Acupuncture FAQs

Acupuncture: Frequently Asked Questions

Positive Mind For Fertility

Your own positive mind plan for pregnancy

I often talk to my clients about how your emotional well-being can affect your physical well-being; how achieving a strong mind-body connection can have a positive and powerful influence on your chances at conception. Read more

chocolate brownies

The chocolate brownie recipe to prepare your body for conception and IVF

During IVF treatment, it is vital to avoid refined sugar and junk food, so today I’m going to share a recipe from my book, The IVF Diet Book, that is both nutritious and will help you chocoholics curb your sweet cravings 🙂

My Chocolate Bean Brownies are a perfect healthy snack, an on-the-go breakfast option or can be eaten as a pick-me-up when your energy levels are low.

Rich and fudgy, these delicious brownies are packed with protein thanks to the addition of cooked beans and protein powder. Give them a go, I bet you’ll end up loving them!

You can find the full recipe below:


Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Makes 12 brownies


  • 60g walnuts, toasted
  • 60g almonds, toasted
  • 60g pecans, toasted
  • 350g black beans, cooked and drained
  • 60g coconut oil, melted
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 60g soft dates, pitted
  • 50g chocolate protein powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Step one: Preheat the oven to 180g (gas mark 4). Line a 20x20cm traybake tin with baking parchment

Step two: Place the nuts in a food processor and process them briefly until they are finely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and process to form a thick soft batter.

Step three: Spoon the mixture into the traybake time and smooth the surface. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until cooked through.

Step four: Allow to cool in the tin completely and when ready cut into 12 bars to serve.

The brownies can be stored in the fridge for one week,  or frozen for up to three months.

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Consultations are available at our Clinic in London or via Video Conferencing from the comfort of your own home.

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Call us on 0808 196 4060 or email us at

woman with coffee looking outside

6 Common Questions About PCOS Answered

September marks PCOS Awareness Month, and at the Zita West Clinic, we are in full support of raising awareness of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormone disorder that affects around 1 in 10 women in the UK.

At the Zita West Clinic, up to 15 per cent of the women we see have PCOS, we understand that this can be upsetting, and many clients worry that they will never be able to conceive due to the condition.

Our Doctors have years of experience with PCOS and will support and guide you throughout your fertility journey.

We wanted to answer some of the most commonly asked questions:

1. What are the symptoms of PCOS?

Symptoms vary, and some will experience severe symptoms, whereas some may be mild.

Symptoms may include:

  • Irregular or no periods
  • Difficulty becoming pregnant
  • irregular ovulation, or no ovulation at all
  • Depression or changes in your mood
  • Oily skin
  • Acne
  • Unwanted facial or body hair (hirsutism)
  • Thinning hair or hair loss from the scalp (alopecia)
  • Weight problems – being overweight, rapid weight gain or difficulty losing weight

2. Will PCOS affect my fertility and chances of getting pregnant?

The hormonal imbalance that PCOS causes interferes with ovulation, and therefore can affect fertility. PCOS can also affect how regular cycles are, meaning there may be fewer cycles in a year and it is harder for a woman to detect her fertile phase.

PCOS is a treatable condition, so there is a chance that you will be able to get pregnant.

3. Do I need to have IVF?

In most cases, the answer is no, especially if PCOS is your only condition.

Of course, a full personal assessment of the couple is needed, but most patients are able to conceive naturally after a diagnosis of polycystic ovaries.

4. Are there any lifestyle changes I can make?

Symptoms can be improved through dietary and lifestyle changes, including:

  • Adding more lean protein, fruit and vegetables to your diet
  • Avoiding excess caffeine and alcohol
  • Do regular exercise
  • Get plenty of good quality sleep

5. How is PCOS treated?

A very simple and effective treatment, when it comes to establishing a normal cycle in at least 50% of the cases, has been proven to be Inositol. When Inositol fails, we are likely to prescribe drugs such as Clomid.  

6. Will having PCOS affect the outcome of my IVF?

Normally we have the same good results with PCOS patients that we have with all patients. The only additional risk for PCOS patients is an increased risk of hyperstimulation as a result of the IVF process.

In this particular group of patients, we usually start with smaller dosages of stimulation and we carefully monitor these patients throughout the whole cycle. By doing this, we normally achieve a good control on the hyperstimulation with very good results in terms of pregnancy rate.

Contact us

We are here to support and guide you.

If you’d like to speak to a member of the Zita West Clinic team about your options, please contact us.

woman standing by lake

Managing your mindset for fertility and IVF

One thing we see so often in the clinic for women going through IVF or with struggling with fertility issues is a sense of uncertainty which they are trying to manage. While it may be true that conception is much more than just egg-meets-sperm, and that lifestyle and mindset make a huge difference, it’s much easier said than done to “relax and it will happen!”

At the Zita West Clinic, our resident hypnotherapist, Maureen Kiely, offers hypnotherapy at the clinic to help, as well as Skype sessions to manage your mindset in preparation for IVF or natural conception.

What is hypnotherapy?
It isn’t as scary as it sounds! If you’re having a session in person at the clinic, Maureen uses her voice to get you into a deep, relaxed state and teaches you how to do that too at home. If you have a Skype session then you will be taught self-help techniques to use day-to-day to help manage your mind.

What can hypnotherapy do to help?
If you’re struggling to cope with past experiences that have affected your fertility, or you’ve had many IVF cycles and are losing hope, one of the first things Maureen will do is to help acknowledge the past, set it to one side and help you get by day-to-day without it affecting your life as it has been. Whether with hypnosis or through her mind-management strategies, Maureen will help you become more optimistic and positive within your everyday life to enable you to look forward with hope rather than fear.

How does hypnotherapy link with fertility?
While there are many benefits to hypnotherapy generally, at the Zita West Clinic we have a focus on fertility and IVF, which means Maureen can give very specific places for you to take your thoughts and

feelings in relation to your own personal fertility issues. Maureen has helped many of our clients to enter a more positive place with visualisations and strategies to overcome the anxiety and worry around IVF failures and fertility struggles.

How many sessions will I need?
This can vary between clients, but one of the most important things about a session here is that you have strategies to take away with you. Maureen will teach you self-hypnosis which means that if you wake up in the middle of the night, you’ll have your own techniques to help calm your mind and soothe your thoughts. Some clients like to see or speak to Maureen regularly, whereas others prefer to check in when they need it.


For more information about a hypnotherapy session with Maureen, either in person or via Skype, please call 0808 196 4060