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Difficulty getting pregnant: why, what to do and when to seek fertility care

Motherhood is a very important aspect of life for many women and the greatest step in starting a family. However, many couples nowadays are facing difficulties despite their efforts. In this brief article we will discuss several tips for improving the odds at home and the cases where professional fertility care is advised.

1. Are you certain you are having problems?

Despite the answer seeming obvious, many couples are actually quick to panic and unnecessarily so. By the medical definition, infertility is diagnosed after at least one year of frequent attempts to achieve pregnancy, especially during the fertile days of the menstrual cycle (also read below). So, during the busy routine of current times in particular, it is important to take your time and make enough attempts prior to seeking further assistance.

2. Proper intercourse practices – maximize your fertility potential

It is vital to ensure optimal conditions to achieve pregnancy, therefore intercourse is advised during the fertile days of the menstrual cycle, namely on the day of ovulation, as well as on the day before and the day after, with up to five days before ovulation being considered fertile as well, though not to the same degree. In women with a stable menstrual cycle, ovulation occurs 14 days before menstruation, therefore menstruation journals and phone apps can assist with the timing. If you are experiencing instability, or are unsure, ovulation tests or a visit to your gynecologist will help you.

Regarding intercourse itself, it should take place every 1-3 days during the fertile period of the cycle and ejaculation must occur within the vagina. Different positions or resting afterwards don’t affect the odds and some lubricant agents have been shown to affect sperm motility, therefore instructions and side-effects must be checked prior to use, or avoided completely.

3. Impact of psychological factors: stress and depression

Years of medical research have proven the correlation of stress and depression with infertility, with 35-55% of women seeking fertility care exhibiting symptoms. Several activities may help in combating these symptoms, namely sequential muscle relaxation, breathing techniques, yoga exercises, hobbies and outdoors activities, in particular with your significant other and, as cliché as it might sound, positive thoughts, probably assisted by keeping a journal of positive experiences. Note that some methods might be less effective than others, which should not disappoint you or make you give up. You should find the activities that suite you. However, there might also be cases where professional help is required.

4. The importance of healthy diet and body weight

The cornerstone of combating any health problem, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products, poultry, fish and with minimal saturated fats, red meat and sweets has been shown to significantly improve fertility potential in females and sperm quality in males. Dietary supplements, namely folic acid (400-500mcg daily) and less so omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and Vitamin D have been shown to positively impact fertility as well. Normal body weight, namely a BMI of 19 to 25 is also important, as extreme deviations to either side of the spectrum can lead to anovulation, unstable cycles, drop in oocyte quality and in endometrium receptivity, thus to an overall reduction of fertility potential. However, keep in mind that achieving normal weight must be a gradual process and that in extreme cases a nutrition specialist should be consulted.

5. Dropping bad habits

The usual suspects, namely alcohol and smoking are at play in infertility as well. Alcohol consumption should be limited to 1-2 alcohol units for women and 4 for men weekly, though ideally it should cease altogether, as it greatly diminishes fertility potential, especially in males, causing a drop in sperm quantity and quality. Smoking of conventional, as well as of more modern tobacco products also negatively impact fertility in both genders. Caffeine may also impact fertility, although to a lesser extent, with 1-2 coffees per day being a safe quantity.

6. Treating chronic ailments

Several common endocrine/metabolic diseases, such as diabetes or thyroid disease can impact fertility if not effectively treated. Consult your physician and ensure proper control for optimal fertility potential.

7. When to seek professional fertility care

In general, a young, healthy couple has a 25-30% chance to conceive within the first months of attempts and an 80% chance within the first year. If you have followed all the aforementioned tips and still were unsuccessful, then a fertility specialist might be the solution you need. Additionally, you should seek fertility care in the following cases:

