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1. Fertility treatments
If you would like to fulfil your dream of having children here at Barcelona IVF we offer you the answers to your infertility problems, with the most innovative assisted reproduction treatments. Our team of experts supported by more than 20 years’ experience will help you find the most suitable treatment for you.
Artificial insemination: Artificial Insemination is a fertility treatment in which a sperm sample from your partner or from a donor is placed inside the uterus. If the problem in conceiving is caused by low sperm quality or by an ovarian dysfunction, due to polycystic ovaries for example, this would be the most suitable treatment.
- In vitro fertilisation (IVF): IVF is a treatment where the egg is fertilized with a spermatozoon in the laboratory aiming to create better embryos to introduce in the uterus. It is the most effective option when other fertility treatments have been unsuccessful or when there are other problems, such as endometriosis, lesions, lack of Fallopian tubes or severe sperm quality problems.
- Donation: Donation is a good solution when trying to avoid any problems existing in the eggs or spermatozoa. If you would like to help other couples achieve their dream of becoming parents, you can donate your eggs, sperm or embryos.
- Fertility preservation: The freezing or vitrification of eggs at an age where they still have good pregnancy potential allows maternity to be postponed until the best moment with full guarantee.
- Reciprocal IVF: If you are a female couple and both thinking of participating in a pregnancy project, Reciprocal IVF is your best option. One woman will provide her eggs functioning as the donor, and the other will receive the embryo transfer functioning as the recipient.
Barcelona IVF is an assisted reproduction centre with excellent in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and egg donation results. We have a top-quality assisted reproduction laboratory at our disposal where latest technologies are applied: Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI), Embryoscope and blastocyst culture, which we perform in more than 95% of all embryo transfers. This places us at the highest level of quality to achieve the best pregnancy rates.
The eggs are not extracted and frozen individually but rather in groups. Usually with each menstrual cycle, our body uses between 20 and 50 eggs for ovulation, depending on the woman. Of these, usually only one egg ovulates naturally, which is the one which reaches the best maturity. In order to undergo vitrification, hormone stimulation is performed to try to recover all these eggs and to try to collect around 15 or 20 to freeze.
2. Egg donation
There are many couples with fertility problems who cannot become pregnant; they have to resort to egg, sperm or embryo donation to achieve a pregnancy. On the other hand, women increasingly want to help others achieve a pregnancy and decide to become an egg donor.
Egg donation is recommended in cases where the woman cannot achieve a pregnancy with her own eggs. The most common, albeit not the only, causes are:
- Low egg quality
- Low ovarian reserve after repeated in vitro fertilisation failures
- Genetic disorders
Donor selection is one of the most important processes in egg donation. They are young women, primarily aged between 20 and 30, who previously underwent testing to dismiss that they suffer from any type of problem, both physical or mental.
It should be stressed that at Barcelona IVF, we perform a test on our donors to dismiss more than 400 possible hereditary diseases, thus ensuring the highest quality in the selection process. The medical team will choose the donor in each case so that they have the greatest similarity to the patient, both physically and in terms of blood group.
Egg donation at Barcelona IVF is an effective and safe fertility treatment for all those women that are trying to become pregnant and who have been diagnosed with an egg condition that cannot be resolved any other way. The success of egg donation is around 80% and does not depend on the woman’s age, which makes it the best option to achieve a pregnancy in women aged over 43.
These days, assisted reproduction offers women an alternative: fertility preservation through ovarian vitrification. By vitrifying eggs at a suitable age, women can have the option in the future if they decide to postpone maternity. It is a process that does not ensure pregnancy completely but is an alternative to egg donation.
3. Fertility preservation
Preserving a woman’s fertility consists of freezing her eggs at an age where they still have good potential to achieve a pregnancy.
Fertility preservation in women is recommended in the following cases:
- When a woman wishes to postpone childbearing.
- When a woman will receive treatment which may affect her reproductive potential.
The eggs can stay frozen for the necessary period of time without any effect on their quality.
In order to use these eggs, they must be thawed in the laboratory for fertilisation with sperm from the partner or a donor. The collected embryos are maintained in culture to be transferred 5 days later. The embryos that have not been transferred will be frozen.
The woman will have to prepare her endometrium with oestrogen and progesterone hormone replacement therapy in order to receive the embryos.
From the moment the embryos are implanted in the uterus, the pregnancy is the same as any other. The data collected on the pregnancies and children born after frozen embryo treatments have not shown any difference with regard to embryos transferred without previous cryopreservation. Therefore the scientific evidence is completely reassuring.
4. Factors that influence fertility
Age is the most crucial factor in relation with the ovarian reserve and fertility.
The reason being that before birth, women already have all the eggs available to them and, throughout their lives, these eggs decrease due to a destruction process, called apoptosis.
Even though two women of the same age can have better or worse ovarian reserves, the amount and quality of the eggs always decrease with age.
In vitro fertilisation
The rates for pregnancy with in vitro fertilisation depend on the patient’s age. We can see on this graph the rates for pregnancy by age groups after the transfer of fresh and frozen embryos from the same cycle.
The rates for pregnancy with egg donation do not depend on the patient’s age. We can see on this graph the rates for pregnancy after the transfer of fresh and frozen embryos from the same cycle.
Including certain foods that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants in our diet can help us prevent fertility problems and even increase the possibility to conceive during in vitro fertilisation (IVF):
- Fruit and vegetables: ideally, a rich diet of fruit and vegetable salads, particularly with lots of green, red or yellow colours, as they are richer in antioxidants. These include, among others: kale, red pepper and blueberries. The deeper the colour, the more nutrients. For their correct consumption, they must be washed carefully and prepared with a minimal amount of cooking, so that none of their vitamins are lost. Ideally, opt for those that are organically farmed to avoid pesticides.
- Unrefined, whole grain carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, oats or rye. The refining process destroys a large amount of nutrients and increase the levels of insulin in the blood. This causes irregular periods in people with disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Foods rich in Iron: to avoid anaemia during pregnancy and postpartum; fish or shellfish, like oysters, mussels or sardines, or vegetables like asparagus, broad beans, beans and lentils.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, above all docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), are considered highly beneficial and we can mostly find them in fish. You should ideally have two doses a week (340g/week) so that the body has an adequate supply. It is advisable to opt for those fish that are low in mercury, like lobster, shrimp, canned light tuna, trout, haddock or salmon. Another option for vegetarians is to opt for flax seeds or supplements in capsules.
- Incorporating evening primrose oil into your diet is also linked to fertility due to being rich in omega-6 and acting as hormone regulator during the menstrual cycle. Due to its capacity to improve circulation, it can be used in the event of impotence related to a lack of blood supply in a man’s reproductive organs.
- Prenatal vitamin supplements that provide folic acid, iron, calcium and vitamin B complex may also be necessary and it is important to get advice from a medical specialist, since excess-induced hypervitaminosis is not advisable either.