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A more reliable means of detecting anti-Müllerian hormone and evaluating ovarian reserve

A new, much more reliable, faster technique (results are obtained in 3 days) has been incorporated into our clinic and, since it is carried out directly in our laboratories, it has brought the price down to €50. The technique is carried out on a blood sample which can be taken at our clinics or a sample can be sent to us by courier.
Determining anti-Müllerian hormone levels in a woman’s blood helps us to evaluate ovarian reserve and, along with a transvaginal ultrasound used to carry out an antral follicle count, this provides us with information about her reproductive future and whether or not trying for a child is a matter of urgency.
It can also be used in order to personalise fertility treatment and to help predict how successful it is likely to be.
Cases of couples in clinics in which the female has impaired ovarian reserve are more and more common. A reduction in ovarian reserve of this kind might be expected in older women but not so in younger women, particularly when her menstrual cycles have not been irregular. […]

A boy or a girl: can I choose my baby’s gender?

Whilst it is technically possible to choose a child’s gender using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, Spanish law prohibits selecting a baby’s sex, except with a view to avoiding the transmission of genetic diseases associated with the X chromosome. Such is the case, for example, of haemophilia A.
Law 14/2006 indicates that pre-implantation genetic diagnosis may only be used in order to detect serious genetic diseases or those which compromise the viability of an embryo. Therefore, this technique may not be used in order to select a future baby’s gender. Any other use of this technique is a serious offence which is punishable by law. […]

The endometrial receptivity array (ERA) test

Embryo implantation is the least well known phase of reproduction within the field of reproductive medicine. This fact is of special relevance if we also take into account that the human embryo is not very efficient when compared to other closely-related species in the evolution timeline.
We currently know that pregnancy is based upon three basic pillars: the embryo, the endometrium and the tolerance of the mother’s immune system. Not only is it essential that all three function correctly, but there needs to be optimum interaction between them. We have already covered the role of the embryo and the immune system in detail. Therefore, we will now concentrate on the endometrium and, more specifically, on studying endometrial receptivity. […]

Cytomegalovirus (CMV): What is it? How is it transmitted? What are its symptoms? How can it be treated?

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus from the family Herpesviridae. We also find the chickenpox virus, herpes simplex and the mononucleosis virus in this family.
Infection with CMV is very common since it is present worldwide and can affect anyone. On the whole, it is an infection which does not usually cause any serious health issues. Once the virus has infected a person, it will remain in that person’s body for the remainder of his or her life. In fact, it is usually inactive or latent for a long time and it does not tend to reactivate unless the person’s defence system (immune system) is affected. Most people who are infected by the virus and who do not have serious health issues do not, on the whole, have any symptoms which might cause them to believe that they are infected with CMV. People who do develop some symptoms may suffer from a high temperature, swollen lymph glands, muscle pain or tiredness.
However, in the case of babies infected with the virus during pregnancy or childbirth and in people with a weak immune system, it is considered to be a significant public health problem since it can cause serious illnesses. […]

Techniques for obtaining spermatozoa

There are currently many different solutions when spermatozoa are not present in ejaculate. Access to a trained urologist increases chances of achieving spermatozoa in greater quantities and with improved quality.
What is TESA (Testicular Sperm Aspiration)?
This is a question which many couples ask themselves as they turn to assisted reproduction treatment when the issue is an absence of spermatozoa in semen (azoospermia) with the aim of obtaining sperm. TESA (Testicular Sperm Aspiration) is a technique used for obtaining spermatozoa by testicular puncture.
Modern-day urology means that spermatozoa can be obtained for use in assisted reproduction techniques using different means. Over the last 10 years, we have improved the chances of achieving good results whilst reducing the invasive nature of the process and improving the quality of samples obtained in cases in which this was not previously possible. Men who have undergone a vasectomy, cases in which the sperm duct is obstructed or patients with cystic fibrosis are common examples in which adequate spermatozoa may be obtained through a simple testicular puncture under local anaesthetic. Different types of biopsy are also prescribed in certain cases. The differences between them are as follows: […]

By |26 de August de 2016|Fertility, News, Reproductive biology, Urology|0 Comments

Why does embryonic arrest sometimes happen during in vitro development?

