Oligozoospermia: What is it? How can it be detected? What course of treatment can be used in order to get pregnant? What about criptozoospermia?

Oligozoospermia is the presence of an abnormally low number of sperm in a semen sample.
According to the criteria in the 5th edition of the World Health Organisation (WHO) manual, normal sperm content in a sample of semen should be equal to or above 15 million per millimetre. If a sperm count gives a result below this figure, this is known as oligozoospermia and it may be associated with fertility issues. More than one sample will need to be evaluated in order to confirm this.
The diagnosis method consists of a spermogram which, amongst other things, gives a sperm count per millimetre of semen. […]

Genetic compatibility in couples

When faced with fertility issues, many people believe that this is often due to the couple’s incompatibility. The reason behind this inability to fall pregnant is often unknown and quite simply a mystery due to some form of irresolvable  ‘genetic issue’. When faced with such circumstances, we can but give in and accept it and, as with all popular beliefs, there is some truth in it.
It’s estimated that around 20% of reproduction issues are down to genetics. In fact, many of the tests carried out as part of patient fertility analyses in our clinic, aim to determine if there is a genetic issue behind the couple’s difficulties falling pregnant. […]

By |2016-10-06T18:55:15+00:007 de October de 2016|Fertility, Genetics, Gynaecology, News, Pregnancy|0 Comments

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. […]

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. […]

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.
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Calculating ovulation: the best time to get pregnant

One of the most frequently asked questions among couples is how to calculate the most fertile days of the cycle and when ovulation will take place in order to make this coincide with sexual intercourse. Calculating it is simple in the case of regular, 28-day cycles. […]

Poor Ovarian Response: progress in genetics

Ovarian stimulation is key in results obtained as a results of assisted reproduction techniques. Daily clinical practice shows us that ovarian response can vary substantially from one woman to another. With this in mind, we can diagnose a patient as a poor responder when three eggs or less are obtained.
This situation affects more and more women every day. They require specialised healthcare and personalised protocols and, in response to this need, Instituto Bernabeu has a Poor Ovarian Response Unit that deals with multidisciplinary diagnosis and treatment.
For patients under this category, obtaining one or more eggs can mean the difference between failure and pregnancy and this makes any steps taken to increase the number of available eggs absolutely essential. […]

Why does Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS) by array-CGH reduce miscarriage rates?

Miscarriage rates in the general population with no fertility problems range around 15-20%. In other words, one out of every five couples who achieve pregnancy suffers a spontaneous miscarriage, and 5% of these couples suffer it more than once. Even when pregnancy is achieved with the help of assisted reproduction techniques, miscarriage rates do not vary. For this reason, it is important when couples come to our clinic seeking reproductive counselling to perform comprehensive testing and design an adequate protocol for their case to secure the best result, which is a healthy baby at home, minimising the chances of miscarriage. In order to do that, one should know that miscarriages and pregnancy losses are caused by different reasons (uterine problems, immunological problems, and so on), and yet in half the cases there are chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo that prevent pregnancies to progress, hence causing miscarriages. Normal embryos have two copies of each chromosome, one inherited from the father and the other from the mother, and the chromosomal anomalies they may suffer involve a change in the number of copies, producing an imbalance in their genetic load which might block embryo development. […]

A revolution in genetics: next generation DNA sequencing

In the year 2000, human sequencing was achieved following 10 years of scientific work and now, thanks to next generation DNA sequencing, we are able to get to know a human genome in the space of just one week. It is still not possible, however, to access 100% of the genetic information contained within an embryo, the true origin of human life. But scientific progress is unstoppable and with this new technique a new range of promising options for genetics, for fertility and for life have opened up.
According to researchers, the possibilities which DNA sequencing offers are revolutionary and huge. Despite being at a very initial stage in which only the tip of the next generation sequencing iceberg has been uncovered, the number of uses is so varied that determining how to manage everything this technique implies will, in fact, be the future’s biggest challenge.
For the time being, thanks to human sequencing, nowadays “there is greater power of analysis and this facilitates many things and very significant possibilities”, explains the scientist and molecular biology and genetics investigator at Instituto Bernabeu, José Antonio Ortiz. The new technique, which can only be carried out in leading international clinics such as IB, “has revolutionised genetics. Genetic studies are now much quicker.’ […]

By |2016-08-04T13:21:22+00:005 de February de 2016|Fertility, Genetics, Gynaecology, News, Reproductive biology|0 Comments

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.

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