A revolution in genetics: next generation DNA sequencing

In the year 2000, human sequencing was achieved following 10 years of scientific work and now, thanks to next generation DNA sequencing, we are able to get to know a human genome in the space of just one week. It is still not possible, however, to access 100% of the genetic information contained within an embryo, the true origin of human life. But scientific progress is unstoppable and with this new technique a new range of promising options for genetics, for fertility and for life have opened up.
According to researchers, the possibilities which DNA sequencing offers are revolutionary and huge. Despite being at a very initial stage in which only the tip of the next generation sequencing iceberg has been uncovered, the number of uses is so varied that determining how to manage everything this technique implies will, in fact, be the future’s biggest challenge.
For the time being, thanks to human sequencing, nowadays “there is greater power of analysis and this facilitates many things and very significant possibilities”, explains the scientist and molecular biology and genetics investigator at Instituto Bernabeu, José Antonio Ortiz. The new technique, which can only be carried out in leading international clinics such as IB, “has revolutionised genetics. Genetic studies are now much quicker.’ […]

By |5 de February de 2016|Fertility, Genetics, Gynaecology, News, Reproductive biology|0 Comments

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 […]

The Rafael Bernabeu Foundation and its social welfare calling

The Rafael Bernabeu Foundation, the social welfare foundation at Instituto Bernabeu, has been working towards helping to improve health, well-being and financial conditions in society since 2007. Support programmes for patients with financial difficulties, scholarships and long-term support for various NGOs and academic and medical institutions are just some examples of the work which is carried out “as part of our commitment to the people of Alicante.” To the company, “social responsibility is a must.”

The foundation was set up at almost the same time as Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante. Whilst work went on in the reproduction and fertility clinic, the needs of the local population surrounding the medical group as it grew and became more consolidated became clear. It was the company’s closest reality, its closest community, the people who could potentially one day walk past one of the groups newest branches. IB began donating part of its financial resources and this increased as the institution grew. Along with the company’s growth and strength came the decision to provide this giving spirit, which had been active for many years, with a more formal structure. The Rafael Bernabeu Foundation was born in the cold month of January 2007 with the aim of providing different causes and adverse circumstances with warmth and solutions.

“Our patients and everyone in the IB team are participants in this support aimed at the very same society which has enabled us to grow and to which we wish to return the favour,” says the Rafael Bernabeu Foundation. Since it was set up, its work, donations and activities have grown and centred around three core areas: health, training and financial support for NGOs. […]

By |4 de January de 2016|Fertility, Genetics, Gynaecology, News, Pregnancy|0 Comments

Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS): More reliable and less damaging for embryos

The necessary information for an adequate development of human beings is contained in some “books” called genes; they are written in an “ink” called DNA. Our total number of genes is found in the 46 chromosomes that we inherit from our parents, and it should have no excesses or deficiencies, since these could cause serious diseases and malformations, and even put our life in danger.
Human embryos have a high rate of chromosomal alterations, especially in the case of couples with fertility problems, such as recurrent miscarriages and implantation failures. For this reason, when we are in the In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) laboratory with a couple’s embryos, we already know it is very likely that many of them are chromosomally abnormal.
Only embryos with no excesses or deficiencies in their DNA have the capacity to produce a healthy newborn. Therefore, by identifying and selecting an embryo with a full chromosome count, we manage to guarantee that the embryo has maximum capacity to produce a healthy child. […]