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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. […]

Reduced mobility and fertility

Reproduction issues always need to be dealt with with a degree of sensitivity. When there is also a disability within the couple, the emotional side of things calls for even greater care and steps should be taken in order to deal adequately with any implications the disability in question has from a medical point of view.
In 2006, the United Nations (UN) published guidelines on the rights of people with reduced mobility. These guidelines indicate disabled people’s rights across all levels of society and include the right to have children and access to sexual health.
At Instituto Bernabeu, we aim to comply with the aforementioned guidelines and provide our patients with the means and solutions they need and which adapt to the circumstances of each physical disability. This covers disabilities resulting from a genetic condition (hereditary), disease or an accident and, from a fertility point of view, each case is given personalised treatment. […]

Fertyplan: Carry out a study on your fertility levels so that you can plan motherhood

One of the most important parts of any life plan is to have a family. However, nowadays, an increasing number of women end up not having children when they would ideally have liked to, even when they do not have any disorders that mean they are infertile.
The main reason for this is that, whilst couples do want to have children, they tend to put it off until they are of an age when the likelihood of falling pregnant is significantly lower. […]

Beta hCG (β-hCG) result table

ACCESS INFORMATION PRIOR TO THIS POST ON BETA
β-hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a glycoprotein that is initially secreted by trophoblast cells in the embryo shortly after it implants in the uterus. The rapid increase in serum levels of hCG following conception means it is an excellent early indicator of pregnancy. It’s also a parameter which is widely used for monitoring that a pregnancy is progressing correctly.
On a physiological level, hCG triggers the corpus luteum and thus facilitates progesterone and oestrogen synthesis. Progesterone stimulates the maturing of blood and capillary vessels that help the foetus to develop correctly.
hCG levels can be measured in blood or in urine.
Urine tests have a detection limit of 20 to 100 mUI/ml depending on the brand. If the measurement is to be taken in urine, a sample of the first urine of the day is recommended. This is particularly true during the early days of pregnancy because, if the urine is too diluted, the test can return incorrect negative results.
hCG levels in blood can be used to detect levels as low as 5 mUI/ml and the concentration levels of the hormone can therefore be calculated.
hCG levels in multiple pregnancies are 30-50 % higher than in pregnancies where there is only one foetus. However, a multiple pregnancy should be confirmed by means of an ultrasound.
[…]

Vasectomies: the male contraceptive

Vasectomies are the most reliable method of male contraception and an estimated 40 to 60 million men worldwide have chosen to have one.  They are the most widely used contraceptive method for men looking to achieve permanent sterility for family planning or personal reasons.
The procedure should be thought of as irreversible. It has a low complications rate and failure is very infrequent. A vasectomy does not begin to work immediately and couples need to continue to use contraceptives until absolute sterility has been achieved. Vasectomies are safe and do not have any side effects or cause serious illness in the long term. It is a method that is used for avoiding pregnancy in long standing relationships but also as a personal sterility method in men who are not in a relationship (those who have separated, divorcees or widowers) but who do have sexual intercourse or, even when they are in a relationship, do not wish to have more children. […]

By |10 de June de 2016|Fertility, Genetics, News, Pregnancy, Sterility, Urology|0 Comments

Diagnostic hysteroscopy and endometrial scratching

We consider an evaluation of the uterine cavity and a check to ensure normal structure in the tissue that lines it (the endometrium) to be a standard part of any implantation failure study. In order to carry out such a study, the most appropriate diagnosis consists of a diagnostic hysteroscopy and an endometrial biopsy.
A hysteroscopy is an endoscopy of the uterus. In other words, direct inspection of the uterine cavity using an optical system. It’s a simple test and practically pain free in most cases. Therefore, it is generally carried out during an appointment with minimal patient preparation and no impact on her daily life. […]