The option of avoiding serious illnesses in our children: a study on recessive disease carriers

Recessive diseases are hereditary diseases. They are not common but they are often serious and incurable. They have the peculiarity that a person may be a carrier but does have any health issues. It is for this reason that they are called ‘healthy carriers.’
This circumstance makes diagnosis particularly difficult since we can come across families in which there are entire generations without the disease or in which the disease has not previously come to light. As such, until recently, it was impossible or very difficult to know if a person was a carrier or not.
Most of us are healthy carries of some form of recessive disease and, on the whole, this is not an issue as long as our partner is not a carrier of the same disease, in which case there are implications for our children. […]

By |26 de November de 2015|Assisted reproduction, Fertility, Genetics, News, Pregnancy|0 Comments

Five years of time-lapse: Just another passing trend?

Time-lapse involves continued observation of embryo development by means of a videocamera that can be placed inside a conventional incubator or used as its own incubator to make a film of the evolution of the embryos. A software programme reconstructs the images and allows us to follow the development of the embryos.
Its appearance five years ago, launched by a great advertising campaign, promised to improve embryo selection. Conventional embryo morphology criteria were called into question and it was introduced as the new “leading” tool.

How long should I wait to schedule a fertility appointment?

Couples who are seeking pregnancy and have not managed to succeed for some time must surely have asked themselves this question.
These days, reproductive problems are more common than we may think. Consulting for them should not cause any fear, embarrassment or stress. Furthermore, in many cases the first consultation will help to correct minor abnormalities and facilitate pregnancy in a short period of time and in the simplest way conceivable.
Whatever the case, the advisory guidelines below are offered to help the process of deciding when to schedule an appointment with a specialist in Reproductive Medicine:

Age: The relationship of fertility with age has been made abundantly clear. As a consequence, the older the age, the shorter we should wait to schedule a fertility appointment. For example, from age 37, seeking pregnancy for just a few months would be enough to perform an initial assessment. In general, women who are younger than 30 may wait about a year for pregnancy to occur spontaneously.


Genetics in premature ovarian failure and menopause

Oocytes are the female gametes, cells that, upon being fertilised by the sperm, will produce an embryo. In humans, the number of oocytes that females have throughout their lives is not unlimited; they are born instead with a limited number. These oocytes gradually run out in each menstruation until their supply becomes completely exhausted at menopause.
It is said that women suffer from premature ovarian failure when menstruation ceases because the oocyte supply has become exhausted at an earlier age than the age when the natural decline of ovarian function occurs (at 50, approximately). In cases where oocytes are still produced in women suffering from premature ovarian failure, they do not respond satisfactorily to the hormones responsible for their development and maturation.
Premature ovarian failure may have important consequences for women:

Obviously, in their fertility: These women cannot conceive naturally and require assisted reproduction techniques in order to bear offspring. These patients also have a high risk that their oocytes will not respond to the In Vitro Fertilisation cycle, thus putting the success of the treatment in danger.
On the other hand, the absence of female hormones due to low ovarian activity has serious consequences for health, mainly in cases of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.


Adenomyosis and recurrent implantation failure

Adenomyosis occurs when the tissue that lines the inner part of the uterus (the endometrium) is found in the outermost part of the uterus (myometrium), which is a muscle layer. It is sometimes referred to as endometriosis of the uterus, given that endometrial tissue is found where it should not be, just like it happens in endometriosis.
Until recently, the knowledge we had about endometriosis was close to non-existent, except for those patients who had had their uterus removed and close examination had yielded this finding. Even so, its connection with heavy bleeding and pain during menstruation was well known, and also with uterus enlargement as a result of such abnormal bleeding.
Our knowledge of this pathology has blossomed over the last five years, when, thanks to the advances achieved in ultrasound scanning, gynaecologists have been able to diagnose it. Until then, this condition could only be suspected when performing a magnetic resonance or examining the uterus directly. It is very interesting to see on 3D ultrasound scans the endometrial cavity and the myometrium look as if they had merged into one and see the inner part of the endometrium reach out to the outer part. […]

Fertility research: one of a kind treatment for one of a kind patients

Research in the field of assisted reproduction provides us with more and more answers to situations which previously had none. It gives us solutions, options and new ways of overcoming the many difficulties which arise in reproduction.  What’s more, progress in science also helps diagnosis and treatment to be increasingly specific, personalised and individual. In fact, we might even say that the aim is to reach a point where one of a kind treatments are designed for one of a kind patients. […]

Ethics and good practice: Let the truth be told

Assisted Human Reproduction is undoubtedly an area with ethical and moral implications. There are common issues that arise with the generation of new embryos when a couple undergoes ART and with transfers of previously frozen embryos. Some of the most frequent issues are: embryo manipulation and genetic diagnosis; the use of donor gametes and the possible coexistence of their legal children with the biological ones in the future; the option of discarding embryos by parents for no other purpose when they don’t wish to donate them to other couples with reproductive problems or for research purposes; the age of women accessing ART, along with a long list of legal, ethical and moral issues pertinent to each assisted reproduction centre. […]

What are follicles? Number, growth and other characteristics

What are ovarian follicles?
To start with, let’s state what follicles are not. Follicles are not oocytes (eggs). Many patients confuse these terms, believing that follicle equals oocyte.
The female gamete is the egg, and the male gamete is the sperm. These are the cells involved in embryos obtained after fertilization. […]

Assited Reproduction Techniques: FIV vs ICSI

Currently there are two main techniques used to achieve Assisted Reproduction IVF. These two techniques are conventional in vitro fertilization (IVF), and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). […]

Why aren’t all embryos obtained from an IVF cycle suitable for freezing?

Today, in In Vitro Fertilization treatments, it is not extraordinary to find ourselves on the day of embryo transfer with a high number of good quality embryos. For a fresh transfer we shall be electing the embryo or embryos that morphologically and kinetically demonstrate greater development and ‘the other’ good quality ones can be cryopreserved. […]