Holistic Fertility Treatment

The holistic approach
in fertility treatment explained

Holistic Fertility Treatment –helps turn IVF into a joyful experience and puts you back in charge of what is happening to your body. Oh – and it can even raise your chances of having a baby.

It is about combining the wisdom of therapies that are thousands of years old with the cutting-edge science of modern fertility medicine. When you are trying as hard as you can but not getting pregnant it becomes all-consuming and draining.  It’s a long and lonely process.

But a holistic approach to fertility treatment can change all that.  It is possible to go through IVF and come out stronger, healthier and calmer. And not just that – you can end up with better habits and a more solid relationship too.  It may sound incredible but all the wisdom you need to find out how it works is here. Ancient therapies look at the whole person – instead of just the so-called ‘problem’.  And that rounded approach puts the process of creating new life right back into your hands. 

So you feel calm and in control the whole way through.

The holistic fertility treatment 

Doctors care about their patients- they really, really do – but 21st century medical schools train professionals to work with the physical and scientific. And thank goodness they do, right?  But what that means is that other parts of a person get left out. Things like the mental, spiritual and lifestyle elements. 

Tried-and-tested treatments such as acupuncture, physiotherapy and even the simple act of being listened to – nurture the most essential parts of us. Using them alongside modern fertility treatments can radically change the whole energy of your cycle.

Working with the whole person is about taking a step back and getting the fuller picture.  Considering with fresh eyes ; health, nutrition, lifestyle, relationships, emotions.

It’s about balance. Balance in the body itself. Balance between the body and mind.  And balance between the energy spent on conceiving and the time spent tending all the other precious parts of your life. So that you are in the best possible position to succeed in your fertility journey.

No new fruit can thrive without fertile soil, nurturing sun and life-giving air and water. The same is true for us to reproduce.  It is not something that can be done without the proper sustenance and nutrition and a healthy, supportive environment. Holistic fertility treatment addresses these issues.

Holistic Fertility Treatment
Explained by Experts

Holistic Fertility Treatment

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IVF treatment

Why more and more people are using a holistic approach to fertility

There is a growing awareness in some well-established clinics that patients are craving the human touch.  But often it feels more like being repeatedly prodded, examined, scanned and pricked for blood samples.  

Patients are deeply invested in these treatments – scheduling consultations, coping with the side-effects of fertility drugs and finding the money to pay for it all.  And hoping, hoping, hoping.  

Going from appointment to appointment, being told by doctors what’s going to happen to your body – it’s no wonder that sometimes you feel panicked and out of control.

Alternative and complementary therapies reduce stress and help patients stick with fertility treatments for longer – an effect noted by experts. That impact alone increases your chances of success.

A holistic approach can help you regain a sense of peace.  After working with experts and co-creating a unique treatment plan you feel confident you are on the right path. 

You are doing what you can – and what you are doing is enough.

Holistic fertility treatment – Who is it for?

The beauty of the holistic treatment is that it is tailor-made by experts just for you.  So it’s perfect for everyone.  No matter who you are or what your fertility history is – this approach can help.

No one should blame themselves for struggling to conceive.  (Stop it. Now! Give yourself a little shake and breathe out. None of this is your fault, okay?)  But there is a proven link between stress and infertility. 

The biggest problem is that stress leads to unhealthy habits which undermine your health and even your relationships.  And that makes it harder to conceive. 

Who hasn’t felt tense and overwhelmed and then found their hand reaching out for some candy or a corkscrew? Or scrolling through social media for hours.  Not helpful when trying to make a baby.

What the holistic approach does is provide a peaceful path through all the noise and anxiety for even the most stressed-out would-be parents.

What you can expect

One of the fundamental ideas of holistic medicine is that everyone is born with healing qualities inside them. The holistic approach helps you to discover small changes in habits and lifestyle which can make a big difference. 

You will begin with a consultation where patient and practitioner talk about general health and medical history.  You will then work together to outline a healing plan.  Depending on you and on the clinic, this could mean sessions with a nutritionist, a counsellor, physiotherapist, acupuncturist or a professional from one of the many areas that support fertility.

For some people simply taking the time to step back and look at the complete picture is helpful in itself.  Some then choose to work with a counsellor. Couples going through infertility are known to be happier in their relationship when they speak to a trained counsellor.  So that one of the most difficult and distressing experiences can end up bringing people closer together – whatever happens.  

Where fertility clinics offer a holistic approach you can be sure that the specialists in both medical and complementary therapies are working as a team to co-ordinate your treatments. 

So nutritionists often recommend that any changes in diet are started 2 to 3 months before IVF.  Acupuncture treatments can be timed to best support egg stimulation and transfer. It all works as one complete package.

