Tag Archive: middle east

Is There an Association Between Drinking and IVF?

Does alcohol consumption affect fertility and in vitro fertilization (IVF)? In the United States, the percent of adults age 18 years and older who have at least one heavy drinking day in the past year is 25%. Heaving drinking is defined by 5 or more drinks for men and 4 or more drinks for women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention canstockphoto42020889(CDC). Based on reports from the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 87% of people age 18 or older reported drinking alcohol at some time in their lives, and 56% admitted to drinking during the past month. These statistics are from a 2013 survey.

 

In vitro fertilization is a series of procedures used to help couples become pregnant. During IVF, the woman takes medication to help with egg development through a process called ovarian stimulation. The eggs are retrieved via a simple medical procedure. Then, eggs are placed in a laboratory petri dish and fertilized with the male partner’s sperm. Once embryos develop, they are placed inside the female partner’s uterus in a process called embryo transportation.

 

In a recent study conducted by Rossi and associates, researchers evaluated more than 4,700 in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles that involved more than 2,500 couples. During the investigation, couples were given questionnaires regarding their alcohol consumption at the start of the IVF cycle, but not during the cycle or pregnancy. The main outcome the researchers were interested in was the live birth rate following IVF. Investigators found that for women or men undergoing IVF, drinking 4 or more alcoholic drinks per week before the IVF cycle was associated with a 48% increased risk for failed fertilization. In addition, the risk for live birth was 21% lower.

 

Alcohol appears to have a negative effect on fertility. However, the researchers stress that while there is much published evidence related to adverse effects of alcohol upon the fetus during pregnancy, there is little data regarding alcohol’s effect on fertility. Additionally, experts theorize that couples undergoing IVF usually cannot conceive without assistance, and therefore, these individuals may not limit alcohol consumption before the IVF cycle. In this study, infertile couples IVF treatment photoreported less drinking than the general population, with 44-66% reporting alcohol use and 62-74% reporting being regular drinkers.

 

In a study conducted at Harvard Medical School, researchers asked 2,574 couples about their alcohol consumption before they went through IVF treatment. Based on reports, 56% of women and 33% of men reported less than one drink a week. In addition, 4% of women and 5% of men consumed at least one drink every day. Dr. Rossi, lead researcher, reported that women and men who drink 6 units of alcohol each week significantly reduced their likelihood of pregnancy.

 

At this level of consumption, women were at least 18% less likely to have a successful delivery with IVF, and men reduced chances of fatherhood by at least 14%. The IVF success rates were also influenced for men who drank beer and women who drank white wine. In this study, the average age of the men was 37, and the average age of women was 34.

 

Based on the guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), women should stop drinking before conception and during pregnancy. The link between conception and alcohol is an area where the evidence is not clear. In addition, couples who struggle with fertility are more affected by alcohol consumption than those who are fertile.

PRC Dubai offers top notch fertility treatments to help you and your loved ones succeed with your fertility goals.This includes IVF, medications, ICSI and all types of Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Call us today for the top IVF treatment in Dubai!

Overview of the Influenza Vaccine during Pregnancy

Influenza (also called “the flu”) is more likely to cause severe illness for healthy, pregnant women compared to those women who are healthy and not pregnant. During pregnancy, a woman’s body has changes in the heart, lungs, and immune system, which makes them more prone to severe illness with the flu.

 

Getting the flu while pregnant can raise the risks of pregnancy complications as well. This include premature labor, earlycanstockphoto42586901 delivery, and heart infections. Studies show that vaccinating a pregnant women will pass the antibodies on the baby so the child will be protected from the flu for at least 6 months after the birth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women receive a flu shot during any trimester of pregnancy to protect themselves and the unborn child. The nasal spray used to immunize against influenza is not recommended, however.

 

Is it safe for pregnant women and their unborn children to get a flu shot?

