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.


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. […]

Genetics in premature ovarian failure and menopause

Oocytes are the female gametes, cells that, upon being fertilised by the sperm, will produce an embryo. In humans, the number of oocytes that females have throughout their lives is not unlimited; they are born instead with a limited number. These oocytes gradually run out in each menstruation until their supply becomes completely exhausted at menopause.
It is said that women suffer from premature ovarian failure when menstruation ceases because the oocyte supply has become exhausted at an earlier age than the age when the natural decline of ovarian function occurs (at 50, approximately). In cases where oocytes are still produced in women suffering from premature ovarian failure, they do not respond satisfactorily to the hormones responsible for their development and maturation.
Premature ovarian failure may have important consequences for women:

Obviously, in their fertility: These women cannot conceive naturally and require assisted reproduction techniques in order to bear offspring. These patients also have a high risk that their oocytes will not respond to the In Vitro Fertilisation cycle, thus putting the success of the treatment in danger.
On the other hand, the absence of female hormones due to low ovarian activity has serious consequences for health, mainly in cases of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.


Vitrification: the cold revolution

Vitrification is generally associated with delaying maternity. It involves preserving eggs at low temperatures so that they may be used in the future. This is, in itself, astounding since it enables gametes to be preserved by means of advanced and ultra-rapid cell freezing so that they may be used sometime in the future. The uses to which this technique may be put are so varied and numerous and have changed the work environment in the most prestigious of fertility clinics to such an extent that experts have no doubts about referring to vitrification as a ‘revolutionary’ procedure.
“We could say that cryopreservation is currently the most important aspect of any assisted reproduction clinic” assures Dr Jorge Ten, head of the Reproductive Biology Operational Unit at Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante. In the words of this expert, this technique “has changed enormously over the last 6 to 8 years”. Vitrification was initially carried out using “slow freezing techniques which caused cell damage” in the oocyte. This cell, “in the case of women, is the largest in the human body and has the greatest content in water. Therefore, when frozen, it produced poorer results due to the formation of ice crystals which damaged its structure”. The ice crystals which formed as a result of the aforementioned slow freezing and the high water content in the cell meant that survival rates were “between 20 and 30%. Almost no oocytes survived”. […]

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. […]

Endometriosis: why does our immune system let it slip through?

Exactly. Why? After reading this article, many people will begin to think differently about endometriosis. Despite it being a chronic illness which affects around 50% of our patients who are being treated for reproduction issues or who turn to us because of pelvic pain, its cause is unknown.
In an attempt to provide an explanation for […]

By |19 de October de 2015|Gynaecology, News, Women’s health|0 Comments

Instituto Bernabeu: totally committed to quality

Over 30 years’ experience in the field of reproductive medicine has led Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante to achieve leading European levels in quality and commitment. Its focus on providing patients with top care quality, its determination to exceed itself and its constant search for new challenges have led to Instituto Bernabeu receiving the most prestigious of international recognitions, a guarantee of the transparency and reliability of the group located in Alicante, Spain.
“This differentiates us from other centres since we offer continuity and because the certifications which we have cover all departments”, assures Elena García, head of Quality in Instituto Bernabeu. The quality certificates are renewed on an annual basis and, as such, all IB centres have to undergo a new audit every year. “During the financial crisis, many companies have become obsolete because they have not carried out new audits. We, on the other hand, undertook a quality commitment in 2006 and have a team which is specialised in human and technical resources and which is responsible for quality issues”, adds Elena. […]

Pregnancy and the summer: healthy living and taking care of oneself

Pregnancy is a natural and healthy part of a woman’s life and should be accompanied by a regular daily routine and healthy living. During the summer, however, particular attention should be paid to things such as high temperatures, diet and intense sunshine and it’s advisable to follow a few simple steps in order to be able enjoy this time of the year to the full when pregnant.
“The most important things are to remain hydrated, avoid intense sunshine, wear loose, soft clothing and take healthy dips in the sea or swimming pool”, explains the director of the Obstetrics Department at Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante. During the summer, drinking plenty of water and keeping out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day is advisable at any age and irrespective of a person’s health. […]

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. […]