2019 – November 26th

2019 – November 26th

Minutes from Board Meeting Nordic Fertility Society

Date: November 26 th , 2019

Meeting venue: Virtual meeting using GoToMeeting
20.00 - 21.00 (Danish time)

Invited: Marjut Otala (Fi), Astrid Helene Sydtveit (N), Steinunn Thorsteinsdottir(Ic), Kirsten Louise Tryde Macklon (Dk), Ann Thurin Kjellberg (S), Christel Hydén-Granskog (Fi)
Kathrine Birch Petersen (DFS), Antti Perheentupa (SFY), Stina Järvholm (SSRM), Sigrun Beate Kjøtrød (NOFAB)

Present: Marjut Otala (Fi), Astrid Helene Sydtveit (N), Steinunn Thorsteinsdottir (Ic), Ann Thurin Kjellberg (S), Christel Hydén-Granskog (Fi)
Kathrine Birch Petersen (DFS), Antti Perheentupa (SFY), Stina Järvholm (SSRM), Sigrun Beate Kjøtrød (NOFAB)


  1. Secretary of the meeting: Marjut
  2. Brief review of the current board: Marjut
    1. Current board was introduced
    2. Two members are yet to be elected: the national representatives for Finland and Sweden. They will join the board after the national meetings of these fertility societies.
  3. NFS 2019 Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden 22-24 August 2019
    1. Ann provided the board with the budget of the meeting. There is a nice but not over extensive surplus in the saldo.
    2. The congress overall was a success. It will be reviewed in more detail in the spring meeting.
    3. Ann and Stina made evaluation forms for the participants and the sponsors and have received feedback. These will be of good use also for the local committee of the next congress (Helsinki 2021).
  4. Education course Stockholm November 2019: Stina
    1. Education course went well. 57 participants had signed up and 53 showed up. It was discussed that maybe in the future there could be a small registration fee or alternatively a small penalty if the participant does not show up without prior cancellation.
  5. Video lectures and possible distribution to ESHRE website: Antti and Kirsten
    1. The lectures were once again videoed, and this completed the whole curriculum for the certification examination for nurses and midwives and embryologists (e.g. this was the final 1/3 left).
    2. Prior to the meeting Kirsten sent a message to the board that the ESHRE nurses’ and midwives certification group is interested in the NFS initiative to post the certification examination education course videos on the NFS website. ESHRE NMCC would like something similar and asked an opinion on whether it would be possible to post the videos on ESHRE website as well, after consent from the speakers.

      The general opinion of the board was that as posting of the videos was an original idea of the NFS, they cannot be directly put on ESHRE website. It was discussed that the speakers have been in the belief that the audience is solely Nordic and maybe would have made different type of lectures if they would have made them for all European countries. Also, NFS is a small organization and the costs of arranging the courses, free of charge for the participants, have been a considerable for the organization. Many people have been working voluntarily, both organizers and lecturers, to get the courses together. Thus, it was suggested that NFS offers to re-arrange the courses and negotiates the terms and conditions beforehand with ESHRE, so that they will be known to all parties. Antti will be the primary contact for ESHRE to take this further.
  6. Future of the education courses: Antti
    1. Immediate feedback on site from the participants was that it would be nice that the education courses would continue. It was suggested that the course would go more deeply into specific topics as there are a lot of detailed questions in the examinations.
    2. ESHRE seems to make changes to the certification examination curriculum and these specific additions should be taken into account in the potential future courses. Also, we need to look into the feedback from all previous courses when designing the new ones.
    3. Antti will make a suggestion of the future of the education courses by early February. The outline of the program should be ready before summer so that we can ask for speakers in the spring. The country/city where the courses will be held is also under discussion.
  7. NFS web page: Marjut and Steinunn
    1. Steinunn has updated the NFS webpage regarding the changes of board members. A new picture will be taken in the spring.
    2. The changes to the by-laws have been made according to the previous general assembly in Gothenburg. The minutes from the general assembly will be posted as soon as we get them from the secretary of the meeting.
    3. The NFS is not using an SSL-certificate on its webpages and this was pointed out by the IT-department of a private IVF-clinic in Finland. We should start using this on our webpages and Steinunn will ask the help of Kristian Roger to take this further.
  8. Status of next NFS Congress Helsinki: Christel
    1. The local committee for the Helsinki Congress has decided on the venue which will be Grand Marina and the committee is actively working on the initial arrangements for the conference.
    2. We should advertise the congress in every way possible. One way to do that would be to make a banner on e-mail. An add will also be posted on the NFS webpage as soon as it is available.
    3. Christel would appreciate speaker suggestions for the next NFS and is hoping to be informed about subjects that are currently discussed in each country. 
  9. News from the national societies
    1. Finland (Antti): Donor treatments are starting in the public hospitals, first in Helsinki and Tampere. The SFY has arranged training courses for counsellors working with female couples and single women.
    2. Sweden (Stina): The SSRM is planning for the next ABC course and was accepting applications for the Ferring scholarship. Embryo donation has been legalized, guidelines for offering this treatment is under discussion in the National board of Health.
    3. Norway (Sigrun): NOFAB meeting is on the 3-4th of January and the board is preparing for that. There are no significant new changes in the field at the moment.

      Addition from after the teleconference: The Norwegian representative will also be elected in the next NOFAB in January 2020. If Astrid will not continue, the NFS board needs to elect a new treasurer.

    4. Iceland (Steinunn): The establishment of an own egg- and sperm bank is under way.
    5. Denmark (Kathrine): Public re-imbursement is currently obtained from 3 treatments. The public clinics in the Capital Region have in the past two years been working on a strategy for the fertility area in the region. It has been proposed by the politicians in the Capital Region that in the future the number goes up to 6 IVF treatments. However, this needs to be accepted by all 5 regions and thus far it’s been accepted in the Capital Region. DFS was not notified/informed of this proposal in advance. The suggestion will be discussed at a DFS meeting in January 2020.
  10. Report on the DFS and Fertility Awareness meeting: Kathrine
    1. The board of DFS met with the representatives from the Reprounion Nordic Center for Fertility Awareness on November 7th. The NFS board has received a report from the ReproUnion Awareness ThinkTank as well as a response from the DFS.
    2. The mission of the Nordic Center for Fertility Awareness is to start working in all Nordic countries and to be closely involved in the field of reproductive medicine in each country. It may also help its partners in matters such as legislation. Therefore, it was proposed that the NFS offers to support the Nordic Center for Fertility Awareness in the form of an advisory board. 
    3. Marjut will prepare a statement from the NFS board in support of the Nordic Center for Fertility Awareness and it will be processed together amongst the NFS board members before its release.
  11. Next meeting
    1. It will be evaluated in the spring whether another teleconference is needed before the spring meeting in the Ocean hotel on Thursday and Friday May 14-15, 2020.
  12. Matters arising
      1. No additional matters arising


Marjut Otala
President of NFS
December 14th, 2019