Patients and practitioners and doctors work together to choose a medical course and therapies which will help unite the mind, body and spirit and prepare a sound base for new life.

That way you play an active part in your treatment. You feel fully involved in the process of getting pregnant – even though you need medical help to get there.

Holistic Fertility Treatment

What kind of treatments are we talking about?

Nutrition

Good food is a cornerstone of good health. Nutrition for fertility patients is not only about maintaining a healthy weight. The food we eat nourishes our bodies and allows us to create new life. Specialists will advise on how to find out what your body is lacking in nourishment and will guide you towards a healthier and more helpful way of taking care of your body. Supporting you in keeping yourself strong and producing good quality eggs and sperm.

Yoga

Yoga’s history stretches back thousands of years. The postures have evolved to pre-occupy and heal the body so that the mind and spirit can focus on the powerful techniques of breathing, changing attitudes and learning to meditate. Research done at Harvard suggests that women doing yoga while trying to conceive were almost three times more likely to get pregnant. Yoga teachers say that regular practice reduces levels of stress, stimulates blood flow to pelvic area, regulates endocrine system, settles the menstrual cycle.

Counselling

Fertility treatment is often a roller-coaster of emotion. Patients are under huge stress – which is the last thing you need when trying for a baby. And very soon you’re facing decisions that quickly become moral and ethical – what happens if a donor is needed, should you freeze your embryos, which one of a female couple should carry the baby? It’s a lot. Counselling helps you to clarify your thoughts and work through your feelings – so you can quickly make the decisions you need to about your treatment.

Reflexology

Reproductive reflexology uses pressure points on the feet to connect with parts of the body which need support and healing. Practitioners say that tension and inflammation in the feet mirror problems in corresponding parts of the body. For example they can feel if someone has fibroids in the womb it feels bubbly on a certain spot in the foot – apparently. Amazing! Sometimes we don’t know how things work but they just do.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a favourite complementary treatment for IVF patients. It’s often recommended before embryo transfer. Practitioners place fine needles into the skin – it’s thought to stimulate either energy or help release hormones into the body. Acupuncturists choose points on pathways aimed at improving egg and sperm quality and preparing the womb to support a healthy pregnancy. They also aim to help protect against the harmful impacts of stress.

Physiotherapy

The simple act of being touched can be so healing – and physiotherapy takes that to the next level. It can help relieve chronic pelvic pain and improve blood flow. It’s often used to work with patients who have blocked areas in their reproductive tubes – or who hold a lot of tension in their pelvis making procedures such as egg transfer uncomfortable. An experienced physiotherapist can support your body and help you relax ready for all procedures.

Holistic Fertility Treatment

Holistic Fertility Treatment – Experts FAQs

What is Holistic Approach in fertility treatment and is it worth it?

Answered by Stephanie Toulemonde, Fertility Coach, Reproclinic

What is the holistic approach? I believe that trying to have a baby is the most natural but also the most emotional project a person can have in life. So the emotional dimension is huge when a woman or a couple is trying to conceive. In our holistic approach we take into account this emotional dimension, not only the purely medical dimension. We treat patients as individuals, as a whole and we take into account the physical aspects of infertility but also the mental, the emotional and the social aspects of infertility because we believe that patients are not a sum of reproductive organs but persons and individuals.


Answered by Dr. Esther Velilla, CEO, Reproclinic

Here at Reproclinic, we can treat a wide range of patients, we can treat women who wish to preserve their eggs (fertility preservation). We can also treat single women who want to be a mum by choice and don’t have a male partner. Also we can treat heterosexual couples through IUI or IVF with their own sperm and eggs or in case they need egg donation or sperm donation program. Also we can treat women couples through regular IVF or through the treatment that we call ROPA or shared motherhood that means that one of the women is giving the eggs and the other is receiving the embryos.

So at Reproclinic, we focus mainly on offering the excellence in service and care and attention to the patients during the fertility journey because we know that the patient experience is one of the most important parts during that stage. So for that we focus on different areas. We have established a “one patient-one team” idea that means that every patient is assigned a team that includes a doctor, a medical coordinator and patient assistants that will speak their language and that will start and finish the treatment with the patient and help them during all the procedures.

Also we focus a lot on good communication and quick communication because during fertility treatment thousands of questions come up and we understand that it’s a very important stage where patients have a lot of anxiety, they need answers and they need answers in a short time. We focus on having this communication based on e-mail, instant messaging, webinars, Zoom or Skype meetings or any platform that the patient is comfortable with.