 

The flu shot has been given safely to many pregnant women over the past few decades. Much scientific literature supports the safety of the flu vaccine in pregnant women, as well as the unborn babies. The CDC is continuing to get data regarding this topic.

 

What side effects do pregnant women experience with the flu shot?

 

The most common side effects pregnant women experience are the same as other people who receive the flu vaccine. These side effects are mild and include:

 

  • Fainting
  • Soreness, swelling, and redness at the site
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

 

When side effects occur, they typically begin right after the influenza shot is given, and they only last for a couple of days. It is rare for someone to have an allergic reaction to the flu shot, as healthcare professionals screen for risk factors.

 

Can pregnant women who have egg allergies receive the flu shot?

 

Most people who have an allergy to eggs should not receive the flu shot. A person with a severe allergy to any vaccine component, such as egg protein, is at risk for a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. Pregnant women need to tell the healthcare workers about their allergies before getting immunized.

 

How is the safety of flu vaccines monitored in pregnant women?

 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducts ongoing safety monitoring on all vaccines licensed for use in the United States. The CDC and FDA use two systems to monitor the influenza vaccine safety for women during pregnancy. These include:

 

  • Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) – This is an early warning system that monitors for problems during vaccination. Anyone can report vaccine side effects, and health concerns that arise after vaccination. These reports also help indicate if further investigations are necessary.

 

  • Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) – This is a collaboration between many health organizations that uses ongoing monitoring approaches and searchers of vaccine data.

 

Have studies been conducted by the CDC regarding flu vaccine safety during pregnancy?

 

Many studies were conducted by the CDC and partner organizations. A review of VAERS in 2011 found no link between pregnancy complication or fetal outcomes among women who received a flu shot while pregnant. In addition, a study involving VSD in 2013 found no increased adverse obstetric events for these women, which included pre-eclampsia, chorioamnionitis, and gestational hypertension.

 

Can a breastfeeding woman get the flu shot?

 

Breastfeeding women are encouraged to get the flu vaccine, according to the CDC. If the mother gets influenza, it could pass on to her newborn infant, which puts the baby at great risk.

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Physical Examination and Testing before Fertility Treatment in Dubai

The joy of parenthood is a challenge for many couples. Approximately 10-15% of couples in the U.S. are infertile. Infertility is the inability to become pregnant despite having frequent sexual intercourse for one year. Infertility can be related to a single cause in your partner or yourself, or it can be related to a combination of factors. Fortunately, many effective, safe therapies are available to help couples overcome infertility.

The Female Infertility Evaluation

Most women are advised to try to conceive a full year before beginning fertility testing. However, for women over the age of 35 years, and people who have known medical problems that could affect fertility, earlier testing is appropriate. Experts estimate that around 40% of infertility cases is attributed to a female factor. Fertility Clinic DubaiThe basic evaluation for women with infertility includes a medical history and physical examination. Additional testing is used to further refine the diagnosis. A careful review of each symptom can include:

  • A review of the menstrual cycle pattern to determine if ovulation is occurring, or if other problems exists, such as uterine defects (fibroids or polyps) or a diminished egg reserve (related to aging).
  • Collection of information that could suggest an anatomic problem of the fallopian tubes, including questions regarding history of sexually transmitted diseases, previous abdominal surgery, and /or painful sex or periods.
  • Questions about previous surgery to the uterus or cervix, such as freezing for abnormal Pap tests.
  • A detailed social history to evaluate for environmental exposures or social habits, including alcohol use, smoking, extreme exercise, or drug usage.
  • A general review of systems, which includes questions about symptoms related to endocrine dysfunction.

To evaluate the pelvic structures and assess for possible hormonal problems, the physical examination is done. Additional hormone level testing and ultrasounds are required to assess ovarian age and ovulation. Ovarian reserve testing determines the quantity and quality of the eggs, and hormone tests check levels of ovulatory hormones. A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a special x-ray test used to evaluate the uterus and fallopian tubes. When serious damaged to the reproductive organs is suspected, a surgical procedure (hysteroscopy or laparoscopy) can be performed.

