First study of its kind reveals what the public and health professionals want infertility research to focus on next. The findings are being launched today at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) conference in Vienna.
The global research partnership has brought together healthcare professionals, people with fertility problems, and others to set future priorities for infertility research, across four key areas:
- Male infertility
- Female and unexplained infertility
- In vitro fertilisation (IVF) and other treatments including IVF add-ons
- Organisation of care
Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:
"Infertility can have a devastating impact on women, their partners and their families, so we welcome this important international priority setting partnership. In over a third of couples trying to conceive male infertility plays a role but despite this, it is a largely under-researched and taboo subject. This silence contributes to the idea that it is ‘not a problem’ and prevents investment in the research and development needed to understand the causes of male infertility, as well as improved emotional and physiological support for those affected.
“These results should become the focus of future infertility research. We encourage both researchers and funders to direct their research on the priorities that matter to patients, to drive improvements in fertility research and in the health and wellbeing of those affected by infertility."
Kate Brian, Women’s Voices lead at the RCOG, who worked with the research team, said:
“Defining the top 10 priorities for infertility research is a positive step forward for people experiencing fertility problems. It helps to raise the profile of infertility which affects one in seven couples trying to conceive and places a huge burden of emotional distress on people’s lives.
“It is so important to have clearer research priorities to help couples with fertility problems make evidence-based decisions about the options that might be available to them.”
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