Vegan diets and fertility

Increasingly women are becoming vegan for a lifestyle choice, but my concern here is for fertility. You need to manage your diet really carefully to get the right amount of protein as it’s not only your hormones and the neurotransmitters in your brain that need protein – eggs and sperm need it, too. High-quality protein, such as from lean meat and poultry, as well as fish, eggs and soya beans, contains all eight essential amino acids. These are biological catalysts that enable protein to break down and become what the body needs – be that muscle or other tissue, egg, sperm, neurotransmitter or hormone. Your body can’t manufacture these amino acids for itself (which is why they are essential), so they must come from your diet. Include one portion (about the size of your fist) of protein in every meal. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’ll need a full range of plant proteins to ensure that you get all the essential amino acids.

Beans, leafy greens, pulses, nuts and seeds are all good  sources, and I’d also encourage you to use protein powders – including hemp, pea and sprouted-seed-based powders. Finally, be aware that you may be more prone to other nutritional deficiencies that can affect fertility – including low levels of iodine, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Supplement with a multivitamin and -mineral formula to make sure that you keep all your vitamin and mineral levels up, and you may also need to take a specific vitamin B12 supplement, too.

Pregnant from IVF… What next?

In this week’s Fertility Show, I’m talking about what happens after becoming pregnant from IVF.

Many of the women I see have had years of fertility issues, so naturally they know all about fertility, but not a huge amount about pregnancy.  So once you become pregnant from IVF, what do you do next?

It is important to try and manage your mindset through this difficult but exciting period so that pregnancy joy doesn’t give way to anxiety. Here are 3 tips to help you in the next steps of your journey:

  • Look after yourself: Taking time to rest and take it easy is essential in the first few months of pregnancy. Learning to relax as much as possible is the best way to take care of you and your baby.
  • Take care of your mind set: Try to find ways to stop the worry and anxiety you’re feeling. This could involve looking at deep breathing, meditation and counselling if you feel you need additional help.Also make sure you are registered with a GP early on so you know you have back up in case something goes wrong.  
  • Give into your cravings:  When you were going through IVF you were probably eating good things to nourish yourself, and when you become pregnant this shouldn’t stop. You might start having cravings for carbs and foods that aren’t always good for you. But it’s important that you give in to what your body craves because you will need carbs for energy and your diet will improve as time goes on.   

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

 

There’s More To IVF Than Eggs, Sperm & Embryos

This week on The Fertility Show, our brilliant Medical Director Dr George Ndukwe explains how there is a lot more to IVF than we might think – healthy sperm, eggs and embryos are just the beginning…

Watch the video below:

Here’s a brief summary of what Dr George Ndukwe says:

“Right from the outset a couple must have the best sperm and egg possible, so preparation for IVF is vital. We often forget that it is important that the whole woman is looked at and treated, after all she is trying to get pregnant. So it is really important to support her before, during and after IVF. If an IVF cycle fails we try and see the woman for a review as soon as possible and a couple can always call the clinic to talk to us about any fears they have. To sum up care, empathy and support are as necessary for a successful IVF cycle as healthy sperm, eggs and embryos.”

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

 

What is the difference between IVF and ICSI?

In today’s episode of The Fertility Show, Dr Simone Rofena, our consultant in Reproductive Medicines is talking about how we choose between IVF and ICSI when we have an abnormal semen analysis. The main parameters we are considering are three things

  1.     Sperm count
  2.     Motility
  3.     Morphology

When is IVF the right answer?

IVF might be the best option when sperm count is low but motility and morphology are normal. With IVF we put sperm and eggs into contact with one another in a petri dish to facilitate fertilisation of egg and sperm. It’s better to go for IVF when possible as it allows a more natural selection of the best sperm to ideally fertilize the egg.

When is ICSI the right answer?

ICSI is the process when one single sperm is selected and injected into each egg to achieve fertilization. We would choose ICSI when motility or morphology are abnormal and it’s even very successful when the motility and morphology are severely impaired.

Book now

Consultations are now 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 at clinics@zitawest.com

 

5 Commonly Asked Questions About IVF

In today’s episode of The Fertility Show, I’m answering the top five questions we get asked about IVF. As always, you’ll find your cheat sheet below.

  1. Is IVF an Emotional Rollercoaster?

Certainly it can be (although not always), but if you are prepared from the outset, you can help manage your emotions. Some women feel tired and emotionally fragile during treatment so building in time for yourself, to sleep well and nourish yourself you can enhance your energy. Mindfulness, hypnotherapy and meditation apps can also help with worry.

2. Are IVF injections painful?

Some are more painful than others, but during treatment, we show all women how to use and administer drugs correctly. There is also always someone to ask and offer you support and extra guidance.

3. Can you exercise during IVF?

We recommend gentle exercise when going through IVF – if you’re doing lots of exercise it will be diverting the blood away from the pelvic area.

4. Can eggs be improved before the IVF process?

Yes. The environment in which eggs grow in is affected by lifestyle, so improving your diet, cutting out alcohol, taking a multivitamin and mineral that contain folate and Omega 3 taking and eating well can all help improve egg quality.

5. How long does an IVF cycle last?

Generally, the same length of time that a woman’s natural cycle lasts, is two quite intensive weeks and then the dreaded ‘two week wait’ in which you are waiting to find out of if you are pregnant or not. It’s really important to try to manage your time through a cycle to be sure you’re not in a hurry at the same time as going for tests and scans, and have space to manage the two week wait.  

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

Dr George Nduwke on: What to do when IVF fails

Today in The Fertility Show, we are hearing directly from our wonderful medical director Dr George Nduwke about what to do when IVF fails.

Last year, Dr Ndukwe saw a couple who had had nine failed IVF cycles at another clinic and when they asked if there was anything they could do differently, the clinic told them there wasn’t.

They then came to the Zita West Clinic where, under the care of Dr Nduwke, an issue was found that was believed to be the reason that their embryos were not implanting. Since having treatment at the Zita West clinic, the couple have had a baby and are now expecting their second.

As Dr Nduwke says, if IVF is failing you must try and find out why and take appropriate action. You must look at what happened before and see if there are any lessons you can learn from. Preparation for IVF is also crucial in order to optimize the egg and sperm quality.

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