Dear Member of the Nordic Fertility Society,
The past weeks have been most exceptional in the world and almost daily adaptation to the new and evolving situation has been necessary. The Nordic IVF community has been carefully monitoring the official advice from professional societies and the authorities of their own country. The situation has affected the field heavily, as most of the IVF clinics and units of reproductive medicine have followed the advice to postpone all planned pregnancies. Those still operating take a precautionary approach to assisted reproduction to maintain social distancing and take measures to educate and advice patients in order to protect all medical resources. Due to the rapid developments on COVID-19, there is great concern over the future of the field of IVF. Despite the current situation, the need for highly trained and skilled IVF personnel will remain.
The Nordic Fertility Society has already expressed its deep concern regarding the declining birth rates in the Nordics. On January 2020, NFS finalized a statement calling for immediate action for preventive initiatives on declining fertility rates in the Nordic Countries. The statement was sent to the Nordic Ministers of Health as well as the Nordic Council of Ministers. We are hoping for the statement to be a help for initiatives launched in the Nordic Countries aiming at addressing prevention of reproductive diseases. The effect of COVID-19 on the birth rates remains to be seen, but it may be anticipated that there is a continuing strong need for this type of action.
During these times of social distancing, meeting and communicating with colleagues and patients has taken new forms. Working groups, consultations, meetings and even workshops and congresses are held online. We are gradually learning, both mentally and technically, to take part in web-based platforms. We do not have to give up on education and learning. Quite the contrary! In this regard, NFS is proud to be able to offer its members on-line education. NFS Education Courses were originally designed to prepare nurses and midwives and embryologists for the ESHRE Certification Examination. However, it should be stressed that the lectures have been repeatedly evaluated to be of high quality and could be beneficial also for those not planning to take the exam, as well as for doctors entering the field of reproductive medicine.
The NFS Education Course has been divided into three parts (offered in three different courses in consecutive years) to be able to cover the entire ESHRE examination curriculum. The videoed lectures are available on the NFS web pages for all NFS members, free of charge. Just to clarify, if you are a member of the fertility society of your own country, you automatically are a member of the NFS. We cordially invite you to watch the videos. In case you are not a member of the fertility society of your own country, please become one!
The board of the NFS is in the process of deciding about the future of the education courses. We have been given some good suggestions from the attendees from previous years on how to proceed and those have been taken into serious consideration. We hope to be able to offer free education in the future also!
Looking further into the future, we are excited to announce the next NFS Congress, which will be held in Helsinki on 26th to 28th of August in 2021. Please save the date! The local committee is already working hard to be able to offer you an excellent and interesting educational program. You will be able to meet friends and colleagues from all Nordic countries, as well as the top speakers. Not to forget the fun social program! If you have suggestions for topics you would like to hear more about, please send them to your national representative or any member of the board. There is still time to influence the final program. Calls for abstracts will be announced as we approach the congress.
During this COVID-19 outbreak, our thoughts are with you, your families, our patients and everyone impacted by the virus. We all are crucial in minimizing the spread of this pandemic. What we need the most is collaboration, compassion and responsibility, to take us through into the future. Take care of yourself and the people around you!
President of NFS
For more information and updates from NFS, please visit https://nordicfs.org/new/