Professor Adam Balen

 

Professor Adam Balen MB, BS, MD, DSc, FRCOG is a full time NHS Consultant in Reproductive Medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Adam is also Chair of the Innovation and Research Board of CARE Fertility and a consultant at CARE Fertility Leeds.

In recognition of his research, he was awarded a personal (honorary) chair in 2004 and a DSc in 2010, by the University of Leeds, which is the highest academic degree for clinicians. Adam qualified as a doctor in 1983 and spent his first few years training in obstetrics and gynaecology in London, Oxford and even a spell in Africa. These were the early days of IVF and he worked with some of its pioneers (Bob Edwards, Howard Jacobs).

He became a consultant in Leeds in 1996, helping to create one of the UK’s largest IVF units – Leeds Fertility. For many years Adam has had a particular interest in the causes and management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). His research covers the full spectrum of the condition including its effects during adolescence and adult life on reproductive and metabolic health, fertility, cosmetic effects, quality of life and long-term health. For many years he has been passionate about preconception health and public education and, together with Grace Dugdale, has written The Fertility Book - Your definitive guide to achieving a healthy pregnancy (Penguin, Vermilion Press, 2021).

Professor Balen is the only UK gynaecologist to have sat on the international consensus groups on the definition and management of PCOS, which have written major guidelines since 2003. He was Chair of the World Health Organisation (WHO) expert working group on the management of PCOS for the Global Taskforce on Infertility, which produced guidelines that were published in 2016; he continues on the WHO Guideline Development Group and the Global PCOS Alliance which is publishing further guidelines on the management of both infertility and PCOS in 2022/23.  Adam also sits on the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (FIGO) committee on the classification of disorders of ovulation. Adam has been an advisor to the National Institute for Clinical and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). For many years he chaired the Reproductive Endocrinology section of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and sat on its international scientific advisory committee. Adam has also been on guideline groups for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the National Institutes for Health in the USA.

For many years Adam was on the Executive Committee of the British Fertility Society (BFS), with many key roles, and was elected Chair in 2015-2018. He now sits on the Board of Trustees of the BFS. He also sits on the Council of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), for which he is the spokesperson on all matters relating to Reproductive Medicine. He chaired the NHS England working group on funding for IVF, and has campaigned to provide equitable funding for assisted conception throughout the UK.

As Chair of the BFS, Adam created The Fertility Education Initiative, to improve the provision of education to young people about all aspects of reproductive health, including factors that may influence their future fertility. He continues as Chair of The Fertility Education Initiative, which has influenced the Government in the UK to include fertility education on the national curriculum as part of relationship and sex education (RSE) in schools.

Adam is the author over 260 peer-reviewed papers and 16 books, including his best-selling Infertility in Practice (5th edition 2022). He lectures and speaks nationally and internationally on all matters relating to infertility, PCOS and reproductive medicine. He has also made educational programmes for radio and TV and is regularly in the press commenting on the latest developments in fertility care.

In his spare time Adam is passionate about music and also loves walking and developing his garden in the Yorkshire Dales.