+7 495 921-34-26
RU EN
Contact the clinic

Expert opinion for ELLE Magazine

19 June 2013

Chief Reproduction Therapyst at MAMA Clinic, Dr. Victoria Zaletova has joined the Board of Experts for ELLE Magazine as one of the most competent specialists in the field of reproductive medicine in Russia.

Below is her interview for ELLE describing the fertility problems of modern society and ways to solve them.

According tot the World Healthcare Organization, IVF is currently the most effective way of overcoming intertility.

It’s been decades since the world first discovered the option of assisted reproductology, yet the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is still a topic for numerous questions — both, technical and ethical. ELLE has asked Russia’s leading reproduction specialists to clear out some of them.

ELLE: Is infertility a disease?

Victoria Zaletova: It is the inability to achieve pregnancy resulting in live birth after at least one year of unprotected intercourse. And it is a reason to seek professional help, really, rather than disease. And when doing so, it is highly important to comprehend that both male and female factors are involved evenly and therefore both parties in the couple need to be tested. We find that male infertility is to blame for childlessness in the couple quite often. And we do have ways to overcome it. For instance, in cases when we face lack of viable spermatozoids in sperm, we can hunt them up via microsurgery called TESE (Testicular Sperm Extraction), then cultivate them and when the timing is right perform the successful conception. It was at MAMA Clinic that for the first time in Russia a man with Kleinfeld Syndrome had his own child conceived through IVF. This disease is inheritable and normally men with such diagnosis simply do not take the risk of having children. Now they have the way to overcome that fear, because we have ways to perform preimplantation DNA examination of the embryo, which allows to exclude that possibility. It gives them the chance to have healthy children. This also applies to cases of Rh conflict between mother and which could result in miscarriage. We make sure it won’t happen.

How many IVF attempts can one woman go through? It there any danger to her health when they are numerous?

This is by all means individual and it really is more about the physiological factor than physical. There are women who went through up to 20 attempts before they succeeded. Others can hardly endure two. It is a hard thing to take — the failure, both for the patient and the doctor. Especially when there has been several attempts already. And it takes courage, strength and commitment, but all the work and all the waiting make your final success brighter yet. And it also makes the couple learn so much about themselves and each other. As for the danger, there are even number or pros and cons, just as it would be in natural pregnancy. There are certain types of cancer, for example, a woman risks developing while carrying a child (even if conceived traditionally), and there are others she endangers herself to if she never gives birth.

Who decides on the number of embryos to be implanted?

It is the mother’s decision too make. Yet, it is the doctor’s job to help her make the right choice. If we have been able to obtain numerous healthy embryos, we can recommend having them conserved for the future. Back when the cryoconservation was time consuming, the inside of the embryo would have ice particles formed inside, and the whole procedure was severe on the developing organism. Now, with the fast freezing method implemented, the embryo skips the ice stage and moves on to the gelatinous state. Our patients like to call them «snowflakes». And it is important to emphasize that they are not any weaker than the fresh ones or less perspective. The conserved embryos can be stored for a very long time. We once had patients who gave birth to twins and at he same time had their other two embryos conserved. They came back six years later, and had another couple of twins. All of them — boys, just like an ice hockey team! And all of them conceived at the same time, but born with six years difference. For an outsider this sounds like science fiction. But this is what we do, this is what our daily routine looks like, believe it or not! I don’t know what is wrong and right. One could probably argue this endlessly. We do not go into that. For the reproductologist, it is a lot like the given you need to deal with: there are a man and a woman in need of a child, with their individual problems. What you do is you gather all the information and deal with it, creating the right ways to help them get where they want to be. And we really do not take the time to descant on the universal meaning of this. It’s not our specialty.

Some say that the reproductive therapists interfere in the law of nature and perform some kind of artificial selection?

This only can come from someone who has never faced the problem of inability to have children themselves. When a couple is eager to have children, but they keep failing, there is only one option to rescue them from the despair and frustration of helplessness, and that is ask for professional help. Robert Edwards, the scientist who invented IVF, was awarded with the Nobel Prize. That is the highest evaluation of his contribution to humanity. We all should be free to decide for ourselves. And I believe it is wrong to obtrude your opinion on others. As for the «programming» of a human being, you should know that in Russia it is illegal to select your child’s gender before birth. One simply cannot come to the doctor and demand that they only want a boy. Not to mention trying to program the child’s character.