  • When there is a genetic disease in your or your significant other’s family.
  • When you are under medication for chronic diseases, as many drugs affect fertility and alternative medication might not be available.
  • If you are 35 or older and have unsuccessfully tried for 6 months
  • If you are 40 or older, immediate fertility care is advised, since precious time should not be wasted beyond this age
  • When you have prominent symptoms associated with infertility, namely:
    • Females: unstable menstruation and or complete lack of it (amenorrhea), pain during intercourse, heavy and painful menstrual bleeding, intermenstrual bleeding (spotting), hormonal disorder symptoms (acne, increased face and body hair etc)
    • Males: testicular swelling or pain, impotence, loss of libido, ejaculation difficulties etc
  • If you have a personal history of autoimmune disorders or a family history of premature ovarian failure or recurrent miscarriage.
  • If you or your significant other have undergone chemotherapy and/or pelvic radiotherapy

Overall it is important to remember that up to 2 out of 10 couples are facing difficulties conceiving and that it not something to be guilty or shameful for. When all other alternatives fail, keep in mind that capable professionals are there to help you.

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7 Reasons To Introduce Office Plants In Your Workplace

A great way to bolster productivity and add some cheer to your office is by including some leafy friends around your workplace. Just like office snacks, office plants are a cost-effective way to brighten up your team’s workday and even improve productivity.

1. Office plants can improve the health of employees and reduce sick days

An immediate effect that office plants can have on employee well-being is the reduction of sick days taken. Plants naturally filter toxins from the rooms that they grow in and help freshen up the place. If your office has poor ventilation, then your team may be at risk of developing the “sick building syndrome” and believe us when we say – it is a real thing! Symptoms include headaches, nausea, difficulty concentrating, and even flu-like symptoms. Although plants alone cannot fix all of the problems associated with this office phenomena, they can help relieve the burden just a little bit.

Try sprucing up your workplace with Peace Lilies, Devil’s Ivy, and Spider Plants, all common office plants that are known air purifiers and will help everyone in the office breathe a little easier.

2. Office plants can play a role in increasing productivity

Did you know that offices with zero decor are considered “the most toxic” spaces for humans? Dr. Chris Knight and his fellow psychologists at Exeter University say that employees perform better when household plants are added to their work spaces. In fact, after studying this concept for 10 years, the team concluded that workers are 15% more productive when there are houseplants and decor around. Reason? Employees who engage with their surroundings tend to achieve a greater output and have an easier time staying focused.

Consider setting up some communal office plants in places where people can see them from their desk. Eye-catching varieties like the Zebra Plant, Red-Edge Dracaena, or the Bamboo Palm are great for sprucing up common spaces.

3. Certain plants can boost creativity

Creative blocks are no joke. Whether you’re out of ideas or stuck on the same one for a little too long, office plants can provide inspiration. Bright colors and vibrant smells are key to making sure your leafy buddy has a positive impact on your creativity. It’s been widely recognized that stimulating our senses can open up the flow of ideas and taking the time to literally smell the flowers can help pull you out of your slump.

Try scrounging up some Hens and Chicks, Chamaedorea Elegans, or a Cypress Vine, as these plants are eye-catching and smell lovely.

4. Office plants can help absorb background noise

With open-concept offices dominating the workforce and the inarguable distractions employees experience when there’s too much noise, having plants in the office can help absorb some of the background office chatter. This is especially true if your work space has hard surfaces such as exposed concrete walls or floors, since there are no other means of absorbing the excess noise.

Positioning larger plant pots, around the edges and corners of a room is the best way to reap the benefits. Some of the taller plants include the ‘Anita’ Dragon Tree, Snake Plant, and the Weeping Fig.

5. Office plants can help reduce stress

Even if you love where you work, sometimes stress is unavoidable. Office plants have been shown to reduce stress levels in employees when introduced into the workplace. The UTS study conducted in 2010, found that offices that were spruced up with plants saw the following benefits:

  1. 37% reduction in anxiety.
  2. 44% reduction in office hostility.
  3. Reduced chronic fatigue by nearly 40%.
  4. 58% reduction in reported depression.

Since the color green can have a soothing effect, try picking up plants like the Pincushion Cactus, the Desert Gem, or Blue Barrel Cactus.

6. Plants can help attract talent

Did you know that nearly 50% of employees have no natural light in their place of work? In addition, one in five people said they have no natural elements in their office, whatsoever. That means that a lot of us are working in a dark, lifeless space, which if you ask me, doesn’t seem like an appealing place to be. That’s why there is an upward trend of potential employees taking the physical space into consideration when searching for new opportunities.