We approach the fertility treatment not only through having the best technology and professionals but also through integrating our professionals with an holistic approach. I’m talking about fertility coach, nutritionist, acupuncture and reflexologists and for that we have a wide network of professionals in different countries that can start the treatment with the patient and finish the treatment here with us. We want patients come to us in the best mental and physical health. Having that completely balanced, we will have higher success rates.

We also focus on minimizing the economical and physical stress for the patients and that means we work in two important areas. The first one is to coordinate the treatment with patient’s local doctors so the patient doesn’t have to travel and spend a lot of time here at the clinic. They can do the scans in their home country and only travel for the embryo transfer.

Also, in terms of guarantees we offer both guarantees and financial help. When you travel abroad, you don’t know what the clinic is like. At Reproclinic, when a patient enrols in an IVF/egg donation program, they can have at least some guarantees. For that we offer different programs where we guarantee two blastocysts, three processes or we have even a program where we guarantee a live birth. Obviously, as a clinic we cannot guarantee a baby born but we can guarantee not to lose money, we can give you the money back in case that you enrol in this baby-born program and you are not able to take your baby home.


Answered by Dr. Tomas Frgala Ph.D., Head of IVF Program, UNICA Clinic

I’ve been working in the field of reproductive medicine for over 15 years. Currently, I’m the Head of the IVF Program at UNICA Clinic in Brno, the Czech Republic. At Unica clinics, we are not only interested in the physical condition of our patients. We know that their psychological well-being is the basis of successful infertility treatment. The human body is a complex system, and physical health must be balanced with mental health.

That is why we were the first in the Czech Republic to develop a unique concept that combines state-of-the-art IVF technology with a holistic approach to infertility treatments. We treat each couple individually and try to find the specific cause of infertility. Thanks to this approach, we can set up a highly effective IVF treatment that is truly tailor-made. After putting holistic treatment techniques into practice, our team has grown by several experts in holistic medicine. These include, for example, a psychologist, acupuncturist, nutritionist, reflexology therapist or reproductive yoga instructor.

We achieve excellent results by combining the most modern IVF methods and appropriately selected holistic treatments. We can also help couples who have been trying for a baby for years with no results. Thanks to the complex care at our clinics, their dream about their own child may finally come true.


What are the benefits of the Holistic Approach?

Answered by Stephanie Toulemonde, Fertility Coach, Reproclinic

I think it’s important because the patient feels treated as a person and considered as a person. Their emotions are valued and taken into account and they really feel accompanied by the team which they trust with the most important project of their life which is becoming parents. I’d say that the main benefits would be serenity, trust and positivity throughout the process.


What is the role of a fertility coach during the fertility journey?

Answered by Stephanie Toulemonde, Fertility Coach, Reproclinic

My role as a fertility coach is first to accompany the woman, mostly women, in this fertility journey, to be like a co-pilot. It’s a presence without judgment and sometimes just the fact of being able to speak about things and to voice out emotions and feelings is really helpful. I would say that I’m a little bit of a co-pilot during this fertility journey.

With coaching techniques I also help them to accept the emotions that we mentioned earlier. It’s not always easy to understand how I feel so I, as a coach, help persons to identify the emotions, to put a word on what they feel and to accept it, to make it more natural. We also work on different aspects of life because, unfortunately, infertility affects us in many different aspects of our life: couple relationship, relationship with the family, our work, our professional life and projects are affected by infertility, any kind of project that we may have, going on holidays and this kind of thing. So in the end infertility is really having enough an impact on different aspects of our life and, as a coach, I help people accept all these and to implement different things in their different facets of life in order to live the process in a more serene way.
So I invite people and I help them to make projects to have other projects beyond the baby project, not focusing all their life on the fertility issue but still trying to build something aside, to have professional and personal projects because I think it’s very important not to focus everything on this project.

I would say that also we work a lot on the self-esteem because when we are in fertility treatments, self-esteem is very often affected by the treatments and by the situation. So we work a lot on the self-esteem of the person, we work on the values of the person, the things that are important for her, what she prioritizes in life. We also work on her qualities and the internal resources that she has to face different situations.

I would say also that a lot of my patients ask for my help because they need help to accept egg/sperm donation so it can be a couple who needs to go through egg/sperm donation. In that case we work on the acceptance of the donor and of this other kind of motherhood. We work a lot on the vision they have of motherhood, what they want to transmit to their babies, etc.

I also accompany a lot of single women who take this decision of being a single mom with a sperm donor. It’s a decision that is not easy either so I also help them take this decision consciously that is to say knowing why they take this decision and why it’s the good decision for them. Again here, we work a lot on their vision of motherhood, what they want to transmit to their baby and what kind of mother they want to be – we work a lot on all these.

To conclude, a fertility coach is a really a co-pilot to help you live this fertility process in a more positive and serene way, by dealing with all the different emotional aspects of the journey.


