Cafe scientifique FertilityFertility was a preoccupation of Montrealers who attended the CIHR* Café Scientifiqueorganized by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in May, in the convivial atmosphere of the Monument National.

The discussion, under the theme “Fertility: concerns, breakthroughs, horizons,” raised many questions from the public concerning fertility problems in women and men. Dominique Forget, science journalist for Québec Science and L’Actualité, moderated the discussion. This was a topic she knew very well because she is the author of Bébés illimités, published by Québec Amérique. It is a journalistic essay that deals with the various forms of assisted procreation and presents various points of view from physicians who have taken part in debates on the subject.

Having a child is more difficult for some than for others. The biology of the human body is different for everyone, and the environment can also play a role. The infertility rate of Canadians has almost doubled in the last 20 years, according to the latest statistics.

There were about 100 people who attended the discussion with experts in the field of reproduction including Dr. Hugh Clarke, director of Research Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the RI-MUHC, Dr. Patricia Monnier, an obstetrician-gynecologist from the Reproductive Centre at the MUHC and an Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McGill University, and Dr. Bernard Robaire, James McGill professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at McGill University.

The event provided an opportunity to learn about medical advances in assisted reproduction and to better understand the causes of fertility problems. The main factors to blame for decrease in fertility were advanced age, smoking, alcohol, cannabis use, obesity and also heat, especially on sperm production.

The message was clear: Science can help, but men and women also have their part to play!

*This event was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The videos of the discussion are now online. Click here to watch them.



July 9, 2013