For the Families in Bahrain and Beyond: Interview with Dr. Salam Jibrel

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IVF, originally created to fight infertility, has expanded to allow people to think beyond the traditional family and carve a new path to parenthood. In Bahrain, the Dr. Salam Jibrel Medical Center has provided families with access to state-of-the-art facilities along with the most experienced and dedicated healthcare professionals.

Since it opened doors in 2010, the Center’s mission has been to provide quality care in a safe environment — earning them a reputation as one of the best Reproductive Health Clinic in the area. Dr. Salam Jibrel Medical details the operations of the center.

What are the latest IVF procedures offered in Bahrain and mainly at Dr. Salam Jibrel Center?

When we started our center, we aimed at having a state of art IVF center so that we can give our patients the best and highest pregnancy chance. We have added 2 techniques that made our IVF center. The ERA test and Time-lapse incubators makes our services superior to other centers.  We also offer the most advance genetic testing called PGTa.

Can you detail the history of Dr. Salam Jibrel Center?

Dr Salam Jibrel IVF Center started on January 2018. I started my work as an IVF specialist after having my specialty and Doctoral degrees in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Christain Ablrecht University teaching Hospital in Kiel-Germany in 1995. Then I went back to Jordan where I worked at the IVF center of Jordan Hospital in Amman. In 1999 I moved to Yemen and established the first IVF program in Yemen when I was teaching at the medical school in Sana. Then I moved to Bahrain on August 2006 to start IVF center as head of department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Bahrain Specialist hospital till 2015 when I started my Private clinic for 3 year and finally moved to our new location at Dr Salm Jibrel IVF Center on January 2018.

What is the Success rate of IVF and taking a full-term baby home in your experience?

The Pregnancy rate at our Center is a round 42%. Mind you that some of these cases end up with abortion in the first trimester. With our new ERA tests and time-lapse incubators, the pregnancy rate has increase to almost 67%. But the take home baby rate is about 38.7%. With this I would like to mention that 24% are above age of 40 years. These results include all ages even women at their 45 years of age.

Is IVF treatment for women above 40 years popular in the region?

Many women come to our IVF Center seeking help to have children. We see almost 24% of our patients older than 40 years. Some of then tried before and were not successful and some are trying for the first time. For some of our patients they have no other choice.

How affordable are IVF treatments

The IVF trial is affordable to the average income people. The success rate at this stage is making it costly and the cost in Bahrain is equal if not less than in the neighbouring countries.

Are there any Genetic assessment tools for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis that are being used?

We are using the genetic testing for those cases that have genetic (Chromosomal abnormalities as recommended by the medical Geneticists. We also advise women with advanced maternal age and repeated IVF trials failure to use these tests to exclude the abnormal embryos before transferring them back to the mothers.

What are the major lifestyle factors affecting fertility in women?

The most important factor is the age. The younger (i,e less than 35 years) the better the chances. In addition weight is a very important as well. Those who are having high body mass index BMI must change their life style and reduce their weight.

How have regulations by the NHRA and Ministry of Health in Bahrain helped to keep IVF practices ethical and safe?

The regulations for IVF practice by NHRA and Ministry of health have put this category of medical practice at a very high level and standard. We appreciate form them putting such regulations because is matches what every one was looking for. I would like thank and mention our colleagues who worked on this for years to make the practice of the highest standard.

What are the latest advances in assisted reproductive technology (ART?

The latest are the advances in implantation techniques and the Gene editing which is going to revolutionize the treatments using the IVF technologies.

What is your vision for the Center?

We hope that our center will serve everybody that needs help to have a family. Our intention is to have the IVF available to almost all community classes and to have the best chances of success. We would like to increase the services to include the male factors as well.