Our Monash IVF Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr James Thiedeman & Fertility Specialist Dr Helena Lim Yun Hsuen (KL Fertility Centre/ Monash IVF, KL) spoke to New Straits Times on Egg Freezing and the technology involved.
Some of my colleagues and friends were curious: how did my life change after the IVF unit I was working at became part of Monash IVF, one of the oldest and prestigious IVF in the world?
I must admit that I was very proud to be one of the members of such distinguished establishment. I started working at KL Fertility Centre way before this unit merged with Monash IVF and I was here to witness this transition and was feeling very blessed to be involved in the whole journey.
First and foremost, let us look through the history of Monash IVF and how this humble little unit had made such significant impacted to the world of IVF:
With over 40 years of experience, over 20,000 babies and pregnancy rates among the best in the world, Monash IVF is the leading fertility research and treatment centre in Australia. They continue to achieve many world firsts in IVF and related technologies since the work of their pioneers who achieved the first IVF pregnancy in the world in 1973. Amazingly, 12 out of the first 15 IVF babies in the world are Monash babies. Some of the team’s groundbreaking achievements of Monash IVF include:
(1)World’s first IVF pregnancy in 1973. This was the first time scientist had proven that conception can be achieved outside human body and the resulting embryos can be placed back into the womb and resulted a pregnancy. However, this pregnancy ended with an ectopic and had to be terminated. Following this breakthrough, the Cambridge group in the UK used the similar technique to achieve the first IVF life birth. Louise Brown was the first baby born through IVF.
(2) World’s first microinjection (ICSI was developed as a result of this work) in 1980
(3) World’s first frozen embryo birth in 1984
(4) World’s first frozen embryo twins in 1985
(5) World’s first donor egg baby in 1983
(6) World’s first pregnancy and birth from a sperm retrieval operation for azoospermia in 1986
(7) Australia’s first surrogate birth
(8) Australia’s first open testicular biopsy twins
(9) Australia’s first blastocyst baby
Having boasted so much on the history of Monash IVF, so what does it mean to the unit I am working at? How does it change my life for the better? how does it assist me in helping my patients to improve their chance of pregnancy? I asked myself the same questions as the unit was going through the process of merging. Then came 1st of January 2013, the truth unveil itself.
(1) Improvement in recording, reporting and self-auditing for Quality Control
The unit was required to do thorough reporting on monthly basis. The Head Quarters in Australia requires us to report every cases of Fertility Treatment (IUI, IVF, ICSI) and to report the statistics of our success rates. The Headquarter pay meticulous attention to the success rates of the unit and will flag up unusual occurrences and this is most important for our quality control.
(2) Setting standards
Another important aspect of Monash IVF’s involvement in our daily practice is to standardize our practice and to set standards on the process of performing IVF, including the patients’ treatment cycle as well as the standard of the laboratory. This is to ensure that our standard of care is comparable to the standard of care in Australia.
(3) Technology transfer especially for the embryology laboratory
Regulation and transfer of technology for the embryology laboratory is one of the key component of involvement Monash IVF. The chief scientific director, Dr Tiki Osianlis from Monash IVF came and spent some time in our laboratory to look through the laboratory workflow and process. Her enthusiasm and her professionalism was inspiring and encouraging for our embryologists. Her continuous involvement includes supporting our embryologists with the latest information and technology to further improve the performance of of laboratory.
Dr Tiki Osianlis (middle) with our embryologists
Monash IVF had been and is still actively involved with Research in Human Reproduction. Many current technologies involved in IVF today was the result of research of yesterday by a group of researchers from Monash IVF. Some of the key research areas we are involved in can be found under this link: http://monashivf.com/category/research-and-education-foundation/research-interests/ Some of the recently completed research by Monash IVF can be found under this link: http://monashivf.com/category/research-and-education-foundation/completed-projects/
(5) Sharing of information and scientific data
Our direct link with Monash IVF provides us with an excellent opportunity to be involved with research. As a centre located in the heart of South East Asia with heterogeneous group of patients from various ethnicity, KL Fertility Centre serves as an excellent partner in providing scientific data to further strengthen the power and significance of the study.