For the Media

The CFAS is a multidisciplinary national non-profit Society that serves as the voice of reproductive specialists, scientists, and allied health professionals working in the field of Assisted Reproduction in Canada.  

Access to Expertise

The CFAS can arrange nationwide access to experts on topics relating to the medical, scientific, laboratory, ethical, legal and counselling aspects of assisted reproduction and we have members who can speak on regional and national issues.

CFAS experts can provide insight on: reproductive health issues both within Canada and around the world, including assisted reproduction technologies, clinical standards, infertility, third-party reproduction, reproductive rights, scientific and technical innovations in the field and numerous other topics related to the field of reproductive health and assisted reproduction.

Media Contact:
Mark Evans, Executive Director
Tel: (613) 869-4396  or mark.evans@cfas.ca

Natalia Nesterovsky
Tel: (514) 966-2289 or natalia.nesterovsky@cfas.ca

 

Media Releases

PRESS RELEASE
October 4, 2016

The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) welcomes the announcement from the Government of Canada to strengthen and clarify the regulatory framework of the laws that govern the practice of reproductive medicine in Canada, the Assisted Human Reproduction Act (2004) and Processing and Distribution of Semen for Assisted Conception Regulations (1996). Practitioners and patients alike seek clarification and simplification of these laws, in particular with respect to the screening and testing for the third party reproductive technologies like sperm and egg donation, and gestational surrogacy. For the benefit of all Canadians, regulation resulting from these laws needs to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of this high-tech and rapidly evolving field of medicine.

Dr. Jeff Roberts, President of the CFAS, states, “The practice of IVF in Canada is much safer today for both mother and child. With advances in technologies for the screening of embryos and the higher pregnancy rates using newer freezing methods we have less apprehension about banking embryos and transferring single embryos back to the uterus, irrespective of the woman’s age. Pregnancy rates in Canada have been steadily improving year after year, and multiple pregnancy rates have never been lower, dropping over the past decade from 29.5% to 10.1%. The continued provision of safe and effective reproductive technologies to Canadians will require a team approach involving the fertility clinics, scientists, paramedical professionals and government, both provincial and federal. These are truly exciting times.”

We echo the sentiments of our Minister of Health Jane Philpott, who said “There have been major scientific advancements in these areas, which have benefited many Canadians as they build their families. Our laws need to adapt so that they can continue to ensure that the risks posed are minimized and families are supported”. The CFAS is prepared to act as an experienced and knowledgeable resource for Health Canada and assist in the development of regulation.

About the CFAS

The CFAS is a multidisciplinary national non-profit society that serves as the voice of reproductive specialists, scientists, and allied health professionals working in the field of assisted reproduction in Canada. The mission of the CFAS is to responsibly advance reproductive science and medicine in Canada through leadership, research, education, and guidance for both professionals and patients alike. The CFAS aims to promote excellence in the field of assisted reproduction to the benefit of Canadians and children born of this technology.

For interviews, contact:

Mark Evans, Executive Director, Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society
Cell: 613 869-4396
e-mail: mark.evans@cfas.ca

Notice of Intent – Canada Gazette

PRESS RELEASE
September 22, 2016

Some of the leading reproductive physicians and scientists in the world will talk about some of the latest advances in assisted reproductive technology in Toronto this weekend, at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society. The theme for the meeting of 600 attendees from across the country, “ART in the Era of Personalized Medicine” examines what personalized care means in the context of assisted reproduction and touches on an array of topics as diverse as ethics, genetics, patient access, counselling, and scientific innovations.

Several studies will be presented at the annual meeting that stand out in terms of public interest.

