Progesterone and its role in reproduction

What is progesterone? Just a simple look at the word itself gives us an idea of what its functions are. PROGESTERONE: the hormone which facilitates pregnancy. This is a good point from which to start out.
Progesterone plays an essential role in pregnancy and it has many and varied effects. It is a natural substance which is secreted from the ovaries following ovulation and continues throughout the second half of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone ensures that a woman’s uterus is receptive and, when production is insufficient, the embryo does not implant correctly or runs a high risk of leading to a miscarriage. It also relaxes the muscles in the uterus, making it better suited for the early days of pregnancy. […]

Implantation failure and repeated miscarriage. Treatment options

Successfully treating implantation failure and recurrent pregnancy loss is undoubtedly a challenge for doctors and for patients.

It is an area on which we continuously focus research at Instituto Bernabeu and, whilst we are far from finding a solution to all problems, the number of couples we are able to successfully treat is forever increasing.

An approach which does not take all 3 parties into account – the female, the male and the embryo – is incomplete. When evaluation only takes the couple into account, the reason behind the issue is only determined in under 20% of all cases. […]

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. […]

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. […]

Recurrent pregnancy loss: an issue that does have a solution

Clearly one of the most difficult situations a couple trying for children may have to face is pregnancy loss. Suffering is even greater when, prior to this, the couple has gone through fertility treatment such as in vitro fertilisation, insemination or egg donation.
Pregnancy loss is not always the result of an illness or underlying abnormality. It can be the response nature provides in order to block the development of an abnormal embryo. In fact, when the tissue from the pregnancy loss is examined, a large number of chromosomal abnormalities can be detected. […]

State of the art technology in preimplantation embryo diagnosis: Array-CGH

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is the study of chromosomal and genetic abnormalities in embryos before they are transferred to the mother’s uterus by an In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technique. It seeks to ensure healthy offspring and stop transmission of a given disease. […]

Instituto Bernabeu strengthens is position as a European reference in matters of R&D at the Annual Congress of the British Fertility Society.

The British Fertility Society (BSF) Annual Congress, one of Europe’s leading fertility and assisted reproduction events, was held on 7th and 8th January in Newcastle (UK). Its scientific committee accepted a total of 11 pieces of research work prepared by Instituto Bernabeu (Alicante) as part of the group’s main lines of R&D. These include poor ovarian response – a pathology which is largely associated with attempts to fall pregnant later on in life –  embryo implantation failure and the impact of genetics on reproduction issues. […]

Adenomyosis and recurrent implantation failure

Adenomyosis occurs when the tissue that lines the inner part of the uterus (the endometrium) is found in the outermost part of the uterus (myometrium), which is a muscle layer. It is sometimes referred to as endometriosis of the uterus, given that endometrial tissue is found where it should not be, just like it happens in endometriosis.
Until recently, the knowledge we had about endometriosis was close to non-existent, except for those patients who had had their uterus removed and close examination had yielded this finding. Even so, its connection with heavy bleeding and pain during menstruation was well known, and also with uterus enlargement as a result of such abnormal bleeding.
Our knowledge of this pathology has blossomed over the last five years, when, thanks to the advances achieved in ultrasound scanning, gynaecologists have been able to diagnose it. Until then, this condition could only be suspected when performing a magnetic resonance or examining the uterus directly. It is very interesting to see on 3D ultrasound scans the endometrial cavity and the myometrium look as if they had merged into one and see the inner part of the endometrium reach out to the outer part. […]

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. […]