Sterility affects 10-15% of couples in the western world. The causes of it are very varied and they include problems in ovulating and in the Fallopian tubes, as well as disorders of the semen. In the present day, different techniques for both assisted reproduction and for curing allow a child to be conceived, gestated and born. The Human Reproduction Unit (HRU) of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Cruces University Hospital hasgreat experience in treating sterility and in using assisted reproduction techniques.
So, our HRU's sperm bank was started in 1978 and was the second in Spain to start up and the first in the Social Security. In the same way, our team was also the second in the country to obtain a pregnancy through in vitro fertilization (the first public centre) in 1984.
Nowadays, the Cruces University Hospital 's HRU is a reference centre for the Basque Country's assisted reproduction techniques. Almost 12,000 consultations are attended to every year and over 500 in vitro fertilization cycles are carried out annually .
The following studies and treatments are carried out at the RHU:
This is done with restrictions considering the large shortage of ovule donors.
Couples are generally remitted by their gynecologist when they have not managed to become pregnant after one year of unprotected sexual relations. If there is previous knowledge of the existence of certain pathologies, this time can be shortened.
Following the recommendations of the Public Health System's Experts in Assisted Reproduction, women who are going to be submitted to assisted reproduction must be younger than 40 at the moment when the corresponding technique is applied.
The existing demand for attending to these problems is channelled through the corresponding waiting list. Each technique has its own and, as can be expected, no couple can be on more than one list at a time.
Each procedure of those we use involves different treatment and results. However, there is a series of generalities which are common to most of the treatments we carry out. In general, most of them require injectable medication to be administered for 2 weeks (in in vitro fertilization, this period is extended to 4 weeks) and a series of controls to be carried out through echographies and blood tests.
It should be made known that the treatments fail with certain frequency and have to be repeated (with or without modifications). Sometimes they fail repeatedly, so recommendations should be given to abandon the therapy.
Multiple pregnancy is a frequent complication of most sterility treatments. Although they tend to be cases of twin pregnancies, triplet or even quadruple ones are not exceptional.
Our HRU actively participates in teacher training students of Medicine and the Cruces University Hospital 's Resident Gynecologists, as well as those from other centres. They also have short stays in specialized gynecology departments of other hospitals to update their training.
On the other hand, in order to improve where it comes to care-taking, our HRU develops several research projects focused on human reproduction.