Carole Gilling-Smith

Carole Gilling-Smith

CEO, Founder & Medical Director

Carole graduated in Medicine from Cambridge in 1984 and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRCOG). Over her career she has acquired extensive knowledge and experience in the field of reproductive medicine and infertility.

She was awarded a Medical Research Council Training Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine in 1990 and completed her PhD thesis on the genetics of polycystic ovary syndrome whilst working as a Clinical Fellow in Reproductive Medicine at St Mary’s Hospital in London. She pursued further research there on pelvic pain and recurrent miscarriage as a Clinical Lecturer and Senior Registrar before being appointed Director of the Chelsea & Westminster Assisted Conception Unit in 2000. There she developed the UK’s first fertility programme for HIV infected patients and remains a national and international expert on the management of patients with viral illness who are trying to conceive safely.

She has an extensive research portfolio and lectures both nationally and internationally. She has published over 50 peer review academic papers as well as numerous book chapters on a diverse range of fertility related topics including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), male infertility, pelvic pain, bleeding in early pregnancy and the fertility management of patients with viral illness.

She founded the Agora in 2007 which is now the largest and most successful fertility centre in Sussex offering care to both NHS and private patients. Being in the heart of Brighton, she strove to ensure the Agora embraced the diverse needs of the local community and led the way nationally in developing a bespoke programs of care to enable all those in the LGBT+ community achieve their dreams of starting a family.

Carole is passionate about fertility education and believes that all patients should have a clear understanding of their diagnosis and treatment options before they embark on treatment. She also strives to dispel fertility myths and taboos and regularly speaks to adolescents and young adults about the plethora of reproductive possibilities that a young person growing up in the 21st century should be aware of.

Carole is married to Stephen Ulph, who built the Agora Clinic, and they have 3 children. When she is not busy at the Clinic, Carole loves being a Mum, running in the beautiful South Downs National Park and playing jazz saxophone.

