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François Olivennes grew up in Paris. He is the son of psychiatrist and child psychoanalyst Maria Landau, and psychiatrist turned poet Armand Olivennes. He is the eldest of three. Both of his younger brothers, Denis Olivennes and Frédéric Olivennes work in the French media industry.
François Olivennes graduated from French Medical school in 1985. In 1992, he became medical director in the public hospital IVF units of the Béclère Hospital in Clamart until 2002 when he left for the Cochin hospital in Paris. He has a PhD in Biology of Reproduction and was appointed as Professor in Biology of Reproduction in 2000.
In 2006, he left the public hospital system and opened a private practice in Paris' 17th arrondissement. He is also the general team coordinator at the IVF center Eylau la Muette,.
He is the author or co-author of more than 150 scientific papers published in peer reviewed journals. He has also participated as author or publisher in several books in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technology. He was an invited speaker in more than 150 international meetings. He was a member of the executive committee of ESHRE and was on the editorial board of Fertility and Sterility and RBM online.
Recently, he published general public books about his field:
- N’attendez pas trop longtemps pour faire un enfant, (Don't wait too long to have children) with Laurence Beauvillard, Odile Jacob. 2010.
- Tout ce qu’il faut savoir avant une grossesse, (Everything you need to know before getting pregnant) with Laurence Beauvillard, Marabout. 2011.
- Tout ce que les femmes ont toujours voulu savoir sur le sexe et ont osé demander, (Everything women want to know about sex and finally dared to ask) with Sophie Bramly. Fayard. 2012
- Faire un enfant au 21ème siècle, (Having a child in the 21st century), Flammarion. 2013
Olivennes has three children, Hannah, 25, Joseph, 22 and George, 13, with his former wife, British actress Kristin Scott Thomas. He currently lives in Paris.