Although Spanish law led the way in regulating the practice of assisted reproduction and made significant progress in comparison with legislation in neighbouring countries, and even though Spain is, furthermore, a leader in the field both in terms of the quality of some of its clinics and health specialists, as well as in terms of the excellent results obtained, it […]
When good quality embryos do not implant correctly or lead to pregnancy loss, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) does not provide us with the results we had hoped for. This is often because the embryo is a carrier of abnormal chromosomes. Fortunately, in our clinic, we have access to the very latest in embryo chromosome diagnosis techniques such as array CGH and next generation sequencing (NGS). We can use this technology to detect abnormalities in the embryo that will cause pregnancy loss or that will lead to the birth of a child with chromosomal abnormalities such as Down’s Syndrome, also known as trisomy 21. As such, we can use these techniques to select and transfer the embryos with the greatest chance of leading to the birth of healthy child. […]
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) consists of studying chromosomal abnormalities and genetic abnormalities in the embryo prior to transfer to the mother. Its purpose is to ensure that children are healthy and put an end to the transmission of a specific condition.
There are two types of PGD: the PGD aimed at selecting embryos that are free of a genetic disorder affecting a single gene (PGD) and the PGD that analyses genetic diseases affecting one or more chromosomes (CCS or PGS). Their names are sometimes a cause for confusion. The post entitled Are PGD, PGS and CCS all one and the same? clarifies the differences between them. […]
When a fertility analysis in the male partner is limited to a seminogram or spermiogram, we only get a partial view of semen quality. A seminogram only provides us with information on the number and characteristics of sperm in the ejaculate (mobility, morphology…). It does not, however, tell us anything about other aspects such as sperm DNA integrity […]
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. […]
When faced with fertility issues, many people believe that this is often due to the couple’s incompatibility. The reason behind this inability to fall pregnant is often unknown and quite simply a mystery due to some form of irresolvable ‘genetic issue’. When faced with such circumstances, we can but give in and accept it and, as with all popular beliefs, there is some truth in it.
It’s estimated that around 20% of reproduction issues are down to genetics. In fact, many of the tests carried out as part of patient fertility analyses in our clinic, aim to determine if there is a genetic issue behind the couple’s difficulties falling pregnant. […]
Whilst it is technically possible to choose a child’s gender using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, Spanish law prohibits selecting a baby’s sex, except with a view to avoiding the transmission of genetic diseases associated with the X chromosome. Such is the case, for example, of haemophilia A.
Law 14/2006 indicates that pre-implantation genetic diagnosis may only be used in order to detect serious genetic diseases or those which compromise the viability of an embryo. Therefore, this technique may not be used in order to select a future baby’s gender. Any other use of this technique is a serious offence which is punishable by law. […]
The human genome consists of 46 chromosomes: 23 of these are inherited from our father and the other 23 are inherited from our mother. Our organism’s entire genetic make-up is stored in these chromosomes. The 23 pairs are organised as follows: 22 pairs, known as autosomes, and one pair of sex chromosomes (X and Y) which differentiate the two sexes (XY for males and XX for females).
From a technical point of view, using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, we have the means of analysing an embryo’s entire chromosomal make-up. This technique, which is known as CCS (Comprehensive Chromosome Screening), means additional or a lack of any chromosomes in the embryo can be detected. Therefore, we can use CCS to analyse the entire make-up of the embryo and determine that there are neither DNA excesses nor deficiencies which will stop the embryo from developing properly. But, if we focus on the sex chromosomes, we can also determine if the analysed embryo has two X chromosomes and will, therefore, be a girl (XX) or one X chromosome and one Y chromosome (XY) and will be a boy. […]
Reproduction issues always need to be dealt with with a degree of sensitivity. When there is also a disability within the couple, the emotional side of things calls for even greater care and steps should be taken in order to deal adequately with any implications the disability in question has from a medical point of view.
In 2006, the United Nations (UN) published guidelines on the rights of people with reduced mobility. These guidelines indicate disabled people’s rights across all levels of society and include the right to have children and access to sexual health.
At Instituto Bernabeu, we aim to comply with the aforementioned guidelines and provide our patients with the means and solutions they need and which adapt to the circumstances of each physical disability. This covers disabilities resulting from a genetic condition (hereditary), disease or an accident and, from a fertility point of view, each case is given personalised treatment. […]
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. […]