Dr. Vanessa Kay

Honorary Senior Lecturer


Maternal and Child Health Sciences 1,
Ninewells Hospital

Phone Number:

+(44) 01382 6601

Email Address:



Dr Vanessa Kay is an experienced Consultant Gynaecologist, who qualified in Dundee in 1987. After obtaining an MD in Sperm Treatment for Assisted Conception in Glasgow 1994, Dr Kay worked as a lecturer in reproductive medicine in Edinburgh until 1999. In her initial consultant post in Kirkcaldy, she developed her skills in general obstetrics and gynaecology. Since 2004, she has been working as a consultant in Dundee, as clinical lead for infertility services across Tayside and the person responsible for Ninewells Assisted Conception Unit from 2009 until early 2014.  Since becoming a consultant, her role in medical education has increased and diversified. She obtained a MMEd in 2012 and currently leads undergraduate teaching in undergraduate obstetrics and gynaecology and formative assessment.  She is also actively involved in research and jointly leads the post-graduate MSc and BMSc programmes in Clinical Embryology and Assisted Conception.


As academic lead in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Ninewells Hospital, she is involved in liaising between the NHS and University in developing research and teaching. Current areas of work include (1) Examination of calcium signalling pathways and responses in spermatozoa as indicators of reproductive potential; (2) Examination of pluripotency in embryos and embryonic stem cells; (3) Use of drug discovery to identify leading candidates to enhance gamete function. She is involved in the co-supervision of SCRED lecturers and a number of MSc and BMSc students. She is an invited editor for Human Reproduction and the European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care and has co-authored chapters for books on the subjects of donor insemination and obesity and male infertility. She is involved as the local supervisor for various multicentre studies (currently the FEMME study). I have supported trainees in publications of case reports. I am a reviewer for the RCOG on various guidelines including the management of ovarian hyperstimulation and exercise in pregnancy, premenstrual tension, and have been a contributor to the Standards for the Menopause Service. 



  • Alasmari W, Barratt CLR, Publicover SJ, Whalley KW, Foster E, Kay VJ, Martins da Silva S, and Oxenham SK. "The clinical significance of calcium-signalling pathways mediating human sperm hyperactivation." Human Reproduction 28, no. 4 (2013): 866-876.


  • Kay VJ. Obesity: A ticking time bomb for reproductive health. Access Online via Elsevier, 2012.Chapter on Impact of Male Obesity on Sperm Quality.


  • Qingyou D, Jovanović S, Sukhodub A, Barratt E, Drew E, Whalley KM, Kay VJ et al. "Human oocytes express ATP-sensitive K+ channels." Human Reproduction 25, no. 11 (2010): 2774-2782.
  • Kay VJ, and Barratt CRL. "The use of donor insemination." The Subfertility Handbook: A Clinician's Guide (2010): 148.
  • Kay VJ, Marins Da Silva S. Kovacs G, ed. The Subfertility Handbook: A Clinician's Guide. Cambridge University Press, 2010. Chapter on The Use of Donor Insemination. 

  • Bandyopadhyay S and Kay VJ. "A rare case of rupture of ovary causing haemorrhagic shock following uncomplicated oocyte retrieval-A case report." Human Fertility 13, no. 2 (2010): 105-106.


  • Barratt CRL, Kay VJ, and Oxenham SK. "The human spermatozoon-a stripped down but refined machine." J. Biol 8, no. 7 (2009): 63.
  • Kay VJ  and Barratt CRL. "Male obesity: impact on fertility." The British Journal of Diabetes & Vascular Disease 9, no. 5 (2009): 237-241.
  • Srivastava R and Kay VJ. "Clinical biochemistry of assisted conception." Annals of Clinical Biochemistry 46, no. 3 (2009): 197-204.


  • Tewar R, and Kay VJ. "Compliance and user satisfaction with the intra-uterine contraceptive device in Family Planning Service: the results of a survey in Fife, Scotland, August 2004. The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care 11, no. 1 (2006): 28-37.


