Jorge Milhem Haddad
Jorge Milhem HaddadIUGA President

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I would like to begin this letter by inviting everyone to attend our first ever hybrid meeting, the 47th Annual Meeting. This meeting will be held jointly with the American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS) on June 14-18, in Austin, Texas. It will be fantastic to meet all of you in person after two very difficult years due to the pandemic. The hybrid format of this meeting allows for virtual attendance and the opportunity to reach a wider audience and provide educational opportunities to many members who are otherwise unable to travel in-person to our meeting.

The scientific program is absolutely fantastic! Congratulations and thanks go to Dudley Robinson, Nazema Siddiqui, Jan Deprest, Megan Schmipf, and the Scientific Committee of IUGA and AUGS. We have 528 abstracts submitted from 40 countries, more than 500 presenters, 1.5 days of hands-on workshops, and many parallel high-quality sessions. The meeting will include keynote lectures, debates, panel discussions, and more, as well as multiple social and networking events. Again, it will be magic to meet all of you in person.

I also would like to emphasize that IUGA has been working hard during the difficult period we have been living for the last two years. We remain dedicated to our mission to advance urogynecological knowledge. By facilitating connections among members in different regions, providing education, and promoting basic science and clinical research on disorders of the female pelvic floor, we will be able to meet the needs of our patients, and provide excellent care on a global level.

In this letter I highlight just some of the initiatives we have been working on:

Advancing Urogynecological Knowledge

We organized 18 great webinars in 2021 that IUGA members can watch anytime in the Video Library. In addition to those planned by IUGA committees, others were planned and delivered by Regional Advisory Board (Africa), Special Interest Groups, and in collaboration with other societies.

The third IUGA International Symposium designed for Allied Health Professionals, including physiotherapists, nurses, and midwives, was titled Birth and Beyond: Management, Assessment, and Prevention of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and was held virtually on March 12-13, 2022. The symposium, chaired by Ranee Thakar and Angie Rantel, was a great success with 432 registrants from 66 countries and 40 speakers.

I would like to congratulate the chairs and members of Chapter 1 of the International Urogynecological Consultation. Their articles on Defining Pelvic Organ Prolapse are now published in the IUJ and available on our website for IUGA members and non-members.

I would also like to thank the Editors-in-Chief and the entire IUJ team for their great work reflected in an increased Impact Factor to 2.894! Our online e-learning platform (IUGA Academy) remains a steadfast educational benefit, filled with the monthly e-lectures and must-see surgical videos, as well as newly released sessions from the 2021 IUGA 46th Annual Meeting.

Our committees continue their fabulous work. We have new terminology papers on Cosmetic Gynecology and a consensus document on Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) that have been developed in collaboration with the American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS). They will be very important in our field.

Connecting Different Regions

The Regional Advisory Boards (RABs) meet every semester, with productive Zoom Meetings of the African, Southeast Asian, and European RABs already having occurred in the first quarter of 2022. Connections were made and information was shared between countries. New ideas for multicentric studies and collaborations between pelvic floor physiotherapists and urogynecologists were brought forth and greater awareness of options for women with pelvic floor pathology in different countries was gained. As we are a multidisciplinary society, I would like to emphasize that each RAB (Africa, Latin America, Europe, Southern Asia, Western Asia, Central & Eastern Asia and Southeast Asia) has a nurse/midwife/physio/allied health professional representative.

As an international society, we recognize many languages are spoken by our members and the patients you serve. We continue our focus on developing resources in Spanish and, with the help of the African RAB, we offered IUGA’s first webinar in French about pelvic organ prolapse treatment. It was a very nice webinar with 81 attendees.

Knowing the Needs of Patients

The IUGA Patient Advisory Council continues to expand to include all regions, with a member from Africa just added. It is so relevant to know the patients’ needs; their perspectives are so important for our activities. The Patient Advisory Council was instrumental in guiding the development of our first virtual Public Forum, What is Urinary Incontinence and How Is It Treated?  This session was offered on March 13, with 270 registrants. The recording is available for all to view on our patient website at

I would like to once again thank all IUGA members, especially those chairing and serving on IUGA Committees, Special Interest Groups, the IUJ, IUC Committees, and the IUGAPAC. And lastly, a special thanks to the IUGA Board of Directors - a wonderful team – and David Casalod, Tessa Benitez, and their amazing group at the IUGA Office who have made all these projects possible.

Please feel free to contact me with your questions or share your ideas. As I always say: Together we are stronger!

I look forward to seeing all of you at our Hybrid 47th Annual Meeting later this month!

Warmest Regards,