Archive for the 'Reproductive biology' category

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. Continue Reading »

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Assited Reproduction Techniques: FIV vs ICSI

01 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). Continue Reading »

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

01 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. Continue Reading »

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Normal and abnormal embryo division

01For as long as we can remember, we assume that we belong to certain standards. These standards are set based on the average population, just as children in pediatric check-ups are assessed by a percentile of height and weight. As adults we are assessed by our body mass index. In both cases, we try to reach an “average” rate.

What do we consider average?

This also happens at the embryonic stage. The process of embryo division observation is established to assess whether or not embryos are normal. This observation should be performed at specific times, so that each embryo is observed and evaluated daily.

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Criteria for embryo classification

01From fertilization and until the embryo transfer takes place in the womb, embryos follow a development that is valued by embryologists daily. Those embryos that have kept a correct evolution and are in better condition are selected to be transferred. Continue Reading »

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How many eggs on average are donated on an Egg Donation treatment at Instituto Bernabeu?

01 In Spain, we performed 40% of all egg donation cycles in Europe. The experience accumulated at Instituto Bernabeu for over 15 years, allows us to offer to our patients a high quality and personalized treatment.

When a patient decides to go for an Egg Donation treatment, a chain work is set in the organization, in which we guarantee a commitment of trust, reliability and professional quality.

Why an “x” number of eggs are donated? Why not only one?

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What is a Chemical Pregnancy?

01 There are times when we give patients the results of  in vitro fertilization, we tell them that the test is positive but that it is not good news, and that the chances that it evolves into an ongoing pregnancy are slim. It is a very difficult situation, emotionally, since it is very hard for patients to understand what has happened. If it really is positive, then why isn’t that good news? If it’s not good news, then why do I still have to take medication? Continue Reading »

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Semen quality parameters according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)

01The spermiogram is a basic tool that provides us with some of the best information to assess male fertility. It is also very useful in order to formulate a personalized treatment plan for the couple.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published several editions of the “Manual for the Examination of Human Semen and Sperm-Cervical Mucus Interaction”, the last one in 2010. Those manuals help and guide andrology laboratories to determine sperm quality. Moreover, in recent years, the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embriology (ESHRE) in collaboration with the WHO have developed a program to improve standardization between laboratories in terms of sperm sample diagnosis and assessment criteria. Continue Reading »

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Embryonic arrest, why don’t all of my embryos develop equally?

01.Embrion-Humano-10-celulas_-Dia-3When one starts an in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, one of the most frequent concerns is the number of high quality embryos that can be obtained.

This number is variable and depends on several factors such as the ovarian reserve and gamete quality (egg and sperm). Once the eggs are fertilised, they are considered embryos, which begins after their early division. The embryo division is observed in the IVF laboratory on a daily basis and is key information to determine the embryo quality. The Spanish Association of Reproductive Biology (ASEBIR) establishes a classification according to various observed morphological parameters, which indicate the embryo quality according to their capacity to implant in the womb. Continue Reading »

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Contamination, environmental toxins and fertility

Instituto BernabeuScientific evidence from the last 15 years shows that without a doubt, environmental toxins before conception and during pregnancy cause long-lasting effects on reproductive health. An example of this is the exposure to mercury, which causes cognitive impairment in children. Another example is the exposure to agricultural pesticides, which is associated with sperm quality alterations and higher incidence of testicular and prostate cancer for men, and in women it interferes with the development of puberty, ovulation, fertility and menopause. Continue Reading »

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