As we experience the period of mourning for the Bais Hamikdash, we continue to strive to continue building Jewish homes – and daven for the ultimate Geula very soon.
In this newsletter, we bring you news of an exciting international visit and a newly cemented relationship with the beautiful community of Melbourne, Australia.
We are also including eye-opening updates from several conferences that created a stir in the OB/GYN arena.
As always, we encourage you to reach out with any comments, questions, or requests.
Rabbi Yitzchok Melber
RABBI MELBER ATTENDS ESHRE CONFERENCE
This past month Rabbi Melber spent 4 days in Milan attending the annual ESHRE conference, the most renown conference in Europe on reproductive health and embryology. We are pleased to share many of the highlights and innovations introduced during the course of the conference.
Among the major innovations presented was the long-heralded IVG treatment by Dr. Amander Clark, Professor and Director of the UCLA Center for Reproductive Science. Rabbi Melber met with her in person after the lecture to inquire when this treatment will be available for patients with azoospermia and others. She responded that while it’s in the FDA’s hands and nobody can rush the process, she estimated within 3-5 years or possibly up to 7.
Dr. Binyam Mogessie of Yale University delivered a lecture on female age-related infertility, hinting at human gene therapy that may be in the medical pipeline.
Male fertility was also a big topic at ESHRE. The community emphasized the importance of investigating this factor in the initial fertility workup. Statistically, in recent years there has been an upward trend of male factor infertility, and in the near future there may be more couples suffering from infertility due to the male than the female.
While currently there is very little research and too little investment in this topic, there is hope of first-line medications emerging for male factor as well.
In this vein, Tahareinu strongly recommends doing a male checkup as soon as an issue is suspected and not to postpone it, since unfortunately some conditions that cause male factor infertility get worse with time.
Of course, each couple should ask their rabbi when and how to do it, but the fact that it’s becoming so common changes the perspective.
Professor Helen Picton from Leeds University in the UK spoke about Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation (OTC) for girls with Turner’s Syndrome, a condition affecting 1 in 2,000 girls in which they will lose all their eggs at a young age.
There is a big debate around the world about this method, but the consensus here was that it is strongly recommended by leading doctors.
Some facts to consider:
- This treatment should be used for both oncological and non-oncological cases.
- At present, 200 babies were already born via this technology plus many ongoing pregnancies at the moment.
- The treatment has an approximate 50% success rate.
Tahareinu recommends considering OTC before chemotherapy because once a girl is diagnosed with cancer, there is no time to create enough eggs (roughly 10 per embryo.)
While at this point no real treatment for Turner’s Syndrome, this can be an effective way of managing it.
A new medication was presented: Linzagolix, which is effective for endometriosis, heavy menstrual bleeding, and fibroids. It is now available in Europe, and pending FDA approval in the US.
WHII CONFERENCE: WOMEN’S HEALTH INNOVATIONS AND INVENTIONS
At the WHII conference, which took place in Tel Aviv, Dr. Samantha Meltzer, Professor of Psychiatry at University of North Carolina presented a new treatment for Postpartum Depression.
This innovation features an IV infusion of Brexanolone (BRX) over a total of 60 hours/2.5 days. The rationale behind this method is
that while SSRIs takes time to be effective, this could have an immediate effect. PPD sufferers should reach out to their doctors to inquire about this new treatment.
Professor Meirov of Tel Hashomer Hospital also lectured about cryopreservation for girls with Turner’s Syndrome. He mentioned that the first baby to be born successfully using this technique was born at his hospital in 2005. It is still the biggest unit in the world, and boasts a very high success rate.
RABBI MELBER VISITS AUSTRALIA IN WHIRLWIND TRIP
In a very successful trip B”H, Rabbi Melber spent an intense few days meeting with hundreds of members of the Melbourne community: rabbis, Kallah teachers, leaders and laymen from across the spectrum of Orthodox Jewry.
While there has been a local hotline number in Australia for eight years, this was the first time Tahareinu met the community, and the impact is still felt keenly. Seven lectures were delivered and over 20 couples maximized their in-person consultations.
Here at Tahareinu, we extend our deepest appreciation for the hearty welcome we experienced while Down Under, and hope to continue to serve the community through both educational services and individual consultations in the future.
MONTHLY TRAINING FOR TAHAREINU ADVISORS FOCUSES ON REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE
Every month, the 60 expert hotline advisors receive a crucial monthly training, covering different areas of women’s health, OB/GYN and fertility. Of late, we have seen an increased number of phone calls focusing on infertility treatments, so we met the need with a targeting training in this topic.
While Rabbi and Mrs. Melber will still be available for individual consultations, these dedicated advisors are now even better equipped to to advise couples and take over their case management.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR EVERY COUPLE TRYING TO CONCEIVE
Research has been released by Dr. Christian Becker of Oxford University (UK) about the effectiveness of maximizing the fertility window by monitoring ovulation as a means of increasing chances of pregnancy.
In the official guidelines from NICE and ASRM as well, evidence emerges that this can help in a significant way (30%), and should be deemed a legitimate first-line treatment path before trying more aggressive treatments. Tahareinu recommends couples using this method if the woman has a regular cycle, as it is an inexpensive, non-invasive, and Halachically permissible route.
Call the Tahareinu Hotline!
Got a question about relieving tahara problems, infertility, reproductive health, pain or other related issues?
call the Tahareinu hotline
For ongoing infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, or reproductive genetic issues,
you and your spouse are warmly invited to schedule an in-person, phone or Zoom consultation with our founder and president, Rabbi Yitzchok Melber.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Include your first name and location, and briefly describe your issue.
Personal consultations are for more involved reproductive issues. Note the Israel
office has reopened for in-person consultations, in line with the country’s coronavirus status.
Most Tahareinu issues are addressed by our hotline advisors, 13 hours a day, 5 days a week. If you are unsure whether to schedule a consultation, call the hotline first.