How can infertility affect mental health?

Answered by Stephanie Toulemonde, Fertility Coach, Reproclinic

I think that infertility affects us psychologically in many different dimensions. First, I would say that the fertility treatments in themselves are very stressful with the injections, the medical appointments, the hormones, etc. So stress is really an important component of fertility treatments. Then there’s also the uncertainty that we have to live with because we don’t know when it will end and how it will end. So we really have to live this with this uncertainty of what’s going to happen. Very often I see women who, at the same time, are trying to be optimistic and trying to be hopeful and believe that it’s going to work and they’re going to have their baby. And, at the same time, they protect themselves of a possible failure by trying not to be too hopeful, by trying not to be more positive. So it’s a very difficult emotional balance that we have to find and this is one of the main challenges also of fertility treatments.

Then there’s a lot of taboo still around fertility and infertility and lots of people don’t talk about it too much to their friends or to their circle,even to their closed circle. Lots of people live the process on their own, isolated, and this is also something that is very difficult to deal with emotionally.


What emotions are the most frequent in fertility treatments?

Answered by Stephanie Toulemonde, Fertility Coach, Reproclinic

It’s a mix of emotions. There are a lot of positive emotions, of course, such as illusion, happiness and hope when a couple or a woman is trying to conceive there’s this happiness behind the this project which is so important in life. There are also more challenging and difficult emotions which would be fear of not being able to conceive, anger also – there’s a kind of sense of injustice in everything. There’s a lot of guilt, too, especially in women – they experience a lot of guilt because they started too late or because they didn’t have the right hygiene. Guilt is always very present also in fertility treatments.

Then, there are other emotions such as jealousy which is very difficult to accept, when you’re jealous of your own sister or friend who announces a pregnancy. This jealousy is always present and it’s natural and there’s no shame to have it. It’s also one of the most challenging emotions and, lastly, shame also. Although we know that it’s not our fault, there’s still this taboo around fertility and shame is also one of the emotions that surface in fertility treatments.

I would say that all of these rollercoaster of emotions is intensified, of course, by the hormones. The emotions give you ups and downs, a rollercoaster and it’s not always easy to understand how a person feels, for the person it’s not always easy to understand how he or she feels and to accept all these different emotions.


How important is holistic approach in Assisted Reproduction?

Answered by Dr. Esther Velilla, CEO, Reproclinic

At Reproclinic, we are strong believers that in order to have a pregnancy we need to balance the body and the mind. Reproductive organs are not completely isolated, they are connected to the other organs in our body and also they are connected to our minds. So we need to prepare all of that in order for our body to be able to embrace the embryo that it’s going to be implanted and it’s going to give a baby.
When we have a couple that consult with us, we focus very deeply on trying to find out the cause of infertility because it’s very important to diagnose the cause of infertility by checking the female part and checking the male part with andrologist in order to see what’s the problem with the couple in each case in particular. And to be able to offer fertility treatment that will give you the best pregnancy rate in the shortest time possible.

We create all of that based on having the best professionals, highest technology and also consulting with specialist and professionals that will complement our fertility treatment. Here I’m talking about nutritionists, fertility coaches, acupuncturists, and reflexologists that will help you and your body to get the desired pregnancy in the shortest time possible. We are here to help you so if you need any assistance, please feel free to contact us.


How does the holistic approach affect infertility treatment?

Answered by Dr. Jana Voborska, Gynecologist, UNICA Clinic

At UNICA, we know how beneficial it can be. In vitro treatment is an effective solution for couples who struggle to conceive. However, it is not all-powerful or inevitable. We find that alternative techniques and holistic treatment are better solutions for many couples. So why not take advantage of all benefits that nature provides?

The basis of every healthy pregnancy is a regular menstrual cycle. I often meet women who suffer from heavy or painful menstruation in my gynaecological practice. They have irregular periods or suffer from frequent gynaecological inflammations in many cases. In more severe cases, we talk about the diagnosis of endometriosis and infertility. The whole menstrual cycle is fragile, and many aspects can disrupt or affect its regularity. However, we often do not find the specific medical origin of these problems during examinations.

We recommend alternative treatment or a combination with conventional medicine in these cases.

Instead of dealing with symptoms that affect only one part of the body, we perceive the human body as a whole. The patient’s mental health and lifestyle are also what we consider. Instead of pharmaceuticals, we choose a holistic approach to treatment and use herbal medicine, reproductive yoga, nutritional therapy, physiotherapy or even acupuncture. We often combine these holistic therapies with state-of-the-art treatment technologies at UNICA clinics. In this way, we aim not only for a successful outcome but also for the health and well-being of our patients during their pregnancy journey.


