Our holistic concept
Helping you to make your dreams of having a family come true is something very close to our hearts. It is the reason why we founded this practice, and we put all of our expertise and experience at your disposal. We use the most modern methods and therapies that medicine has to offer – all in one place, and provided by a close-knit and experienced team that you can count on around the clock. That means that you can concentrate on yourselves and your lives – something that cannot be valued highly enough on the way to starting your own family.
During your treatment in our practice, you will treated by a gynaecologist, a biologist specialised in embryology and our specialist in male infertility.
In our fertility clinic, the male partner is directly involved in the therapy. From our many discussions with our patients, we know that couples appreciate, and feel better about their treatment when both parties are involved. Most importantly, this holistic approach is designed to make the treatment all about the couple themselves – and we have daily discussions with all the specialists involved your treatment to ensure that this is the case.
Diagnostics for Women
Our gynaecologists Dr. med. Anja Dawson and Dr. med. Raquel Pozo-Ugate are responsible for the diagnosis of fertility issues for the female partner. The range of diagnostics for women at Fertility Clinic Valentinshof includes all standard procedures, with some planned in cooperation with our partners:
A detailed medical history, with a list of all previous illnesses, risks, diagnostic measures and treatments is the foundation of any meaningful diagnosis and further treatment. That is why our gynaecologists allow plenty of time for this all important first appointment.
Even the slightest hormonal irregularity can make it more difficult, if not impossible to conceive. Therefore, establishing whether your hormones are “in balance” is one of the most important steps in determining what treatment is best for you. This process normally includes monitoring at least one monthly cycle.
Women with PCOS produce too many male hormones, which prevents eggs from maturing properly and reduces the chances of pregnancy. Often for these women, additional treatment to optimise metabolism is necessary alongside medical treatment. These procedures may take a few months, but often bring very successful results.
Ruling out uterine myomas or other anomalies like uterine deformities
Ruling out organic abnormalities in the fallopian tubes
Estimating ovarian reserves
This examination is recommended for couples who have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for a long time, where there is no other potential cause for their infertility or after a chlamydial infection. The procedure uses ultrasound and thus does not require anaesthetic.
These procedures, which can be carried out without anaesthetic, allows us to establish whether there are any abnormalities in the cervix and uterine cavity.
Diagnostic laparoscopy: may be used to rule out endometriosis and to check that the fallopian tubes are not blocked.
Diagnostic hysteroscopy: may be used to rule out a uterine septum (partitioning of the uterine cavity) or endometriosis (it is carried out in one of our partner practices).
There is a range of infections that may decrease the likelihood of pregnancy or increase the risks faced during pregnancy. This is why you should get these diagnosed and treated prior to trying to conceive
Genetic Diagnosis and Counselling
Diagnosis of thrombophilia (blood clotting disorder) and further investigation in cases of recurrent miscarriage
This examination is strongly recommended for women with elevated male hormones/ PCOS.
Treatment for Women
We can carry out all standard fertility treatments in our practice – from optimising your natural cycle to in-vitro fertilisation.
- Regulation of thyroid function and other hormonal irregularities
- Optimisation of cycle (ovulation and function of the corpus luteum)
- Optimising metabolism – for example by altering diet
- Treatment with metformin
- Treatment with clomiphene
- Ovarian stimulation using gonadotropin
- Identifying and treating any potential mineral or vitamin deficiencies
Many women with irregular cycles and abnormalities in their hormone or insulin levels may go on to conceive naturally using these measures alone. Optimising your cycle takes time however, and you should allow at least 2 to 3 months.
