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Press Releases and Bulletins

For more information on these press releases, contact: 

J. Benjamin Younger Office of Public Affairs
409 12th Street SW, Suite 602
Washington, DC 20024-2188
Tel: (202) 863-2494/Fax: (202) 484-4039 

ASRM Working to Ensure Patients, Not Politicians, Are in Charge of Their Reproductive Health

On September 1, after a refusal by the United States Supreme Court to intervene, the Texas "Heartbeat Bill"—an effective statewide ban of abortion—went into effect. The law, which endangers the health and well-being of countless people by banning abortions at just six weeks and deputizing private citizens to enforce the ban, has been met with international outcry and faces ongoing Constitutional scrutiny.

Fertility and Sterility August 2021 Issue Focuses on Black Patients’ and Black Physicians’ Experiences with Reproductive Medicine

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM) flagship journal, Fertility and Sterility leads off its August 2021 issue on the reproductive health experiences of Black patients and Black physicians. Systemic racism has had an impact, and ripple effect, on patients seeking infertility treatments, as well as reproductive health trainees and professionals.

Congress Renews Pledge to Achieve #IVF4All

Senator Cory Booker and Congresswoman and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro have re-introduced the Access to Infertility Care and Treatment Act, which requires certain insurers to provide coverage for infertility treatment, including fertility preservation services.

New Study Reveals Covid Vaccine Does Not Cause Female Sterility

Reports claiming that COVID-19 vaccines or illness cause female sterility are unfounded. In a recent study published in ASRM’s Fertility & Sterility F&S Reports, Randy Morris, M.D. used frozen embryo transfer as a model for comparing the implantation rates between SARS-CoV-2 vaccine seropositive, infection seropositive, and seronegative women. His study concluded that there was no difference found in serum hCG documented implantation rates or sustained implantation rates among the three groups.

ASRM Congratulates Chief Education and Science Officer and Former CEO on their Excellence in Business Recognition

“Given our long-time operational presence in Birmingham, it is quite an honor to have our Chief Education and Science Officer, Chevis Shannon, Dr.PH and our former Chief Executive Officer, Ricardo Azziz, M.D. recognized by the University of Alabama at Birmingham as business leaders. We wish them well during the virtual ceremony this evening. 

ASRM COVID-19 Task Force Update #15

We remain steadfast in our guidance that to promote safety and protect health, patients and staff should get fully vaccinated, wear masks, and be tested for COVID when necessary. Widespread vaccination will, over time, reduce the need for wearing masks and social distancing. 

Alan Penzias, M.D. Joins ASRM Board of Directors

Alan Penzias, M.D. will join the ASRM board of directors effective July 1, 2021 as director-at-large. Dr. Penzias is a reproductive endocrinologist at Boston IVF, Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Fellowship program in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

ASRM Remembers Paul McDonough, M.D.

We are saddened to have learned of the passing of Dr. Paul McDonough on May 8, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. A past president of ASRM (1989-1990) and giant in the field of reproductive medicine, Dr. McDonough leaves a legacy of distinguished work and contributions to the advancement of science.

Statement from the ASRM COVID-19 Task Force

For over a year, we have been working to evaluate the latest science around COVID-19 and reproductive health.

As scientists and medical experts conduct and analyze the research, we have refined our recommendations accordingly. As in all our work, we endeavor to help professionals and patients understand the best information available.

ASRM Applauds Administration Decision to Continue Fetal Tissue Research

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) applauds the decision from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)to continue to allow federally funded researchers to work with tissues and cell lines originally derived from fetal tissue. As we have seen with the development of the COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, the impact of these materials as research tools is broad, and essential.

Ricardo Azziz to step down as ASRM CEO; longtime COO Vickie Gamble to serve as interim CEO through 2021

Hugh Taylor MD, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, today announced the resignation of CEO Ricardo Azziz MD, MBA, MPH effective June 30, 2021. Vickie Gamble, ASRM’s long-term Chief Operating Officer, will serve as interim CEO through the remainder of 2021. “We want to thank Dr. Azziz for his skillful leadership during what was certainly one of the most challenging times in our 77-year history”, said Dr. Taylor. “When searching for a CEO in 2019, we did not have “…ability to manage during a global pandemic” in the job description, but that is exactly what Dr. Azziz has had to do.” Dr. Azziz, remarked, “It has been my great honor leading the ASRM, an organization for which I have great respect, during these trying times, all with the goal of making the ASRM a stronger, more sustainable, and more relevant organization.”

