Under The Microscope: How We Choose An Embryo For IVF

This week is the last episode of The Fertility Show in our ‘Under The Microscope’ series.

Over the last few weeks we’ve shown you a real life ICSI procedure, we’ve seen how embryos are developed and monitored using time lapse technology and we’ve told you about the 3 most important factors that we believe make IVF successful at The Zita West Clinic.

In this week’s The Fertility Show,  I’m once again in our lab at Care London where we do our procedures and embryology with Rob Smith as he talks us through how our embryologists choose the correct embryo to implant using time lapse technology.

Watch Rob talk me through how he and our other Embryologists choose an embryo for implantation…

We always want to give our patients the highest chance of pregnancy whenever they come to our clinic and we believe using timelapse technology, we can help give our patients the highest possible success. It is thanks to this technology that our embryologists including Rob are able to run an algorithm test, which will tell them which embryo has developed correctly and is in line with a perfect model of the one has the best chances of making a baby.

For weekly tips, advice and wisdom on natural fertility and IVF, subscribe to our Fertility Show on YouTube.

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Consultations are available at our clinic in London or via video conferencing from the comfort of your own home.

Connect with us

Call us on 0808 196 4060 or email us at clinics@zitawest.com

After 3 failed IVF cycles, my dream to have a second child is over

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been telling the stories of some of the women who have had IVF at the clinic and the ups and downs of their journey.

This week, we’re talking to Claudia, who had her first child through IVF at The Zita West Clinic at 41.

Claudia has gone through three more IVF cycles to try and give her daughter a sibling, but this time her journey has been unsuccessful and she is slowly coming to terms with the fact that she may only ever have one child.

Despite this Claudia is delighted to have Florence in her life but her one regret is that she wished she’d known what she does now about preparation for IVF.

She says: ‘We tried for eight months for first baby and had a failed IVF on the NHS, so then we went to the Zita West Clinic, which was like a breath of fresh air after the NHS experience. I wish I’d known when we first started our IVF journey that success is down to the whole package of acupuncture, nutrition and RI, I definitely think the RI made a massive difference.’

Her advice to other women is to just go for it: ‘Give it your best shot because it’s worth every single injection, every single scan, every single needle that you have to inject yourself, drugs, everything is absolutely worth it when you get your baby at the end of it.’

To hear more about Claudia’s story, watch the video below.

For weekly tips, advice and wisdom on natural fertility and IVF, subscribe to our Fertility Show on YouTube.

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Consultations are available at our clinic in London or via video conferencing from the comfort of your own home.

Connect with us

Call us on 0808 196 4060 or email us at clinics@zitawest.com


Under The Microscope: What Makes IVF Successful

At the Zita West Clinic we believe our high success rates are down to our unique approach to fertility and the exceptional team of medical experts, fertility nurses, nutritionists, acupuncturists, counsellors and hypnotherapists that are here to support you throughout your IVF treatment.

To have a successful IVF treatment there are so many things that you must get right.

This week on The Fertility Show, we asked Dr George Ndukwe, Medical Director at the Zita West Family Clinic to tell us about the three most important factors we concentrate on at The Zita West Clinic to make IVF successful… watch below.

Three important factors that make IVF successful:

  • OPTIMISE SPERM AND EGG: The basis for a successful pregnancy is optimum sperm and egg. At Zita West Clinic we really take this very seriously. We have to prepare our patients for this to make sure that by the time they come to egg collection we have the best possible sperm and egg.


  • PERSONALISED IVF: There is no one size that fits all when it comes to IVF treatment. When we see a couple, we determine what is best for that individual couple.


  • TRANSFER TECHNIQUE: People think this is the easiest part of the whole process, however in my opinion it is actually the hardest and most important part. You can do whatever you like but if the embryo transfer goes wrong, the treatment is over at this point, so the transfer technique is really important to IVF success.

For weekly tips, advice and wisdom on natural fertility and IVF, subscribe to our Fertility Show on YouTube.

Book now

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

Connect with us

Call us on 0808 196 4060 or email us at clinics@zitawest.com


How to find your fertility garden – a visualisation to help you conceive

Here at the Zita West Clinic, we encourage women to visualise at every stage of their personal journey, whether they are having IVF or trying to conceive naturally. I believe the mind is extremely powerful, and visualisation can be used to help a woman see herself with a baby – from being able to see themselves pregnant to being able to visualise embryos embedding while undergoing egg harvesting or implantation in IVF.

