The Fertility Centre of the AZ Sint-Lucas is a multidisciplinary team that was formed in order to provide the best possible help to couples with fertility problems. We perform around 1500 intrauterine inseminations and around 750 IVF attempts per year.
The Fertility Centre team consists of three gynaecologists: Dr. Tom Coetsier, Dr. lsabelle Meire and Dr. Nele Van Renterghem. All three doctors work fulltime with fertility research and treatment. They each maintain ultimate responsibility for their individual patients, yet together they ensure permanency for standard procedures such as the ultrasonography of inductions, inseminations, ovarian punctures and embryo transfers and work closely together. As soon as pregnancy occurs, you will be referred back to the referring gynaecologist for further follow-up of the pregnancy.
When exceptional examinations or treatments are indicated for the male partner, a visit to one of our urologists (Dr. Luc Merckx or Dr. An Derie) may be necessary. When tissue from the testis must be prelevated to recover sperm cells, this will be performed by the urologist.
The midwives in our team also form a very important link in the course of the fertility treatment. In most cases, they are your first contact with our team and will guide your way through the treatment, in on-going consultation with the gynaecologists. They will book for you a first appointment, discuss with you the practical steps of the treatment, assist in inseminations or ovarian punctures and at the close of the treatment will deliver you the good or less-than-good news.
For support and guidance with the psychological and emotional impact of a fertility treatment, you can call on our psychologists. Experience has shown that most couples gain a great deal of support and understanding simply by expressing the intense experiences and their perceptions of these experiences during the treatment. When the fertility problem threatens to dominate all of your thoughts and your life, it is most definitely worthwhile to increase your resilience through specific sessions with a psychologist. The purpose of these services is not only to lighten the burden of the treatment but also to provide purely informational support.
The Fertility Centre has its own laboratory for sperm processing, which is used for the preparation of sperm for inseminations (with both partner sperm as well as donor sperm). The first preparatory steps for an IVF procedure (identification of the egg cells from ovarian punctures and sperm preparation in the context of IVF) also occur in our own laboratory.
If IVF is necessary, the IVF laboratory of the UZ Gent is utilized for the laboratory phase of the treatment. This laboratory is the second largest IVF lab in Belgium and has extensive experience with excellent success rates. There is also a constant collaboration between UZ Gent and AZ Sint-Lucas via Drs. Coetsier, Meire and Van Renterghem who are also clinical staff members of the IVF Centre of the UZ Gent. The Fertility Centre of Sint-Lucas Hospital is a recognised health care programme, type A and therefore satisfies all of the relevant statutory requirements. In addition, we have been ISO certified since 2006. This means that we have successfully developed and implemented quality assurance systems in all aspects of our organisation.