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2017 ESHRE in Geneva !!!

It's been full and interesting weeks in Switzerland, Europe. On June 30th, we spent around 11 hours from Taiwan to Zurich, and another 3 hours from Zurich to Geneva. There were six people in our "ESHRE team," including four embryologists and two reproductive geneticists. Such a big team!

Since I had both the poster and oral presentations at this conference, it was a seriously special experience for us. We all attended to the pre-congress course and main course, covering all aspects of IVF and pregnancy. We rent an apartment through Arbnb, and it looked cosy and lovely: three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a clean kitchen.

The local supermarket, COOP, was very near to our place. Thanks to COOP, we could prepare the meals with our colleagues together. I did not expect that we can really do something out of the lab, and the results showed awesome.

(No one can read tags, because it was written in French, lol. Don't worry, we still have our google.)

(I tried the yogurt in coffee taste, and I am sure that it was not my type.)

We had four days in ESHRE, including one day of pre-congress course. I took the part of genetics in reproduction, focusing on the talks related with DNAs, gene expression, PGS, and mitochondria ... etc. My own oral and poster topics were in PGS: one was the correlationship between the mosaicism and individual chromosome lengths; and another one was the effect of male factors in embryo ploidies. We took a photo in front of our e-poster, and I really appreciate our design group, since the poster looked very nice!

The oral presentation made me anxious for couple of weeks. I definitely got teary when I received the acceptance, though I felt both headache and stomachache before my session. I decided not to think about the people sat under the stage, and looked one of my colleague stood beside the entrance. It was good that I have finished everything now!

We stayed at the conference until the last minute of the last talk, and gave us a big applause! Then we traveled around the city of Geneva, visiting the University of Geneva and the riverside park.

(We just pretended that we were the college students. Maybe ph.D student? :D)

(Nice weather and pretty view relived my heart.)

(Kids were happy everywhere.)


We did not cook for the last night, and decided to eat the "real" Siwss food. We choose the restaurant named "Les Armures," and ordered the pink wine for celebration! The location was close to the University of Geneva.


Anyway, it was a wonderful trip with the Stork team! You were my best backups, and everyone was so functional. Thank you, guys. xoxo

(Our gentlemen, Duke, was holding the camera, not in the photo.)

Stork Fertility Center Stork Fertility Center Author

IVF at 40. Louise Brown: My life as the world’s first ‘test tube baby’

On 10 November 1977, almost 40 years ago, the world’s first embryologist Jean Purdy observed that an embryo in a petri dish had divided into eight cells. It was implanted in Lesley Brown, and after nine years trying and failing to conceive, she became pregnant. 38 weeks later, her daughter Louise Joy Brown was born. She was the first of more than six and a half million – and counting – babies born by IVF. Only a member of royalty receives the level of attention that birth of the world’s first ‘test tube baby’, attracted. In hospital in Oldham, photographers hoping for a picture of the newborn triggered a bomb scare, meaning patients had to be temporarily evacuated. And when Louise’s father John first met his daughter, who’d undergone at birth more than 60 tests to check she was ‘normal’, the hospital corridors were lined with police.

Once home, more than 100 journalists crowded around her parents’ Bristol house. Newspapers ran stories headlined ‘Baby of the Century’. But despite being thrown so very dramatically into the public gaze, Louise says that her parents were simply happy to have their daughter. “My mum just wanted a baby, and no matter what, she would have done it,” Louise believes.

Louise says that her mother didn’t “truly realise” that this was a world first until she was heavily pregnant. “When she saw Patrick [Steptoe], there were mums with babies and pregnant women in the waiting room, so she assumed it had worked before.” Her mother kept all the postbags of cards that were sent congratulating the couple, and the “weird” mail too, including one package including a plastic foetus and broken test tube: “A lot of Catholic objection – and apparently I could read things with my mind and teleport stuff.” It has taken Louise decades to feel entirely comfortable in her role of being famous by birth. “When I was younger it could play on my mind that everyone knows my name,” she says. “But now I like raising awareness and really enjoy meeting people who have been helped, indirectly, by Patrick and Bob’s [Robert Edwards] work.”

She hopes that one day, people everywhere with fertility problems will be offered an equal chance to become a parent, which she admits is “going to take a lot of hard work”. She spoke in European Parliament in February about parity of IVF treatment across the continent, rather than it being a lottery of geography. “Everyone should be entitled to have the chance to be a mum,” she believes. “Everyone should be offered the same amount of tries at IVF, it shouldn’t be determined by where you live.” She is disappointed that Bristol is cutting funding for fertility treatments as it takes on average three rounds of IVF for treatment to be successful.

Louise was able to conceive both of her sons without fertility treatment, and believes that until you’ve been put in the situation of not being able to have children, “you can’t understand it.” Her mother’s fertility problems were only recognised when she went to the doctor with depression, and her GP tried to discover the root cause. Today, the practice that seemed so controversial 40 years ago is commonplace. “It’s opened things up for couples that need help, same sex couples, these are all positives,” Louise says. “It’s mind blowing.”

Stork Fertility Center Stork Fertility Center Author