I  I  C  O

International Infertility  Counseling Organisation

Helsinki 2016

On July 2nd, from 12.00 to 18.00,  IICO together with the Finnish Fertility Association held the workshop “Offspring and Access to Donor Records”

Here you can download the programme and invitation. In the “Stay informed” section (which you can subscribe) you can read about this workshop and look at the powerpoint presentations.

Geneva 2017

In July 2017, IICO together with the Swiss Fertiforum held a workshop on infertility counselling on the Saturday prior to the ESHRE conference. We have just put all the presentations online and you can download them as PDF documents. If you subscribe the news (see “stay informed” when you scroll down) you will automatically receive the invitation for the next workshop.

Barcelona 2018

There will not be an IICO Workshop in Barcelona this year. Next year, ESHRE will be in Vienna and the Austrian colleagues have already started to organise a workshop there.

Welcome to the IICO

IICO is short for the International Infertility Counseling Organisation. IICO is the international umbrella organization for national fertility counseling organisations.

Our goal is to bring together professional organizations and individual practitioners in infertility counseling worldwide in order to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience and in order to further the development of infertility counseling. There are currently over 10 national organizations and we strive to hold a work-shop every two years in conjunction with international conferences.

If you are interested in events, browse our website and subscribe to our blog (see below). If you are interested in contacting like-minded professionals in other countries, send them an email. If you have any questions regarding IICO or suggestions you would like to make, please use the contact form to be in touch with us.

Linda Hammer Burns (USA)

Petra Thorn (DE)

Sheila Pike (UK)

Uschi van den Broeck (BE)

Tewes Wischmann (DE)

PS. Parts of this website are currently work in progress. If you seek information but cannot find it, let us know!

Argentina:Children Born by Assisted Fertilization: Information on the Procreative Origin

Here is a link to a recent article by Silvia Jadur and colleages:   Children Born by Assisted Fertilization: Information on the Procreative Origin   The present paper briefly reviews some aspects that affect people with infertility problems and children born through assisted reproduction. Making a decision to have a child and accept medical help represents an important moment in the life of a couple. All parents are confronted at some point, with the questions, that every child asks, that is “How was I born?” All children need to know their history of origin. However, most parents are not comfortable providing the answer. In case of parents, who resorted to reproductive medicine, the answer requires a particular approach mainly because it often revives painful and unresolved internal conflicts. Another problem is that the parents do not feel comfortable to talk about the fact that medical help was required to conceive their child and that the medical intervention sometimes required the donation of gametes (eggs or sperm), or simply do not know how to talk to children about this issue. However, the children have right to know their origin. Our experience indicates that some children with behavioral problems improved significantly after the family spoke openly about their origin. Children need to be told the truth. We cannot lie to them nor remain... read more

Canada: International Conference

On September 7th 2015, will be held Infertility Without Borders, the first international conference on infertility awareness. The event will bring together representatives of patient groups from across the globe, healthcare professionals and local policy-makers. The aim of the conference is to raise public awareness on the issue of medical infertility and all the social and economic questions it raises. With its participatory formula, the conference will encourage speakers and guests to share their experience and promote their activities. Through this discussion, the organizers of the event hope to help patient groups and healthcare professionals find new ways of engaging their respective governments and position infertility as an important public health matter. More... read more

New book for fertility professionals

Fertility Counselling – clinical guide and case studies. edited by Sharon Covington The above book will come out soon and is available from Cambridge University Press. Many IICO-colleagues have contributed to this book. Here more about the content: Using real-world cases, this clinical guide details the psychosocial challenges faced by patients navigating the world of medically assisted reproduction (MAR). It describes in depth the latest perspectives on counseling approaches to the evolving complexities of family creation, whether fertility issues are a presenting problem or occur during the course of therapy or the aftermath of a struggle with infertility. Applying an evidence-based, cross-border approach, international experts not only discuss advanced perspectives on topics such as third party reproduction, pregnancy loss and adoption, but also newer issues of fertility preservation, ‘older’ patient parenthood, LGBT and singles’ family creation. A comprehensive resource, it explores pioneering insights into fertility counseling such as spirituality, developing disclosure language, a counselor’s personal fertility issues, and more. This is an essential aid for medical and mental health professionals to develop and refine the skills needed to treat the increasingly diverse and complex needs of MAR patients. List of contributors; Dedication; Acknowledgement; Foreword; Part I. Introduction: 1. Collaborative reproductive health care model; 2. Reproductive psychology and fertility counseling; Part II. Therapeutic Approaches: 3. Fertility counseling for individuals; 4. Fertility counseling for couples; 5. Spirituality in fertility counseling; 6. Reproductive psychiatry and fertility counseling; Part III. Third-Party Reproduction: Assessment and Preparation: 7. Counseling recipients of anonymous donor gametes; 8. Counseling anonymous gamete donors; 9. Counseling surrogate carrier participants; 10. Counseling known participants in third-party reproduction; Part IV. The Expanding... read more