Embryo Transfer Simulator Provides Fellows Practice for over 120 Simulated Transfers and Increases Physician Self-Confidence By 125%

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) announced today that embryo transfer simulation produced a 125% increase in physician self-confidence. As part of a two-day education course, fellows practiced more than 20 simulated embryo transfers, better equipping them to be confident and competent in the clinical environment. This finding is published in ASRM’s journal, Fertility and Sterility.

More than 77 Thousand Babies Born from ART

The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, the United States’ primary organization of professionals dedicated to the practice of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) is releasing its latest national and clinic-specific ART data, today. The preliminary national data set for 2019 shows 77,256 babies born resulting from 302,998 cycles performed during that year, an increase from the previous year’s number of 74,590 babies born from 279,288 cycles. 361 SART member clinics contributed to the report.

ASRM COVID-19 Task Force Issues Update No. 14

In the current update, the ASRM Coronavirus/COVID-19 Task Force (the “Task Force”) continues to support both vaccination with currently available vaccines for all individuals, including women who are either pregnant or contemplating conception (see Update #11), and continued strict adherence to its earlier recommended mitigation strategies for disease prevention, including use of social distancing, and rigorous attention to hand washing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), especially masking, and quarantines when appropriate (see Update #3). In addition, the Task Force is issuing this update to assist reproductive care specialists in counseling their patients and their communities regarding vaccination, including vaccination in pregnancy, and to provide considerations for relaxing restrictions.

ASRM Ethics Committee Chair Co-Authors Science Article - Argues to Revisit the “14-Day Limit” on Human Embryo Research

Sigal Klipstein, MD, Chair of the ASRM Ethics Committee, co-authored an article appearing in the most recent issue of Science. The article entitled, “Human embryo research beyond the primitive streak,” explores the question of whether it is time to rethink the historical prohibition, now 40 years old, of culturing human embryos for research beyond 14 days consecutive or growth, or beyond the development of the primitive streak.

Update No. 13 – Variants, Vaccines, and Vaccination

Even though the decreasing trend in infection rates is encouraging, and 52 million in the U.S. have been vaccinated, CDC guidelines should be strictly followed, and COVID-19 prevention should remain a top priority to reduce the likelihood of the emergence of additional, new SARS-CoV-2 variants. While COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing illness and hospitalization, their effectiveness for prevention of transmission remains unclear. Care centers should continue to maintain usage of masks and double masking, hand washing, avoidance of crowds, and social distancing.

Update No. 12-Testing and Vaccine Truths: ASRM Patient Management and Clinical Recommendations During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

The Task Force is issuing this update to assist reproductive care specialists in counseling their patients and their communities regarding the long-term effects of having suffered COVID-19, the new variants of SARS-Cov-2 being reported, truths about use of testing and vaccines for SARS-CoV-2, when to consider performing surgery after a COVID-19 diagnosis, and information regarding vaccine hesitancy and pandemic-related stress.

HHS and CMS Issue Final Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law Final Rules

On December 2, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published final rules as part of the HHS Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care, which examined federal regulations with potential to impede healthcare providers' efforts to advance the transition to value-based care and improve the coordination of patient care across settings in federal healthcare programs and the commercial sector.

ASRM COVID-19 Task Force Releases Update #10 to Recommendations

The current update by the ASRM Coronavirus/COVID-19 Task Force (the “Task Force”) continues to affirm the recommendations presented in Update No. 3 (American Society for Reproductive Medicine Patient Management and Clinical Recommendations during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic - Update No. 3, April 24, 2020), which were further elaborated upon in Updates No. 4-9. Collectively, these updates recommend the judicious resumption of the delivery of reproductive care, with the use of careful preventive measures, such as the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including masks, frequent hand washing, and social distancing measures. Given the continued presence, and more recently the marked upsurge, of COVID-19 cases in much of the United States (U.S.), these strategies continue to be critical in managing this ongoing pandemic.

New Research Using Data from SART Patient Predictor Tool Assesses the Probability of Live Birth with One or More Cycles of Assisted Reproductive Therapy

Presenting their results at this year’s ASRM Scientific Congress, researchers using data analyzed from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology's (SART) Patient Predictor developed prediction models that estimate the cumulative probability of live birth over three complete cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF).

ASRM Members to be Recognized for Work on Behalf of Patients and Families

ASRM is proud to acknowledge the Cade Foundation’s recognition of ASRM members, Dr. Michael Thomas, ASRM Vice President; Dr. Arthur Sagoskin, ; and Dr. Louis Weckstein, as Family Building Champions. ASRM also is pleased to note RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association’s recognition of ASRM member, Dr. Serena Chen, for her outstanding advocacy work for the infertility community. 

