Major IVF conference in Sofia, Bulgaria


Patients and specialists gathered at The Tree of Life Assisted Reproduction Update Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. The event was organised by Forbes and Grazia magazines with the exclusive participation of Nadezhda Women’s Health Hospital in Sofia. Louise Brown came for a second time as a guest of Nadezhda Hospital with the purpose to give hope to childless Bulgarians*. As the first "test tube baby" and mother of a son conceived naturally, Louise Brown said she believes IVF has one major goal - to create family.

A major speaker was Dr Georgi Stamenov, head of Nadezhda Hospital’s fertility team and one of the most prominent fertility specialists in Bulgaria. In his lecture ‘Alice in wonderland’ he emphasized that an individual course of action should be followed for every patient and possible reasons for infertility should be well clarified prior to proceeding to next IVF. About choosing the right IVF clinic he advised patients to listen to their hearts, but also to their minds and base their decision on solid facts, such as clinic’s IVF success rate, but also number of IVF procedures per year, experience of the specialists working there, type of labs available and degree of their security.

Dr Stamenov discussed with patients if IVF can cause ovarian or breast cancer; he quoted various clinical studies and trials and shared his experience that infertility drugs should not be blamed for malignancy; they could only trigger the exposure of such an existing condition. He raised the issue that women still have chances of getting pregnant after ovarian cancer; they could start trying 12 months after chemotherapy, but unfortunately just less than half of these patients decide to become mothers after cancer treatment.

Interest aroused the topic on ‘IVF children – are they somehow different?’ - Dr Stamenov presented data from different studies, which he supported by stating the woman’s eggs biological age is the key: as long as mothers worldwide are trying to get pregnant at a more and more advanced age, more often aneuploidy problems might be expected; pregnancy complications may also occur.

He concluded his thoughts on the IVF future by citing Franklin D. Roosevelt: 'The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.'

* Around 145,000 couples in Bulgaria have fertility problems, 40,000 women need donor eggs to become mothers.


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