Dinner in Lisbon

Dinner in Lisbon: Saturday, June 13th at 7 pm (19.00) ESHRE will take place in Lisbon this year and we are in the process of organizing a dinner on the Saturday evening prior to the SIG meetings.   If you would like to join us, send an email to Petra Thorn (mail@pthorn.de).  She will have to have your feedback before June 1st 2015. This is where we will go: Xapuir, Chiado Rua Duques de Bragança n. 5 G (Para Quem Vem Do Largo Do Chiado o Inicio Da Rua Chama-Se Rua Paiva de Andrade / Who comes from Largo Do Chiado our street is there called Rua Paiva de Andrade) 1200-162 Lisboa (Chiado) Portugal Tel: 00351 211 993 966 Email: xapurichiado@gmail.com Facebook: Xapurichiado Aberto/Open: Sab,Dom/Sat,Sun:12:30-0:00 2ª-6ª/Mon-Fri:18:00-0:00     Here is the menu: Couvert (Homemade Bread / Olive Oil) 4 Varieties of Petiscos (small gourmet plates): Tatar of Aubergine, feta foam, Focaccia croutons Bonbons of quail on cranberry sauce Codfish covered with chickpeas mousse Bonbons of duck on peanut-cream Braised Oxtail Garnish with foie gras (Basmati-rice with almonds and Salad) Dessert selection Price per person: 35,90 Euro Drinks: 1 bottle Water (every 2 people) 1 bottle Quinta das Marias Encruzado 2012 (Dão) white or Julia Kemper 2009 (Dão – Wine obtained from organic grapes) for 4 persons Price per person change to: 45,30€ If you are interested in exelent wine: 1 bottle Esporão Private Seletion 2013 (Alentejo) white or Quinta do Crasto Reserva 2012 Old Vines (Douro) red for 4 persons the price per person change to:... read more

Conference in Switzerland

On November 13th, there will be a conference in Switzerland on ART and third party reproduction. Here the information in German: Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren Fortpflanzungsmedizin aus religiöser Sicht. Standpunkte. Donnerstag, 13.11.2014, Zürich Leihmutterschaft, Eizellspende, Kind aus dem Reagenzglas. Dies sind nur einige Stichwörter, wenn es darum geht, dass die Medizin bei der menschlichen Fortpflanzung Patin steht – und damit Emotionen vom Staunen bis hin zur Empörung weckt. Denn diese Techniken berühren auch unsere Vorstellungen von Muttersein und Elternschaft, von Familienideal und Kindeswohl. Wir wollen diskutieren, welche Sichtweisen Religionen auf die Medizintechniken einnehmen. Referierende Prof. Dr. Barbara Biedermann, Bioethikkommission, Schweizer Bischofskonferenz Rabbiner Marcel Yair Ebel, Israelitische Cultusgemeinde Zürich Dr. Rifaat Lenzin, Zürcher Lehrhaus Prof. Dr. Frank Mathwig, Schweizerischer Evangelischer Kirchenbund Leitung Susanne Brauer, PhD, Paulus-Akademie Zürich Details und Anmeldung Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Teilnahme. Freundliche Grüsse Catherine Hauser Redaktion... read more

Gestational Surrogacy: What’s happening around the World?

by Linda Hammer Burns 23.09.2014 Infertility is an existential crisis of grand proportion and, as such, many individuals and couples go to great lengths to achieve parenthood pursuing medical treatments for years at great financial expense, emotional turmoil, even in the face of legal, religious, or cultural restrictions. The most complex form of assisted reproduction is Gestational Surrogacy [GS] in which the embryo (obtained from IVF) is implanted in the carrying woman’s uterus) while Traditional Surrogacy [TS] involves the surrogate not only carrying the pregnancy but donating her own oocytes to the pregnancy. Especially GS but also TS have become an increasingly popular means of achieving parenthood for both heterosexual and homosexual couples as well as single women and men. While originally in the 1980s GS was viewed as a medical godsend to young women who either were born without wombs or had lost their uterus to cancer or other conditions or for women who had medical conditions prohibiting pregnancy, overtime it has gained a broader more diverse and complex population of intended parents. One of the first reported cases of GS in 1992 a young Midwestern woman born with Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome was married and 22 years old, when her 42 year old mother volunteered to carry her daughter’s pregnancy. She delivered healthy twins after an uneventful pregnancy. In was big news in the USA even prompting a TV movie ‘Labor of Love: The Arlette Schweitzer Story’. While Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ about the enslavement of fertile young women for reproductive purposes was considered science fiction, it now seems not so far from... read more

ESHRE Pre-Congress Course 2015

June 2015 The Pre-Congress “Psychology & Counselling” Course of ESHRE will focus on Global (in)fertility: cross-cultural challenges for counsellors. You find more information... read more


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