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Instituto Bernabeu discovers fertility genetic variants

Following years of research, the Poor Responder Unit at Instituto Bernabeu has, for the first time, discovered the genes that play a role in ovarian reserve. This makes choosing the most appropriate medication for the patient’s genetic make-up possible, thus optimising ovarian response.


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. […]

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. […]

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. […]

Embryo transfer on day 3 or day 5. The pros and cons.

Determining the ideal day for embryo transfer has always been a controversial issue and there are, even today, still a number of doubts surrounding this issue.
Embryo culture is, basically, a selection process. Each embryo’s progress is evaluated throughout and a decision is taken on which is most likely to implant successfully. […]

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. […]

The Rafael Bernabeu Foundation and its social welfare calling

The Rafael Bernabeu Foundation, the social welfare foundation at Instituto Bernabeu, has been working towards helping to improve health, well-being and financial conditions in society since 2007. Support programmes for patients with financial difficulties, scholarships and long-term support for various NGOs and academic and medical institutions are just some examples of the work which is carried out “as part of our commitment to the people of Alicante.” To the company, “social responsibility is a must.”

The foundation was set up at almost the same time as Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante. Whilst work went on in the reproduction and fertility clinic, the needs of the local population surrounding the medical group as it grew and became more consolidated became clear. It was the company’s closest reality, its closest community, the people who could potentially one day walk past one of the groups newest branches. IB began donating part of its financial resources and this increased as the institution grew. Along with the company’s growth and strength came the decision to provide this giving spirit, which had been active for many years, with a more formal structure. The Rafael Bernabeu Foundation was born in the cold month of January 2007 with the aim of providing different causes and adverse circumstances with warmth and solutions.

“Our patients and everyone in the IB team are participants in this support aimed at the very same society which has enabled us to grow and to which we wish to return the favour,” says the Rafael Bernabeu Foundation. Since it was set up, its work, donations and activities have grown and centred around three core areas: health, training and financial support for NGOs. […]

By |4 de January de 2016|Fertility, Genetics, Gynaecology, News, Pregnancy|0 Comments

Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS): More reliable and less damaging for embryos

The necessary information for an adequate development of human beings is contained in some “books” called genes; they are written in an “ink” called DNA. Our total number of genes is found in the 46 chromosomes that we inherit from our parents, and it should have no excesses or deficiencies, since these could cause serious diseases and malformations, and even put our life in danger.
Human embryos have a high rate of chromosomal alterations, especially in the case of couples with fertility problems, such as recurrent miscarriages and implantation failures. For this reason, when we are in the In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) laboratory with a couple’s embryos, we already know it is very likely that many of them are chromosomally abnormal.
Only embryos with no excesses or deficiencies in their DNA have the capacity to produce a healthy newborn. Therefore, by identifying and selecting an embryo with a full chromosome count, we manage to guarantee that the embryo has maximum capacity to produce a healthy child. […]

Are PGD, PGS and CCS all one and the same?

Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a combination of techniques carried out on embryos prior to transfer to the womb with the aim of studying possible chromosomal and/or genetic disorders. Its purpose is to ensure healthy offspring and stop disorders from being passed on to children.
The 21st century has witnessed huge steps being made in terms of embryo abnormality analysis. The range of diagnosis options and the reliability of techniques have converted something which was only a pipe-dream a few years ago into a reality. Nowadays, such techniques are routine and Instituto Bernabeu is a worldwide leader in providing its patients with the latest in embryo genetic diagnosis.
This revolution has led to a number of new testing techniques coming to the fore. Most of them are known by their initials and, in many cases, this has turned PGD into mumbo-gumbo for patients who end up getting them mixed up and confused. We would like to use this forum to shed some light on this sea of initials. […]