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Equitable access to treatment must keep pace with latest advances in reproductive surgery

MANILA, Philippines, May 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Profound benefits of new developments in reproductive surgery that facilitate parenthood and enhance quality of life will only be fully realised by making them accessible to all people experiencing the distress of infertility.

The challenge lies in overcoming socio-economic and geographic influences and ethical dilemmas to ensure equitable and affordable access to these life changing procedures.

Renowned Swiss reproductive surgeon, Professor Anis Feki, will dissect this challenge at the 2024 Congress of the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE) in the Philippines this week.

Specialist scientists, clinicians, nurses and counsellors in fertility health from around the world are attending the Congress from 23 to 26 May to address new milestones in the diagnosis and treatment of one in every six couples living with infertility.

Professor Feki – Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Hospital Cantonal and Professor at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland – says it is vital that all segments of society benefit from exciting advances in reproductive surgery and supporting technologies.

In his opening lecture at the ASPIRE Congress in Manila, Professor Feki, will stress that “reproductive surgery extends beyond its medical and technical aspects to touch upon far reaching elements of human life and well-being.

He says: “There are multiple outcomes in the future of reproductive surgery. In helping to facilitate parenthood, this form of surgery also strives to address deep psychological impacts of failing to conceive leading to feelings of inadequacy, stress and depression.

“Additionally, it aims to overcome pain and discomfort from conditions such as endometriosis that impact on quality of life.

“However, there are significant disparities in access to reproductive health care services influenced by socio-economic status, ethnicity and geographic location.

“The role of health insurance and government policies in covering advanced reproductive care can greatly affect accessibility. There is a need for policy reforms to include comprehensive coverage for reproductive health issues.”

Professor Feki, who is Chair-elect of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, said technological advances, particularly minimally invasive and robotic surgeries, have significantly improved patient outcomes with quicker recovery times.

“Emerging fields such as regenerative and precision medicine are revolutionising reproductive surgery by enabling more personalised and effective interventions,” he said.

“Innovations such as stem cell therapy and tissue engineering to restore fertility and hormone function are at the forefront offering new possibilities for treating infertility and other reproductive conditions.

“Artificial intelligence algorithms can analyse vast amounts of medical data to enable surgeons to make more informed decisions and tailor approaches to each patient enhancing surgical precision and safety.

“Machine learning algorithms can also sift through genetic information to identify mutations and genetic markers associated with infertility, guiding personalised treatment strategies.

“Robotic surgery has enhanced the precision, flexibility and control beyond the capabilities of conventional techniques, especially in complex procedures.

“However, these approaches can be costly, making them inaccessible to some patients in different countries. The challenge lies in ensuring equitable access to these life-changing procedures so they are available to wider populations.”

The ASPIRE Congress is being held at the Philippine International Convention Centre in Manila from 23 to 26 May. For further information, go to the Congress website 


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