Leonor Ortega: The Assisted Reproduction Expert Who Will Make Your Dreams of Becoming a Mother Come True
Leonor Ortega López, Laboratory Director at Vida Fertility, is a highly skilled professional in the field of Assisted Reproduction. With an academic background in Biological Sciences from the University of Valencia and a master’s degree in human Reproduction from the Spanish Fertility Society and the Complutense University of Madrid, Leo has acquired in-depth knowledge in fertility and embryology.
With a successful career in renowned assisted reproduction clinics, Leonor has made her mark in the field of embryology. She has been Head of the andrology laboratory and of the IVF laboratory in reputable fertility clinics. She has been the Laboratory Director at Vida Fertility since 2022. Her competence and excellence in the field of assisted reproduction have been recognized with the certification as a clinical embryologist by ASEBIR in 2015.
Leo, why did you choose to specialize in Assisted Reproduction?
I always tell this as an anecdote because I never planned to work in assisted reproduction. Assisted reproduction entered my life because of my partner, who is now my husband. He was an embryologist and went to work in Madrid, and as they say where I come from, ‘where the rope goes, the bucket follows,’ so I went to Madrid where I started working in the genetics department of the Complutense University with spermatozoa, and from there, I made the leap to assisted reproduction…
In reality, assisted reproduction came into my life through love, and that makes it even more beautiful and special.
Is working in the Assisted Reproduction laboratory as you expected?
I think at the beginning, everything catches your attention. The work we do is amazing, how small everything is, and how we are capable of working in such a meticulous and delicate way and creating life! We are creating life every day, and many times we normalise it, but it’s incredible!
But if there’s one thing I never tire of seeing, it’s the embryo development. I have no idea how many videos of developing embryos I have seen over the years, but every time I see one, I’m mesmerized.
[Embryonic development video]
How has Reproductive Medicine advanced since you finished your studies?
A lot. I’ve had the fortune of working in clinics, especially the first one where I spent many years, where there has been a constant evolution of techniques, we were constantly adapting to emerging things, changing embryo vitrification supports, changing culture media, new sperm selection techniques…
Although the basic concepts remain the same, there are many factors evolving around them that can affect the outcome of a cycle, of a treatment. Small nuances that can improve the result.
As I always say, there are two types of people, or embryologists: those who say, ‘If it works, why change it?’ and those of us who take risks and try.
What still surprises you the most about being a fertility specialist?
I believe that the laboratory is the heart of a fertility clinic. It’s where life begins and, obviously for me, one of the most magical places in a centre.
It’s also the strictest and most protocolised, and yes, it saddens me that patients sometimes feel that we are not very visible or important.
What I love the most, of course, are the positive pregnancy tests and seeing the heartbeat on ultrasounds. I enjoy accompanying the patients, explaining their doubts, watching the developing embryos, and having that feeling of ‘this one is going well.
What can we expect from the future of assisted reproduction?
I always say that the future of assisted reproduction is today.
In a fertility laboratory, every day is a constant future and progress. In the very near future, artificial intelligence which is already being used in some clinics for embryo selection. It’s true that ‘the machine’ will see things that are imperceptible to the human eye, and I believe that the experience of the embryologist combined with computers can be a good combination.
What advice would you give to patients who are starting their fertility treatment?
Don’t give up. The journey is difficult, and each step on this high staircase in front of you is a small victory. Listen to your specialist and trust the staff of your centre. There are trends and opinions for everything nowadays, and reproduction is no exception.
If a patient decides to stay in a centre, whether it’s Vida Fertility or any other, they should trust it. Without trust, this process becomes even more tedious. If they are not convinced by what is offered to them, they should consider changing to another centre. They are not alone; we are here to help them and make their journey more bearable.
Now that you know our Leo, you understand how her passion for helping couples fulfil their dreams of starting a family drives her to provide personalised care and constant support to her patients. Her leadership at Vida Fertility guarantees that you will find the necessary expertise and commitment to guide you on your path to parenthood.
Get in touch with us and let us help you make your dreams come true!