What does embryo biopsy involve?

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a tool designed to “get to know” the embryos genetically before they are transferred into the mother’s uterus. Thanks to this technique, we can study their chromosome count and find out if they are carriers of a hereditary disease. This information helps us to select the embryos that will produce healthy babies. Yet, how can we find that information?
Today, the only way to find genetic information about embryos is by performing an embryo biopsy. What does embryo biopsy involve?
To explain the biopsy procedure we should keep in mind that our point of departure is EMBRYOS. Embryos are retrieved after performing an assisted reproduction cycle, preferably by Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), and their development is assessed during the culture period until day 3 or day 5. […]

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. […]

Choosing a fertilisation technique when oocyte counts are poor. IVF or ICSI?

A low ovarian response is an increasingly common situation for clinicians. It is mainly associated with delayed motherhood and, accordingly, with lower ovarian reserves. In this type of patients, the number of oocytes retrieved after puncture is normally limited. In this situation, choosing the most adequate fertilisation technique, conventional IVF or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), may stir a little controversy (of course, provided that the sperm quality and the medical history lead us to consider conventional IVF as a reasonable option). […]

The male factor in infertility

In contrast with the old-fashioned belief that reproduction issues are a female thing, current figures are clear: 47% of infertility cases in a couple are down to an issue with the man. Therefore, when a couple has infertility issues and they seek the help of a clinic specialising in assisted reproduction, the tests and analyses are carried out on both members of the couple. This practice of looking into both the female factor and the male factor is now common and carried out by all experts in the field, but there is still a lack of understanding of the fertility issues which men can have. What are they? What solutions do leading assisted reproduction clinics offer nowadays?
The most common issues amongst men are “changes in the sperm count with no apparent cause”, explains Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante. That is, a low number of sperm, poor sperm mobility or abnormal morphology. Additionally, there may be more concrete and identifiable reasons for changes in sperm such as obstruction issues, infection, diseases or genetic reasons which impede egg fertilisation or which affect embryo quality. […]

Egg Donation, solidarity and life

Solidarity can be carried out in very different areas of life and society: supporting initiatives of NGOs or associations, or dedicating some of our time to community service in our neighbourhood or town or simply carrying out daily routines to improve the lives of those around us. It is basically making a gesture or devoting some of our time to make a little effort towards others. […]

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

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. […]

Normal and abnormal embryo division

For 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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Unraveling the mysteries of ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection)

We’re dedicating this Instituto Bernabeu forum topic to a very common technique used in the human reproduction laboratory: ICSI or Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. We have prepared this explicative video on the topic, in which Dr. Jorge Ten simply explains what this technique involves, how it is performed, its indications, history and evolution, as well as our reproductive biology team’s efforts to perfect the results. We hope you like it! […]

Egg donation explained simply

For 21 years, egg donation has been a treatment that Instituto Bernabeu offers to women who need it, which has made it a European reference point for egg donation.

It is the reproductive technique with the highest pregnancy rates, over 60% per cycle. At IB, the overall pregnancy rate after three cycles of treatment is over 90%. […]

Azoospermia in the IVF lab

Azoospermia is defined as the absence of sperm in the ejaculate, which is generally classified as either obstructive or secretory. In obstructive azoospermia, the sperm cells cannot complete their journey from the testicle to the urethra through the seminal tract; however, the sperm cells are produced in the testicle (spermatogenesis). […]

By |11 de January de 2012|Fertility, Sterility, Uncategorized, Urology|1 Comment