Dr. Tacheva, what is behind the profession of the embryologist? What exactly do you do? What happens in the moment when the egg is outside the body and you start to investigate it?
I have the most humane profession in the world. The role of the embryologist is extremely important for the success of the procedure and mainly depends on the embrologist’s experience and skills. Our work consists in the expertise, processing, selection of gametes: We choose the most appropriate method for carrying out fertilization in laboratory conditions, we are responsible for the cultivation of embryos, their selection for embryo transfer, as well as the procedures for cryopreservation of gametes and embryos. All this happens at the moment when the sperm and eggs become our patients. The work in the laboratory is extremely precise and responsible, all micromanipulations are performed under microscopic supervision, and our team of embryologists invests in their work their professional experience, knowledge and skills, as well as all their care, love and heart. All this is our guarantee of success, together with the application of the latest and most modern achievements of reproductive medicine.
If you go back in time, would you replace the profession of embryologist with another? How did you get into this job?
I remember how back in 1988 in the show “Every Sunday” it was announced that the first invitro baby in Bulgaria was born. I was extremely impressed, I thought about how wonderful it is to create life. I enrolled to study biology at Sofia University. I had the unique chance to start working as an embryologist immediately after graduating from university, and I continue to do so to this day. I would never change my profession because it brings me satisfaction. This is not just a job you go to for certain hours. I live entirely with what I do, with the joy of people and with the positive emotions they give me and as Confucius said: “Choose a job you love and you won’t have to work a single day.”
To this date – what is infertility to you? And where can we look for the answer to the question: What are the causes of infertility?
Infertility is a crisis of modern times. Sterility is a pain of disappointment and anger against nature and God that I have been deprived of the legal right to create a generation. The more urbanized, modernized and fast-paced society is, the later the couple decides to have a baby, the harder it is to get pregnant. The causes can be generally divided into physiological, psychogenic, immune, genetic, social. Most importantly, however, rapid advances in reproductive medicine and biology now allow us to detect and treat a large number of reproductive problems, such as patients receiving a quick and accurate diagnosis and quality medical service, discretion and individual treatment approach.
What has changed in the understanding and treatment of infertility over the years in terms of embryology?
There are two answers to this question, in my opinion, in recent years society’s understanding of infertility has changed. When the baby is late, people are more likely to turn to a specialist, it is easier to share that they have a problem, which is the basis for its faster resolution. I hope that this topic is no longer a taboo for Bulgarian society and that people affected by infertility are not considered different. On the other hand, I am proud to boast that Dr. Yavor Vladimirov and I are the creators of “Theory of Cryotherapy of Embryos”,which is the world’s first theory to provide a scientific explanation of the causes and mechanism for the higher success of in vitro technologies in embryo transfer of frozen embryos.
Where does an embryologist look for the cause in a series of failed in vitro experiments? What are the different things you do in your clinic?
Our profession is teamwork – doctors and embryologists work together to make the miracle called life happen. Together we look for the reasons for failure, and sharing different opinions always helps to make the right decisions and innovation in our work, our team successfully applies innovations in the field of reproductive technologies. We have introduced for the first time in Bulgaria the methods for:
• assessment of ovarian reserve;
• invitro maturation;
• endometrial measurement.
Susceptibility through the “ERA” test. We are among the first to offer:
• intracytoplasmic injection of morphologically selected sperm (IMSI); );
• laser assisted hatching;
• pre-implantation genetic screening of embryos by next generation “NGS” sequencing and MitoScore test to increase the likelihood of pregnancy
• application of innovative tests for male infertility – SAT, HBA ;
• ovarian and endometrial regeneration
When do you think life arises? Do you find a connection between science and the miracle of life?
About 10 years ago, for the first time, scientists were able to capture how a spark of light ignites at the very moment when the sperm makes contact with the egg. Another discovery related to light has been made – one of the most incredible phenomena that has been recognized as a deity in all of human history, inexplicable. Scientists have called this phenomenon the “spark of conception.” At the time of conception, the egg releases thousands of atoms from the chemical element Zinc, which create small zinc sparks around the place where the sperm comes into contact with the egg. Very interesting is the fact that some eggs emit a brighter spark at the time of fertilization, compared to others, according to scientists, is a sign that these eggs will give rise to a healthy embryo. Apart from being a purely visual phenomenon, the detection of the spark of conception is very useful for the purposes of embryology and in vitro procedures. Scientists believe that by taking into account the power of the spark at conception, they will be able to select the best quality fertilized eggs to be implanted in women, relying on the methods of assisted reproduction. Light participates in every process of life, and it is no coincidence that even human conception takes place through a “divine process.”
Have you had cases in which you did everything possible, but a good embryo was not obtained (according to the criteria of embryology), but the woman became pregnant? And vice versa – good embryos are obtained, and the desired pregnancy does not happen? How do you explain these things?
Of course we had.The universe / Nature / God decides, and we are the conductors of their hands. know that as professionals we do our best, we strive to be diligent in our work, not to stop learning to qualify further, to justify the trust and hope invested in us, because we know that every day we hold in our hands the fate of dozens of families.
Where do you get the most strength and inspiration to continue working in the field of assisted reproduction?
Моето вдъхновение са усмивките по лицата на хората, хилядите бебета, кoитo ни идват нa гости в клиниката, дeтcкитe празници, които организираме всяка година за 1 юни животите, кoитo сме дали, и децата, които ще ни продължат. Моята сила е моето семейство! Те ми дават опора да продължавам и в най-тeжките моменти и моята сила и моята гордост – двамата прекрасни мъже – съпругът ми, койтo е най-добрият репродуктивен специалист, и синът ни, който вече следва нашите стъпкu в медицината.
Кои са най-големите Ви страхове — В медицината и в живота?
In medicine I have no fears, everything there is based on experience, knowledge, logic and professionalism. I am afraid of people – of negative attitude, of arrogance, immorality, illiteracy and stupidity.
Who is your personal healer?
Love! Love is magical, it opens our hearts and the hearts of everyone around us and inspires us to give our best. Giving love is the highest and most effective form of healing. The energy of love allows us to maintain positivity and kindness in us.
Your words to families who are still expecting a baby?
Believe in doctors, in medicine, in the miracle of life, in a Divine particle – and in everything that will keep you away from despair. The children choose us and decide for themselves when to appear in our lives. Let this waiting not turn into pain and distance in the couple. Sometimes in the frantic desire of two people to have a baby, it is as if they forget to love each other and forget why they are together. Love each other and be harmonious, complete in your relationship and do not be afraid! The best is yet to come!