Impress candidates with natural decor or even go as far as evaluating if a living green wall is right for your office.

7. Office plants help reduce the use of energy

Turns out, when plants breathe they raise the humidity levels in the building, and enough of them can lower the temperature inside by 10°C (50°F) or more. One study showed that a single healthy tree can cool a building by the same amount as 20 air conditioning units working for 20 hours a day.

Try some larger species of indoor trees to max out this effect and reduce the use of your office AC. This may not be the all-in-all solution to reducing your energy use, but it can sure set the office on a more eco-friendly path.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the many ways that office plants help with workplace stress, productivity, creativity and overall health of your team. You don’t have to go all out right away, maybe pick up a few plants are easy to care for and go from there. Start building your collection of office plants and discover all the wonderful ways that they benefit your day.

Source: www.hoppier.com/

The journey of spermatozoa to achieve fertilisation naturally versus IUI

Fertilisation is a complex series of events, beginning with the activation of the oocyte by the spermatozoon and resulting in the development of a diploid organism.

Everything starts after ejaculation, when the seminal plasma is deposited into the vagina and millions of spermatozoa start their long journey to reach the oocyte. Before moving into the uterus, spermatozoa will be exposed to the acidic environment of the vaginal fluid and many hostile leukocytes. Another barrier is the presence of the immunoglobulins IgG and IgA in the vagina and the cervical mucus respectively.

In the field of assisted reproduction, the intrauterine insemination technique bypasses the vagina and the cervix. More specific, the semen sample that has previously been washed and concentrated is placed directly in the uterus with the use of an intra-uterine catheter.

The next challenge is for the spermatozoa to traverse the uterus, where under endocrine control, uterine contractions mediate their transport. The last stop of this journey is the fallopian tube, a friendly environment which can host the spermatozoa for up to 3-5 days (time that spermatozoa can remain viable in the female reproductive tract) until ovulation.

At the end of this challenge only few spermatozoa (around 200) will approach the oocyte.

Water is important!

Fifteen benefits of drinking water

  1. It lubricates the joints
  2. It forms saliva and mucus
  3. It delivers oxygen throughout the body
  4. It boosts skin health and beauty
  5. It cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues
  6. It regulates body temperature
  7. The digestive system depends on it
  8. It flushes body waste
  9. It helps maintain blood pressure
  10. The airways need it
  11. It makes minerals and nutrients accessible
  12. It prevents kidney damage
  13. It boosts performance during exercise
  14. Weight loss
  15. It reduces the chance of a hangover

Tips to reduce water waste

  1. Turn off the tap while washing your face, brushing your teeth and shaving
  2. Fix leaks
  3. Avoid mid-day plant and lawn watering
  4. Shorten your showers
  5. Only run your washing machine and dishwasher when full

Sources: www.medicalnewstoday.com
greenactioncentre.ca

How to Prepare Your Older Children for a New Baby

A new baby brings joys and challenges to a family. You’re excited, but you may also be nervous about how your older children will react to the newborn.

All sorts of questions come up: How should we tell our older children that they are going to have a baby brother or sister? Will they be jealous of the new baby? How can we help them get along?

Children of different ages will react differently to a new baby.

Knowing what to expect from each age group will make it easier to handle the changes in your family.

Toddlers – Ages 1 To 2 Years

Children of this age will not understand much about what it means to have a new brother or sister. However, let your child hear you talk about the “new baby” and feel your excitement. She may not understand why you are excited, but your attitude will rub off on her and she will feel excited too.

Keep in mind, you may not be able to satisfy the needs of both children all the time—especially not by yourself. If you feel overwhelmed, look to your partner, other relatives, and friends for support and an extra set of arms.

  • Look at picture books about a new baby. At the very least, your child will become familiar with words like “sister,” “brother,” and “new baby”.
  • When the new baby arrives, try to do something special for your older child. Reassure her that she is still loved. Some ideas include giving her a special gift, letting her spend some time alone with dad, grandma, or another special adult, or taking her someplace special.

