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.

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. […]

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”. […]

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. […]

New diagnosis technique for male sterility and missing genetic material (Y chromosome microdeletions).

We all have 46 chromosomes: 23 of them are inherited from our father and 23 are from our mother. The genetic information for our entire body is stored within these chromosomes. Two of the 46 are sex chromosomes and determine whether we are male (XY) or female (XX). Therefore, the Y chromosome contains all the necessary information for differentiating males from females as well as for sperm production.
The study of Y chromosome microdeletions consists of checking if chromosome Y is complete and, as such, has all the necessary information for satisfactory sperm production or if, on the contrary, small fragments are missing. The loss of such fragments leads to altered spermiogramme which can mean poor sperm production (oligozoospermia) or even no production at all (azoospermia). […]

By |23 de September de 2015|Fertility, Genetics, Reproductive biology, Sterility, Urology|0 Comments

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. […]

Embryo implantation, the ultimate test

It’s the miracle of life: fertilization and human reproduction. A meticulous and perfect process that allows two cells to come together and create another that will develop until transforming into a new being. […]

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). […]