About us

Welcome at the fertility centre that focuses on you

Welcome to the Centrum voor Reproductieve Geneeskunde (CRG or Centre for Reproductive Medicine), the fertility clinic of UZ Brussel, the university hospital of the VUB (Free University of Brussels).

ART – what?

ART stands for Assisted Reproductive Treatment. This is the general term for the different fertility treatments: artificial insemination, IVF, IVF-ICSI, IVM, etc.

Our centre specialises in fertility treatments (ART). We have an international reputation as pioneers in the development of ART-techniques and their application. Since the CRG's creation in 1983, more than 40,000 babies have been born following fertility treatment of the parents.
As a university institution within the VUB network, the CRG also has an academic mission: our centre is also a training institute and acts as an engine for scientific research.

Our mission?

Every day we want to dedicate ourselves 100% to fulfil our threefold mission on a high quality level:
  • 100% dedication to protect and optimise the fertility of all our patients and thus help them produce a healthy child;
  • 100% dedication for independent and innovative studies about all aspects of human fertility. For this we invest in a global exchange of researchers in our field of expertise;
  • 100% ambition to increase the knowledge of all stakeholders – researchers, students, parents, children, etc. – as much as possible, by spreading our knowhow through education, training and communication.

For years the CRG has been at the international top in its field of expertise in two areas:

as a fertility clinic
as a research centre

Fertility clinic with great care for patients     

The CRG offers its patients a broad care programme, ranging from assisted fertilisation to treatment of related reproductive problems:
  • hormone treatments and coitus timing
  • artificial insemination
  • IVF and IVF/ICSI
  • TESE and other operations for sperm extraction - for men with strongly reduced fertility
  • IVM (in-vitromaturation), i.e. harvesting of unripe eggs, maturation and fertilisation in the laboratory
  • IVF/ICSI care programme for prospective parents with a viral infection (HIV, hepatitis C)
  • IVF/ICSI care programme for couples with a hereditary defect (PGD, PGS)
  • reversal of sterilisation (men and women) 
  • miscarriage clinic - care programme for recurrent miscarriages
  • fertility treatments with donor material (donor sperm, donor eggs)
  • safeguarding the fertility of patients with a cancer diagnosis

Our medical practice is based on an accredited quality assurance system.
Our care programmes are always the result of follow-up studies of patients. (New) fertility programmes always are checked against their results in terms of:
  • effects on patients,
  • success rate,
  • progress of the pregnancy,
  • health of mother and baby.

Research centre - driven by science      

The activities of the CRG are supported by continuing scientific research.
Our researchers are part of the REGE research groups (Reproduction and Genetics) of the VUB.

Partly thanks to its scientific drive, our centre, since its creation, has played a pioneering role in the development and enhancement of reproductive techniques.
In 1991 our Centre played a decisive role in the development of ICSI, the revolutionary fertilisation technique whereby one sperm is injected into an egg. Thanks to ICSI (intracytoplasmatic sperm cell injection) prospective parents with a severe form of diminished male fertility are able to conceive a child.

But spectacular progress has also been made in other fields over the years. For instance:
  • genetic testing of embryos before they are returned to the womb 
  • the freezing of eggs, and
  • maturing unripe eggs in the lab (IVM) and then fertilising them.

Our scientific researchers are working very hard on techniques:
  • to safeguard the fertility of patients undergoing chemo and radiotherapy, treatments that are very detrimental for fertility; and
  • stem cell therapies and the development of stem cells.

If you are interested in current scientific studies at the VUB by the CRG, please click Research projects or download the brochure.
The CRG chooses to communicate openly with its patients. Anyone who is treated at our centre receives information through different channels:

Information exchange is not only important in our communication to you.Correct internal information transfer is also crucial to the success of your treatment.  Our doctors, counsellors, nursing staff, lab technicians and administrative personnel are a close-knit and highly experienced team which communicates which each other in a structured way about your treatment.
UZ Brussel is associated with the Free University of Brussels (VUB), a Dutch-speaking institution.
Therefore, the language spoken in the hospital and the CRG is Dutch.
However, all staff members speak either French and/or English, the majority does so fluently. A number of staff members also speak German, Spanish and Italian. Thanks to its excellent reputation – scientifically as well as practically, the CRG attracts a large number of patients from abroad.

UZ Brussel respects every religion or ideology.
Don't hesitate to inform us of any religious or other factors that may affect your availability over the course of the treatment. The CRG is always willing to accommodate for Christian holidays, the Jewish Sabbath, the Islamic Ramadan, etc.
Nevertheless IVF treatment could involve a number of medical or practical aspects which may burden you, but that you will nevertheless have to accept in order to keep the chances for success of your treatment acceptable.

Joint founder of ESHRE
Certified by EAA
Certified by Ebcog

The CRG is part of a network of research and treatment institutions and/or acts as an engine of international co-operation.
On the one hand, the CRG works very closely with universities, other than the VUB, both in Belgium and other countries.
On the other hand, the CRG has official collaboration agreements with other (foreign) hospitals.
For instance, April 2005 saw the inception of our official collaboration with Clinica Alemana, one of the leading hospitals in South America. The Clinica Allemana is connected to the Universidad Del Desarrollo (Santiago de Chile) and has a tradition of setting up collaborations with other Centres of Excellence. This facilitates the fluent exchange of know-how, as well as the mutual training of medical specialists.
They chose the CRG as Centre of Excellence in the field of Reproductive Medicine.

Joint founder of ESHRE     

The CRG is joint founder, and for many years has been an active member, of ESHRE, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology – www.eshre.com.
This European organisation maintains good contacts with the scientific world in the United States.
Its objective is to stimulate the interest for and the knowledge about reproductive biology and medicine. This is why ESHRE aims to:
– stimulate research in this field;
– ensure that the research results reach the general public, scientists, medical staff and patient organisations;
– inform politicians and policymakers across Europe; and
– contribute to an improvement of clinical practice on a more applied level.
It does so by organising training and courses and bringing specialists together to discuss specific reproductive themes.

The CRG has played a key role in the establishment and development of ESHRE:
  • in 1985 we were joint organisers of the very first ESHRE congress in Bonn;
  • in 1986 we organised the second ESHRE congress in Brussels, at the Free University;
  • in 1994 we organised the tenth congress, again in Brussels; and
  • over the years we made our CRG infrastructure available for ESHRE symposiums and workshops. This allowed many fertility specialists to receive further training
This is apparent if you look at the history (1985, 1986, 1994 and many other years).

Certified by the EAA     

The CRG built a strong reputation in the field of male infertility.
In 1997 we became a certified training centre of the EAA, thee European Academy of Andrology.
This certification was renewed in 2005.
More information about the CRG and the EAA is available under ‘Our research and education’.

Certified by EBCOG    

Since 2008 the CRG has been certified by EBCOG as a training institute in reproductive medicine. Our centre is the second ever to receive this certification. In 2015, the accreditation was extended for five years.
EBCOG, the European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology is part of UEMS, the Union Européenne des Medécins Spécialistes. The organisation groups specialists in gynaecology and obstetrics in 36 member states. Its aim is to improve the health of women and children by pursuing the highest quality of care in all European countries.
With a view to this, EBCOG supports training in various medical specialities. For reproductive medicine twelve centres in Europe were awarded an accreditation as a training institute, including the CRG of UZ Brussel.
And in 2012, the CRG installed a ‘clinical fellowship’ in reproductive medicine. Gynaecologists in (other) European countries can come to our centre to improve their medical knowledge about, and skills in, reproductive medicine.