The Male Infertility Evaluation

Around 40% of couples have infertility due to a male factor. Evaluate of the male is significant for the development of a comprehensive treatment plan for the infertile couple. The initial male infertility workup includes a medical history, physical examination, semen analysis (one or more), and hormone level testing. The initial evaluation includes:

  • A review of past surgeries, medications used, and health problems.Dubai fertility clinic
  • Inquiry into family history of birth defects, infertility, and problems associated with the reproductive system.
  • A detailed review of occupational hazards, social history, and personal history to evaluate exposure to any substances or toxins that could impact fertility.

The physical examination involves an evaluation and inspection of the penis, testes, scrotum, and prostate. Laboratory tests are conducted, including a urinalysis to assess for infection. The semen analysis is done to assess sperm movement (motility), number of sperm (sperm count), shape of sperm, and if or not the sperm are mature.

Hormone testing evaluates levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, and testosterone to determine if a problem exists that could affect sperm production. A transrectal ultrasound and scrotal ultrasound are done to help the doctor check for ejaculatory duct obstruction and retrograde ejaculation. In addition, a testicular biopsy could be done to see if sperm production is normal.

PRC Fertility Center in Dubai is a first rate clinic for comprehensive workup and treatments to help women achieve their fertility goals. Patients are treated by Board Certified fertility specialists in the Middle East with compassion, expertise and diligence. Call now!

Preimplantation Genetic Testing in Dubai

Preimplantation genetic testing, also called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), is a process of removing a cell from an embryo for genetic testing. This is done at PRC Dubai fertility center to assess for diseases and conditions that could interfere with the embryo’s survival once it is introduced into the uterus. PGD is used in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process.

History of PGD

The first IVF procedure was completed in 1978. Years later, scientists began testing the embryo for potential health problems as well as chromosomal abnormalities. PGD was used in humans in 1990, and many improvements have occurred with PGD in the last 25 years. Genetic technologies used on cells removed from embryos and embryo biopsy have improved drastically over the last couple of decades.

Stages of Egg and Embryo Development

Three basic stages exist at which embryos or eggs may be biopsied to remove cells for testing. These include:

  • Polar body – This is an early stage where the polar body of the egg is removed and tested. A mature human oocyte (egg) has one polar body, and a fertilized egg has two polar bodies. This technique does not alter the egg or embryo so that it cannot implant into the uterus or develop into a fetus. However, there is the chance of damage to the developing embryo with polar body biopsy.
  • Cleavage stage – Day three of the embryo’s development is stage three. At this point, the embryo has 6-10 cells. Removal of the outer shell (zona pellucida) is performed so 1-2 cells can be removed for testing. Stage three development is important for the embryo’s development, so many IVF programs are not performing this technique.
  • Blastocyst stage – The trophectoderm biopsy is the technique performed during the blastocyst stage of embryo development. After the embryo is formed into a multi-cell mass (trophectoderm), it has a fluid-filled cavity. This biopsy involves making a small hole in the shell of the embryo so several cells can be removed for testing.

PGD Clinics

The best fertility clinics for PGD are the ones with the best IVF success rates. The clinic should have an excellent culture system in order to obtain the maximum number of quality cells for biopsy. The clinic should also be skilled in embryo biopsy and blastocyst freezing, as well as successful in thawing frozen eggs and embryos.

Candidates for PGD

The most common reason for preimplantation genetic testing is advanced age. Women of advancing age have increased rates of chromosomally abnormal eggs, which develop into abnormal embryos. Five main types of clients should use PGD. These include clients who:

  • Are having IVF with female age of 38 years or older
  • Have repeated IVF failure, defined as three or more failed attempts
  • Have a family history of inherited genetic diseases
  • Are carriers of chromosomal translocations
  • Have had recurrent miscarriages

Rates of Chromosomal Abnormality

The percentage of eggs with some type of chromosomal abnormality does increase as the woman ages. Approximately 45% of human embryos have some form of chromosomal abnormality. By testing the embryos available for transfer, we can avoid use of ones with abnormalities and choose healthy, high-quality embryos for transfer the woman’s uterus. PGD testing of early embryos will increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.

Technology used to Assess Chromosomes

There are three technologies currently being used for assessment of chromosomal abnormalities. These are:

  • Array Comparative Genomic Hybridizaiton (aCGH)
  • Quantitative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR)
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Microarrays (SNP)

PRC Dubai is the top fertility center in Dubai. After two successful decades of treatment at several metro Los Angeles fertility centers, PRC is now open in Dubai Healthcare City! Call us today at 800-4544.

Here is a video on PGD Testing:

 

The Basics of Egg Freezing in Dubai

Egg Freezing in Dubai Healthcare City

Women often delay childbearing due to personal circumstances. Because egg quality declines with age, women now have the option of egg freezing so the eggs can be fertilized and implanted at a later date. This form of assisted reproductive technology enables women to cryopreserve (freeze) eggs when they are at their healthiest.

The Natural Egg Reserve

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On average, a woman has around 600,000 eggs, which are present at birth. This supply diminishes at a rate of 1,000 per month throughout the lifespan. This egg reserve decline is often referred to as a woman’s biological clock. The loss of eggs continues, regardless of pregnancy, absence of menses, or if the woman is taking oral contraceptives. The rate of egg loss accelerates when a woman is in her late 30s and early 40s. By midlife (43-47 years of age), a woman usually loses her natural ability to have children. What is more important, egg quality diminishes with time, and chromosome defects and miscarriages are more common with a later age of pregnancy.

Preparing for Egg Freezing

Women interested in freezing eggs will first undergo a series of fertility tests to assess reproductive potential and readiness for IVF. This involves:

  • Initial evaluation of ovarian reserve – The consultation with the fertility specialist involves taking a medical history, conducting a physical examination, and assessing the rate of future success. Testing include assessing follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, estrogen levels, antral follicle count, and anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) levels.
  • Egg retrieval process – This process involves taking fertility medications to stimulate follicle growth so multiple eggs are produced. Ultrasound and blood levels are used to monitor progress, and eggs are retrieved during a simple office procedure.
  • Egg preservation – The retrieved eggs are then processed through a rapid freezing process called vitrification. The frozen eggs are cryopreserved until they are needed. It is important for the client to maintain contact with the fertility clinic so the eggs will not be abandoned.

Creating Embryos using Frozen Eggs

The process of using frozen eggs involves:

  • Thawing – When the client decides to have a child, the eggs can be thawed in the laboratory. Thawing occurs on the day the eggs are to be fertilized and should be synchronized with the woman’s cycle. Around 90% of the frozen eggs survive the freeze-to-thaw process.xxxAccordion2

 

  • Fertilization – Thawed eggs are then fertilized in our laboratory using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), where a single sperm is strategically placed into each egg. ICSI is required for fertilization because the protein coat around the egg becomes hardened through the freezing process. Around 70% of the injected eggs are expected to become fertilized.

 

  • Embryo culture – After fertilization, the eggs remain in the laboratory for three to five days to develop into embryos. While not all develop into embryos, the number of eggs that survive and progress is related to the woman’s age at the time of egg freezing.

 

  • Embryo transfer – The number of embryos transferred to the client’s uterus depends on her age at the time of egg freezing. Younger women have greater likelihood of implantation, so fewer embryos are transferred. The transfer is done using a tiny insertion catheter and ultrasound guidance.

PRC Dubai offers first rate fertility treatment in Dubai Healthcare City. After 25 years of success in the US, PRC is now offering state-of-the-art options in the Middle East! Here’s a video on Egg Freezing:

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