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The first pregnant woman arrived in the pre-hospital obstetrics institution in September 1805. In January 1906, the first delivery took place in our clinic.


Today Tartu University Hospital's Women's Clinic, which is more than 200 years old, is identifiable by its status as the university clinic that is always ahead of its time.


The close relations between treatment, education and research in the Women's Clinic mean that its staff have to know about the latest trends in gynaecology and obstetrics in the world. The Women's Clinic is a leader in fertility treatment. The in vitro fertilisation process that is becoming more and more successful in Estonia was started here in the Women's Clinic.


The new developments in the field of gynaecology make it possible to provide reconstructive surgery of the pelvic base for restoring the anatomy of fallen organs. One of the technological breakthroughs, the colposcope, provides more accurate possibilities in cervix studies than ever before. The clinic's work is aimed at avoiding tumours and the implementation of more accurate equipment helps determine cervical cancer earlier.


Patient-sparing operation methods have guaranteed patients' quicker recovery and helped reduce the number of hospital days significantly. New pharmaceuticals and their implementation are also very important. As one of its new areas, the clinic studies a method of pharmaceutical termination of pregnancy, as this has fewer complications. Also, surgical intervention is not necessary, the risk of anaesthesia complications decreases, and the method helps avoid future childlessness.


The Woman's Clinic is the only one in Estonia that conducts scientific studies regarding fertility treatment, and the cooperation among different groups is very successful here. 34 successful in vitro fertilisations out of 100 put the clinic on the same level as other European clinics. The area of prenatal diagnostics is developing rather quickly due to active cooperation with the Unified Centre of Laboratories Genetics Centre. In 1992, the first amniotic fluid sample was taken here and this launched prenatal diagnostics all over Estonia. As the only treatment institution of its kind, the clinic takes biopsies of the chorion which helps to determine malformation and innate diseases as early as the third month of pregnancy. The clinic was among the first to start biochemical screening which uses a blood test of the future mother to determine the most probable diseases of her children.
The foetal observation monitors used in the Women's Clinic are all up-to-date. The equipment observes the level of oxygen deficiency based upon an ECG of the foetus in order to avoid unnecessary interruptions during delivery. In order to protect both mothers and children, the number of Caesarean sections has grown. Whereas 10 years ago it was 10%, today the proportion has doubled. At the same time, the number of premature births has diminished to a minimum, which is a very good result as one of the development factors of Estonia.


In December 2008 the new hospital building was completed. The new building helps to provide patients with more contemporary and comfortable conditions. The obstetrics department is equipped with even more modern technology and the formational environment of the University Hospital shall provide better opportunities for study and research. The continuously increasing number of family deliveries means that in the new building there are more family rooms to meet the growing need. The larger number of delivery rooms enables the doctors to plan their work in a better way and the closeness to other clinics contributes to cooperation with related professions. The Women's Clinic has contemporary out-patient rooms in the new building.


Developers of profession

Prof. Helle Karro, head of the clinic, president of the Estonian Gynaecologists Association
Aivar Ehrenberg, Director of the Women's Clinic, specialising in fertility treatment and prenatal diagnostics
Tiiu Hermlin, gynaecologist, her main research objective include reconstructive surgery of the pelvic base
Terje Raud, gynaecologist, leading the cervical cancer screening project
Anne Kirss, therapist, handling diabetic pregnant women and helping women in risk groups carry their babies to full term
Kristiina Rull, gynaecologist, Doctoral Candidate, studying spontaneous miscarriage
Andres Salumets, PhD, embryologist, cooperation in the field of infertility treatment and biotechnology
Pille Teesalu, head midwife of the delivery department
Naatan Haamer, pastor, a man who gives psychological support to patients in serious or critical condition.


The clinic enjoys active cooperation with Karolinska University in the field of infertility treatment. These studies are lead by Andres Salumets. Several successful projects for young doctors have been organised in cooperation with Uppsala University, where the residents were involved in training.