr. Collins moved to Hamilton, Ontario where he served as Department Chair at McMaster University. While at McMaster University, he was cross-appointed in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Dr. Collins was a Visiting Fellow at the World Health Organization Research in Human Reproduction Program; Francqui Foundation International Visiting Chair at Brussels Free University and the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium; and Sims Black Visiting Professor for the RCOG. His academic and professional activities have been many: Editor-in-Chief of Human Reproduction Update, Chair of the Science Advisory Panel for Assisted Human Reproduction Canada, consultant member of the Practice Committee of the ASRM, member of the ESHRE Capri Workshop Group, and member of the Royal Belgium Academy of Medicine. He was the President of the SOGC, the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, and the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynecology. From his research, Dr. Collins has authored/co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers on the management of infertility and the cardiovascular and cancer outcomes related to oral contraception and hormone replacement.
Prof. Dr. med. Klaus Hermann Rolf Diedrich
Klaus Hermann Rolf Diedrich, MD, PhD received his medical degree from [Medical School, City] in Germany followed by his PhD in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from [University, City]. He has been first consultant in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the university clinic of Bonn, founding member of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), and has held the offices of Secretary, Chairman-Elect and President of ESHRE. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Vice-President of the Foundation of the German-Greek Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Currently, he is Medical Director of the Univerdity Hospital of Lübeck and of the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck. Professor Diedrich is a member of 18 national and international editorial boards and has published 480 papers in national and international journals.
Silke J. Dyer, MBChB, MMed, PhD
Silke J. Dyer, MBChB, MMed, PhD received her MBChB from the University of Munich, Germany; her MMed from [University, City, Country]; and her PhD from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Head of the Reproductive Medicine Unit at the University of Cape Town. She chaired the the South African Society of Medical Women and serves as committee member of the South African Society of Reproductive Scientist and Surgeons (Chair, sub-committee ART data monitoring), of the Reproductive Medicine Committee of FIGO, and of ICMART. She is a member of several Societies, including the South African Society of Reproductive Scientists and Surgeons, the South African Menopause Society, ESHRE and its Taskforce: Infertility in Developing Countries, and the South African Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Christine A. Robinson, MA, FRCOG, FFSRH
Christine Robinson graduated from Cambridge University in 1982. She trained in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Sexual and Reproductive Health in London (St Thomas’ Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital) and Cambridge (Addenbrooke’s Hospital), gaining her FRCOG in 2003 and FFSRH in 2006. Her first Consultant appointment was in Bedfordshire, where she was also the Trust Board Medical Director and Clinical Governance lead. She worked in London for many years and more recently in Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Currently she is a consultant at the Lister Hospital in London. Christine was elected the President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2008–2011). In this National post, Christine led the complex negotiations for, and the development of, the new medical speciality of Sexual and Reproductive Health, established by the General Medical Council in 2010—the first speciality of its kind in Europe. Her collaborative approach enabled the production of National clinical standards for patient centred care, often with other organisations in associated specialities. She established the Faculty Research Clinical Studies Group and enhanced the international profile of the Faculty and new speciality. As a co-author of several national strategy documents she has influenced health policy in Sexual and Reproductive Health in the UK. She has also published in the clinical arena and in clinical governance.
E.R. te Velde MD, PhD
Egbert Rein te Velde was born in 1939 in Indonesia. In 1958 he started to study medicine in Amsterdam and earned his medical degree in 1966. He went to Africa, where he worked as a general doctor in rural mission hospitals until 1972. He then specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Hospital, Utrecht from 1972 to 1977. After the retirement of his tutor professor, Jan Kremer, in 1986, he became the Head of the Department of Reproductive Medicine and Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Utrecht in 1990. His inaugural lecture entitled, ‘Becoming pregnant in the 21st century: ever later, ever more artificial’ got much public attention. His message was that society more or less forces women to postpone motherhood to ages when they have become sub-fertile or even infertile. He retired in 2004 when he gave a farewell lecture entitled ‘Is women’s emancipation still compatible with reproduction in the 21st century?’ At that occasion he was assigned by the queen to become Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion. His main scientific interest was female reproductive aging and prognostic models predicting the probability of a spontaneous pregnancy and of a pregnancy after ART. In several articles and lectures he expressed his concern about the increasing medicalization of the reproductive process, both in obstetrics and reproductive medicine. He published 180 articles and reviews in peer-reviewed international journals and supervised the scientific thesis of 24 medical doctors and epidemiologists. With the sociologist, Christien Brinkgreve, he wrote a book for lay people in Dutch entitled ‘Wie wil er nog moeder worden?’ (‘Do women still want to become mother nowadays?’) about the problems for mothers and children when childbirth is delayed.
Professor P.C. Wong, FRCOG
Professor P.C. Wong is the Director of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) Programme in the National University Hospital. He is active in postgraduate education in the field of ART and has conducted and participated in numerous courses in the region. He was the first President of the Asia-Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE) from 2006 – 2008. He is the Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and the Senior Consultant & Head of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility in the National University Hospital, Singapore. He is also the Director of the Centre for Reproductive Education & Specialist Training (CREST).
Fernando Zegers Hochschild, MD, FACOG
Fernando Zegers Hochschild is Adjunct Professor (Agregado) of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile. He also is Professor and Director of the Program of Ethics and Public Policies in Human Reproduction, University Diego Portales and was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Antofagasta, Chile. Dr. Hochschild founded and directed the Unit of Reproductive Medicine at Clínica Las Condes Hospital until 2006. Currently, he is the senior staff member. In 1985, he co-founded and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Chilean Institute of Reproductive Medicine (ICMER). He also founded and was the Executive Director of the Latin American Registry of Assisted Reproduction (RLA) and founded and was past President of the Latin American Network of Assisted Reproduction (REDLARA). Currently, he is the Vice-Chairman of the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART). He has served as member of various scientific and ethic committees in the World Health Organization since 1984. At present, member of the Research Program Review Panel (RP2) of the Special Program of Research and Research Training in Human Reproduction (WHO/HRP). In 2002, he was appointed by the United Nations (2002) as medical expert to the Ad Hoc Committee for the initiation of the International Convention against the Reproductive Cloning of Human Beings. He also was appointed by the Inter American Court of Human Rights (2012) as independent expert for the case of Assisted Reproductive Technology in Costa Rica. He was awarded the “Clinical Science Award” by The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Lyon, France in 2007 and is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), USA. His clinical activity is centred in the treatment of infertility with emphasis in modern reproductive technology. Global research interests include monitoring of regional and world trends in reproduction and the influence of cultural diversity when confronting bioethical challenges in sexual and reproductive health.
Prof. Gamal Serour, MD, PhD
Professor Gamal Serour, MD, PhD was FIGO President from 2009 to 2012 and proposed The FIGO Committee on Reproductive Medicine (CRM) in 2009. President Serour asked David Adamson, MD, FRCSC (United States) to chair this committee and asked Siladitya Bhattacharya, MD, PhD (United Kingdom) to be Co-Chair. After approval from the FIGO Board, the FIGO CRM was established with the following additional members: John Collins, MD (Canada), Klaus Diedrich, MD, PhD (Germany), Silke Dyer, MD, PhD (South Africa), Christine Robinson, MD (United Kingdom), Egbert te Velde, MD, PhD (Netherlands), PC Wong, MD (Singapore), Fernando Zegers-Hochschild, MD (Chile).