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IVF in the Time of Conflict
Episode 914th March 2022 • International IVF Initiative Podcast • The International IVF Initiative
00:00:00 00:54:29

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Welcome to this edition of the I3 Podcast, where we're joined by three of our colleagues in Ukraine, to hear how they are and what has happened to their work life in the last two weeks since War broke in Ukraine.

First up, you'll hear from Pavlov Mazur, an embryolgist in Kyiv at Nadiya Clinic who explains how he is not working, clinic closed. The second conversation is with Uliana Dorofeyeva, Medcial Director at Ovogene Egg Bank who spoke about the logistics of moving materials and the regulations across the border. The final conversation is will Birol Aydin, Lab Director-Scientific Advisor at Ovogene Egg Bank who had been working with 40 clinics

What was discussed:

  • What happened to close down the clinic on 25th Feb - everything was put into storage. 
  • IVF has been continuing in Western Ukraine although they not starting any new cycles, they are trying to finish frozen cycles. 
  • Embryo transfers did go ahead. 
  • How he and his family are packed but at the time of this conversation, he felt Kyiv is was the safest place to be due to it’s size, they have electricity, internet and there is still access to food.  
  • Issues around Liquid Nitrogen  - what they went through in 2014 when all the embryos died as no-one could supply it. 
  •  Trying to get materials out - had lots of enquiries from international clients. Kyiv clinic closed. 
  • Permission from Eshre granted on 8/3/22 to support movements of gametes from Ukraine to a close territory or who have 1 border, or that are close. 
  • How Patient information is being looked after 
  • Approx 30 babies from Surrogates have been born so far
  • Birol explains how they reacted when war broke out - what they did, step by step - how they left Ukraine and then came back. 
  • Last several years, Ukraine IVF has really increased in popularity for surrogacy - up to 100 cycles with 60-70% getting pregnant. 
  • What is happening with the women who are pregnant - how they are trying to move them with some success. 
  • New born babies connected with IP - a lot of protection given, yet can’t say 100% are OK.
  • That some surrogates are having abortions. 
  • IP’s are being really supportive, not just worrying for their child but for the health of their Surogates. 
  • A lot of the surrogates don’t speak English which makes it difficult but now the help is limited. 
  • Having moved donor embryos and oocytes to Sweden, but courier company can’t work - they’re all male and have to stay in Ukraine 
  • Patients now want to move their embryos to their country - needs to be arranged. 
  • They don’t know when they can move back to Ukraine to their facility. 
  • Birol is the only male able to leave along with 6 embryologists, 70% of medical team are female, they’ve had to be relocated. Car registered as a medical courier car.
  • The process of moving eggs and embryos. 
  • How they reacted when war broke out - what they did, step by step - how they left Ukraine and then came back. 

You can watch Birol in conversation with I3 here

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