Preschoolers – Ages 2 To 4 Years

At this age, your child is still very attached to you and does not yet understand how to share you with others. Your child also may be very sensitive to change and may feel threatened by the idea of a new family member. Here are some suggestions that may help ease your preschooler into being a big brother or big sister.

  • Wait a while before telling your preschooler about the baby. Explain it to your child when you start buying nursery furniture or baby clothes or if he starts asking about mom’s growing “stomach.” Picture books for preschoolers can be very helpful. So can sibling classes (ask your hospital if it offers them). Try to tell your child before he hears about the new baby from someone else.
  • Be honest. Explain that the baby will be cute and cuddly but will also cry and take a lot of your time and attention. Also, make sure that your older child knows that it may be a while before he can play with the new baby. Reassure your child that you will love him just as much after the baby is born as you do now.
  • Involve your preschooler in planning for the baby. This will make him less jealous. Let him shop with you for baby items. Show him his own baby pictures. If you are going to use some of his old baby things, let him play with them a bit before you get them ready for the new baby. Buy your child (boy or girl) a doll so he can take care of “his” baby.
  • Time major changes in your child’s routine. If you can, finish toilet training or switching from a crib to a bed before the baby arrives. If that is not possible, put them off until after the baby is settled in at home. Otherwise, your child may feel overwhelmed by trying to learn new things on top of all the changes caused by the new baby.
  • Expect your child to regress a little. For example, your toilet-trained child might suddenly start having “accidents,” or he might want to take a bottle. This is normal and is your older child’s way of making sure he still has your love and attention. Instead of telling him to act his age, let him have the attention he needs. Praise him when he acts more grown-up.
  • Prepare your child for when you are in the hospital. He may be confused when you leave for the hospital. Explain that you will be back with the new baby in a few days.
  • Set aside special time for your older child. Read, play games, listen to music, or simply talk together. Show him that you love him and want to do things with him. Also, make him feel a part of things by having him cuddle next to you when you feed the baby.
  • Ask family and friends to spend a little time with your older child when they come to see the new baby. This will help him feel special and not left out of all the excitement. They might also give him a small gift when they bring gifts for the baby.
  • Have your older child spend time with dad. A new baby presents a great opportunity for fathers to spend time alone with older children.

School-Aged Children – Ages 5 and above

Children older than 5 years are usually not as threatened by a new baby as younger children are. However, they may resent the attention the new baby gets. To prepare your school-aged child for a new baby,

  • Tell your child what is happening in language she can understand. Explain what having a new baby means and what changes may affect her—both the good and the not so good.
  • Have your older child help get things ready for the new baby by fixing up the baby’s room, picking out clothes, or buying diapers.
  • If possible, have your older child come to the hospital soon after the baby is born so she feels part of the growing family.
  • When you bring the new baby home, make your older child feel that she has a role to play in caring for the baby. Tell her she can hold the baby, although she must ask you first. Praise her when she is gentle and loving toward the baby.
  • Do not overlook your older child’s needs and activities. Let her know how much you love her. Make an effort to spend some time alone with her each day; use that as a chance to remind her how special she is.

Source www.healthychildren.org

Everyday chemicals contribute to air pollution mortality

  • Air pollution is responsible for the deaths of around 7 million people each year — and 91% of the global population is exposed to air that exceeds the limits on pollution levels set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Fine particulate matter is a key source of air pollution. This can be directly produced or indirectly produced when other pollutants react to chemicals in the atmosphere.
  • In a new study, researchers highlight another type of pollutant, called anthropogenic secondary organic aerosols (ASOAs), which also react with other pollutants.
  • The researchers show that ASOAs are likely to significantly contribute to mortality associated with air pollution.

In a new study, a team of scientists has shown that an under-researched type of pollution, ASOAs, make a significant contribution to air pollution mortality.

For the researchers, their findings, published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, highlight the need for greater focus on these types of aerosols and the need for further research into how, when, and where they react with other pollutants to cause air pollution.

Fine particulate matter

According to the WHO, about 7 million people die each year due to air pollution. The organization also reports that over 90% of the world’s population breathes air that exceeds the WHO’s safety standards for air pollution.

