Choosing a fertilisation technique when oocyte counts are poor. IVF or ICSI?

A low ovarian response is an increasingly common situation for clinicians. It is mainly associated with delayed motherhood and, accordingly, with lower ovarian reserves. In this type of patients, the number of oocytes retrieved after puncture is normally limited. In this situation, choosing the most adequate fertilisation technique, conventional IVF or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), may stir a little controversy (of course, provided that the sperm quality and the medical history lead us to consider conventional IVF as a reasonable option). […]

Instituto Bernabeu begins research on a new treatment for patients with poor ovarian response

From January 2016, Instituto Bernabeu will work on a clinical trial (free to participating patients) with the aim of evaluating the efficiency of a line of treatment in patients with poor response to ovarian stimulation.
The research, which has already been approved by the Spanish Drug Agency and has been published in the USA National Health Institute register, involves comparing ovarian response to two different stimulation protocols. One is conventional with drug administration starting at the beginning of the cycle. The other, new procedure carries out stimulation once it has been confirmed that the patient is ovulating. […]

Single mother by choice

The increase in new types of family units over the last few decades has been one of the world’s most significant changes. For various reasons, the single parent family is one of the most common of these new models.
We are talking, in this case, about single parent families in which a woman has taken the […]

Cryopreserved embryos: Does biobank storage time affect their subsequent viability?

It has been almost 30 years since the first pregnancy from cryopreserved embryos was achieved (Trounson and Mohr, 1983). Ever since then, numbers have been steadily growing at biobanks in assisted reproduction centres, mainly due to the optimisation of reproductive treatments. Our goal is to retrieve a satisfactory amount of good quality embryos (one that is enough for a fresh transfer and also for cryopreservation) by means of an ovarian stimulation cycle. These embryos may be used for future pregnancy attempts, although couples can choose to donate them for reproductive purposes, assign them to specific research projects or dispose of them. Yet, general evidence shows that many couples, mainly those that achieve pregnancy in their first fresh attempt, choose to keep them frozen without a specific end or plan in mind for the future. […]

When will my embryos be biopsied? Why?

During the performance of assisted reproduction procedures, the best embryo is selected for transfer into the mother’s uterus. The selection is based on the “look” of the embryo shortly before transfer. As a matter of fact, waiting time normally stretches until day 5 of embryo culture in order to enhance the potential of the selected embryo and its synchronisation with the endometrium.
Sometimes the selection is favoured by performing a Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS) test. Thanks to this technique, we can find out if an embryo has all the chromosomes in their exact number, in other words, if it is chromosomally normal. In this way, the selection is both morphological (external look) and chromosomal (internal look).
To be able to analyse the embryo we must first biopsy it (take a cell sample) without affecting its development and subsequent implantation. Biopsy techniques have been evolving until the process has been optimised. […]

Instituto Bernabeu strengthens is position as a European reference in matters of R&D at the Annual Congress of the British Fertility Society.

The British Fertility Society (BSF) Annual Congress, one of Europe’s leading fertility and assisted reproduction events, was held on 7th and 8th January in Newcastle (UK). Its scientific committee accepted a total of 11 pieces of research work prepared by Instituto Bernabeu (Alicante) as part of the group’s main lines of R&D. These include poor ovarian response – a pathology which is largely associated with attempts to fall pregnant later on in life –  embryo implantation failure and the impact of genetics on reproduction issues. […]

Assisted Reproduction in women who do not have a male partner

In modern society, the increasing demand for assisted reproduction techniques from single women and same-sex couples has become a reality. From the perspective of reproduction, women only need to receive the male gamete (sperm). For years, these couples have solved the problem in ways that have not always been medically or legally safe and have had to face the possibility of infectious diseases and paternity suits.
Today, these inconveniencies are solved in assisted reproduction centres, where procedures that meet their demands and offer them a solid and safe foundation are regularly performed.
Thanks to Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART), Reproductive Medicine enables us to distinguish the fact of reproduction from the act of intercourse between two people. Several options for motherhood are offered to both single women and […]

Stress and its role in infertility

Infertility is an issue which has significant emotionally taxing consequences for couples. The inability to fulfil such an important part of personal development as having children directly affects all aspects of the patients’ lives.
The individual’s core is affected and there is a breakdown in important matters such as self-confidence, future plans, life as a couple, family, social life, sexual relationships and so on. Stress and depression are common under these circumstances and, as if this were not enough, this difficult situation is often not given the attention it deserves and is even trivialised by others who make it out to be a matter of little importance. Indeed, some even suggest it has a positive side and come out with unfortunate comments such as ‘but you’re so much better off without children.’ […]

Usefulness of Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS) in Recurrent Miscarriages

When couples make the decision to have a baby, either by natural means or by resorting to assisted reproduction techniques (ART), one of their main concerns is having a full-term pregnancy and a healthy baby. Miscarriage occurs in about 10-15% of pregnancies and is regarded as a “Recurrent miscarriage” when two or more pregnancies are lost spontaneously.

The cause of “Recurrent miscarriages” may be immunological, hormonal or uterine. Yet, the most common cause is no doubt chromosomal, since it is present in more than 50% of cases. […]

The male factor in infertility

In contrast with the old-fashioned belief that reproduction issues are a female thing, current figures are clear: 47% of infertility cases in a couple are down to an issue with the man. Therefore, when a couple has infertility issues and they seek the help of a clinic specialising in assisted reproduction, the tests and analyses are carried out on both members of the couple. This practice of looking into both the female factor and the male factor is now common and carried out by all experts in the field, but there is still a lack of understanding of the fertility issues which men can have. What are they? What solutions do leading assisted reproduction clinics offer nowadays?
The most common issues amongst men are “changes in the sperm count with no apparent cause”, explains Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante. That is, a low number of sperm, poor sperm mobility or abnormal morphology. Additionally, there may be more concrete and identifiable reasons for changes in sperm such as obstruction issues, infection, diseases or genetic reasons which impede egg fertilisation or which affect embryo quality. […]