If you’re find yourself struggling, try looking for picture you can look at on the internet or an image, colour, smell or sound that can symbolise or represent what you want to visualise.

Some women panic and think they can’t visualise properly, but  let me assure you that this is a very simple process, takes around 5 minutes to learn, gives you a real sense of calm and tranquility and also helps you to become proactive in whatever process you’re going through.

One way we help our patients visualise is with the ‘fertile garden’ exercise. This visualisation exercise may be used as a basic ‘recipe’ – all you have to add is your unique circumstances or desired results.

For example: you can picture yourself in a tranquil and safe environment, like a garden on a warm summer’s day, pushing a pram back and forth, feeling the weight of the baby in the pram or maybe singing the baby to sleep. If you are waiting after your embryos have been implanted, imagine a good, healthy environment for them where they are protected and guarded.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Find a quiet, cozy spot where you will be undisturbed
  2. Unplug all technology including your phone and television
  3. Support your back in a semi-seated position and place your hands on your lower abdomen
  4. Concentrate on your breathing – begin breathing normally, then take a deep, slow breath through your nose and exhale through your mouth  
  5. Continue breathing like this for around 5 minutes and remain focused throughout, letting any unnecessary thoughts drift away
  6. Allow the relaxation to flow down your body, starting at you head and working your way down to your feet and toes
  7. Now picture yourself in your favourite place to relax. Gently float to this place.
  8. You should feel relaxed, safe and secure – now begin to visualise.

Give your imagination free reign when visualising. Allow yourself to be creative, free, unselfconscious and prepared to follow your heart’s wishes.

Don’t give yourself a hard time over whether you’re doing it right or wrong, or whether it’s working or not. We are all unique individuals, so do what you feel is right for you. This is about giving yourself the time and space to allow your mind to get into a good place for pregnancy. 

The power of collective wisdom

Over the years, I’ve helped so many women that I often wonder if there is any way I could bottle up all the wisdom we have all learned and present it back to new patients to help them on their own conception journeys.

This week, in The Fertility Show, I got a little bit closer to that dream when I asked four ladies who between them have over 30 years experience in trying to conceive to tell me the ONE THING they wished they had known or done differently in their fertility journey. I expected a huge variety of answers. Read more

Coping with secondary infertility

It’s not uncommon when you’ve tried for a first baby and got pregnant really quickly, to then struggle to conceive your second and third. This is known as secondary infertility and many women don’t ever expect this to happen because pregnancy occurred so quickly and so spontaneously the first time.

In today’s episode of The Fertility Show, I’m talking about secondary infertility and how to cope….

And as always, here is your cheat sheet so that you have all the information to hand as well.

Stop panicking about the gap.

The first thing I very often see is a panic about the age gap between children. Many women start worrying that their second child won’t be in the right school year, or won’t be born at a certain time of year. You’ve got to lose those thoughts because you’re putting lots of hurdles up for yourself. Positive mindset is hugely important for conception.

Ask yourself are you running on empty?

When you ask a couple about their lifestyle very often a woman has gone back to work, there’s a baby in the bed, you’re not sleeping, therefore you’re not having enough sex, and you’re exhausted. You’ve got to look at what is going on in that couple’s lives and try and come up with a plan that’s going to help them. You’ve got to find a way to build more energy, because you do need energy to get pregnant.

Are you nourishing yourself?

When you’ve had a baby, all of the energy goes into your baby, your partner, and you’re way down the pecking order in terms of what’s happening, in terms of your diet, in terms of sleep, in terms of exercise, in terms of just having a bit of head space. Again, you need to make space for yourself and look after yourself. Really look at some key areas in your life, and try and draw back some energy or manage your time better, or nourish yourself a bit more so that it can happen.

Consider underlying medical issues.

Sometimes when you’ve had your first baby, certain things can happen. There can be underlying medical factors that you haven’t taken into account. Very often it can be a thyroid, it can be that you’re anemic. You may have put on some extra weight so you need to lose weight. Your hormones might not be as balanced as they were the first time around. It’s good to seek help and get checked, especially if you’re older.

For weekly tips, advice and wisdom on natural fertility and IVF, click here and subscribe to our brand new Fertility Show on YouTube 



Consultations are available at our clinic in London or via video conferencing from the comfort of your own home.