If France opened assisted reproduction to all women on June 29, 2021, the law remains much more permissive in Spain. Many foreigners meet in the country’s specialist clinics, such as Clínica Tambre. Founded by Pedro Caballero and at the instigation of its new general manager, Inge Kormelink, this clinic is now able to receive patients from all over the world, caring for them in their mother tongue and offering them personalized attention. Fertility specialist, Dr Laura de la Fuente Bitaine tells us about this innovative center and expert in assisted procreation.
Spain, the epicenter of medically assisted reproduction
In Spain, the first test-tube baby, Victoria Anna, was born in 1984. Her birth was the beginning of a story, that of the rise of assisted reproduction. Enough to make this country, the most active in this field: in 2018 alone, 188,303 assisted reproduction procedures were carried out, which resulted in 38,966 births.
PMA groups together four kinds of treatment:
– Artificial insemination consisting of depositing the previously selected spermatozoa in the uterus at the time of ovulation.
– In vitro fertilization (IVF) to fertilize eggs with sperm outside the uterus in a laboratory.
– The donation of oocytes from an anonymous donor in order to create embryos of optimal quality.
– The ROPA method, also called reciprocal IVF, or the donation of oocytes for one of the two women injected into the uterus of the other. Motherhood is thus actively experienced for both women.
La Clínica Tambre: the Spanish fertility center
In 1978, Doctor Pedro Caballero Peregrin opened his practice dedicated to assisted reproduction, and two years later, the first sperm bank was inaugurated in Madrid, the second in Spain to emerge. In 2002, Clínica Tambre became the first Spanish center to obtain the ISO 9001 quality certificate. In 2009, it stood out by being the first clinic to establish a reproductive immunology unit for couples with implantation failures or repeated miscarriages of immunological causes.
The clinic has a patient support system with a team that adapts to each person’s language. The women are accompanied by a doctor who deals with medical issues, then by a coordinator who helps them throughout their journey. The clinic’s long experience in the field of reproductive medicine allows it to achieve the highest success rates in Spain, but also in Europe. These pioneers in assisted reproduction rely on a team of fertility experts to ensure the birth of a healthy baby.
A clinic with multiple skills
The Epidemiological Observatory of Fertility in France (Obseff) noted that 18% to 24% of couples remain childless after a year of attempts. This rate is reduced from 8% to 11% after two years of testing. In some cases, this inability to procreate remains unexplained. In other cases, it is linked to an alteration in the quality of sperm, an ovulation disorder or a problem with the tubes in women. The mother’s age is also an inherent factor in infertility: according to the latest National Perinatal Survey, this average age has fallen from 26.5 years in 1977 to 30.4 years in 2016. Now, 21.3 % of women are over 35 when they give birth and 4.1% over 40. However, after 35 years, there is a decline in the quality of oocytes which significantly increases the risk of infertility.
To overcome this risk of infertility, caused by these multiple reasons, Clínica Tambre offers oocyte vitrification. It is a medical procedure of in vitro fertilization which consists in vitrifying the reproductive cells of a woman in order to preserve them in the best conditions. In addition, the clinic offers semen freezing for future use using assisted reproduction techniques.
Cutting-edge technology at the service of fertility
La Clínica Tambre engages in several techniques:
– ICSI, the insemination of an egg thanks to the micro-injection of a single sperm
– TESA, or intracytoplasmic micro-injection which uses spermatozoa obtained directly from the testis.
– Blastocyst transfer; ie the transfer of an embryo in a state of blastocyst 5 or 6 days after the puncture.
– The transfer of a single embryo into the woman’s uterus
– Genetic diagnosis of embryos in order to detect chromosomal abnormalities or genetic diseases.
To limit the risk of sample handling or identification errors, Clínica Tambre uses Witness, a labeling system that monitors and identifies samples of ova, sperm and embryos from the start of treatment. The clinic also has a state-of-the-art incubator (GERI) designed to improve pregnancy and implantation rates. The medical team goes even further and has a facial matching program, the Fenomatch, to find donors who most physically resemble the patient. The selection of donors can also be supplemented by genetic matching in order to avoid the transmission of recessive diseases of which the patients could be carriers.
With its innovative techniques, its know-how of more than 40 years, its benevolent approach and its international perspective, Clínica Tambre deserves its rank as a renowned center in Europe.