Research

Donation of non-viable embryos and gametes for training

BACKGROUND

Significant advances in IVF treatments have been achieved over many years, driven by research into eggs, sperm and embryos. Each new development requires refining, and staff require extensive training.

Some training can be carried out using non-human cells and tissues, but ultimately all techniques must be learned with real human tissues. The HFE Act (Amendment 2009) allows for training of staff using embryos and gametes donated for this purpose, within the HFEA Code of Practice.

TRAINING AT GCRM-BELFAST

Training of staff is a continuous process and is essential to maintain and improve standards. You may be asked to consider donating any unfertilised or abnormally fertilised eggs or non-viable embryos (embryos that have stopped growing) for training and research purposes at the end of your treatment.

WHY HAVE YOU BEEN ASKED?

When undergoing treatment with IVF, ICSI or IUI, it is possible that there will be eggs, sperm or embryos remaining which may be unsuitable for treatment purposes but usable within a training programme. These cells would normally be discarded but if you agree that they can be used for training you can indicate this on the HFEA consent form which you complete at your consent visit with the nurse.

DO I HAVE TO GIVE CONSENT?

No. If you decide to decline consent, such a decision will not affect the standard of care you receive. You must indicate your position on the HFEA consent form. You are under NO obligation to give consent for this.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Your tissues will used for training and research then discarded in the normal manner.

CAN MY CONSENT BE CHANGED?

Yes you can change your mind at any time.

RESEARCH at GCRM-BELFAST

We intend to undertake research projects at GCRM-BELFAST and we may ask if you would like you to participate in that research. Under these circumstances you will be given full information about that project. Again, you are under NO obligation to participate.

Research into AMH

Professor Richard Fleming, in our affiliated GCRM Glasgow, is an expert in the field of reproductive endocrinology, and has developed great expertise in understanding the biology and potential clinical values of AMH.

GCRM workshop on the Clinical Utility of AMH

On the 7th May 2010, Professors Richard Fleming and Scott Nelson hosted the first international workshop on the clinical use of AMH. The event was held in Glasgow at the Grosvenor Hotel and was organised jointly by GCRM and Glasgow University. With an exceptional faculty of invited speakers, the workshop attracted over 80 delegates from around the UK and Europe. Below is a PDF document which provides a summary of the day with the main 'take home' messages from each lecture included.

The day proved a great success and it is hoped that further workshops will be arranged for the future.

GCRM and Glasgow University would like to acknowledge the support received for this event from both Merck Serono UK and Beckman Coulter.

Click HERE for the Workshop Summary.