JLife catches up with fertility expert Doctor Mark Sedler as he prepares to make the move to a new clinic, Hull & East Riding Fertility, welcoming couples from Leeds and all areas to its new state-of-the-art clinic.
Leeds’s own Mark Sedler has a long and illustrious career as a Reproductive Medicine Consultant, having qualified and trained in Merseyside, worked at the Assisted Conception Unit in The General Infirmary at Leeds and completed his Obstetrics and Gynaecology training in the Yorkshire region.
Mark has extensive experience in all aspects of reproductive health and has been in his current position, as a Consultant Fertility Specialist at CARE Manchester, for over a decade. Despite his long tenure, Mark knew it was time to move on to a new position, as the Medical Director and Clinical Lead at Hull & East Riding Fertility.
Mark explains: “The brand new, state-of-the- art IVF clinic, originally started and functioned as part of The Hull NHS Womens and Childrens Directorate, of which it is still affiliated. Our new clinic will provide an array of fertility and reproductive health treatments, from the most simple, to highly advanced reproductive technologies. We have also set up a satellite clinic in York, aiming to make the logistical aspects and overall treatment processes, as amenable as possible for our patients.
In-Vitro-Fertilisation or IVF, which means “In Glass”, often ends-up as the definitive treatment. IVF involves stimulating the woman’s ovaries with special medications, performing an egg collection procedure, fertilising the retrieved
eggs with sperm, before implanting the resultant embryo back into the womb (uterus) to grow. The majority of couples who come to a fertility clinic will have been trying to have a baby for at least a year or two and may have had basic investigations performed. A large proportion will ultimately have IVF, a treatment which is exceptionally common in this day and age. One in six couples may end up going to a doctor regarding fertility issues.
Mark goes on to say: “The processes of IVF have developed significantly since it was first performed over 40 years ago. Over the last decade, technologies to optimise embryo conditions and growth, as well as more elaborate embryo selection techniques, have allowed considerable advances aiming to ultimately improve ongoing pregnancy rates and live birth.
“Embryos are now routinely cultured in the laboratory to the “blastocyst” stage (day 5 and 6 of development), aiming for selection of the most developmentally viable for replacement. We also have much improved embryo freezing procedures, allowing effective banking of embryos, overall improving cumulative pregnancy rates, including the chance of sibling pregnancies.
“The use of time-lapse imaging, with steady state incubators (e.g., “the Embryoscope” from Vitrolife), has certainly improved the embryologists understanding of how embryos develop, as well as being a more elaborate way of assessing the most preferable for replacement.
“We have a strong focus on research and development. Therefore, to ensure treatments have the best possible outcome, we use the latest technologies.”
While the processes of IVF are clearly very important, Mark strongly believes the patient experience is of equal importance: “One of the most important parts of my job is the personal touch.” Establishing good, professional relationships with the couple, imparting accurate and up to date advice, as well as giving honest chances of success are paramount. All of this needs to be conveyed in an empathetic way, in order to provide the highest level of patient care.
Mark has also done a significant amount of work within the orthodox Jewish community in Manchester, helping with the set up and growth of KIVISI, one of the most elaborate Jewish supervision services available.
All aspects of procedures are rigorously monitored by appropriate healthcare professionals. However, as all treatment processes must be performed under specialised supervision, individually trained volunteers from the orthodox Jewish community attend to witness all aspects of the laboratory processes, for each individual couple.
Mark also works in close collaboration with Bonai Olam, a worldwide Jewish organization founded in 1999, aiming to help childless and infertile couples, through large scale funding of fertility treatments and research: “Bonai Olam have helped with the funding of treatments leading to the birth of thousands of babies.” Their work helping the Orthodox Jewish community is essential, including direct contact for patients to seek help and advice, as well as putting on large scale events over the years, such as the Manchester Fundraiser.
Over the next JLife editions, Mark will be taking you through some of the more common, as well as the more complex subfertility conditions, diagnoses, and treatments. He is very happy to answer any specific questions through these articles.
Mark will be based at the Hull and East Riding Fertility clinic, where he can be contacted: “We welcome all patients to our clinic for advice, help, support and treatment.”