How can the fertility coach help you on your journey to parenthood?

Answered by Dita Groligova, Fertility Coach, UNICA Clinic 

I have worked as a fertility coach and chief coordinator at the UNICA clinic for almost five years. My everyday job is to help couples who want to start a family, but unfortunately, their path to conception has been very complicated. Many of these patients have undergone several unsuccessful IVF cycles simply because their real problem has not been properly diagnosed, or they have overlooked it.

IVF treatment is not only time consuming but also mentally demanding. The process requires the couple’s full attention, patience, and ability to listen and step out of their comfort zone. To accept an uneasy conclusion or physician’s recommendation – and this is just the beginning of the treatment. The information pressure, uncertainty and sometimes even complicated logistics cause high-stress levels to some patients, and it’s my job to help them manage it. I try to help them understand that it is necessary first to simply accept these obstacles and find the will to overcome them because self-confidence and will are crucial building blocks to a successful fertility treatment.

It usually takes only a few consultations for the couple to organize their thoughts and have a positive attitude towards themselves and the treatment.
Sometimes the main key to success and a healthy pregnancy is the rediscovered balance and calm.

 

IVF Treatment – Experts FAQs

What are the first steps of IVF?

Answered by Dr. Tomas Frgala Ph.D., Head of IVF Program, UNICA Clinic 

The first and most important step is the consult with the physician and with the couple. The emphasis is on the couple. Both partners should be present, both partners need to be examined and the results of these exams have to be taken into account when we plan the treatment or the direction which we’re going to take.

One of the crucial examinations is the spermiogram in the gentleman, analysis of his sperm cells. It’s an ultrasound in the woman. Of course, the patient’s history is very important and eventually their previous treatment. Also, blood tests in the woman or both partners are usually performed during the first consult.


What tests should I have before IVF?

Answered by Dr. Tomas Frgala Ph.D., Head of IVF Program, UNICA Clinic 

Perhaps surprisingly for someone of the crucial examinations at the very beginning is the spermiogram analysis in the gentleman. The result frequently actually dictates the direction which we’re going to take. We‘ll see if conservative treatment is an option, insemination or indeed the in vitro fertilization, the stimulation of the ovaries in the woman, the fertilization of the obtained eggs with the selected sperm cells and the cultivation of the embryos.

In the woman, we need to individualize the response to this question. It depends on the patient’s age, patient‘s history, definitely an ultrasound is a must. Usually, there are hormonal levels examined, AMH (anti-Mullerian hormone) is a very valuable examination at the very beginning because it represents the ovarian reserve in the woman, the strength of the reserve of the eggs. There might be other hormonal examinations, there might be a blood test and a genetic consult in both partners if need be. The other examinations are usually specified based on the patient‘s history or their family history eventually their previous treatments.


How long is the IVF process from start to finish?

Answered by Dr. Tomas Frgala Ph.D., Head of IVF Program, UNICA Clinic 

If we are talking about one IVF cycle, one stimulation of the ovaries of the female patient and then fertilization of the eggs, cultivation of the embryos, the answer still needs to be individualized. It is based on the exminations and preparations that will be necessary. However, the stimualtions and the whole process of the IVF takes about 5 outpatient visits and it is stretched over a period of one month, approximately 4 weeks.

Usually, what we do at our clinics, is an ultrasound and a formal initiation of the treatment approximately 6-7 days prior to the expected menstruation. We need to get ready, we need to with the ultrasound if everyting is OK, the protocol is set and the medication is presented and explained to the patient. Then, from day 2 we usually start the stimulation. After 7 days there is a first ultrasound check, another 3 days later a second ultraosund. The stimulation part – the injections – usually takes 10-12 days. Two days later we do oocyte pickup so that represents the ovulation phase in the cycle that is usually around day 14. Then, following 5-day cultivation of the embryos, the transfer usually around the day 19 or 20 of the cycle.

The most important visits, these four, the ultrasounds, pickup and transfer are stretched over a period of approximately 2 weeks but the whole process takes about a month.


How can I make my IVF successful?

Answered by Dr. Tomas Frgala Ph.D., Head of IVF Program, UNICA Clinic 

That is a very tricky question with many possible answers and, honestly, there are some faces of the IVF procedure where you just can’t really influence the process. Sometimes even the physicians can’t but, of course, there are some recommendations that might be helpful. I know this is very tough to hear but don’t wait too long. The age of the woman is very important. The quality of the eggs actually depends on the age of the woman and their quality is best between 20 and 30, then good until 35, and acceptable until 40. After 40, it gets really complicated and there is hardly anything that you can do to improve that situation so the age is still crucial. Of course, positive thinking, the support of your partner, eventually, your family if you share the experience with them, support of your specialists, of your team and, eventually, vitamins and supplements, mostly folic acid or folates prior to the cycle. Further down the road, it needs to be individualized, this response, based on the patient, her history and her condition.


