Dubai Gynaecology and Fertility Centre (DGFC) recorded a 60% clinical pregnancy rate in the last three months, which is considered to be a high success rate globally and in the region.
The Centre is one of the oldest in the emirate, it began operations in 1991 and is the only government centre that provides a full range of artificial reproduction technology (ART) services in Dubai. Since its inception, the centre has treated over 19,200 couples with infertility problems.
Styliani Andronikou, laboratory director and consultant embryologist at DGFC, said, “We have reached 62.5% at the moment which is an achievement because the worldwide average is about 40-45%. Being a government centre, we do not select the patients we feel are more prone to a successful outcome, in fact our doors are open to all patients, irrespective of previous clinical history and age. This in itself further highlights the importance of the result. Of course, we do offer counselling prior to treatment and inform patients who have undergone several rounds of artificial reproduction techniques(ART) at other centres or our centre of their realistic chances of conceiving.”
She added, “The Centre ensures safe individualised care and transfer of embryos is strictly as per the clinical history of the patient so as to reduce the occurrence of multiple pregnancies. Keeping all these factors in mind and the high standards of care and ethical practise we follow, we are proud to have to achieved this rate.”
Prior to moving to this centre in Dubai, Mrs Andronikou, practised at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in UK. She is one of the few embryologists in the world to have worked in the field of infectious assisted reproduction techniques offering IVF services to patients that have voluntary infertility because of a viral disease such as Hep B, C and HIV.
An esteemed embryologist, Mrs Andronikou said, “If there is no success after 12 months of trying to conceive naturally, we recommend couples to seek consultation at an ART centre so that they can complete their initial diagnostic tests to identify where the problem lies. It’s important to understand that both partners need diagnostic tests and that infertility is not a female problem alone. In fact global statistics show that on an average, 30% of infertility cases are due to low or poor quality of sperm and in at least 70% of infertile couples there is a male contributing factor to the problem.”
She said, “The next step is to ascertain the course of action needed and she recommended that women who are undergoing infertility treatment should avoid smoking and maintain a healthy BMI( Body Mass Index). Obesity could act as a hindrance and therefore we educate all couples to follow a healthy lifestyle.”
She also advised women undergoing IVF treatment to follow the advice of the clinician and embryologist with regard to the number of embryos that need to be transferred per cycle. “Several factors need to be considered prior to embryo transfer. For example, younger patients tend to fall pregnant easier and may need just one good quality embryo to be transferred unlike some of the older patients or patients with premature ovarian failure that would require more. Women need to understand that transfer of more embryos can result into multiple pregnancies and multiple gestations are associated with numerous complications such as increased risk of pre-eclampsia and development of gestational diabetes. Almost 60% of twins are delivered preterm with low birth weights, followed by admission to neonatal units with great financial costs to the family. The ultimate goal of all fertility specialists and centres should be to achieve the healthy birth of a single baby to a healthy mother and certainly at DGFC that is our aim,” she added.