Sexual and reproductive health

Global infertility guidelines:
Strategy for development and dissemination

Generating practice guidelines

The revision and updating of the “WHO global Guidelines for infertility diagnosis, management and interventions for treatment” (1992) and the WHO manual for the investigation and diagnosis of the infertile couple” (1993) was initiated in January 2012. A small Steering Committee with six Expert Working Group Chairs, local Swiss experts, as well as Presidents, Chairpersons and representatives of ASRM1, ESHRE2, FIGO3, GFMER4, ICMART5 and IFFS6 came to the table to share experiences, to present their current (or in-process) guidelines and to recommend a collaborative process for moving forward to generate global guidelines.

In addition to recently established WHO procedures for Guideline development, an innovate mechanism was planned and has been initiated to ensure developing country input throughout the process - from scoping and prioritization of the prioritized topics, to presentation of non-English language evidence for global consensus consultations. Through this process, gaps in knowledge and key areas of research required in developing countries and low resource settings will be identified.

Photo of the Infertility Guidelines Group

An on-line WHO infertility virtual consultation course includes a 5 module WHO evidence-based medicine course, as well as a 16 module ASRM eLearning course which reviews the evidence-base for the basic diagnosis of the infertile male and female, coupled with management and treatment. Opinion papers submitted by all participants will prioritize and address adaptation issues surrounding key questions which contribute to the consultations generating evidence-based WHO Guidelines.

  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)
  • European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE)
  • International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (FIGO)
  • Graduate Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER)
  • International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART)
  • International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS)