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“Social Freezing”

Emancipated family planning or a lifestyle trend?

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“I am frightened – to be more precise – it is almost like a feeling of panic, when I think about the ticking of my biological clock!”

“I am going to have ovarian surgery, and I am concerned about the impact this may have on my fertility.”

Our experience has shown that these scenarios reflect the worries of many women. Most of them are under enormous pressure when it comes to family planning. More and more physicians have to deal with their patients’ desire to take precautionary measures. Modern reproductive medicine offers the option of female fertility preservation, which is often referred to as “Social Freezing”.

But what does this mean in practical terms?
Read more…

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On the trail of Lindbergh

This is about pioneers, innovations and heart’s desires

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It was Charles Lindbergh’s ambitious goal to be the first pilot to fly an aircraft non-stop across the Atlantic. This made him a pioneer in the history of aviation. Being a pioneer in the field of reproductive medicine, Prof. Herbert Zech has always been concerned with helping couples all over the world to overcome unwanted childlessness.

30 years ago, he founded the IVF Centers Prof. Zech in Bregenz, thus setting global standards. He managed for instance to fulfill the heartfelt desire of the first couples undergoing fertility treatment in Russia (former USSR) and Hungary. Read more…

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Egg retrieval – Narcosis performed by experienced anesthetists

Part 4 of the series »Fertility treatment process«

by | Published on 4. February 2014, in Treatment.
[← back to the article overview of the series »Fertility treatment process«]
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In order to provide couples undergoing IVF treatment with optimum treatment conditions, the specialists at the IVF Centers Prof. Zech in Bregenz are supported by a team of anesthetists – the Bodensee ANÄSTHESIE GbR. The medical specialists Michael Brandt, Erich Goldscheider and Andreas Franz are working on an outpatient basis, using the latest anesthesia techniques in various clinics and medical practices in the Lake Constance region. Apart from working with the highest quality standards, their main focus is always on people.

This will be of paramount importance, in particular shortly before oocyte retrieval (follicular puncture), a time which, for many patients, can be extremely nerve-racking and disturbing. In order to relieve the strain on the couple, at the IVF Centers Prof. Zech there is always a joint discussion with the patient, the treating doctor and the anesthetist about the details of the intervention under short-term anesthesia (sedoanalgesia).
Read more…

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“Down…Set…Go!”

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The hormonal stimulation of the woman can give the decisive impetus for the long-awaited offspring. The body is gently prepared for pregnancy. Ovarian stimulation is aimed at inducing the maturation of multiple that contain the maturing oocytes. This requires a targeted and perfectly timed approach. It is actually comparable to a group of children taking part in a 100-meter-sprint. If they are well- trained and prepared, they will exactly know what to do and will therefore start running at the same time. Without the necessary training, however, they would probably perform in an uncoordinated and chaotic way, and the desired success would fail to materialize.

At the IVF Centers Prof. Zech we mainly use the so-called Long-Protocol for ovarian stimulation. The aim is to obtain the highest possible number of oocytes during follicular puncture for the subsequent fertilization with the partner’s sperm. Read more…

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When the immune system is „up to no good“

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…then these patients suffer from so-called autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The disorder leads to a chronic inflammation of the thyroid, thus impairing the reproductive health of these patients. Patients undergoing treatment at the
IVF Centers Prof. Zech are routinely tested for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and, if necessary, receive appropriate treatment.

The disorder was named after the Japanese physician Hakaru Hashimoto, who was the first to describe it in 1912. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a condition resulting from chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland (chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis). The “misguided” immune system mistakenly produces antibodies that attack healthy thyroid tissue and cause damage to it. The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system and produces hormones that play an essential role in human metabolism.
Read more…

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When pregnancy either fails to occur or ends tragically…

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…the underlying causes will be investigated. Couples who failed to conceive after several IVF attempts or who experienced recurrent pregnancy loss or repeated miscarriages are under particular strain. Worldwide, IVF specialists work feverishly on analyzing the reasons for miscarriages and embryo implantation failure in order to be able to provide successful therapy.

Many conditions during pregnancy are interpreted as disorders in the vascular supply and are considered to be a mild form of a so-called thromboembolic condition, i.e. a condition in which a blood clot forms inside a vessel (about 30% of the cases are concerned).
It is therefore important to recognize what impacts congenital or acquired coagulation disorders may have on human procreation and treat them accordingly. Read more…

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Having a career and children – you can do both

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Today, women are more highly educated and skilled than in the past. The proportion of women who graduated from high-school has greatly increased and there are more women on the executive floors than 10 years ago. However, there is a downside to this professional commitment: These days, women are postponing motherhood and family planning to a later age – and may suffer the consequences, because it might already be too late by then…

Birth Rate: Declining
There are fewer births in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and many other European countries. The state makes its best efforts to reverse the trend – however, child allowance, expansion of daycare centers for children, paternity leave, child care subsidy, and any other supporting action by the public authorities seem to be totally ineffective.
The declining birth rates have become (once again) a source of media attention, producing sobering headlines with monotonous regularity: “Germany – bottom of the league when it comes to birth rates in Europa“, “Not keen on KIDS“, “Having children is as unattractive as it has ever been“. Various studies attempt to provide explanations for this “trend” and blame it on the lack of child-friendliness, the concerns of women to depend again on outdated role models and, last but not least, on the most challenging problem of all: finding a way to balance career and family. Read more…

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Risks and side effects lurk in everyday life …

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Whether it is about foodstuffs, body care products, cleaning agents or other everyday items, we are constantly exposed to various additives, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers, preserving agents, colorants, chemicals and many other harmful substances. Depending on their relevant substance class and quantity, these compounds may present a health hazard, can be irritant, poisonous and/or have a negative impact on our reproductive health. Read more…

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Fear of injections?

by | Published on 20. July 2013, in Treatment.
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If so, you are only one among many! For many patients, the start of an IVF treatment is associated with a great deal of discomfort, since the regular injections of hormone preparations present a major challenge to them. This is perfectly normal and absolutely understandable.

Most patients, however, will get used to giving themselves injections after having overcome the demanding initial phase. After all, the injections bring you closer to fulfilling your dream of conceiving and giving birth to your longed-for child. Read more…

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Stress test for spermatozoa

Egg and sperm contribute equally to the successful development of the embryo. Nuclear vacuoles in the sperm head are associated with reduced natural fertility in men. Questions arise about what causes the nuclear vacuolization.

Do we, as biologists, even promote the development of vacuoles in the laboratory without knowing?

Analysis of nuclear vacuoles at 6.000-X magnification

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