Embryology

Infertility has a range of causes, which include lifestyle, eating habits or environmental factors. One current avenue of interest for environmental cause for infertility is vitamin D, with an estimated 20-52% of women of reproductive age being vitamin D-deficient. If vitamin D has an effect on human reproduction, it may impact on assisted reproductive technology (ART) outcomes.

Uterus transplantation is a surgical technique in which a healthy and functional uterus is temporarily transplanted into a woman whose uterus is absent or dysfunctional (1, 2). Thereby, uterine transplant is a potential treatment for absolute uterine factor infertility (AUFI), where normal embryonic implantation cannot occur. AUFI causes up to 3-5% of female infertility cases worldwide, whose underlying conditions are (Figure 1) (1):Congenital uterine agenesis (Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser-Syndrome). This syndrome causes the vagina and uterus to be underdeveloped or absent, although external genitalia remains normal.Congenital uterine malformations, such as hypoplastic uterus or bicornuate/unicornuate uterus.Hysterectomy. Surgically absent uterus due to a uterine rupture, atony, invasive placentation or uncontrolled bleeding.Acquired condition, such as intrauterine adhesions or leiomyoma.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that attacks and weakens the immune system (body's defense) against infections, diseases and some types of cancer. The most advanced stage of HIV infection is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which can take from 2 to 15 years to develop after infection (1).At least 36.9 million people have been estimated to be infected by HIV. In the past, patients were given short life expectancy but, due to the introduction of combined antiviral therapies, HIV is now classed as a chronic disease. Estimations from the World Health Organization (WHO) are that, between 2000 and 2017, the number of new infections and deaths were reduced by 36% and 38%, respectively. As a result, nowadays there are more HIV carriers who can enjoy a normal life, which allows them to pursue family planning. Nevertheless, certain risk

A couple seeking assisted reproduction treatment can choose either to use their own oocytes (eggs) or those from a third party (donor). In the latter case, oocytes will be inseminated with the partner’s semen or donor semen. INDICATIONS TO USE DONATED OOCYTES Advanced maternal age (>35 years): main reason to carry out an egg donation treatment Genetic diseases Low egg quality Previous failed IVF treatments Figure 1. Representation of the decreasing number of oocytes (1). At birth, the number of…

Figure 1. Embryologist. Member of Embryologist Media Team performing assisted reproduction procedures. It is estimated that 186 million people in the world have infertility issues. Infertility is defined as the inability to achieve conception by natural means through unprotected sexual intercourse after one year. Gynaecologists, andrologists, nurses and psychologists are the professionals who attend to couples from the very beginning. However, there are also other important professionals in fertility centres who work discreetly and with no direct contact with patients, and yet help them…

Once someone is diagnosed with any kind of disease, the first step is to decide the appropriate treatment. In many cases, such treatment can seriously affect the reproductive capacity, and so it is important to consider the option of fertility preservation (FP) when it comes to individuals at reproductive age or prepubertal children (2, 3) (Figure 1).Although most of the articles about FP are related to oncology patients (4, 5, 6, 7), there are other diseases and situations in which considering FP may be also important. Some of these diseases include autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus (8) or genetic conditions that can cause premature ovarian insufficiency in women, such as Turner’s syndrome or fragile X-related mental retardation, or hypogonadism and azoospermia/oligozoospermia in men, like in individuals with Klinefelter’s syndrome (reviewed in 2). Moreover, other circumstances exist in which FP must be considered, such as sex reassignment surgeries (2) or a variety of social reasons that may end up hampering or delaying parenthood to otherwise perfectly fertile couples (9).

Modified from (1). WHAT IS “CROSS BORDER REPRODUCTIVE CARE”? Accessibility of patients suffering from infertility to appropriate treatments may greatly vary depending on which country or region they reside in. The availability of appropriate care, its quality, cost or regulatory restrictions may push patients into seeking treatment abroad (2). Furthermore, these limitations may also include privacy issues, involving the social stigma that may be associated with certain treatments (surrogacy, sex selection, preimplantation genetic diagnosis…) in certain cultures. Such a situation…

Figure 1. Representation of some of the different sources for artificial gametes (1). INTRODUCTION Nowadays, assisted reproduction technologies (ART) are routine medical procedures that help couples with problems to conceive naturally. Since the birth of Louise Brown in 1978, the first in vitro fertilization (IVF) baby, important advances in the field of infertility have been achieved. For instance, ovulation can now be controlled by the use of modern and improved drugs, and the latest enhancements in culture conditions allow to better mimic the actual…

Figure 1. Representation of the parallel growth of follicles and maturation status of oocytes. During embryo development, germ cells are associated to each other in multinucleated cell accumulation called cysts. Each of these cysts contains multiple oogonia, the cells that will eventually become the oocytes. At birth, oogonia are already individualized as oocytes and surrounded by ovarian cells, forming a structure called primordial follicle. Some of the follicles eventually grow due to proliferation of the oocyte-surrounding cells (follicular cells), while…

The latest advances in assisted reproduction technologies have managed to make incredible things come true. Current advances are changing the lives of millions of people, giving them the opportunity to form their own family. One of the options that have opened new possibilities for parenthood is surrogacy. Perhaps, this is not as common as others, but it certainly hits the media every now and then. However, what have you heard about it? The following points are the main aspects everyone should know about this option:

Infertility is considered a clinical condition, defined (by consensus) by the failure to achieve natural pregnancy after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse (1). It implies serious psychological consequences, and so it results in a stressful experience for infertile couples (2). The prevalence of infertility has increased since 1955, and nowadays it affects at least 15% of couples in reproductive age (1, 2).A series of different factors in lifestyle can be altered in order to enhance the overall welfare. It is important to remember that these factors are ultimately under our own control, because they play a key role in determining our reproductive health and they can positively or negatively affect fertility (1). The concept "quality of life" (QOL) refers to the well-being of individuals, and it is affected by both individual and social factors (3).

Source: https://www.thebump.com/a/egg-freezing-three-women-tell-why-they-chose-to-do-it In today’s society, egg freezing has become a trending issue, normally associated with those women who want to delay their maternity. But, what does egg freezing really mean? Let’s try to explain this item clearly from the point of view of the assisted reproduction laboratory. Oocyte cryopreservation is the term used for what is socially known as “egg freezing”.  Cryopreservation is an option for those who want to preserve their fertility. This process refers to the use of ultra-low…

Sources: https://dietistaromeoluana.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/maternita-in-sovrappeso-piu-a-rischio-con-leta-avanzata/ WHAT IS OBESITY AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT FERTILITY? Obesity is an increasing epidemic disease in the industrialized world due to changes in lifestyle, reduced exercise and dietary habits. Other factors such as endocrine, hormonal or physiological disorders may lead to this disease. Nowadays, the World Health Organisation has described obesity as a body mass index (BMI) over 30 Kg/m2 and it is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and malignancies such as endometrial or colon cancer. Also, this disease is currently…