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What is infertility?
What is infertility?
What is infertility?
Causes of infertility
Your 10 IVI reasons
Your first visit to IVI
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF / ICSI)
Pre-implantational Genetic Diagnosis
Vitrification of oocytes
Implications of infertility
Frequently asked questions
Absence of or abnormal interruption to menstruation.
Absence of ovulation. A woman can menstruate without ovulation occurring.
Sometimes, a woman produces antibodies that fight her partner’s sperm and a man may even produce antibodies against his own sperm.
this is the simplest method of Assisted Reproduction. It consists in depositing the semen of a woman’s partner or a donor into her uterus. The semen will have been capacitated beforehand or prepared in the laboratory. This fertilization process takes place “naturally” inside the woman’s body.
Absence of sperm in the semen.
A technique that allows mobile sperm to be selected and concentrated, as low mobility of sperm is a factor associated with
Procedure used to conserve embryos or sperm by freezing them to very low temperatures. Samples are generally kept in liquid nitrogen at -196°C.
method originating in Japan, which IVI has begun to use successfully in Spain for the first time. With this technique, 98% of the vitrified ova survive, compared to 70% in traditional freezing methods. (see also vitrification).
An abnormal pregnancy in which the fertilized ovum implants itself outside the uterus, usually in one of the Fallopian tubes, in the ovaries or in the abdominal cavity.
Initial stage of foetal growth, from conception up to the eight week of pregnancy.
A culture technique by which embryos are kept in the laboratory for up to six days, which increases their ability to achieve pregnancy. This treatment is applied to patients who have had several failed implantations.
in vitro fertilization
procedure is complete and the selected embryos have been transferred, it is now more and more likely that good quality embryos remain surplus to requirements. These embryos are cryopreserved to be used should the pregnancy fail with a fresh transfer or if a second pregnancy is desired.
Originating or produced within the body.
A gynaecological condition characterized by the growth of endometrium tissue outside the uterus in abnormal places such as the Fallopian tubes, ovaries or peritoneal cavity.
A membrane covering the uterus. During the menstrual cycle it thickens until ovulation takes place. If fertilization occurs, the ovum may implant into the uterus. If this does not occur, menstruation takes place.
Epididymal sperm aspiration
The obtaining of sperm by aspirating the contents of the epididymis, particularly in cases of obstructive azoospermia (vasectomies, agenesis of the vas deferens).
One of the tubes that transports sperm from the seminiferous tubules to the vas deferens.
Originating or produced outside the body.
The are the two ducts that stretch from each ovary to the uterus. It is in this tube that fertilization takes place.
Fluorescent in situ hybridization. This is used to mark out chromosomes in
preimplantation genetic diagnosis
Each of the cavities in the ovary in which the ova develop.
Follicle-stimulating hormone. Produced in the pituitary gland.
Reproductive cells (ova in women and sperm in men) which, when they join, form a new human being.
FSH (follicle-stimulating) and LH (luteinizing) hormones that stimulate cell activity in the ovaries and the testicles.
A substance secreted by specialized cells in organs such as endocrine glands. Hormones act as chemical messengers on the regulation of metabolic processes throughout the organism.
An increase in prolactin hormone levels in the blood. It is a
cause of infertility
An endocrine gland located at the base of the brain which controls certain functions such as body temperature and appetite, as well as the secretion of hormones through the pituitary gland.
A radiology test through the neck of the uterus that allows one to assess the normality of the uterus cavity and the permeability of the Fallopian tubes. Obstruction in both of the Fallopian tubes would impede natural fertilization. The test is conducted when the menstrual period has just finished.
A test that complements the HSG. An optical system inserted through the cervix allows anomalies to be identified and in many cases treated.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. This involves the introduction/injection of a single sperm into the oocyte. Only one live sperm is necessary for each oocyte so, unlike
, it can be done with very low quality semen samples. This method is especially suitable for men whose sperm quality or quantity is low and even for azoospermic patients. Other people benefiting from this form of treatment are those that suffer from paraplegias that cause ejaculation problems and men who, having undergone a vasectomy, decide they would like to have a child.
This term is used when, following exhaustive examination, no apparent cause of infertility can be found.
Process by which the fertilized egg penetrates the walls of the uterus in order to then develop into a foetus.
A term meaning “in a glass”, i.e., in a test tube.
In Vitro Fertilization
This basically consists in the fertilization of an ovum by a sperm outside the woman’s organism, i.e., in the laboratory, so that the embryo is then transferred or placed inside the uterine cavity. This process requires perfect coordination of a multidisciplinary team made up of experts in various fields: gynaecologists, reproduction specialists, andrologists (specialists in male fertility), biologists, analysts, geneticists, etc.
Literally, it means “in the body”, the opposite of in a laboratory.
A test to detect possible genetic anomalies.
A surgical test that inserts an optical system through the navel and provides a direct view of the genital tract. It is currently thought of as a complementary method to HSG (see Hystero-salpingography). It can also be used for the extraction of ovarian cysts or uterine fibroids.
Luteinizing hormone. Produced in the pituatary gland.
Type of cell division that only occurs in the ovaries and the testicles.
The first menstrual period in puberty.
The end of menstruation. It generally occurs between the ages of 40 and 45.
When the mature ovum has not been fertilized, menstruation occurs, which is the expulsion of uterine tissue in the form of periodic bleeding once a month until the menopause.
The normal process by which cells divide.
