An estimated one in six couples in the UAE face fertility issues
Dubai, UAE—May 21, 2013--– Today, during an event hosted at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai, MSD announced the launch of a new fertility treatment; Elonva (Corifollitropin alfa), expected to bring new hope to thousands of couples across the country. Already a global issue, infertility affects an estimated 48.5 million couples around the globe already. In medical terms, a couple is considered to have fertility issues, if they are unable conceive after one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse or after six months if a woman is 35 or older. For many patients the only hope of conceiving is through IVF therapy an intensive and expensive therapy which requires daily injections of gonadotropin to stimulate the development of egg cells. Considered to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in the treatment of infertility in the last 10 years, the new treatment option will allow patients to take a single injection of Corifollitropin Alfa, over the course of a week, rather than the daily injection of gonadotropin, traditionally prescribed.
Talking about infertility in the UAE, Mr. Mazen Altaruti, Managing Director of MSD in the Gulf, said 'Infertility places a significant burden, both financial and emotional, on couples that are unable to conceive. In the Middle East, the emotional stigma is perhaps even higher due to the pressure couples face from family and friends to get pregnant right away. At MSD we are committed to addressing issues that most impact the lives of those in the communities in which we work and certainly infertility is one of these issues; with an estimated one in six couples in the UAE already facing problems conceiving. Additionally, an estimated Dhs 20,000 may be spent by each couple in their efforts to get pregnant.2To be able to raise awareness of this issue and educate couples on the reasons for infertility and the treatment options available, is crucial if we are to truly address the burden these couples face.'
Adding to Mr. Mazen's comments and explaining why IVF therapy is used, Dr. Awatif Juma Al Bahar, Medical Director, Dubai Gynaecology & Fertility Centre, Dubai Health Authority said ' It's a great honor for us to announce that we are indeed the first medical department in the Arab world to start using this drug, in the whole of Middle East. The DHA has always endeavored to provide improved services to our patients without compromising on quality. As you all know, the emotional burden that IVF patients face is immense and in many cases, they drop out, as they simply find it too hard to go through the grueling process of the daily required injections prescribed. Understanding this burden, and with constant research in association with leading companies in this field, we arrived at the practical solution, of offering an injection; Elonva, which needs to be taken only once in seven days, which will significantly reduce the number of injections patients must receive while undergoing treatment, thus reducing the stress and hospital visits, as well as financial burden. Our doctors are well-informed and knowledgeable on the use of this medication. We hope that the new drug will mark a huge difference in the satisfaction level of our patients. Patients are most welcome to consult our doctors in DGFC for their treatment.'
'In women fertility rates started drop dramatically after the age of 35 , and with greater urbanization and the growing role women are playing in the work force, the age at which women choose to have children is getting older. This creates a new challenge for many women, resulting in greater difficulty in conceiving. Traditionally, IVF requires a daily injection gonadotropin, for a period of 10 days, a treatment regimen that is emotionally draining for most women who have gone through the process. Corifollitropin Alfa (Elonva) will offer a new option for women, who have to go through the process of IVF, reducing the complexity and emotional burden that daily injections create by replacing 7 daily injections that gonadotropin requires, with one single injection.' Said Dr. Human M. Fatemi, Senior Medical Director for the Centre of Reproductive Medicine in Brussels, and Director of the Burjeel Hospital Centre of Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Fatemi, went on to add 'Studies have already shown that this treatment option offers the same efficacy as traditional infertility treatments and has been known to achieve more than 38% pregnancy success rates , from the first cycle, with up to 33% of women not needing complimentary injections after the 7th day of stimulation6.'
The burden of infertility can be immense and have many emotional aspects. Feelings of anger, sadness and guilt are common and may affect self-esteem and self-image leading to isolation among involuntarily childless people. Prior to and during treatment these feelings can be manifested in depression, anxiety, relationship problems with partner, family and friends and an increased sense of self-blame and guilt, particularly for the partner experiencing fertility problem.