Accumulation of oocytes in patients with a low response.

The number of oocytes retrieved is a key prognostic factor in In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatments. Chances are greater the greater the number of retrieved oocytes is, until the moment when 6 to 8 oocytes have already been retrieved.
For this reason, care of patients with a Low Response should be especially thorough, both as regards the chosen protocol for ovarian stimulation and the processes of oocyte retrieval and management at the laboratory. In these cases, retrieving an extra oocyte may considerably increase the chances of success.
While many of these patients benefit from the implementation of specific stimulation protocols and the use of adjuvant therapies, some of them will be refractive and will yield a very poor response.
The appearance of vitrification as a successful technique to freeze both oocytes and embryos has stirred new expectations in patients with a low response at the possibility of accumulating vitrified oocytes from several stimulation cycles. This way, after performing a number of oocyte collection cycles and once collecting a number between 6 and 8 oocytes has been achieved, the processes of fertilisation begin. In this case, prognosis is more favourable, as patients now have more or less the same number of oocytes as those patients with a normal response. […]

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.


Are PGD, PGS and CCS all one and the same?

Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a combination of techniques carried out on embryos prior to transfer to the womb with the aim of studying possible chromosomal and/or genetic disorders. Its purpose is to ensure healthy offspring and stop disorders from being passed on to children.
The 21st century has witnessed huge steps being made in terms of embryo abnormality analysis. The range of diagnosis options and the reliability of techniques have converted something which was only a pipe-dream a few years ago into a reality. Nowadays, such techniques are routine and Instituto Bernabeu is a worldwide leader in providing its patients with the latest in embryo genetic diagnosis.
This revolution has led to a number of new testing techniques coming to the fore. Most of them are known by their initials and, in many cases, this has turned PGD into mumbo-gumbo for patients who end up getting them mixed up and confused. We would like to use this forum to shed some light on this sea of initials. […]

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.


Vitrification: the cold revolution

Vitrification is generally associated with delaying maternity. It involves preserving eggs at low temperatures so that they may be used in the future. This is, in itself, astounding since it enables gametes to be preserved by means of advanced and ultra-rapid cell freezing so that they may be used sometime in the future. The uses to which this technique may be put are so varied and numerous and have changed the work environment in the most prestigious of fertility clinics to such an extent that experts have no doubts about referring to vitrification as a ‘revolutionary’ procedure.
“We could say that cryopreservation is currently the most important aspect of any assisted reproduction clinic” assures Dr Jorge Ten, head of the Reproductive Biology Operational Unit at Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante. In the words of this expert, this technique “has changed enormously over the last 6 to 8 years”. Vitrification was initially carried out using “slow freezing techniques which caused cell damage” in the oocyte. This cell, “in the case of women, is the largest in the human body and has the greatest content in water. Therefore, when frozen, it produced poorer results due to the formation of ice crystals which damaged its structure”. The ice crystals which formed as a result of the aforementioned slow freezing and the high water content in the cell meant that survival rates were “between 20 and 30%. Almost no oocytes survived”. […]

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. […]

Endometriosis: why does our immune system let it slip through?

Exactly. Why? After reading this article, many people will begin to think differently about endometriosis. Despite it being a chronic illness which affects around 50% of our patients who are being treated for reproduction issues or who turn to us because of pelvic pain, its cause is unknown.
In an attempt to provide an explanation for […]

By |19 de October de 2015|Gynaecology, News, Women’s health|0 Comments

Instituto Bernabeu: totally committed to quality

Over 30 years’ experience in the field of reproductive medicine has led Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante to achieve leading European levels in quality and commitment. Its focus on providing patients with top care quality, its determination to exceed itself and its constant search for new challenges have led to Instituto Bernabeu receiving the most prestigious of international recognitions, a guarantee of the transparency and reliability of the group located in Alicante, Spain.
“This differentiates us from other centres since we offer continuity and because the certifications which we have cover all departments”, assures Elena García, head of Quality in Instituto Bernabeu. The quality certificates are renewed on an annual basis and, as such, all IB centres have to undergo a new audit every year. “During the financial crisis, many companies have become obsolete because they have not carried out new audits. We, on the other hand, undertook a quality commitment in 2006 and have a team which is specialised in human and technical resources and which is responsible for quality issues”, adds Elena. […]