According to statistics, there is a significant percentage of woman, who, having gone through IVF treatment and given birth as a resul of it, suddenly manage to conceive again after a while without adrehing to professional help?

This is true, but usually refers to the cases when IVF patiens had been diagnosed with sub-fertaile problems. Subfertility is basicly «diminished fertility» (compared to infertility), it is a temporary phase where the copule cannot conceive but has no permanent factors not to do so in future. Sometimes, first appointments with my patients turn into healthy life-style propoganda lectures. It all comes to explaining that all they need to do is breathe out and relax, wait it out, stop feeling stressed all the time about the inability to conceive, be distracted. And then try again after things have calmed down a little bit. You’d be surprised to know how often this actually works!

Do you ever follow the lives of children born with your help?

Chief Reproduction Therapyst at MAMA Clinic, Dr. Victoria Zaletova has joined the Board of Experts for ELLE Magazine as one of the most competent specialists in the field of reproductive medicine in Russia.

Below is her interview for ELLE describing the fertility problems of modern society and ways to solve them.

According tot the World Healthcare Organization, IVF is currently the most effective way of overcoming intertility.

It’s been decades since the world first discovered the option of assisted reproductology, yet the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is still a topic for numerous questions — both, technical and ethical. ELLE has asked Russia’s leading reproduction specialists to clear out some of them.

ELLE: Is infertility a disease?

Victoria Zaletova: It is the inability to achieve pregnancy resulting in live birth after at least one year of unprotected intercourse. And it is a reason to seek professional help, really, rather than disease. And when doing so, it is highly important to comprehend that both male and female factors are involved evenly and therefore both parties in the couple need to be tested. We find that male infertility is to blame for childlessness in the couple quite often. And we do have ways to overcome it. For instance, in cases when we face lack of viable spermatozoids in sperm, we can hunt them up via microsurgery called TESE (Testicular Sperm Extraction), then cultivate them and when the timing is right perform the successful conception. It was at MAMA Clinic that for the first time in Russia a man with Kleinfeld Syndrome had his own child conceived through IVF. This disease is inheritable and normally men with such diagnosis simply do not take the risk of having children. Now they have the way to overcome that fear, because we have ways to perform preimplantation DNA examination of the embryo, which allows to exclude that possibility. It gives them the chance to have healthy children. This also applies to cases of Rh conflict between mother and which could result in miscarriage. We make sure it won’t happen.

How many IVF attempts can one woman go through? It there any danger to her health when they are numerous?

This is by all means individual and it really is more about the physiological factor than physical. There are women who went through up to 20 attempts before they succeeded. Others can hardly endure two. It is a hard thing to take — the failure, both for the patient and the doctor. Especially when there has been several attempts already. And it takes courage, strength and commitment, but all the work and all the waiting make your final success brighter yet. And it also makes the couple learn so much about themselves and each other. As for the danger, there are even number or pros and cons, just as it would be in natural pregnancy. There are certain types of cancer, for example, a woman risks developing while carrying a child (even if conceived traditionally), and there are others she endangers herself to if she never gives birth.

Who decides on the number of embryos to be implanted?

It is the mother’s decision too make. Yet, it is the doctor’s job to help her make the right choice. If we have been able to obtain numerous healthy embryos, we can recommend having them conserved for the future. Back when the cryoconservation was time consuming, the inside of the embryo would have ice particles formed inside, and the whole procedure was severe on the developing organism. Now, with the fast freezing method implemented, the embryo skips the ice stage and moves on to the gelatinous state. Our patients like to call them «snowflakes». And it is important to emphasize that they are not any weaker than the fresh ones or less perspective. The conserved embryos can be stored for a very long time. We once had patients who gave birth to twins and at he same time had their other two embryos conserved. They came back six years later, and had another couple of twins. All of them — boys, just like an ice hockey team! And all of them conceived at the same time, but born with six years difference. For an outsider this sounds like science fiction. But this is what we do, this is what our daily routine looks like, believe it or not! I don’t know what is wrong and right. One could probably argue this endlessly. We do not go into that. For the reproductologist, it is a lot like the given you need to deal with: there are a man and a woman in need of a child, with their individual problems. What you do is you gather all the information and deal with it, creating the right ways to help them get where they want to be. And we really do not take the time to descant on the universal meaning of this. It’s not our specialty.