Researchers have found that fine particulate matter is a leading cause of this pollution — and that deaths due to fine particulate matter have increased from 3.5 million per year in 1990 to 4.2 million per year in 2015.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, fine particulate matter can be caused directly or indirectly. Some direct sources of fine particulate matter include fires and construction sites.

Indirect sources include chemicals such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, which can be emitted from the burning of fossil fuels and react with other chemicals in the atmosphere to produce fine particulate matter.

Strong correlation

The researchers found a strong correlation between the production of ASOAs and volatile organic compounds, which react in the atmosphere to create fine particulate matter.
Using the models, the researchers estimate that ASOAs cause between 340,000 and 900,000 premature deaths each year. According to Dr. Nault, “[That is] more than [10] times as many deaths as previously estimated.”

While regulations on air pollution emission have increased over time, ASOAs have seen relatively little regulation.

Source www.medicalnewstoday.com

Human health ‘intricately linked’ to ocean health

In the paper, which appears in the American Journal of Public Health, the authors say that restoring the health of oceans should not just be the priority of marine scientists but also the medical community and the public more broadly.

Ocean health

The ocean covers 71% of the Earth’s surface and is crucial not only for environmental health but also for the health of humans.

However, human actions have significantly damaged the health of the world’s ocean. The issues that it currently faces include:

  • marine pollution
  • ocean acidification
  • overfishing
  • rises in sea level

According to the researchers behind the present article, as well as damaging the health of the world’s ocean, these issues also negatively impact human health.

Human health

The researchers highlight that around the world, swimming in polluted seas is linked with over 250 million cases of respiratory illness and gastroenteritis each year.

Furthermore, Arctic indigenous peoples have become exposed to a build-up of organic pollutants. Coastal communities are exposed to indirect damage to their health when fish stocks collapse, restricting access to food and severely reducing livelihoods.

The researchers argue that responding to this damage to ocean health will also improve people’s health. However, oceans can also promote human health in their own right.

The scientists point out that seafood provides a key source of omega-3 fatty acids, while extracts from marine organisms can play a role in medical treatments. Additionally, “blue spaces” — locations near water — also have links with improvements in people’s physical and mental health.

Source www.medicalnewstoday.com

Top tips for successful IVF Treatment

 

Are you looking for ways to increase chances of a successful treatment?

 

Tip #1 Educate

It’s a reality that as we grow up, we are often taught how not to get pregnant! So, the first tip is to learn as much as you can about your body, reproduction, and the basics of IVF.

When you start treatment, there are also a lot of acronyms and it can almost seem like you are speaking in a foreign language. But as you read articles or watch videos and webinars, you will learn about this new language. Soon, the words IVF, ICSI, PGT-a and blastocyst culture will not seem so foreign to you!

It’s also useful to identify what treatment options are more adequate to your individual circumstances. Whether you may consider having treatment with your own eggs, with donor eggs or surrogacy for example.

There is a lot of information online, and it’s not always reliable. Remember to choose trustworthy sources of information, like HFEA, ESHRE, BFS or ASRM. Joining patient support groups can also be a good way of learning about fertility and treatment.

 

Tip #2 Prepare

Ahead of the initial consultation, there are a few things you can do to prepare for it, and make sure you are taking as much as you can of that moment with the clinicians. You can start by collecting all relevant medical files about your and your partner’s health, medical and surgical history, sexual and menstrual health etc.

If you are monitoring ovulation or have done any basic fertility tests like AMH testing, pelvic ultrasound scan, tubal assessment or semen analysis, remember to bring these to the examination. The more information you have about yourself and your history of trying to conceive, the better the clinicians will be able to help you.

 

Tip #3 Optimize

Optimizing your chances of success with treatment is also about making sure your body, mind and soul are ready for what’s come. You can improve your nutrition, to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to thrive, practice moderate exercise, seek fertility coaching, psychological support etc. It’s also important to take essential vitamins supplements, like folic acid and vitamin D.

 

Tip #4 Explore & Decide

Take your time to explore and decide on the options that are available to you. Reflect on the type of treatment that might be more suitable, for example IUI, IVF, ICSI, egg or sperm donation, surrogacy.