Carole’s Scientific Research Publications

Published Papers
  1. Gilling-Smith C, Zelin J, Touquet R & Steer P. Management of early pregnancy bleeding in the accident and emergency department. Arch Emerg Med 1988; 5(3):133-1388.
  2. Franks S & Gilling-Smith C. Advances in induction of ovulation. Curr Opin Obstet Gynaecol 1994; 6 (2): 136-140.
  3. Gilling-Smith C, Toozs-Hobson P, Potts DJ, Touquet R & Beard RW. Management of bleeding in early pregnancy in accident and emergency departments. Br Med J 1994; 309: 574-5755.
  4. Gilling-Smith C, Willis D, Beard RW & Franks S. Hypersecretion of androstenedione by isolated theca cells from polycystic ovaries.J Clin Endo Metab 1994; 79(4): 1158-1165.
  5. Gilling-Smith C, Panay N, Wadsworth J, Touquet R & Beard RW. Management of women presenting to the accident and emergency department with lower abdominal pain. Ann R Coll Surg Engl 1994; 77(3): 193-197.
  6. Willis D, Mason H, Gilling-Smith C & Franks S. Modulation by insulin of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone actions in human granulosa cells of normal and polycystic ovaries. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1996; 81(1): 302-309.
  7. Franks S, White D, Gilling-Smith C, Carey A, Waterworth D & Williamson R. Hypersecretion of androgens by polycystic ovaries: the role of genetic factors in the regulation of cytochrome P450c17α. Balliere’s Clin Endocrinol Metab 1996; 10(2); 193-203.
  8. White DM, Polson DW, Kiddy D, Sagle P, Watson H, Gilling-Smith C, Hamilton Fairly D & Franks S. Induction of ovulation with low dose gonadotrophins in polycystic ovary syndrome: an analysis of 109 pregnancies in 225 women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1996; 81(11): 1-4.
  9. Gharani N, Waterworth DM, Batty S, White D, Gilling-Smith C, Conway G, McCarthy M, Franks S & Williamson R. Association of the steroid synthesis gene CYP11a with polycystic ovary syndrome and hyperandrogenism. Hum Mol Genetics 1997; 6:397-402.
  10. Gilling-Smith C, Story H, Rogers V & Franks S. Evidence for a primary abnormality of thecal cell steroidogenesis in the polycystic ovary syndrome. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 1997; 47(1): 93-99.
  11. Gilling-Smith C, Willis DS, Franks S. Oestradiol feedback stimulation of androgen biosynthesis by human theca cells. Hum Reprod 1997; 12: 1621-1628.
  12. Franks S, Gharani N, Gilling-Smith C. Polycystic ovary syndrome: evidence for a primary disorder of ovarian steroidogenesis. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 1999;69(1-6):269-72.
  13. Franks S, Gharani N & Gilling-Smith C. Polycystic ovary syndrome: evidence for a primary disorder of ovarian steroidogenesis. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 1999; 69(1-6) 269-272.
  14. Gilling-Smith C. HIV prevention. Assisted Reproduction in HIV-discordant couples. AIDS Read 2000; 10(10): 581-587.
  15. Gilling-Smith C, Mason HD, Willis DS, Franks S & Beard RW. In vitro ovarian steroidogenesis in women with pelvic congestion. Hum Reprod 2000;15(12): 2570-2576.
  16. Gilling-Smith C, Smith JR, & Semprini A. Infertility and HIV: Time to treat. There is no justification for denying treatment to parents who are HIV positive. Br Med J 2001; 322: 566-567.
  17. Gilmour J, Gilling-Smith C & Gotch F. Reduction of HIV transmission in HIV-discordant couples wishing to conceive. AIDS 2001; 15(3): 429-430.
  18. Franks S, Gilling-Smith C, Gharani N & McCarthy M. Pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome: evidence for a genetically determined disorder of ovarian androgen production. Hum Fert 2000; 3(2): 77-79.
  19. Sharma S, Gilling-Smith C, Semprini AE, Barton SE & Smith JR. View 1: Assisted Conception in couples with HIV infection. Sex Tran Inf 2003; 79(3): 185-188.
  20. Gilling-Smith C & Almeida P; Practice & Policy Committee of the British Fertility Society. HIV, hepatitis B & hepatitis C and Infertility: reducing Risk. Hum Fert 2003; 6(3): 106-112.
  21. Nicopoullos JD, Gilling-Smith C, Almeida PA. and Ramsay JW. The results of 154 ICSI cycles using surgically retrieved sperm from azoospermic men. Hum Reprod 2004; 19 (3): 579-585.
  22. Nicopoullos JD, Frodsham LC, Ramsay JW, Almeida PA, Rozis G, & Gilling-Smith C. Synchronous Sperm Retrieval and Sperm Washing in an ICSI cycle in an azoospermic HIV positive man: a case report. Fertil Steril 2004; 81(3):670-673.
  23. Nicopoullos JD, Gilling-Smith C & Ramsay JW. Male factor infertility: do we really need urologists? A gynaecological view. BJU Int 2004; 93(9): 1188-1190.
  24. Nicopoullos JD, Gilling-Smith C, Almeida PA & Ramsay JW. Does the cause of obstructive azoospermia affect the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a meta-analysis. BJU Int 2004; 93(9):1282-1286.
  25. Nicopoullos JD, Almeida PA, Ramsay JW & Gilling-Smith C. The effect of HIV on sperm parameters and the outcome of IUI following sperm washing. Hum Reprod 2004; 19(10):2289-2297.