- Surgical removal of myomas in one of our partner practices
- Removal of endometriosis (carried out in one of our partner practices)
Reproductive Medicine Treatments
- Oocyte (egg cell) retrieval during the natural cycle
- In-vitro-Fertilisation IVF
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
- Vitrification: cryopreservation (freezing) of oocytes and pronuclear stages
- Cryopreservation of testicular tissue and sperm
- • Human oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing)
Diagnostics for Men
We have established our sperm analysis in accordance with the WHO and the Guidelines from the German Federal Doctors’ Chambers (RiLiBÄK) with certification from the German Association of Andrology. Our specialist in andrology, Private Lecturer Dr. med. Ulrich A. Knuth is responsible for male diagnostics.
- Extensive medical history and counselling
- Evaluation of the sperm analysis
- Examination of hormone levels
- Advice regarding potential therapies
Treatment for Men
Our andrology specialist Private Lecturer Dr. med. Ulrick A. Knith provides all treatments for men.
- Alleviating any hormonal irregularities
- Alleviating any mineral or vitamin deficiencies
- Cryopreservation of sperm or fertility reserves
- Cryopreservation of testicular tissue
Dr. med. Anja Dawson is also an experienced prenatal doctor certified at Level II of the DEGUM (German Society for Ultrasound in Medicine), which allows her to undertake all pregnancy related ultrasound examinations during her consultations. She has many years of experience with the monitoring and care of high-risk pregnancies (for example with multiple pregnancies, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia).
Regular ultrasound monitoring in early pregnancy
Early diagnosis of birth defects in the 12th and 13th week of pregnancy including the nuchal fold test (with first trimester screening where required)
Extensive screening for anomalies including foetal heart echo cardiographs in the 21-23rd week of pregnancy
Growth and Doppler monitoring during pregnancy
Early non-invasive diagnostic tests to rule out specific foetal chromosome abnormalities in the mother’s blood
When required, she will coordinate additional treatment in cooperation with our partner practises, for example:
- Invasive diagnostic tests and therapy according to recommendation from our partner practices
- Genetic analysis and counselling for the parents to be
- Counselling by paediatric cardiologists, paediatric surgeons and neo-natal experts
- Psychological counselling and coaching
We also offer our expertise in gynaecological endocrinology as part of a hormone consultation program outside of the fertility context in which we diagnose and treat hormonal irregularities.
An elevated level of male hormone production may give rise to symptoms such as acne, scalp hair loss, increased facial or body hair growth, irregular cycles and even dysmenorrhea (absence of periods) and weight gain along with increasing insulin resistance. In the face of these symptoms, it is important not only to identify whether a patient is suffering from PCOS, rule out any other risks frequently associated with PCOS and to implement an appropriate treatment to optimise metabolic processes and/ or begin medical treatment.
Irregular menstrual cycles are often due to hormonal imbalances that must be identified and treated appropriately.
The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome are often caused by hormonal imbalances. The treatment of these imbalances varies depending on the patient’s age.
Menopausal symptoms arising from a hormone deficiency can often be treated without medication, but symptoms may also arise without any hormonal basis. An extensive medical history, diagnostics and risk analysis are essential for identifying the most appropriate and safest treatment.
Thyroid disorders occur quite frequently and cause symptoms like restlessness, sweating, weight gain, or weight loss, hair loss and irregular menstrual cycles.
Symptoms pointing to an excessive production of androgens include scalp hair loss, excessive facial and body hair, acne and disruptions to the menstrual cycle.
An elevated level of the lactation hormone prolactin can cause secretions from the milk ducts, but also may cause irregular menstrual cycles, headaches or affect your eyesight. It is essential to establish the causes of these problems, and to implement appropriate treatment.
Hair loss may be caused by hormonal imbalance, but also by various mineral or vitamin deficiencies or even autoimmune disorders. This means that identifying the actual underlying cause is essential to commencing appropriate treatment.
Endometriosis is one of the most common causes of infertility, and it has a marked influence on a woman’s ability to conceive. Potential symptoms include heavy menstrual flow, pain during intercourse or during bowel movements. Depending on the patient’s previous history, an adequate diagnosis must be carried out, followed by appropriate treatment (potentially also involving a hysteroscopy).