  • Gatongi DK, Gitau G,  Kay VJ,  Ngwenya S, Lafong C, and Hasan A. "Female genital tuberculosis." The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 7, no. 2 (2005): 75-79.
  • Gatongi D, Kay VJ. Endometrial tuberculosis presenting with postmenopausal pyometra. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, July 2005; 25(5): 518-520.
  • Allahdin S, and Kay VJ. "Ischaemic haemorrhagic necrosis of the intestine secondary to volvulus of the midgut: a silent cause of intrauterine death." Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 24, no. 3 (2004): 310-310.


  • Das N,  Kay VJ, and Mahmood TA. "Current knowledge of risks and benefits of prophylactic oophorectomy at hysterectomy for benign disease in United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland." European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 109, no. 1 (2003): 76-79.


  • Kay VJ, Das N, Mahmood TA, and Smith A. "Current practice of hysterectomy and oophorectomy in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland." Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 22, no. 6 (2002): 672-680.



  • Kay VJ, and Robertson L.. Hyperactivated motility of human spermatozoa: a review of physiological function and application in assisted reproduction. Human Reproduction Update 4, no. 6 (1998): 776-786.


  • Kay VJ, Coutts JRT, and Robertson L. Andrology: effects of pentoxifylline and progesterone on human sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction. Human Reproduction 9, no. 12 (1994): 2318-2323.


  • Kay VJ, Coutts JRT, and Robertson R. Pentoxifylline stimulates hyperactivation in human spermatozoa. Human Reproduction 8, no. 5 (1993): 727-731.


Teaching lead for Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Lead for undergraduate medical formative assessment.

Co-lead for MSc and BMSc in Human Embryology and Assisted Conception.

Supervisor for Infertility and Assisted Reproduction Advanced Training Modules.



February 2016, Scottish Consultant Conference: Workplace Behaviour

June 2015, GP Infertility Update: Infertility Referral Pathways

May 2015, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Surgical Course, Surgical Management of Prolapse

April 2015, Scottish Undergraduate Obstetics and Gynaecology Conference, Why is Reproductive Medicine so Exciting

May 2014, Ottawa Conference on Assessment, Cumulative Assessment Programme: a new assessment for undergraduate medical students

February 2014, Regional Trainees Meeting, Perth, Pelvic Floor Anatomy

January 2014, University of Dundee Educational Retreat, Creiff, Cumulative Assessment Programme

January 2014, Regional Trainees Meeting, Dundee, GMC Guidelines in Clinical Practice

December 2013, Scottish Trainees Meeting, Dunkeld, Interview Skills Workshop

December 2013, Academic RCOG meeting, London, Undergraduate Assessment in Obstetrics and Gynaecology: How best and how much? 

November 2013, Scottish Pelvic Floor Network Advanced Pelvic Floor Reconstruction Cadaveric Course, Glasgow, Faculty member and facilitator

July 2013, Staff development meeting, Dundee, Writing MCQs and EMI questions

January 2013, University of Dundee Educational Retreat, Dunkeld, Formative Assessment in the New Curriculum

January 2013, Scottish Consultant Meeting, Dunkeld, Update on NICE Infertility Guidelines

December 2012, Scottish Trainees meeting, Edinburgh, Team-based Learning on Infertility Treatments

November 2012, Dundee University Staff Meeting, Dundee, Linking Post-graduate and Undergraduate Education

October 2012, Regional MDT meeting, Dundee, Vaginal Prolapse Surgery

September 2012, National Fertility Symposium, Dundee, Pregnancy Management after ACU: Debate

August 2012, Tayside Educational Event, Dundee, Developing Simulative Assessment Programme

July 2012, Staff Training event, Dundee, EMI Question Writing Workshop

June 2012, Tayside GP Forum, St Andrews, Advances in Infertility