Many factors can intervene in arrest processes during embryo development which mean cell division is detained and, therefore, it is not possible to implant the embryo in the mother’s uterus and bring about a pregnancy.
In the first instance, the conditions for development are essential.  Embryos that develop in vitro are subjected to a number of artificial conditions that do not exist in vivo and which will always be less than optimum. Embryos which were apparently viable can suffer embryonic arrest. Huge efforts have been made over the last few years to try and mimic what happens inside the mother and replicate those conditions in laboratory processes.  Most of all, the concentration of oxygen in incubators has been reduced, going from 20% down to 5%. The composition of the culture means has also been improved. This, along with exhaustive monitoring of pH and osmotic concentration, means that we can routinely carry out prolonged embryo development up to blastocyst stage in order to achieve improved embryo selection and increase pregnancy rates. […]

Ovarian cysts: What are they? What are the symptoms? How can they be spotted? How should they be treated?

One of the most common findings during a gynaecological check-up  is the presence of ovarian cysts. This emergence of cysts is often unexpected and is generally a great cause for concern. Such concern is usually down to not knowing whether or not they are benign and whether or no they will require surgery.
Ovarian cysts are nothing more than liquid-filled lumps on the ovaries. This liquid may be fluid or dense and in most cases they are benign and functional cysts.
The term ‘functional’ refers to the fact that they are brought on by the hormonal changes that take place during the menstrual cycle itself and, therefore, tend to be more common during a woman’s childbearing years and less common during the menopause. Sometimes, a follicle which is due to rupture and release an egg during ovulation does not do so and so the liquid remains inside and continues to build up. Therefore, the cyst increases in size. These are what are known as follicular cysts and they generally disappear after a few months without the need for any type of treatment because they end up dissolving or bursting of their own accord. […]

Female genital cosmetic surgery. Is it a matter of aesthetics or of health?

An increasing number of women wish to feel at ease with their bodies and turn to intimate or female genital surgery in order to feel more confident during sexual intercourse and get greater pleasure out of it. This involves a number of surgical techniques which are not only used for aesthetic reasons but also in order to resolve the needs of many women who suffer from psychological and physical issues as a result of a malformation or injury around the genital area. This may have occurred over time, following childbirth, as a result of an injury or may be a birth defect.
At Instituto Bernabeu, we have a team of expert anaesthetists and gynaecologists who, as well as having the comfort and safety of an appropriate operating theatre, have adequate training, experience and access to the latest technology in order to carry out surgery of this kind. The following types of vaginal surgery are carried out at our clinics: […]

By |5 de August de 2016|Gynaecology, News, Women’s health, Women’s health|0 Comments

Can I choose the sex of my embryos when I undergo embryo transfer?

The human genome consists of 46 chromosomes: 23 of these are inherited from our father and the other 23 are inherited from our mother. Our organism’s entire genetic make-up is stored in these chromosomes. The 23 pairs are organised as follows: 22 pairs, known as autosomes, and one pair of sex chromosomes (X and Y) which differentiate the two sexes (XY for males and XX for females).
From a technical point of view, using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, we have the means of analysing an embryo’s entire chromosomal make-up. This technique, which is known as CCS (Comprehensive Chromosome Screening), means additional or a lack of any chromosomes in the embryo can be detected. Therefore, we can use CCS to analyse the entire make-up of the embryo and determine that there are neither DNA excesses nor deficiencies which will stop the embryo from developing properly. But, if we focus on the sex chromosomes, we can also determine if the analysed embryo has two X chromosomes and will, therefore, be a girl (XX) or one X chromosome and one Y chromosome (XY) and will be a boy. […]

What is the significance of FSH hormone levels in fertility?

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is essential to reproduction. It is produced by the pituitary gland situated just below the brain (behind the palate) and is released into the bloodstream. The hormone regulates the ovaries and is involved in the processes dealing with the growth and selection of the follicle which will later release the egg during ovulation.
Fluctuations in FSH levels are responsible for menstrual cycles and also for the fact that only one egg is produced during each cycle. It is essential, therefore, that there is constant dialogue between the ovaries and the pituitary gland so that the latter can consistently produce the correct quantity of FSH for a normal cycle.
This permanent exchange means that, in cases of poor ovarian function, the pituitary gland will try to compensate for this situation by increasing FSH excretion levels. It is for this reason that FSH levels in women going through the menopause are 20 times greater than in women whose ovaries are functioning normally. Therefore, when the ovary does not respond correctly, FSH increases significantly and systematically. […]