Achrafieh, Beirut , Lebanon

MEFS Exchange course & Symposium

Precongress Course 15
Controversies in Assisted Reproduction Technology
Middle East Fertility Society Exchange course 
Is the oocyte the main determinant of embryo quality? Strategies for the selection of the most competent oocyte

Course type


Course co-ordinators

Yacoub Khalaf (United Kingdom) 

Course description

This is an advanced course addressing some of the most controversial topics in reproductive medicine and surgery that directly affect patient care. The aim of this course is the to bring the audience up to date with the evidence based assessment of some of the commons intervention used in assisted reproduction treatment with an additional emphasis on risk benefit analysis as well as cost-effectiveness of the addressed interventions. The course educational material is delivered by world -class experts who are renowned for their expertise in the filed of human reproduction in general and in their respective topic in particular. Speakers are authorities who have contributed to the science and practice and ethics of assisted reproduction through their distinguished track record of plenary talks, outstanding publications in major journals including Nature, NEJM, Lancet, BMJ, Nature Cell Biology, Human Reproduction Update, American Journal of Obstetrics & Gyanecology, Human Reproduction, Fertility & Sterility, British Journal Of Obstetrics & Gyanecology, Reproductive biomedicine online and other medical journals
The course particular emphasis is on providing authoritative assessment of the evidence base of some common important interventions that are used with a view to improving the outcome of assisted conception treatment and highlighting the fundamentals of applying evidence based medicine in practice.

Target audience

Assisted conception practitioners (physicians, nurses and embryologists) as well as researchers and those interested in advances in assisted reproduction practice, ethics and research.

Educational needs and expected outcomes

The topics chosen are widely used in clinical practice despite variable level of evidence in their support and the emerging strong evidence against the use of some of these interventions. These interventions are not free of harm from medical, emotional and financial point of view.
The needs assessment process included different national and international scientific meeting through which it has become clear that the majority of practitioners are unclear about the added value of these intervention and expressed their need for further education on these areas where they can be better equipped to counsel patients about the appropriate application of these technologies and their risk benefit analysis.
By highlighting the mismatch between theory and practice in some of these interventions it is expected that the audience will refrain to substitute robust clinical evidence with mere biological plausibility. The course will enable the audience to discuss the ethics of applying experimental intervention in practice before a solid evidence base has been established.



Chairmen    Mohamed Aboulghar, Egypt
09:00 - 09:30      Blastocysts Culture - Is it time to stop and rethink?
                               Mohamed Aboulghar, Egypt
09:45 - 10:15      Pre-implantation Genetic Screening - What are we doing?
                               Sjoerd Repping, The Netherlands
11:00 - 11:30      Mitochondrial donation and reproduction
                               Peter Braude, United Kingdom
11:45 - 12:15      Hysteroscopy in IVF
                               Tarek El-Toukhy, United Kingdom
                               Yacoub Khalaf, United Kingdom
13:30 - 14:00      In vitro embryo culture, what have we learned?
                               Marta Shahbazi-Alonso, United Kingdom
14:15 - 14:45      Endometrial Scratching - Do we have enough evidence?
                               Yacoub Khalaf, United Kingdom
15:30 - 16:00      Natural Killer Cells and Reproductions: Are we chasing a shadow?

                               Srividya Seshadri, United Kingdom
16:15 - 16:45      Poor Responders - Have we made any progress?
                               Johnny Awwad, Lebanon