Müllerian Malformation (septated uterus, bicornuate uterus ….)
Congenital anomalies in the shape of the uterus which are the result of alterations that took place during embryogenesis in utero.
Hormones produced mainly in the ovaries. They are crucial to female sexual development and to the functioning of the reproductive system.
Irregular menstrual periods.
A condition characterized by a very low number of spermatozoa in the sperm.
The woman’s reproductive cells. At birth, an ovary contains between one and two million oocytes. Of these, only 400,000 to 500,000 remain at puberty. Only 400 to 500 of these will be ovulated, one per month, until the menopause.
the oocyte donation programme helps patients whose ovarian function for various reasons is not able to produce high quality oocytes able to result in a pregnancy – women who have reached premature menopause or who have had both ovaries removed; patients with chromosome anomalies that they systematically transmit to their descendents; women who do not respond well to ovarian stimulation medication or whose
cycles fail repeatedly. Through this programme, these patients get oocytes donated by young, healthy women who altruistically donate their gametes to those women who need them
Recovery of the ova found in the ovarian follicles for in vitro or in vivo fertilization, using assisted reproduction technologies such as
IVF or ICSI
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
A rare syndrome that may be manifested when inducing ovulation or applying a method of
. It manifests various symptoms such as enlarged ovaries, fluid accumulation, abdominal distention and increased weight.
Recovery of oocytes by puncture-aspiration through the vagina.
The rupture of a mature ovarian follicle, discharging an oocyte into the uterine cavity, generally in the middle of the menstrual cycle.
Polymerase chain reaction. It is used to mark out gene mutations in preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
The tough, colourless membrane covering the outside of the wall of the uterus.
Pituitary Gland (hypophysis)
An endocrine gland located at the base of the brain, which secretes FSH, LH and other hormones involved in growth and development, as well as in fertility.
A spongy organ attached to the wall of the uterus, through which food and oxygen pass from the mother’s blood system to the foetus by way of the umbilical cord.
A diagnostic technique that converts ultrasound echoes produced in the organism into images. It is very useful for diagnosing ovulation problems.
Preimplantational Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
in some very specific cases, there is a high risk of genetic transmission of certain diseases to descendents (haemophilia, muscular dystrophy, etc.). In these cases, couples should undergo an in vitro fertilization cycle (IVF) to obtain embryos in which one can isolate a cell known as the blastomere. By conducting a genetic study of this cell it is possible to rule out the disease in question and allow only healthy embryos to be transferred.
this makes it possible to detect any kind of anomalies in the embryo or foetus. Advances in cytogenetic, biochemical and high-resolution ultrasound scan techniques mean that 80% of congenital defects. The most widespread method is amniocentesis (extraction of the amniotic fluid to study the kariotype of the foetus) in weeks 14-16 of gestation.
the term given to the condition of those couples who achieve a gestation but this does not carry through to a normal newborn baby.
when the couple, after a year and a half of sexual relations without contraception, have not achieved a pregnancy
A female sexual hormone secreted by the corpus luteum of the ovaries after ovulation. In this way, the uterus prepares itself for pregnancy.
A hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. It prepares the breasts for lactation and maintains the lactation process.
A term that refers to the multiplication of cells.
During ejaculation, the sperm in the semen move towards the bladder. This syndrome is related to resections of the prostate and with neuropathic complaints such as the one associated to long-term diabetes.
after a normal pregnancy and birth, a couple is unable to achieve a new gestation that carries through to a normal newborn baby.
that of the couple who alter the birth of the first child does not achieve another pregnancy in the next 2 to 3 years of unprotected sex.
Spermatozoa and seminal secretions ejaculated during the male orgasm.
A diagnostic test that measures the concentration of spermatozoa, their mobility and morphology, in order to rule out or detect possible alterations.
A treatment carried out on semen samples of men infected by the HIV and/or CHV viruses in order to eliminate the viruses and be able to use the samples safely in assisted reproduction without infecting the mother or the foetus – once absence of the virus has been confirmed by nested-PCR, an analytical test that detects any remains of a virus with almost 100% accuracy.
Gametes produced by the male sexual organs.
An individual’s or a couple’s inability to carry a pregnancy to term.
Male sexual organs. They are contained in the scrotum, secrete the male hormone (testosterone) and produce the male reproductive cells (spermatozoa).
Surgical procedure to obtain testicular parenchyma. The objective may be to diagnose an organic pathology or to diagnose or search for sperm in cases of azoospermia.
Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)
A method of microsurgery that extracts the sperm directly from the testicles following a biopsy of testicular tissue.
Male sex hormone produced by the testicles and the adrenal gland. It is responsible for the development of most of the physical characteristics of the adult male.
Uterine myoma or fibroid
A benign tumour growing in the muscle tissue. It may affect reproductive function, depending on its size and its relation to the endometrial line.
A pear-shaped organ that contains and feeds the foetus throughout pregnancy. It also creates strong, rhythmic contractions to push it out during birth.
Dilation of one of the two veins that carry blood in the scrotum, caused by a problem with the testicular valves. Around 40% of
cases of male infertility
are due to this cause.
The sperm-carrying ducts.
A method for freezing ova by immersing them directly into liquid nitrogen at -196ºC. The main advantage of this method is that no ice is formed, unlike what occurs in traditional freezing, when matter solidifies into ice crystals that can damage the ovum by acting like blades on the cell structures.
First stage of development of the embryo, the fertilized ovum
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