C/ Manuel de Falla, 6-8. 28036 - Madrid (España) Tel. +(34) 914 585 804 - Fax +(34) 914 571 756
Why are there more fertility clinics now than before?
Social factors have changed over the past 20 years. In the past couples used to get married and have children at a much younger age than at present. Life 20 years ago didn´t have as much stress and people didn´t travel as much as now. Stress, travel and both members of the couple working full-time make pregnancy more difficult. Other times women who have had their tubes tied or men who have undergone a vasectomy later decide they want children again.
Has fertility decreased in the last 20 years ago?
There are factors that have undoubtedly contributed to a decrease in fertility. Smoking, alcohol and drugs can decrease sperm counts and egg quality. It is thought that pollution and food with additives also influence fertility. However, a major factor that contributes to an increase in sterility is the fact that couples are delaying parenthood until they are older.
Is it true that infertility is always the woman’s fault?
This is false. First of all, we don’t like to blame anybody. The couple needs to realize that this is a process that they have to get through together. The female factor contributes to infertility in 30% of the cases, men in 30%, while both have problems in 30%. The remaining 10% are cases of unexplained infertility.
How can I know if I ovulate or not?
In a 28-day cycle, ovulation takes place around day 14. About 24 hours later, the woman’s temperature rises if ovulation has taken place. At present, pharmacies sell ovulation kits and it is possible to check and see when is the best time to have sex.
In our assisted reproduction clinic, ovulation is monitored by transvaginal ultrasound scans on different days of the cycle and hormone levels in the blood are checked to see if the necessary hormone surges have taken place to ovulate. This helps spontaneous conception.
My doctor says I don’t ovulate every month. How can I have my period if I don’t ovulate?
Most women with a regular cycle (26-35 days) ovulate every month. To have regular cycles the hormones that make the endometrium grow and mature have to synchronize with ovulation in the middle of the cycle. In patients with longer or irregular cycles (30-90 days) their bodies are secreting hormones all this time so that the endometrium grows. If ovulation does not occur, the endometrium sheds spontaneously. This process causes long and irregular cycles and sometimes in these cycles there is no ovulation.
I had my tubes tied. Is there any way I can get pregnant?
Life is unpredictable and sometimes a woman decides she wants to have more children, after having had her tubes tied. The easiest option is to undergo in vitro fertilization. In this process, first the woman undergoes ovarian simulation, then egg retrieval; the egg and the sperm are mixed in the lab for fertilization, and 2 to 5 days later, the embryos are transferred. In this process, the egg does not have to go through the Fallopian tubes and the woman can achieve pregnancy with tied tubes.
How many fresh embryos are transferred in each cycle?
At present, the tendency is to replace fewer embryos. For women under 35 in their first IVF cycle we recommend transferring one and no more than two high quality embryos. For patients over 35 and younger women who have failed to conceive in a previous IVF cycle, usually two embryos are transferred. The transfer of three embryos is done only occasionally due to the high risk of multiple births.
Does your clinic have a program of egg donation? Is there a waiting list?
In our clinic we have an egg donation program with no waiting list. The waiting period before initiating treatment can vary depending on the time it takes to find the most adequate donor for the recipient and it also depends on how long it takes to synchronize their periods.
Is there a high probability of congenital anomalies in children born from frozen embryos?
Many long-term studies exist today about children born through frozen embryo transfer. There is no greater probability of congenital anomalies is these children than in children born with other assisted reproduction techniques.
Is there a higher probability of congenital anomalies in children born using assisted reproduction techniques than in spontaneously conceived children?
At present this question is under debate. Some scientific reports find no difference between the two groups of children and others find a slight increase in children who were born using assisted reproduction. What is unclear is if the alterations found in some studies are due to reproduction techniques or to the profile of subfertile people who may have issues such as the older age of the mother, being overweight or having other diseases. The debate is still open is to whether it is nature or nurture i.e. if the quality of the gametes are not as good as in spontaneous pregnancy or if the fact that the embryo goes thru the lab affects it in any way.
Does the couple together or one member often need psychological support during the process?
Frequently one member or both feel overwhelmed, stressed and hopeless. It is important to talk about these feelings so they don’t spin out of control. Our psychologists are specialized in treating fertility patients. Support is a vital part of fertility treatments so that the patients do not suffer pathologically during the process.
Is it possible to select the sex of my child?
Spanish law does not currently allow the selection of the sex of your child. However, it is permitted in other countries, such as the United States.
Does Spanish law contemplate the possibility of using surrogate mothers?
In Spain, the law does not currently permit surrogate motherhood. However, it is possible in countries such as India, Russia and the United States.
Are food and eating habits important in fertility treatments?
Dietary habits influence heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, but until recently it was not known to what degree they affect fertility.
Recent studies carried out at Harvard University confirm dieting can influence patients don´t ovulate correctly which make up almost 25% of patients who have fertility problems. It is also known that testosterone levels in overweight men are lower and this can also decrease their reproductive potential.
Being overweight in women is associated with a decrease in embryo implantation during reproduction treatments.