Consider the location where you’d like to have treatment. Different countries have different regulations that may be more fertility friendly to the treatment you need. You may want to have local NHS treatment, or local private treatment, or you may prefer to go a bit further way nationally or even have treatment abroad. To help you explore and decide, you may be able to visit clinics either physically or digitally. You may also be able to have online consultations.

 

Tip #5 Trust

Finally, once you have made your decision, trust the chosen clinic and the team. They are there to support you and guide you in your treatment. Mutual trust is essential for a great experience and for safety and success!

In cooperation with Enhanced Fertility Programme

Personalized Medicine in Fertility

by Dr Elias Tsakos * MD, FRCOG
Scientific Manager of EmbryoClinic Assisted Reproduction Unit, Thessaloniki

Dr. Elias Tsakos’ article on personalized medicine in fertility was selected for publication by:

cityportal.gr

Personalized Medicine opens a new chapter in fertility, increasing the probability of success of treatments, but also their safety. In fact, with this approach, the couple actively participates, is trained and empowered through a scientifically sound and at the same time human contact with the specialized fertility team.

But what exactly does personalized Medicine mean and how is it applied? Individualized or personalized or absolutely precision Medicine is applied in a specialized way for each patient individually, taking into account his absolute personal characteristics and recognizing his uniqueness. This term first appeared in the early 2000s and was originally related to the study of drug metabolism in the context of Pharmacogenomics.

What does individualized treatment mean in fertility?

Fertility is one of the fields of Medicine that in recent years has applied the personalized approach, aimed at improving safety and the success of treatment. The individualized treatment of fertility focuses on the unique characteristics of each couple separately – such as genetic, biological, anatomical, functional, psychological, moral and mental – but also on its particularities and adapts the diagnostic and therapeutic protocols accordingly.

The combination of the personalized medical approach with the advancement of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, the accumulated scientific experience, the high technology and the evolution of the diagnostic means and the Pharmacology is a guarantee for the highest levels of safety and success.

Thorough recording of the couple’s medical history is the field from which the individualized approach to the diagnostic stage of fertility begins, as data from individual and family history can provide information on possible factors that require further investigation. For example, a history of infertility, miscarriage, cancer, thrombosis or diabetes and thyroid disease is a valuable source of information for further personalized investigation and prevention.

Also, data from the individual history of the woman, such as dysmenorrhea (painful period), menorrhagia (bleeding during the period), short menstrual cycles, atypical abdominal pain, etc., form a clearer picture. Respectively, the individual and family history of the man is especially important.

What are fertility tests?

The control of the hormone AMH, the control of the microbial flora, the assurance of the health of the cervix with a Pap test and the control of the breasts are some of the necessary examinations for the woman before the Infertility treatment. Additional tests, such as hysteroscopy, genetic testing for cystic fibrosis, karyotype testing and thrombophilia testing, provide additional valuable information about a woman’s specific characteristics and guide us to the appropriate medical protocols that are appropriate in each case. Of course, the fertility tests also include those prescribed and defined by law, such as hysterosalpingography, genetic and infectious disease testing, hormonal testing, and ultrasound.

In the case of the man, his general health, but also the condition of his genetic material, are evaluated with examinations -beyond the classic sperm diagram- such as the microbial examination of the sperm, the control of the fragmentation of the sperm DNA (DFI test), the hormonal control and karyotype and cystic fibrosis control. In fact, in special cases, the assistance of a specialized urologist-andrologist is necessary, so that the evaluation is complete and the conditions before the IVF treatment have been optimized. Personalized diagnosis addresses all those factors that lead to increased safety and effectiveness of treatment.

What does fertility treatment include?

Fertility treatment can include a wide range of interventions, for example drug treatment of ovulation, correction of hypothyroidism, removal of endometrial polyps, etc., which either alone or in combination can offer maximum success with maximum safety.

With the individualized approach, the correct choice of the type of treatment is made, e.g. insemination, in vitro fertilization, etc., the ideal medication protocol for each case, the appropriate ancillary support (medical, pharmaceutical, psychological, etc.) and the overall strategy and schedule are planned.

Also, with the appropriate diagnosis and correction of infertility factors, natural fertility is increased, with the result that in some cases there is no need to apply assisted reproduction and IVF methods.