  26. Nikolaou D & Gilling-Smith C. Early ovarian aging: are women with polycystic ovaries protected? Hum Reprod 2004; 19(10): 2175-2179.
  27. Frodsham LF, Smith, JR & Gilling-Smith C. Assessment of welfare of the child in HIV positive couples. Hum Reprod 2004; 19(10):2420-2423.
  28. Nicopoullos JD, Gilling-Smith C, Almeida PA & Ramsay JW. The effect of time since vasectomy and maternal age on ICSI success in men with obstructive azoospermia following vasectomy. Fertil Steril 2004; 82 (2): 367-373.
  29. Nicopoullos JD, Gilling-Smith C, Almeida PA, Norman-Taylor J, Grace I, Ramsay JW. The use of surgical sperm retrieval in the azoospermic male: A meta-analysis. Fertil Steril 2004; 82 (3):691-701.
  30. Nicopoullos JD, Ramsay JW, Almeida P & Gilling-Smith C. Assisted reproduction in the azoospermic couple. BJOG 2004; 111(11): 1190-1203
  31. Nicopoullos JD, Ramsay JW, Gilling-Smith C, Almeida PA, Frozen Embryos generated from surgically retrieved sperm from azoospermic men: are they clinically viable? JARG 2004; 21(11):401-407.
  32. Nicopoullos JD, Ramsay JW & Gilling-Smith C. Response to letter from van Leeuwen et al. re’ The effect of HIV on sperm parameters and the outcome of IUI following sperm washing’ Hum Reprod 2005
  33. Nicopoullos JD, Gilling-Smith C, Almeida P, Ramsay JW. The predictive value of sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) parameters for the outcome of intrauterine insemination, IVF and ICSI’. Hum Reprod 2005; 20 (3):839-40 (letter).
  34. Nicopoullos JD, Gilling-Smith C, Almeida PA & Ramsay JWA. Does the aetiology of obstructive azoospermia affect the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection; a meta-analysis. American Journal of Urology Rev 2005 (in press)
  35. Gilling-Smith C, Emiliani S, Almeida P, Liesnard C & Englert Y. Laboratory safety during assisted reproduction in patients with blood-borne viruses. Hum Reprod 2005; 20(6):1433-8
  36. Hawkins D, Blott M, Clayden P, de Ruiter A, Foster G, Gilling-Smith C, Gosrani B, Lyall H, Mercey D, Newell ML, O’Shea S, Smith R, Sunderland J, Wood C, Taylor G; on behalf of the BHIVA Guidelines Writing Committee. Guidelines for the management of HIV infection in pregnant women and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. HIV Med 2005; 6 suppl 2: 107-48.
  37. Nicopoullos JD, Ramsay JW, Almeida PA & Gilling-Smith C. Meta-analysis of causes of obstruction and treatment outcomes for azospermia. American Journal of Urology Review 2005; 3 (5): 228-233.
  38. Frodsham LCG, Boag F, Barton S & Gilling-Smith C. Human Immunodeficiency virus infection and fertility care in the United Kingdom: demand and supply. Fert Steril 2006; 85(2): 285-289.
  39. Frodsham LCG, Boag F, Barton S & Gilling-Smith C. Fertility care for human immunodeficiency virus-positive couples: supply and demand. Fert Steril 2006; 85(2): 301.
  40. Pasquier C, Anderson D, Andreutti-Zaugg C, Baume-Berkenbosch R, Damond F, Devaux A, Englert Y, Galimand J, Gilling-Smith C, Guist’hau O, Hollander L, Leruez-Ville M, Lesage B, Maillard A, Marcelin AG, Schmitt MP, Semprini A, Vourliotis M, Xu C, Bujan L; CREAThE Network. Multicenter quality control of the detection of HIV-1 genome in semen before medically assisted procreation. J Med Virol 2006; 78(7):877-82.
  41. Gilling-Smith C, Nicopoullos JD, Semprini AE, Frodsham LC. HIV and reproductive care – a review of current practice. BJOG. 2006; 113(8):869-78.
  42. Jenny-Avital E, Gilling-Smith C, Panther L. Antiretroviral rounds: Sperm washing for serodiscordant couples who want a child. AIDS Clin Care 2006; 18(9): 81-2.
  43. Waters L, Gilling-Smith C, Boag F. HIV infection and subfertility. Int. J STD AIDS 2007 18(1):1-6.
  44. Bujan L, Hollander L, Coudert M, Gilling-Smith C, Vucetich A, Guibert J, Vernazza P, Ohl J, Weigel M, Englert Y, Semprini EA. Safety and efficacy of sperm washing in HIV-1-serodiscordant couples where the male is infected: results from the European CREAThE network. AIDS 2007; 21(14): 1909-14.
  45. Nicopoullos JD, Gilling-Smith C, Almeida P, Homa S, Nice L, Tempest H, Ramsay JW. The role of sperm aneuploidy as a predictor of the success of intracytoplasmic sperm injection? Hum Reprod 2008; 23(2): 240-50.
  46. Nicopoullos JD, Gilling-Smith C, Almeida P, Homa S, Norman-Taylor JQ, Ramsay JW. Sperm DNA fragmentation in subfertilie men: the effect on the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection and correlation with sperm variables. BJU Int 2008; 101(12): 1553-60.
  47. De Ruiter A, Mercey D, Anderson J, Chakraborty R, Clayden P, Foster G, Gilling-Smith C, Hawkins D, Low-Beer N, Lyall H, O’Shea S, Penn Z, Short J, Smith R, Sonecha S, Tookey P, Wood C, Taylor G. British HIV Association and Children’s HIV Association guidelines for the management of HIV infection in pregnant women 2008. HIV Medicine 2008; 9(7): 452-502.
