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University Hospitals Leuven- UZ Leuven

Fertility Centre

Information about the Centre

The Leuven University Fertility Centre (LUFC) has played a pioneering role in various fields; Belgium's first IVF baby was born in 1984.

The LUFC has achieved very high pregnancy rates since 1999: approximately 30% implantation rate per embryo and 35-40% clinical pregnancy rate per embryo transfer (transferring 1-2 embryos only).

The LUFC and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology are world famous for their clinical and research programmes in endometriosis, including laparoscopic surgery of advanced endometriosis of the bowel and ureter.

The LUFC also runs an internationally renowned centre for research related to stress and infertility.

The Leuven University Fertility Centre constantly strives to improve the quality of patient care and research and was the first centre for reproductive medicine in the Benelux region to be awarded ISO 9001-2000 certification in recognition of the high quality of care offered to patients with fertility problems.

The Leuven University Fertility Centreis also the first EU center accredited as “European Centre of Reproductive Medicine” for the training of subspecialists in reproductive medicine and surgery with the European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (EBCOG) and with the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE).

Activity

More than 1,200 new infertile couples are seen every year. The Centre performs approximately 500 infertility-related procedures (mostly endometriosis surgery) and 1,850 fresh ART cycles per year, including  preimplantation genetic diagnosis/screening), and more than 1000 cryocycles per year.. In addition, about 400 cycles are performed annually for controlled ovarian stimulation with or without intrauterine insemination.

Fertility problems are addressed in 3 steps:

1. Investigate the cause of the fertility problems in men and women, also taking into account psychosocial issues.

2. Discuss the results of this investigation during our weekly multidisciplinary staff meeting with planning of additional investigations and treatment.

3. Discuss a treatment proposal with the patients, followed by regular evaluations of this treatment and modifications, if necessary.

The Medical Team

Thomas D'Hooghe, MD, PhD:
Professor D’Hooghe is the Director of the Centre for Reproductive Medicine at Leuven University Hospitals (Leuven, Belgium) since 1996 and is Adjunct Professor At Yale University, New Haven, USA since 2010.

He holds the Merck Serono Chair in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery (2005-2015) and the Ferring Chair of Reproductive Medicine (2010-2013) at Leuven University, Belgium. Professor D'Hooghe is a founding board member of the World Endometriosis Research Foundation(www.endometriosisfoundation.org).


His research interests include endometriosis (pathogenesis, subfertility, pain and the study of new agents that may prevent or treat endometriosis based on preclinical research in the baboon model), assisted reproduction, and reproductive ethics/mental health.
At  the Institute of Primate Research (IPR), Nairobi, Kenya (WHO collaborating centre),  he developed the baboon model for the study of pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of endometriosis and was appointed as the Chairman of the International Advisory Board for IPR (2007-10; 2011-2013).  After his PhD, he did a postdoctoral fellowship in reproductive immunology at the Ferring Research Laboratory in the Department of Obstetrics/Gynaecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA (1993-1995).

He has been the Coordinator (2006-2009), and is now Past Coordinator (2009-2011), of the Special Interest Group for Endometriosis and Endometrium of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). Since 2001, he has served as Editor-in-Chief of Gynaecologic and Obstetric Investigation, one of the oldest peer reviewed journals in the area of reproduction. He joined the Editorial Board of Fertility & Sterility in January 2008 and  is one of its few European International Editorial Board Members.

Professor D'Hooghe has published more than 150 papers in international peer reviewed journals and has received numerous international prizes and awards from international organisations such as the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the International Society of Gynaecological Endoscopy and the International Federation of Fertility Societies. His work is/has been funded by the Research Fund KU Leuven/ Onderzoeksfonds KU Leuven, the Clinical Research Fund Leuven University Hospitals, Leuven, Belgium, the FWO (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek/Scientific Research Foundation Leuven University Research Foundation, Collen Research Foundation, Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad (VLIR/Flemish Interuniversity Council), EU Public Health Branch, and NATO. Indirect funding from the NIH and the Wellcome Trust has been obtained through international collaborative projects.

His research interests include endometriosis (pathogenesis, subfertility, pain and the study of new agents that may prevent or treat endometriosis based on preclinical research in the baboon model), assisted reproduction, and reproductive ethics/mental health. He holds the Merck Serono Chair in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery (2005-2015) and the Ferring Chair of Reproductive Medicine (2010-2013) at Leuven University, Belgium. Professor D'Hooghe is a founding board member of the World Endometriosis Research Foundation.

Under his leadership since 1996, the Leuven University Fertility Centre was the first center in the Benelux to obtain an ISO 9001-2000 certification for multidisciplinary evidence-based management of infertile couples (2004-10).

Read CV

Gynaecology

Prof. Dr. Thomas D’Hooghe: head of clinic
Prof. Dr. Diane De Neubourg: head of clinic
Dr. Christel Meuleman: head of clinic
Dr. Karen Peeraer: vice-head of clinic
Dr. Carla Tomassetti: vice-head of clinic
Dr. Sofie Pelckmans
Dr. Luc Meeuwis
Prof. Dr. Peter De Loecker: consultant
Dr. Annemie Spaepen
Dr. Luc Segal
Dr. Ingrid Thys

Andrology/Urology

Prof Dr Dirk Vanderschueren:head of clinic andrology
Prof. Dr. Frank Van der Aa: vice-head of clinic urology
Dr. Philippe Marcq, consultant

 

Human Heredity Centre
Prof Dr Eric Legius: head of clinic

 

Laboratory: Embryology

Prof. Dr. Carl Spiessens
Prof. Dr. Sophie Debrock
Gaetane Bertin
Dorien Willemen
Johanna Devroe 
Hilde Afschrift
Olivier De Maeght
Linsey Hollanders
Nuran Memis

Suzy Pellens
An Velaers
Pascale Bols
Elly Vergison

    

Fertility Consultants

Prof. Dr. Koen Demyttenaere
Uschi Vandenbroeck, psychologist
Lynn Van Moppes, psychologist
Mirjam Vervaeke, relaxation and stressmanagement


Fertility team

Els Bakelants: coordinator
Annelies Buelens: nurse
Eline Dancet: nurse
Heidi De Bie: nurse
Katrien Dhondt: nurse
Katlijne Eelen: nurse
Marleen Geerts: nurse
Johanna Gevaerts: nurse
Sophie Kurstjens: nurse
Elisabeth Magis: nurse
Sarah Schildermans: nurse
Katja Servaes: nurse
Erika Stuyckens: nurse
Hilde Verbiest: nurse
Ann Verlinden: nurse
Sarah Verschueren : nurse
Femke Clinckemalie: administration
Lien Van der Motte: administration
Marie-Astrid Van Hoorick: administration
Chantal Vanden Bosch : administration

Contact Details

Leuven University Fertility Center
UZ Leuven
Herestraat 49
B-3000 Leuven

 

with the support of the VBO-FEB & Agfa Healthcare
Realised with the help of Brussels Invest & Export