  1. A study conducted in Ontario evaluated how clinics prioritized patients in light of IVF funding that was announced by the Ontario government in late 2015. The study found that “there was wide variation in how clinics are choosing to distribute limited numbers of funded IVF cycles.” The study also concluded that it is important for patients to understand how decisions are made regarding the prioritization. The CFAS sees an opportunity to improve patient experience by working more closely with provincial authorities and clinicians to guide best practices.
  2. A national study conducted by the Fertility Preservation Special Interest Group of the CFAS and the Cancer Knowledge Network (CKN) aims to improve access to fertility care for young men and women diagnosed with cancer by collecting national data on referral patterns. Until now, no data has been published in Canada on the uptake of fertility options when young people are faced with cancer. Results show that women with breast cancer are the biggest users of IVF for fertility preservation. Less than half of female patients seen for fertility preservation utilized IVF, while 80% of men cryopreserved sperm. The CFAS believes that information obtained from this study will improve access to fertility care for young men and women diagnosed with cancer.
  3. A new study looked at a set of genes whose activities can be measured in one IVF cycle and predict whether future IVF cycles are not likely to be successful. This has the potential to help patients understand their chances of having a subsequent successful IVF cycles and highlights the potential of improving IVF outcomes for patients.

About the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS)
The CFAS is a multidisciplinary national non-profit Society that serves as the voice of reproductive specialists, scientists, and allied health professionals working in the field of Assisted Reproduction in Canada. The mission of the CFAS is to responsibly advance reproductive science and medicine in Canada through leadership, research and guidance. Through its multidisciplinary membership, the CFAS aims to promote excellence in the field of Assisted Reproduction to the benefit of Canadians and children born of this technology.

Information about the Annual CFAS Meeting

September 22 – 24, 2016
Sheraton Hotel Toronto at 123 Queen Street, Toronto

On-Site Contact:

Mark Evans, CFAS Executive Director
613-869-4396 (cell) or mark.evans@cfas.ca

PRESS RELEASE
June 28, 2016

The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society will hold a four-hour professional development afternoon workshop entitled Gatekeepers’ Dilemma for its members on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at Hart House in Toronto, Ontario, to help professionals wade through the ethics of allocating funded in vitro fertilization in Ontario today.

The media are invited to arrange interviews with key participants as a means of further understanding why such a conference is needed: to examine the process and ethics behind IVF and the challenges professionals and governments face. Among them are ethical considerations in IVF funding and how to make decisions within those parameters. We will also present the results of our survey of how individual clinics manage their wait lists and make their decisions on care and treatment. To arrange the interviews, contact Mark Evans, executive director of CFAS, on site or at 514 524-9009 (telephone) or 613-869-4396 (cell).

Here is an overview of the issues for discussion and their context:

Ethical considerations in IVF funding allocation in Ontario

Ontario now has a publicly funded scheme for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Many ethical questions related to prioritization and access for funded IVF in Ontario remain open. This conference explores the ethical strengths and weaknesses of various models for publicly-funded IVF access. The primary goal of this conference is not to identify a single IVF funding model, but rather to explore the ethical challenges related to this new area of practice.

Priority setting exercise with IVF scenarios

Case-based scenarios in working groups to help professionals learn first-hand how to apply various IVF funding distribution models in practice, identify the various strengths and pitfalls of different IVF funding models and be aware of the diverse range of opinions these different IVF funding models evoke in people.

Prioritization of Patients for IVF Funding in Ontario – Current Practices of Fertility Clinics

The Ontario Fertility Program (OFP) has provided 5,000 cycles of funded IVF per year in Ontario to women under the age of 43. Unfortunately, this current supply of IVF cycles is inadequate to meet the demands of the population. The OFP has left it up to individual fertility clinics to manage their own wait lists and to create their own criteria for distributing funded IVF cycles. We conducted a survey to determine how clinics have chosen to prioritize patients for funding and to determine who was involved in the creation of these policies. We will present our findings that show that there is wide variation in individual clinic’s policies. As a result of this variation among clinics, patients may experience differential access to care depending on their own characteristics and upon the policies of the clinic that they are attending.

The session will conclude with an hour-long panel discussion from 4 to 5 p.m. on ethical issues.