  48. Fayoka A, Lamba H, Mackie N, Nandwani R, Brown A, Bernard E, Gilling-Smith C, Lacey C, Sherr L, Claydon P, Wallage S, Gazzard B. British HIV Association, BASHH and FSRH guidelines for the management of the sexual and reproductive health of people living with HIV infection 2008. HIV Medicine 2008; 9(9): 681-720.
  49. Semprini AE, Hollander LH, Vucetich A, Gilling-Smith C. Infertility treatment for HIV positive women. Womens Health 2008; 4(4): 369-82.
  50. Bujan L, Gilling-Smith C, Hollander L, Semprini EA, Vernazza P. Lack of clinical and scientific evidence to justify the systematic use of ICSI in HIV-serodiscordant couples wishing to conceive where the male partner is infected. Fertil Steril 2009; 91(3): e1-2.
  51. Kalu E, Wood R, Vourliotis M, Gilling-Smith C. Fertility needs and funding in couples with blood-borne viral infection. HIV Medicine 2010; 11(1): 90-3.
  52. Nicopoullos JD, Almeida P, Vourliotis M, Gilling-Smith C. A decade of the United Kingdom sperm-washing program: untangling the transatlantic divide. Fertil Steril 2010; 94(6): 2458-61.
  53. Nicopoullos JD, Almeida P, Vourliotis M, Gilling-Smith C. A decade of sperm washing: clinical correlates of successful insemination outcome. Hum Reprod 2010; 25(8): 1869-76.
  54. Nicopoullos JD, Almeida P, Vourliotis M, Goulding R, Gilling-Smith C. A decade of the sperm-washing program: where are we now? Hum Fert 2010; 13(2):90-7.
  55. Nicopoullos JD, Almeida P, Vourliotis M, Gilling-Smith C. A decade of the sperm-washing program: correlation between markers of HIV and seminal parameters. HIV Medicine 2011; 12(4): 195-201.
Chapters in Published books
  1. Gilling-Smith C, Franks S. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. In: Reproductive Medicine Review; Ed: Smith S, Edward Arnold 1993; 2: 15-32.
  2. Gilling-Smith C & Franks S. Management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. In: RCOG Yearbook; Ed: Studd JWW & Brown CJ 1993; 105-116.
  3. Gilling-Smith C, Mason HD, Willis D & Franks S. The role of growth hormone, insulin-like growth factors and insulin-like growth factor binding proteins in anovulation associated with the polycystic ovary syndrome. In:New Directions in Growth Hormone Therapy, NovoNordisk Workshop on Growth Hormone: Davos, Switzerland, March 1994; Ed: Ranke MB, J & J Verlag Mannheim 1995; 107-122.
  4. Franks S, Willis DS, Mason HD & Gilling-Smith C M-T. Comparative androgen production from theca cells of normal women and women with polycystic ovaries. In: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Ed: Chang RJ. Proceedings of Serono Symposium (USA) Boston 1995, New York Springer-Verlag.
  5. Gilling-Smith C & Franks S. Hirsutism and Virilisation. In: Gynaecology, 2nd edition; Ed: Shaw R, Soutter & Stanton, Churchill Livingston 1997; 343-357.
  6. Gilling-Smith C, Regan L & Touquet R. Gynaecological Emergencies. In: Cambridge Textbook of Emergency Medicine; Ed: Skinner D, Peyton R, Robertson C, Swain A & Worlock P, Cambridge University Press 1997; 59: 1148-1172.
  7. Franks S, Gilling-Smith C, Watson H & Willis D. Insulin action in the normal and polycystic ovary. In: Polycystic ovary syndrome. Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America, Ed: Dunaif A. WB Saunders, Pennsylvania, 1999; 28 (2): 361-78.
  8. Gilling-Smith C & Franks S. Hirsutism. In: Oxford texbook of Endocrinology; Ed: Wass JAH & Shalet SM, Oxford University Press 2002.
  9. Gilling-Smith C. Hirsutism. In: Current Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2002 12: 144-149 Elsevier Science Ltd.
  10. Gilling-Smith C. Fertility management for HIV discordant couples. In: Current Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2003 13; 307- 313 Elsevier Science Ltd.
  11. Gilling-Smith C & Franks S. Ovarian Function in Assisted Reproduction. In: The Ovary 2nd Ed. Ed:Leung PCK & Adashi EY. Elsevier Science Ltd 2004; 28: 473-487.
  12. Nicopoullos JD & Gilling-Smith C. The assessment and management of azoospermia in the infertile couple. Progress in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Studd J:ed), 2004; Vol 16; chapter 15 241-258.
  13. Nikolaou D & Gilling-Smith C. Hirsutism. In: Current Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2005 in press Elsevier Science Ltd.
  14. Sonnenberg-Schwan U, Gilling-Smith C, Weigel M. HIV and Wish for Parenthood. In: Hoffmann C, Rockstroh JK, Kamps BS (Ed.): HIV Medicine 2005. Paris, Cagliari, Wuppertal, Sevilla: Flying Publisher, 2005; 603-10
  15. Gilling-Smith C. Risking Parenthood? Serious viral illness, parenting and welfare of the child. In: Contemporary Ethical Dilemmas in Assisted Reproduction. Ed: Shenfield F & Sureau C. 2006 5; 57-69
  16. Gilling-Smith C. Fertility management of HIV discordant couples. In: Current Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2006; 16( 5):299-305 Elsevier Science Ltd.
  17. Kalu E, Gilling-Smith C. Hirsutism. In: Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Reproductive Medicine Elsevier Science 2008 18:5: 115-119