The launch of the first NHS-funded lifestyle clinic in Wales for women including those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) was a focus for the summer meeting of the South Wales and South West Infertility Group (SWIGs), hosted at the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine’s (BCRM) new clinic at Aztec West
This is the first time SWIGs has been held face to face in the last three years and was extremely well attended by fertility health professionals from across the region.
The ground-breaking new lifestyle clinic ‘The Women’s Lifestyle Medicine Clinic’ has been created to support women with PCOS using a holistic approach which attracted much interest among the audience of fertility consultants, specialist nurses, embryologists and scientists.
After an introduction from Valentine Akande, medical director at BCRM, and an opening address from Arianna D’Angelo, consultant at the Wales Fertility Institute, the audience heard from lifestyle medicine physician, consultant Amy Shacaluga about how the new lifestyle clinic was set up, with discussion of patients seen and ways to help them pre-treatment and long-term, and the future of lifestyle medicine. Referral to this clinic is made directly to Dr Shacaluga by Consultant Gynaecologists in Wales.
The benefits of the new lifestyle medicine clinics were illustrated with a case study presentation by nutritionist Clotilde Anenden, followed by questions from the audience.
Fertility staffs’ experiences of sharing bad news with their patients was the focus for the second half of the evening, with Sofia Gameiro of Cardiff University looking at whether the challenges involved can be addressed using training bespoke to fertility care, including an exploration of the findings from an international survey on fertility staff’s experiences of sharing bad news with their patients and their perceived skills and training needs.
The meeting concluded with an interactive session where audience members shared their views about bespoke training programmes to improve team members’ skills in sharing bad news.
The objective of SWIGs – which has been running for over 20 years and meets biannually – is to give members the chance to explore recent developments in fertility therapy and share best practice.
The event was organised by specialist pharmaceutical company, Pharmasure, specialists in the therapeutic area of reproductive medicine and sponsored by an unrestricted educational grant.