The personalized approach to fertility is also suitable for unmarried women, from 18 to 49 years old, who want to know, explore, maintain and improve their fertility, as well as for unmarried women who want to have children, as provided by Greek legislation and is supported by the State and the Scientific community.

* Dr Elias Tsakos MD, FRCOG
Dr. Tsakos has 30 years of medical experience, is an internationally recognized doctor and is one of the pioneers in Hysteroscopic, Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery in Greece. He is:

  • Member of the Board of Representatives of the Royal British College for Greece and Cyprus.
  • Member of the Board of the Hellenic Society of Assisted Reproduction Physicians (ELEYA).
  • Member of the British, European and American Fertility Society (BFS, ESHRE, ASRM).

Greece – Fertility destination 2021

 

Embryoclinic is proudly sharing the great experience of fertility care for international patients and is joining forces to highlight Greece as the perfect fertility destination. Every team member is dedicated and experienced to provide high standards of care and uninterrupted communication and support to all our international patients, irrelevant of their country of residence.
We aim at making the journey to parenthood a wonderful experience for all, while making their best of their stay in our wonderful country.

Warm Mediterranean climate, tempting blue sea, impressive beaches, amazing historical sites and great food – this is what we all know Greece for. However, not all of us may be aware of the fact that one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world plays also a very important role on the medical tourism map. It turns out that Greece has a lot to offer in terms of in vitro fertilisation and reproductive medicine in general. If you have been considering IVF treatment abroad and wondering whether Greece is a right choice for you, we’ll say: yes! Here are some reasons why.

It is in Greece where you will find some of the world’s top IVF clinics, combining high-quality services and reasonable rates. These units, mostly located in Athens, Thessaloniki and Crete, apply best practices and are staffed with both state-of-the-art technological equipment and trained specialist doctors. The clinics are certified by internationally acclaimed organisations, which assure not only innovation but also safety and quality of clinical, surgical and laboratory procedures.

What is more, all the IVF clinics in Greece operate under license from the Greek National Authority of Assisted Reproduction. It is a national body that makes controls, gives suggestions, collects data and keeps records of every single case related to assisted reproduction in the country. And finally – what’s probably most important from a patient’s point of view – first class fertility treatment is offered in Greece at a much lower cost than in other top European fertility destinations.

Greece has surely a lot of advantages over other countries in terms of infertility treatments and services – one of them is its liberal IVF legislation. Issued in 2005, it allows most IVF methods (e.g. intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), egg/sperm donation, frozen embryo transfer), surrogacy arrangements and genetic testing options (such as PGT-A and PGD). The age limit for women undergoing IVF treatment is 50 years old and there are no exceptions in terms of marital status. It means that all the procedures are available to both married and unmarried heterosexual couples, single women and women in lesbian relationships. In case of the latter, it is only required that one partner states she is going through treatment as a single woman and signs a notarial deed.

Greece is one of the countries that allow anonymous egg and sperm donation. According to the Greek IVF law, information on a patient and the child conceived via donation will not be disclosed to an anonymous donor – and vice-versa. Donor anonymity translates into a lot of advantages: the development of egg/sperm banks, large pools of donor candidates and the lack of waiting lists for donation treatments. The latter will surely be considered as a great asset by advanced-age patients who find time very precious and cannot allow themselves to wait months for the treatment to start.

Feeling convinced? We suppose so! However, if you are still not sure whether your IVF treatment should be performed in Greece, we encourage you to follow the campaign Greece – Fertility Destination 2021 that commences on October 1, 2020. In the upcoming 6 months, the campaign will make you familiar with all the available treatment options in Greece and some of the most acclaimed IVF clinics that accept international patients.

The campaign’s online events will present you with a unique chance to get to know some of Greece’s leading fertility specialists and trusted IVF coordinators who will share some useful advice on fertility treatment in our country. And who knows, maybe you will find your future fertility team among them?

The campaign is organised by eggdonationfriends.com and fertilityclinicsabroad.com – two well known websites for patients seeking IVF treatment options abroad. It is also supported by more than 30 ambassadors worldwide and special Patron from Greece – ELITOUR – Greek Medical Tourism Council.

Read more about Greece – Fertility Destination 2021