What are the most common risk factors linked to male infertility?

Answered by Sylvie Hlavacova, Ph.D., Head of IVF Lab, UNICA Clinic

Infertility affects both women and men. Statistics show that the problem is on the woman’s side in one-third of all cases. In approximately the same number of cases, the cause is on the man’s side. And in the last third, there is a problem with both partners, or infertility has another, often unknown reason.

During the andrological examination, we exclude all medical reasons for male infertility. Then it is time to focus on less obvious causes. It can often be long-term stress, hormonal imbalance or a poor lifestyle that causes conception problems.

That is why we work together with holistic medicine experts at UNICA clinics. We focus on a holistic approach to every treatment. Thanks to psychologists, nutritionists and physiotherapists, we increase the chances of successful treatment and help our patients make their dream come true. And that is to become parents.


What techniques and treatments do we offer?

Answered by Dr. Mauricio Gomez, Endocrinology and Reproductive Specialist, Reproclinic

There are many concerns and reasons for consultation from patients who come to our centre and we intend to respond in a personalized way to each and every one of them.

Fertility is not forever. In fact, from the age of 35 it’s well demonstrated that it begins to decline progressively, decreasing rapidly from the age of 38 until it’s practically impossible to achieve pregnancy with own eggs from the age of 44. The main reason is the ovarian aging which happens much faster than the rest of the body.
Therefore, at Reproclinic, we actively recommend patients who don’t plan to be mothers in the nearest future and are over 30 years old to vitrify their eggs to preserve their fertility. In this treatment, we perform a controlled ovarian stimulation and after the extraction of eggs using a safe technique, the eggs are frozen, preserving their biological quality according to the age of the patient when she decides to do it.

On the other hand, there are many heterosexual couples who after many months of trying to conceive, don’t succeed. At Reproclinic, we have the best specialists for a methodological diagnosis and a personalized treatment, from artificial insemination to in vitro fertilization with the support of a large laboratory with the best technology and means.

However, not all patients can achieve pregnancy with their own eggs either by age or by certain circumstances that severely affect the ovarian reserve. In these cases, egg donation offers great possibilities. Reproclinic has its own egg bank and an experienced donor coordination department in order to select the ideal donor for our patients according to strict regulations and monitoring criteria. In the same way and as a result of this experience and years of treatment, we also have an embryo bank offering the possibility of embryo donation that is indicated in specific cases and which offers excellent results.

Attending to new family models and demand we also offer treatments to single women and women couples either through artificial insemination or through in vitro fertilization with a great selection of sperm donors and under the highest quality criteria. In addition, for women couples we offer ROPA method by which both can participate in their process of motherhood with the same treatment where one of them is an egg donor and the other will carry the pregnancy.

We also have the close collaboration of the department of reproductive genetics which advises on genetic counselling. At Reproclinic, dozens of embryo biopsies are performed every year for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis since the chromosomal study of embryos is imposed as a necessity in more and more cases. Through this technique we are optimizing the possibilities of reproductive success. We indicate this especially in patients over 38 years old, patients with some hereditary genetic diseases and patients with structural chromosomal alterations that creates increased risk for their offspring.

Finally, considering that not all patients are in favour of medical treatments, we offer a more holistic perspective in indicated cases with natural cycles or minimal stimulation with the idea of minimizing the stress of the therapeutic process as much as possible. That’s why at Reproclinic Barcelona, you will feel at home with the best professionals at your disposal to achieve your dreams of being parents.


What are the types of PGT and who is it for?

Answered by Dr. Carmen Morales, Geneticist, Reproclinic

I’m dr Carmen Morales, a specialist in reproductive genetics and I want to talk today about PGT (pre-implantation genetic testing). This is a genetic test that is performed during an IVF cycle and allows us to select only the non-affected embryos for transfer. There are three different types of PGT depending on the type of genetic abnormality it tests. We have a PGT-A or PGT for aneuploidy that is testing the number of chromosomes present in the embryo. We know that embryos with abnormal number of chromosomes what we call aneuploid embryo are having a reduced implantation rate, a high miscarriage rate and can give babies affected by chromosomal syndromes e.g. Down syndrome that is caused by trisomy of chromosome 21. We also know that there are couples or patients at higher risk of producing these embryos with abnormal number of chromosomes. This is the case for example of advanced maternal patients or women over 37 years old and the case of couples with recurrent miscarriages or in cases of severe male factor. By analyzing the embryos and transferring only the euploid ones, the normal ones, we’re increasing the chances of a healthy ongoing pregnancy rate.

