Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Highlights 2021

With best wishes for the new year!

Again, the time has come to say goodbye to another year. Who would have thought that so many of us would be having Zoom congresses, Teams meetings, home offices, and teleconsults two years in a row? Despite all the hurdles, we are confident that we made the most of this year.
We invite you to look back at what Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility group accomplished in 2021. We could not have made it without you - our editors, authors, reviewers, and consumers. Thank you for your continuous support!
Let us welcome 2022. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

Cindy Farquhar, Madelon van Wely, Marian Showell, Elena Kostova, Helen Nagels, Melissa Vercoe & Angela Beros
Impact Factor

Our group Impact Factor for 2020 increased to 6.956 (45 publications cited 313 times). This means that a review published by the Gynaecology and Fertility Group in 2018 and 2019 was cited, on average, 6.956 times in 2020. The Cochrane Library Impact Factor for 2020 increased to 9.289!
Here are the top highest-cited CGF reviews in the 2020 journal impact window.

CGF 2020 10 most cited

And these are the most-accessed reviews in 2020.
CGF 2020 10 most accessed
We would like to take the opportunity and congratulate the authors of these reviews. Well done! It is amazing that these reviews are getting the attention they deserve. Thank you for your hard work!
Knowledge Translation   

In 2021 we joined several Knowledge Translation initiatives. We collaborated with our editor and author Dr James Duffy and Cochrane UK on the campaign #MyEndometriosisQuestion during #EndometriosisAwarenessMonth in March.

The campaign reached 1 million people and received 18 million impressions! During the campaign we answered 250 questions from endometriosis patients.


Evidently Cochrane, Lara's story about endometriosisEvidently Cochrane published a special series of 8 blogs on endometriosis including blogs written by endometriosis patients with lived experience, underscoring the importance of patient engagement in our Knowledge Translation activities.

We are still very active on Twitter and our followers base keeps increasing (currently 1276 followers!). Our tweets were seen more than 233,000 times this year.

For #PCOSAwarenessMonth in September we joined Instagram and we already have 170 followers! Follow us on @gynaecology_fertility. We hope that expanding our social media presence will help us reach a wider audience.
September is PCOS awareness monthNo available evidence on effectiveness and safety of antidepressants for PCOS

In February, we shared our experience with health awareness campaigns in a Cochrane Community blog

In 2021 we published 4 blogshots1 visual abstract and 3 podcasts.

In November, Elena was invited by Cochrane’s Knowledge Translation team to become one of the trainers of Cochrane's Dissemination Essentials Online Course.
Updated CGF Guidance Document   

Editorial base staff and CGF editors have contributed to a major revision of the guidance document we have developed for authors with our Cochrane Group. Two factors are associated with the revision: our now preferred approach where authors report primary analyses of low risk studies only; and the introduction of Cochrane’s new risk of bias tool. We now present 2 versions, one for protocols and new reviews that will use risk of bias 2, and one for authors of updates that can continue to use the original risk of bias assessment method. The CGF guidance documents are updated regularly. For the latest versions visit our resources page.
Our Reviews
In 2021, CGF published 4 protocols, 6 reviews, and 15 updates!


New reviews

UpdatesFresh vs frozen embryo transfers in assisted reproductionEndometrial injury following intercourse or IUIEndometrial injury in women having IVFDoes preconceptioon lifestyle advice help women with infertility to have a baby?
COVID-19 Fertility and Pregnancy
Coronavirus image

COVID-19 - Fertility and Pregnancy
We continue to update our Excel sheet with data extracted from all published reports on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes in women with confirmed COVID-19. Our COVID-19 dedicated page received 22,700 visits in 2021 and remains the most-visited page on our website.

Furthermore, Madelon and Elena are still taking part in the largest living systematic review on COVID-19 in pregnancy, a collaboration with the University of Birmingham and World Health Organization (WHO). The first update of the review Clinical manifestations, risk factors, and maternal and perinatal outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 in pregnancy: living systematic review and meta-analysis” was published in the BMJ in March 2021. The update included 192 studies (64 676 pregnant and recently pregnant women), 115 of which were newly added studies.


Academic Promotion

Dr Vanessa Jordan, associate director of Cochrane New Zealand and CGF editor, was appointed Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland.

Congratulations, Vanessa!

NIHR Evidence Synthesis Award for – Medical interventions for fibroids
In November, we received an NIHR Evidence Synthesis Award for £10,000 in respect of our planned review “Medical interventions for uterine fibroids”. This review will weigh the benefits and adverse effects of various medical treatments for fibroids, as well as compare them to more invasive treatments, such as hysterectomy. The review will inform a guideline to be produced for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) (UK). Dr Carl Parfitt will lead the review supported by our Editors, Dr Gaity Ahmad and Dr Andy Watson.

Research Integrity

Cochrane Reviews are high-quality systematic reviews that aim to provide the best available evidence from published clinical trials. Even though our process is robust, the quality of the available evidence produced depends on the reliability of the included studies and that can vary considerably. For several studies, it has been shown that the data are not true and are possibly fraudulent. These studies jeopardize the trustworthiness of our reviews. We follow the new Cochrane policy. Studies that are problematic can be put under “Awaiting further classification”.  In case you notice studies and have concerns about their trustworthiness, please forward these to us; we will contact the study authors and ask for clarification. It needs to be stressed that having concerns does not imply there has been misconduct. 
Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Satellite in Amsterdam has helped to develop a new tool to detect problematic studies in reference to the literature and expert opinions. Wentao Li and our group editor Ben Mol have developed a screening checklist for trustworthiness of RCTs based on their experience in investigating problematic trials in women's health. They and members of the Satellite also performed a scoping review of methods to assess research misconduct in health-related research. These methods serve as the base for the development of the new tool which will be piloted and further improved in collaboration with relevant experts in the field.

Zoom editorial meeting 

In January we held an online editorial meeting attended by 25 editors! The major point of discussion concerned the previously signaled new approach to presenting primary analyses in our reviews. Other discussion points included Core outcomes for fertility and endometriosis research, RevMan Web, and the development of our group’s guidance document.
Cochrane Masterclass June 2021

Cochrane Masterclass Auckland
Cochrane New Zealand held a one-day symposium in Auckland on 29 June 2021. It brought together some of their most seasoned reviewers to showcase Cochrane excellence and expertise. CGF staff, authors and editors were among the presenters.
The programme began with an address from Catherine Marshall, who is Co-chair of Cochrane’s Governing Board. CGF authors and editors presented on the new handbook and on recent developments in software available to authors of Cochrane reviews. Later sessions involving CGF personnel covered network meta-analysis, use of non-RCT evidence and Cochrane’s new conflicts of interest policy.
Priority-setting exercise

With the help of our Editors, we completed a priority setting exercise for all reviews and protocols in our group. We ascertained that reviews needed to be updated in the following topic areas:
1. Endometriosis
2. Menopause
3. Uterine fibroids
We also identified the 10 out-of-date reviews that are of the highest priority overall for our stakeholders.

We are, thanks to our hard-working authors and peer-reviewers, making excellent progress in updating the identified reviews and will continue to work on this throughout 2022. You can read more about our priority setting exercise here.
The priority setting exercise also identified a small number of vacant reviews that need author teams. If you have an author team that may be interested in taking on a new review, please contact Elena, Helen or Angela ( | |
Season's Greetings
Cindy Farquhar, Madelon van Wely, Elena Kostova, Helen Nagels, Marian Showell, Melissa Vercoe & Angela Beros
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