Some say that the reproductive therapists interfere in the law of nature and perform some kind of artificial selection?

This only can come from someone who has never faced the problem of inability to have children themselves. When a couple is eager to have children, but they keep failing, there is only one option to rescue them from the despair and frustration of helplessness, and that is ask for professional help. Robert Edwards, the scientist who invented IVF, was awarded with the Nobel Prize. That is the highest evaluation of his contribution to humanity. We all should be free to decide for ourselves. And I believe it is wrong to obtrude your opinion on others. As for the «programming» of a human being, you should know that in Russia it is illegal to select your child’s gender before birth. One simply cannot come to the doctor and demand that they only want a boy. Not to mention trying to program the child’s character.

According to statistics, there is a significant percentage of woman, who, having gone through IVF treatment and given birth as a resul of it, suddenly manage to conceive again after a while without adrehing to professional help?

This is true, but usually refers to the cases when IVF patiens had been diagnosed with sub-fertaile problems. Subfertility is basicly «diminished fertility» (compared to infertility), it is a temporary phase where the copule cannot conceive but has no permanent factors not to do so in future. Sometimes, first appointments with my patients turn into healthy life-style propoganda lectures. It all comes to explaining that all they need to do is breathe out and relax, wait it out, stop feeling stressed all the time about the inability to conceive, be distracted. And then try again after things have calmed down a little bit. You’d be surprised to know how often this actually works!

Do you ever follow the lives of children born with your help?

At MAMA Clinic we usually let the parents decide whether they want to stay in touch. Some of our ex-patients try to move on without looking back, because they feel like they had put too much into this and now just want to enjoy their new lives. We don’t blame them. We are here to help, and when our job is done well, we are satisfied. Yet, most of new moms and dads stay in touch for years. They send us letters and pictures, they even comeback with the kids to let them meet hte doctor who had once helped this kid to be born. We have a photo gallery on our website with over 12000 happy pictures on it, and that is something for us to cherish.

Chief Reproduction Therapyst at MAMA Clinic, Dr. Victoria Zaletova has joined the Board of Experts for ELLE Magazine as one of the most competent specialists in the field of reproductive medicine in Russia.

Below is her interview for ELLE describing the fertility problems of modern society and ways to solve them.

According tot the World Healthcare Organization, IVF is currently the most effective way of overcoming intertility.

It’s been decades since the world first discovered the option of assisted reproductology, yet the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is still a topic for numerous questions — both, technical and ethical. ELLE has asked Russia’s leading reproduction specialists to clear out some of them.

ELLE: Is infertility a disease?

Victoria Zaletova: It is the inability to achieve pregnancy resulting in live birth after at least one year of unprotected intercourse. And it is a reason to seek professional help, really, rather than disease. And when doing so, it is highly important to comprehend that both male and female factors are involved evenly and therefore both parties in the couple need to be tested. We find that male infertility is to blame for childlessness in the couple quite often. And we do have ways to overcome it. For instance, in cases when we face lack of viable spermatozoids in sperm, we can hunt them up via microsurgery called TESE (Testicular Sperm Extraction), then cultivate them and when the timing is right perform the successful conception. It was at MAMA Clinic that for the first time in Russia a man with Kleinfeld Syndrome had his own child conceived through IVF. This disease is inheritable and normally men with such diagnosis simply do not take the risk of having children. Now they have the way to overcome that fear, because we have ways to perform preimplantation DNA examination of the embryo, which allows to exclude that possibility. It gives them the chance to have healthy children. This also applies to cases of Rh conflict between mother and which could result in miscarriage. We make sure it won’t happen.

How many IVF attempts can one woman go through? It there any danger to her health when they are numerous?