The second type of PGT id PGT-M or PGT for monogenic disorders this test is specific for couples who know there is a genetic monogenic disorder in the family. It can be because one of the members of the couple is affected by a genetic disorder, e.g. in case of Huntington’s disease or neurofibromatosis or because both members of the couple are healthy carriers of a mutation in the same gene. It’s what we call recessive disorders and an example of that is beta thalassemia or cystic fibrosis.
The third type of PGT is what we call PGT-SR and it’s for structural rearrangement and it’s for couples that are carriers of a structural rearrangement. An example of that is reciprocal translocation. In a reciprocal translocation two chromosomes interchange a piece of DNA. Carriers of these translocations are usually completely healthy but they are at high risk of producing embryos what we call imbalanced with abnormal quantity of DNA. They have missing or extra pieces of DNA and these embryos usually end up being miscarried or can give babies with a severe affectation. So by testing the embryos we can choose for transfer the ones with the correct number of DNA.

At Reproclinic, we focus the medical treatment with an integrative holistic approach. We are concerned that there are many factors that can influence the quality of the eggs, e.g. stress levels, unhealthy habits, hormone imbalance, etc. There is no magic formula for everyone. It’s for this reason that we treat every patient as special and offer them the best approach based on their needs not only from the medical point of view but also helping to balance and prepare the body and the mind. You can contact us for more information and we will be happy to help.


What is social freezing and how does it work?

Answered by Dr. Leticia Flores, Gynecologist, Reproclinic

Social freezing means storing eggs of a healthy, fertile woman in order to have a pregnancy later in your life if you don’t want to do it right now. The best age to do it is from 25 years old till 34 years old because of the best oocyte quality.
Here at Reproclinic, we do this with a program that has three phases. The first one is that you come to Spain, we have to check your ovaries using ultrasonography, take some blood samples to test your blood. Among the things we test is the anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) that is the most important hormone to test to know your ovarian reserve. On the basis of that, we can make a choice regarding the treatment options.

The second phase is to start the hormonal stimulation. We start stimulating your ovaries and you will have to come here every 48 hours or every 3 days in order to see the growth of the oocytes. After 12-13 days we do oocyte retrieval. It’s performed in a surgery room. It takes about 20-30 minutes, then you go to the recovery room for 30 minutes and then you can go home. It’s not an invasive procedure and you can proceed with your usual everyday activities the next day. So it’s really not an invasive procedure. You won’t feel anything , but you won’t be given general anesthesia, just a sedation.

After that, you will have to come to see how your ovaries are and then have your eggs frozen for the next 5 years. The program includes the 5 years of freezing and storing and after that you can make an annual payment so that you can still have them. Why is this important? Because if you are not prepared to have a pregnancy right now, you can freeze your good quality eggs and whenever you want to do it or when you have a partner, then you can have a healthy pregnancy.

At Reproclinic, we focus on the medical treatment with a holistic approach. We are concerned that many factors can influence the quality of the eggs, such as stress levels, unhealthy habits, hormone imbalance, among others, but there is no magic formula for everyone. It is because of that we treat every patient as special and we offer them the best approach based on their needs. This is a personal treatment. It’s not a general treatment. We treat you with empathy so it’s not only the medical point of view but also helping to balance and prepare your body and your mind. You can contact us for more information. We are here to help you and will be glad to hear from you.


What does the egg donation journey look like?

Answered by Dr. Leticia Flores, Gynecologist, Reproclinic

So the first question is what are the steps of the process. The egg donation process is divided in 3 phases. The first one is the medical check when you come to see a gynecologist and we check your ovaries and then if everything is OK, then we take some blood samples and cytology in order to make sure that you’re healthy.
Then the second phase is the ovarian stimulation that is injecting yourself with medication for about 12-13 days. And then it’s the third phase that is the oocyte retrieval in a surgery room that it takes 20 minutes with a sedation not a general anesthesia and after 30 minutes in the recovery room you can go home and proceed with your normal routine the next day.

The second question is how is the treatment performed. The treatment is performed, as I said, with the injections, you inject yourself for 12 days. You have to do it at the same time every day and come to the clinic every 2-3 days more or less because we have to check the growth of your follicles. You have to take your medicine at the same time. It’s really strict. Then, the oocyte retrieval is done in a surgery room and you have to inject yourself 36 hours before the surgery. The process takes 20-30 minutes and then you can go home.

The third question is what are the IVF and egg donation success rates in Spain. Spain has really good success rates in egg donation. It’s about 90-92% in IVF with egg donation. It also depends on the clinic but it’s more than 90%.

