From the very moment when sperm fertilises an ova, a new embryo starts developing and a large number of cell divisions take place. This embryo development is observed in an in vitro fertilisation laboratory up until the blastocyst stage (day 5 or 6 of development). Sometimes during the cell division process, fragments of the embryo become isolated between cells that have developed correctly. These fragments come from embryo cell remains and can stop the embryo from developing correctly. One of the negative impacts consists of issues reaching the blastocyst stage and the posterior impact on implantation in the uterus. In fact, embryo fragmentation is one of the most significant characteristics used to determine embryo quality. […]
The question of relationships between blood relatives has been approached in many different ways throughout the course of history. There have been times when relationships of this kind have been commonly accepted, whilst at other times they have been prohibited for moral, religious or even scientific reasons.
Relationships between blood relatives were actively encouraged in some primitive cultures in order to promote clan unity. For example, marriage between members of the same family in ancient Egypt. The legislation in a large number of US States currently prohibits and actively pursues relationships between first cousins. […]
Are sterility and infertility the same?
No, they are two completely different concepts.
Sterility is the inability to conceive whilst infertility is the inability to complete a full term pregnancy and give birth to a healthy child. […]
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a technique that provides a ‘genetic understanding’ of the embryo before it is transferred to the uterus. Thanks to this technique, we are able to study the embryo’s chromosomal make-up and determine if it is a carrier of a hereditary condition of any kind. This information helps us to select the embryos that will lead to the birth of a healthy child. But how do we obtain this information?
Work is currently being carried out to discover non-invasive means of gathering genetic information from the embryo but, to date, the only means is an embryo biopsy. What is an embryo biopsy? […]
Cholesterol plays an essential role in ensuring that our organism works correctly. Its impact on the heart is still given priority in terms of analysis because of the elevated impact and frequency of diseases of this kind.
Whilst all the other areas of influence have been analysed to a much lesser degree, in some cases such as infertility, the effects of this essential component are now starting to come to light.
What is the importance of cholesterol in fertility? […]
Genetics guidance is the exchange through which an expert in genetics provides patients and their families with information and support on a genetic condition, inheriting that condition, the risk of recurrence and the implications for the individual and his or her family.
The aim of genetics guidance is to support the decision-making process whilst taking the patient’s values and beliefs into account, and to proceed based on the decision taken.
In the specific case of reproduction guidance, it is a question of guiding couples who are in a reproductive stage of their lives and who wish to have children and/or who are currently expecting a child. Therefore, we generally have two types of patients who need reproduction guidance. Whilst there are fundamental differences between the two, the aims of the guidance process remain the same and include: […]
Progesterone is one of the most important hormones in a woman’s metabolism and fertility. It is produced by the ovaries following ovulation during a normal menstrual cycle but when a woman is pregnant the placenta takes over responsibility for production. Its main roles consist of preparing the endometrium (internal layer of the uterus) for implanting a fertilised ovum and sustaining pregnancies. It also plays an important role when a woman is breastfeeding because it helps to prepare the mammary glands for milk production. […]
It is possible to determine the gender of a future baby (embryo) before transfer takes place. In fact, this strategy has been used for many years in order to avoid the transmission of sex chromosome hereditary diseases (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or PGD).
When the technique was in its early days, embryo analysis was carried out on day 3 of embryo development. Nowadays, it is carried out between days 5 and 7 of development (blastocyst stage). The analysis provides a simultaneous understanding of all the chromosomes in the embryo, meaning that transmission of chromosomal abnormalities can be completely eliminated. The technique has a 98% success rate. […]
There are two parts to semen: spermatozoa and the seminal fluid that the spermatozoa use as their means of travel.
Seminal fluid has traditionally been attributed the role of a simple means of transportation. However, many years ago, it started to become clear that exposure to seminal fluid with no spermatozoa content improved in vitro fertilisation results and the results in couples experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss.
Increased proof of this improvement in results has emerged over the last few months, as indicated in the recent scientific publications referenced at the end of this post. These pieces of scientific work confirm early observations and explain the reasons why. […]