Who: The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, which with more than 700 members is the premier professional organization that speaks on behalf of all interested parties in the field of assisted reproductive technologies and research in reproductive sciences.

What: A four-hour workshop on ethical issues surrounding IVF entitled Gatekeepers’ Dilemma

When: Wednesday, June, 29, 2016 from 1 to 5 p.m. While the workshops themselves are closed to media because of the sensitive nature of the ethical discussions and patient privacy, the subjects and participants are welcome interview subjects.

Where: Hart House, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

About the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS)

The CFAS is a multidisciplinary national non-profit Society that serves as the voice of reproductive specialists, scientists, and allied health professionals working in the field of Assisted Reproduction in Canada. Celebrating its 62nd year in existence, the mission of the CFAS is to responsibly advance reproductive science and medicine in Canada through leadership, research and guidance. Through its 700 multidisciplinary membership, the CFAS aims to promoting excellence in the field of Assisted Reproduction

Contact: CFAS Executive Director Mark Evans on site or at 514 524-9009 (telephone) or 613-869-4396 (cell) or mark.evans@cfas.ca

PRESS RELEASE
June 28, 2016

The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) announced today that it will for the first time make all clinical practice guidelines on the practice of assisted reproduction in Canada available and accessible to the general public. This decision is consistent with our values of providing transparency and leadership in the field of Assisted Reproduction in Canada. In the past, guidelines have remained available only to members of the CFAS, who are largely physicians specializing in infertility and assisted reproduction. The CFAS will provide access to guidelines in both official languages and will further draft summaries of each guideline to make them more accessible to non-physician and non-scientist audiences.

The significance of the CFAS decision to make guidelines available to the public is that it openly sets a general standard of care for fertility patients across Canada and in so doing creates a transparent environment that fosters consistency and excellence in assisted reproductive care generated by using the best available evidence and research in a field that is rapidly evolving. The CFAS publishes guidelines using a rigorous, balanced, evidenced-based approach that involves reproductive health specialists from across the country. Scientists, Lawyers, and ethicists may also contribute to clinical guideline development. The goal in publishing these guidelines for the public is to ensure that everyone is operating on a level playing field of high standards.

Guidelines produced by the CFAS are aimed at improving outcomes and in promoting the health and safety for mothers and children engaged in fertility care. Recent publications include:

  • Guidelines for Third Party Reproduction (CFAS 2016)
  • Guidelines on Fertility Preservation in Reproductive Age Woman Facing Gonadotoxic Treatments (CFAS 2014)
  • Guidelines on Management of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (CFAS 2013)
  • Guidelines on the Number of Embryos Transferred (CFAS 2013)

New Clinical Guideline published on Third Party Reproduction:

The CFAS recently published a new guideline on Third Party Reproduction. Third Party Reproduction refers to all cases of human reproduction that involve the use of gametes (sperm, oocytes), embryos, or gestation from a third party for the purposes of reproduction by the intended parent(s). Third party reproduction is governed by federal legislation in Canada, the Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHR Act), which was proclaimed, in part, on March 29, 2004. This Guideline is intended to help clinics comply with laws and to navigate infectious disease screening. For the public, the Guideline means greater access to knowledge about the process of third party reproduction. The Guideline is accessible on the CFAS website at https://cfas.ca/clinical-practice-guidelines/

About the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS)
The CFAS is a multidisciplinary national non-profit Society that serves as the voice of reproductive specialists, scientists, and allied health professionals working in the field of Assisted Reproduction in Canada. Celebrating its 62nd year in existence, the mission of the CFAS is to responsibly advance reproductive science and medicine in Canada through leadership, research and guidance. Through its 700 multidisciplinary membership, the CFAS aims to promoting excellence in the field of Assisted Reproduction

Contact: CFAS Executive Director Mark Evans at 514 524-9009 (telephone) or 613-869-4396 (cell).