New ONC/CMS Rules to Impact Access to Electronic Health Information, Patient Access to Data

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released a final rule implementing provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures) related to electronic health information blocking, interoperability and the ONC Health IT Certification Program (Cert Program). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also issued a final rule on patient access to data and interoperability.  

ASRM Announces Hugh Taylor, MD as New President

Washington, DC- The American Society for Reproductive Medicine is proud to announce Hugh Taylor, MD, of Yale University as our new president. Dr. Taylor is the Anita O'Keeffe Young Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine and Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He is also Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental biology at Yale University. His clinical interests include IVF, infertility, endometriosis, implantation, menopause, uterine anomalies and Asherman's syndrome.

Better obstetric and neonatal outcomes result when gestational carriers come from agencies that follow ASRM guidelines

Washington, DC- Research presented at this year’s Scientific Congress shows that one in four gestational carrier pregnancies in a cohort of 194 did not meet ASRM guidelines. Guidelines are less likely to be followed when a gestational carrier is found through means other than an agency. In this study, 76% of carrier pregnancies were mediated through a surrogacy agency. Non-adherence to these guidelines was associated with an almost 5-fold increase in odds of spontaneous abortion. The most common violated ASRM criteria included women with BMI >35 and age (mostly >45 or <21).

Most patients resumed IVF treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic shut-down immediately when able

Washington, D.C.- Research presented at the 2020 Scientific Congress indicates that out of a total of 145 patients planning frozen embryo transfer (FET) and 133 patients planning a fresh cycle, 62% of all patients desired to initiate treatment once COVID-19 restrictions had been eased in May 2020. Among the fresh cycles, there was a trend towards older-age women being more prevalent among those who moved forward. FET cycles using a gestational carrier were more likely to continue delaying treatment.

Telehealth enables physicians to address a broad spectrum of diagnoses related to male infertility

Washington, D.C.- Researchers from Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor have found that video visits can be used effectively with established patients to manage a broad spectrum of diagnoses that contribute to male infertility. In this study, 70 video visits between August 21, 2017 to March 17, 2020 were completed by 56 men at the median age of 36 (age 32 - 40); 78.5% were white, and most patients were referred by their primary care provider or their partner’s reproductive endocrinologist (47% and 33%, respectively). Most men were diagnosed with endocrinologic (29%) or anatomic (21%) contributors to infertility (see Table1A in abstract for full diagnostic categories).  

Women with PCOS are prone to sleep disorder leading to risk of anxiety and depression

Washington, DC- Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have been shown to be at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which has been linked to depression and anxiety within the general population. That finding comes from researchers from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, who gave women diagnosed with PCOS and being treated at their clinic from 2017 to 2020 a questionnaire to assess for OSA, depression, and anxiety symptoms.  

Income level and education do not have an impact on long-term reproductive outcomes for couples undergoing infertility care

Washington, D.C.- Researchers presenting at this year’s 2020 Scientific Congress have found that socioeconomic status does not negatively impact long-term outcomes in infertile couples seeking to expand their families. In this long-term follow-up of the randomized controlled trial, a survey was administered to couples who were enrolled in the Fast Track and Treatment Trial (FASTT), which investigated time to conception of conventional treatment for unexplained infertility versus a fast track approach in women ages 21-39 years. 

When the economy is down and unemployment is up, many couples are unable to access fertility care to expand families

Washington, D.C.- To better understand the impact the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession may be having on demand for fertility services in the US, researchers from Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital and Extend Fertility in New York City recently studied the 2008 economic crisis’s effect on such services. The findings revealed a direct connection between unemployment and fertility care access.

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are at increased risk of experiencing delivery-related child birth complications and cardiovascular disease after menopause

Washington, D.C.- A population-based study of 9.1 million births from 2004 to 2014 found that women with the hormonal disorder polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at an increased risk of experiencing delivery-related complications, including cesarean delivery, infections, and giving birth to a child with congenital anomalies.  

ASRM COVID-19 Task Force Releases Update #9 to Recommendations

The current update by the ASRM Coronavirus/COVID-19 Task Force (the “Task Force”) continues to affirm the recommendations presented in Update No. 3 (American Society for Reproductive Medicine Patient Management and Clinical Recommendations during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic - Update No. 3, April 24, 2020), which were further elaborated upon in Update Nos. 4-8. Collectively, these updates recommend the judicious resumption of the delivery of reproductive care, with the use of careful preventive measures, such as the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including masks, frequent hand washing, and social distancing measures. Given the continued presence of COVID-19 cases in much of the United States (U.S.), these strategies continue to be critical in managing this ongoing pandemic.

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