Here at Reproclinic, we are aware that many factors can influence the quality of the eggs as stress levels, unhealthy habits, hormone imbalance, among others. There is no magic formula for everyone that is why we treat every patient really special because each one of you are really special for us, not only from the medical point but also from the personal point. If you have any questions or you want to contact us, we will be glad to help you.


How are egg donors recruited, tested and screened?

Answered by Dr. Leticia Flores, Gynecologist, Reproclinic

The first thing that is important for you to know is that egg donor in Spain is completely anonymous. This means that the clinic can keep track of the donor but it cannot disclose to the future parents her identity. At Reproclinic, we select our donors from women between 18 and 34 years old because this is age when women have the best quality eggs. What we do is a deep and exhaustive medical and family history so that we can discharge any donor that has any family conditional disease. We also do 2 really important tests that are called karyotype and carrier screening test. The karyotype is a test to find out if there is no alteration of the structure of the chromosomes. Then we can detect the small changes in the chromosomes. All our donors have to have a normal karyotype to be accepted.
The second study that I was talking about is the carrier screening test. This is a genetic test that checks for the most prevalent monogenic diseases. Human beings can be carriers of genetic diseases that are not affecting us but they could affect our child if he or she was conceived by someone who carries the disease. That’s why it’s really important to do these tests.

One of the things that can be done is a genetic matching. What does this mean? It means that we will select the donor according to the physical characteristics and the genetic information that we verified in our tests. So to select our donors we also do blood samples and ovarian reserve tests with the anti-Mullerian hormone and echography to see the quantity of follicles that they have.

Here at Reproclinic, we are very proud of the quality of our egg donor program so we offer to our patients different warranty programs. Also we focus on the medical treatment with a holistic approach. We are aware that many factors can influence the quality of the eggs like stress levels, unhealthy habits, hormone imbalance, among others, but there is no one magic formula for everyone so we treat everyone individually and as special as you are. If you want to contact us, we will be really glad to help you.


What guarantees do we offer?

Answered by Dr. Esther Velilla, CEO, Reproclinic

We have two main guarantee programs. The first one is an egg donation program and the other is baby-born refund program.

In the case of IVF/egg donation programs, we have a special package RC1, RC2 and RC3 where we can guarantee 1, 2 or 3 blastocysts coming up from the IVF cycle, based on the different programs. The exclusion criterion that we only use for our guarantee is based on the sperm quality. So the sperm has to be higher than 10 million per ml, have a progress mortality higher than 25% and normal forms higher than 2%. These are not very strict parameters. The cut-off is a little bit lower than azoospermic but that is because low quality sperm is correlated with low quality embryos. So it’s a biological thing that we cannot guarantee blastocysts when there is a factor that impairs the blastocyst formation.

Another case where we cannot guarantee blastocysts is when the patient needs to perform a PGT cycle that means they need to analyze the embryos prior to transfer because there is an abnormal karyotype in one of the members of the family or the patient has had a previous abnormal karyotype miscarriage. Whatever these reasons that make the patient require preimplantation genetic testing through the IVF cycle, we cannot also guarantee these blastocysts because an abnormal chromosomal risk on the embryos also impairs the blastocyst formation. But in most of the cases, they can have the guaranteed blastocyst and it’s a very good program.

For example, in the RC2 program they have two blastocysts guaranteed. One blastocyst can be transferred in a fresh cycle and the second one will be frozen for future cycles.

The second program guarantee that we have is the baby-born guarantee program. Here we work with an external partner, a financial company, and when they the patient enrolls to that program, we have three chances of IVF to have an ongoing pregnancy and a baby born. If we cannot achieve a live birth, we refund the patients 100% of what they paid.

What is behind the outstanding results of the UNICA clinic?

Answered by Helena Blazikova, Patient Care Specialist, UNICA Clinic

The main difference separating UNICA clinic from other reproductive medicine clinics is that we give our patients the maximal individualized care possible. We have to accept that IVF cycle and treatment is a highly effective method, but it is not always the only option. Therefore, we first try to find the root cause of each couple’s infertility and treat it with holistic medicine.

We also achieve excellent results by combining the IVF cycle with supportive holistic treatment methods. In this way, we balance our patients’ physical health and psychological well-being. And that is always the basis for every successful treatment. Among other things, we advise our patients on how they can support conception in the comfort of their own homes. They use, for example, our online fertility yoga lessons. They learn asanas that nourish the female organs and return the hormonal system to balance.

 

Holistic Fertility Treatment

The Holistic Fertility Treatment section
is brought you here by fertility experts from:

UNICA Prague & Brno

Reproclinic Barcelona