This is by all means individual and it really is more about the physiological factor than physical. There are women who went through up to 20 attempts before they succeeded. Others can hardly endure two. It is a hard thing to take — the failure, both for the patient and the doctor. Especially when there has been several attempts already. And it takes courage, strength and commitment, but all the work and all the waiting make your final success brighter yet. And it also makes the couple learn so much about themselves and each other. As for the danger, there are even number or pros and cons, just as it would be in natural pregnancy. There are certain types of cancer, for example, a woman risks developing while carrying a child (even if conceived traditionally), and there are others she endangers herself to if she never gives birth.

Who decides on the number of embryos to be implanted?

It is the mother’s decision too make. Yet, it is the doctor’s job to help her make the right choice. If we have been able to obtain numerous healthy embryos, we can recommend having them conserved for the future. Back when the cryoconservation was time consuming, the inside of the embryo would have ice particles formed inside, and the whole procedure was severe on the developing organism. Now, with the fast freezing method implemented, the embryo skips the ice stage and moves on to the gelatinous state. Our patients like to call them «snowflakes». And it is important to emphasize that they are not any weaker than the fresh ones or less perspective. The conserved embryos can be stored for a very long time. We once had patients who gave birth to twins and at he same time had their other two embryos conserved. They came back six years later, and had another couple of twins. All of them — boys, just like an ice hockey team! And all of them conceived at the same time, but born with six years difference. For an outsider this sounds like science fiction. But this is what we do, this is what our daily routine looks like, believe it or not! I don’t know what is wrong and right. One could probably argue this endlessly. We do not go into that. For the reproductologist, it is a lot like the given you need to deal with: there are a man and a woman in need of a child, with their individual problems. What you do is you gather all the information and deal with it, creating the right ways to help them get where they want to be. And we really do not take the time to descant on the universal meaning of this. It’s not our specialty.

Some say that the reproductive therapists interfere in the law of nature and perform some kind of artificial selection?

This only can come from someone who has never faced the problem of inability to have children themselves. When a couple is eager to have children, but they keep failing, there is only one option to rescue them from the despair and frustration of helplessness, and that is ask for professional help. Robert Edwards, the scientist who invented IVF, was awarded with the Nobel Prize. That is the highest evaluation of his contribution to humanity. We all should be free to decide for ourselves. And I believe it is wrong to obtrude your opinion on others. As for the «programming» of a human being, you should know that in Russia it is illegal to select your child’s gender before birth. One simply cannot come to the doctor and demand that they only want a boy. Not to mention trying to program the child’s character.

According to statistics, there is a significant percentage of woman, who, having gone through IVF treatment and given birth as a resul of it, suddenly manage to conceive again after a while without adrehing to professional help?

This is true, but usually refers to the cases when IVF patiens had been diagnosed with sub-fertaile problems. Subfertility is basicly «diminished fertility» (compared to infertility), it is a temporary phase where the copule cannot conceive but has no permanent factors not to do so in future. Sometimes, first appointments with my patients turn into healthy life-style propoganda lectures. It all comes to explaining that all they need to do is breathe out and relax, wait it out, stop feeling stressed all the time about the inability to conceive, be distracted. And then try again after things have calmed down a little bit. You’d be surprised to know how often this actually works!

Do you ever follow the lives of children born with your help?

At MAMA Clinic we usually let the parents decide whether they want to stay in touch. Some of our ex-patients try to move on without looking back, because they feel like they had put too much into this and now just want to enjoy their new lives. We don’t blame them. We are here to help, and when our job is done well, we are satisfied. Yet, most of new moms and dads stay in touch for years. They send us letters and pictures, they even comeback with the kids to let them meet hte doctor who had once helped this kid to be born. We have a photo gallery on our website with over 12000 happy pictures on it, and that is something for us to cherish.

At MAMA Clinic we usually let the parents decide whether they want to stay in touch. Some of our ex-patients try to move on without looking back, because they feel like they had put too much into this and now just want to enjoy their new lives. We don’t blame them. We are here to help, and when our job is done well, we are satisfied. Yet, most of new moms and dads stay in touch for years. They send us letters and pictures, they even comeback with the kids to let them meet hte doctor who had once helped this kid to be born. We have a photo gallery on our website with over 12000 happy pictures on it, and that is something for us to cherish.