Ovarian function may cease prematurely for some women. The results include a reduced chance of pregnancy, and the commencement of early menopause symptoms that may need to be treated.
Any absence of menstrual periods must be clarified and may require medical treatment.
Dr. med. Andrea Murza has worked as an anaesthetist in the field of fertility medicine for many years, and her skills and her empathy are a welcome addition to our team.
Dr. med. Elke Kaminsky has worked as a human geneticist for many years, specialising in the diagnosis of potential genetic disorders. In our practice for example, we have found that some genetic alterations may increase the chance of miscarriage or a significant reduction in sperm count. Dr. med. Elke Kaminsky’s provides couples with comprehensive information regarding any potential genetic aberrations and to explain their potential consequences in detail
Fertility treatments should also consider the specific “stress” situations a couple faces, and work to prevent any negative psychological effects. That is why we work closely with two very experienced colleagues in our practice.
Dr. med. Margarita Müller-Jensen is a neurologist and psychiatrist who has worked closely with our practice for many years. She is supported by Christa von Bismarck, who has been running her own psychotherapy practice for twenty years, and has provided specialist support to parents to be, and new parents for many years (also offering SAFE® courses and psychological consultations in her Winterhude practice for many years).
For both these professionals, psychological care for parents before and during their fertility treatments as well as during pregnancy and the first year of the child’s life are an important part of their service portfolio. They also offer couples therapy, coaching and acute intervention for specific psychological stress situations.
Urologist Christian Aust, Dr. med. Christoph Schmidt-Enghusen and Dr. med. Nikola Rehmert from the Urology Practice Eppendorf and Dr. med. Andrea Salzbrunn from the Andrology Department of the University Clinic Eppendorf bring the highest degree of competence to bear on all andrology and urological matters we cannot resolve in our practice, such as carrying out testicular sperm extractions (TESE) when necessary.
An inability to conceive may go beyond medical factors. Activities that aim to increase physical and psychological wellbeing, and help to decrease stress can have a positive effect on general wellbeing and on the ability to conceive:
Difficulty falling pregnant may be due to being overweight or following an inadequate diet. Daniela Elena Laubinger is a naturopath, diet coach and nutritionist, whose “Natural Weight Loss Company” assists clients to reach their optimum weight, and improve their diet at an individual level. She does this by combining homeopathic remedies with the newest research into metabolism that medicine has to offer to ensure a healthy and sustainable weight loss.
Stefan Penns is an alternative medical practitioner offering traditional Chinese medicine and natural therapies. He specialises in fertility treatments, offering customised treatment combinations of TCM and acupuncture as part of follicular aspiration (release of eggs) and following embryonic transfer.
Christina Mucks has helped many women as a midwife and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) during and after pregnancy. She provides comprehensive advice ranging from pregnancy related problems, choosing the best location for childbirth and offers pregnancy screenings (on an alternating basis with your gynaecologist). She also assists in preparing for birth, caring for your baby and dealing with your new role as parents as well as offering first aid courses and post-partum care and breast-feeding advice. It also offers specialised acupuncture treatments that assist with fertility and fertility treatments.
Yoga brings body, mind and soul together. It creates a space in which you can catch your breath and reflect in peace. Petra Algier knows about the many positive effects of this ancient philosophy – such as its positive effects on hormone production in the body. To help you experience that many beneficial effects yoga can have for fertility patients, Petra Algier offers courses in small groups, allowing you to meet and talk with others in the same situation as yourself. She is also very happy to work with women through their pregnancies.
Sina Luig is a practicing shiatsu therapist. Shiatsu revitalises, relaxes, releases blockages and reduces stress by combining acupressure, body therapy and massage. The goal is to balance the energies in the body, thus promoting better health and improving the overall quality of life.
Viola Schuberth is an osteopath, natural therapist and chiropractor whose many years of experience can benefit any fertility treatment. One of her most common therapies involves the removal of toxins from the body.