European Fertility Week 2021 was dedicated to male (in)fertility and all issues of male reproductive health.
Fertility Europe’s social media were full of information and advice on dealing with fertility education, infertility stigma and lack of awareness as well as with patients’ testimonials and their experience. You can see the materials on Fertility Europe’s social media Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube and on our website’s page dedicated to EFW2021.
Many of Fertility Europe’s Member Associations also joined the campaign and call to .#ChallengeTheOdds of male (in)fertility, so you can find lots of valuable information and testimonials also in their social media in many European languages.
Online Event on male (in)fertility
During EFW2021 we held the event “Male (In)fertility – challenge the odds. Raising awareness of fertility issues and ensuring equitable access to fertility care across Europe for all” to debate how to best address this issue educationally, psychologically, medically and with legal regulations for over 25 million European citizens who are affected by infertility, with male factor infertility occurring in circa 40% of the cases.
The meeting was hosted by MEP Predrag Matic and Fertility Europe Chair Satu Rautakallio-Hokkanen.
The debate was initiated by Tom Webb, Director of ‘The easy bit’ who presented the patient’s personal context of infertility and Christopher De Jonge representing Male Reproductive Health Initiative (MRHI) presenting the responses of men with infertility to a global questionnaire.
The debate consisted of two panels – the first one focusing on Increasing awareness of male (in)fertility issues and addressing the gaps in fertility care and educational approaches.
The speakers included patients and a psychologist.
Presentations during online event
Benedikt Schwan, Science journalist & author as well as men’s health advocate from Germany talked passionately about male infertility as the invisible pandemic.
Klaudija Kordic from RODA in Croatia gave a touching address about the still very present silent shame of male infertility and Mariana Veloso Martins, Professor of Psychology from University of Porto debated about a place for men in reproductive health and MAR treatments.
All the speeches provoked interesting and lively Q&A discussion.
The second panel focused on Ensuring equitable access to fertility screenings and treatment across Europe for all.
We are very grateful to Frances Fitzgerald, MEP (Ireland, EPP) and Bartosz Arłukowicz, MEP (Poland, EPP) for their video messages on the subject that we were able to play at the event and for their continuous support for Fertility Europe’s work.
The important voices in this discussion were:
Deirdre Fahily, DG SANTE, Policy Officer – Substances of Human Origin Team on revision of the EU legislation on blood, tissues and cells and its the impact on medically assisted reproduction activities in the EU.
Csilla Krausz, President of the European Academy of Andrology (EAA) about andrologist as the specialist of male health and the problems accessing such care in many countries.
Carlos Calhaz-Jorge, Chair of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) presented how ESHRE engages in specialists’ and patients’ fertility awareness and equality of access to treatment initiatives.
Neil Datta, Secretary of European Parliamentary Forum on Sexual and Reproductive Health (EPF) expressed the need to think holistically about male and female reproductive health and include fertility education for young people into the curriculum, so they can make informed decisions.
The presentations were followed by another fascinating exchange during Q&A discussion moderated efficiently, like the whole event, by Tamsin Rose.
Closing remarks by MEP Predrag Matic and Fertility Europe Chair Satu Rautakallio-Hokkanen were call to action to all to act together for male reproductive health.
You can watch the whole event here.