Media release
June 10, 2013

Montreal (Quebec) – The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) has released guidelines on the much-debated subject of how many embryos to transfer when practicing in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The latest in the CFAS’ series of clinical practice guidelines provides guidance to Canadian IVF clinics and IVF practitioners regarding the number of embryos to transfer to minimize multiple pregnancies (including twins) while maintaining acceptable live birth rates.

“These practice guidelines provide IVF practitioners and clinics with concrete numbers by age cohort,” says CFAS President Dr. Mathias Gysler. “As a Society we encourage clinic directors to develop embryo transfer policies that will minimize multiple pregnancy rates – including the number of twins – and optimize healthy live births.”

It is well-established that IVF pregnancies of twins and higher multiples can result in more adverse maternal, fetal and neonatal outcomes.

In 2009, Assisted Human Reproduction Canada, the federal government agency set up to oversee the industry, brought key stakeholders together and developed a Canadian framework for the minimization of multiple pregnancies resulting from infertility treatments.

The group targeted a decrease in the twin pregnancy rate to 25% by 2012 and to 15% by 2015, targets recently reaffirmed by the IVF Medical Directors of the CFAS.

“We know we must reduce the numbers of embryos transferred. This document provides an unambiguous path to follow toward the destination of fewer multiple births in Canada,” said Gysler.

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The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society is Canada’s national organization of professionals dealing with reproductive medicine and science. www.cfas.ca

Media contact:
Anita Webster, Media Relations consultant

Media release
May 22, 2013

Toronto, Ontario – Ethics and good practice in the field of fertility medicine were discussed at a recent workshop hosted by the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society in Toronto.

Professionals with diverse backgrounds met for the all-day event which included presentations and opportunities to discuss, debate and come to a consensus on ethical issues that arise in their practice.

“The field of assisted reproduction has benefited from huge strides in science and technology in recent years,” said moderator Shawn Winsor, Co-Chair of CFAS Ethics and Law Special Interest Group. “CFAS is ideally positioned to provide the venue for this kind of conversation.”

One of the day’s presentations was by Dr. Art Leader of The University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Fertility Centre. His talk outlined the importance of individual clinics creating and maintaining their own ethics framework.

A question Dr. Leader asked those in attendance to consider is whether medical factors alone should determine a woman’s access to fertility treatment.

“We can be presented with issues that are not strictly medical in nature such as whether the woman or couple is able to provide a stable home for a child,” he said.

Julia Belluz, Science-ish blogger and reporter for The Medical Post and Maclean’s presented on the ways Web 2.0 is changing fertility medicine.

“Patients want information and a forum to share,” she said. “So clinics should get in on these web-based conversations and use this technology to improve the patient experience.”

-30-

The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society is Canada’s national organization of professionals
dealing with reproductive medicine and science.

Media contact:
Anita Webster, Media Relations consultant

MEDIA RELEASE
August 30, 2012

Ottawa, Ont – “Should twins be an undesirable outcome in invitro fertilization?” is one of the topics being debated at the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society’s annual meeting in Ottawa next
month.

Dr Neal Mahutte of Montreal will speak in favour of this position and Dr Jon Havelock of Vancouver will take the con side. Dr Jason Min of Calgary is moderator and anticipates a lively exchange.

“As physicians we know twin pregnancies are riskier than singletons, yet many physicians are still responsible for twins being born. In this debate we want to address that elephant in the room.”

Also on the agenda, among others, Dr Jacques Donnez of Belgium will present on his work addressing fertility preservation through cryopreservation. Dr Mark Walker Scientific Director of BORN Ontario will address the value of registries in health care and Dr Mylene Yao of Stanford will discuss a model for providing personal prognostics for fertility patients.

The CFAS annual meeting provides professionals in the field of assisted human reproduction with abundant opportunities to learn, said CFAS President Marie-Claude Léveillé.

“We’re looking forward to the chance to take in information about new developments in science and medicine and hold some healthy debates,” she said.

The meetings run September 6th to 9th at the Ottawa Westin Hotel.
www.cfas.org

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Media contact:
Anita Webster, Media Relations consultant