What Couples Want From A Fertility Consultation

In today’s episode of The Fertility Show, Dr Simone Rofena, our consultant in Reproductive Medicine is discussing what couples want from a consultation at a fertility clinic.

The number one thing couples’ want is answers and for their situation to be considered as thoroughly as possible.  Take a look at Dr Rofena talking about couples’ needs and how we meet them –  and as always, you’ll find your cheatsheet below.

  • When people are looking for answers, a holistic approach, which includes looking at the natural side alongside the latest medical techniques, makes the difference. It means no stone is left unturned and couples increase their chances of success by doing things including having acupuncture, looking at their diet and reducing stress.
  • A 90- minute consultation is the normal length for an initial consultation during. We want to be sure we have enough time to answer your questions and review any previous test results, as well as plan next steps.
  • It goes without saying that every situation is different and therefore everything is highly personalised when coming up with a tailored plan of action for everyone we see.

If you’d like to see Dr Rofena or anyone else at the clinic, email clinics@zitawest.com


Book now

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

What’s The Difference Between Natural And Mild IVF?

At the Zita West clinic, we’re often asked about ‘natural’ and ‘mild’ IVF. So we asked our senior medical consultant, Dr Simone Rofena to explain what they both are and who is suitable for these different forms of treatments.  

As always, here’s your cheat sheet with a simple explanation of both procedures…

Natural IVF 

Natural IVF requires no drugs at all and is particularly suitable for women who have proven not to be responding to the conventional drugs that you use in IVF. If that is the case for you, in some cases we can still retrieve one or more eggs by simply naturally monitoring your cycle and performing an egg collection when the natural ovulation occurs.

Mild IVF 

Mild IVF requires the use of a minimal dosage of stimulation and is particularly suitable for patients who have a reduced ovarian reserve but are still able to produce a relatively good number of eggs. In these instances, mild IVF can be more helpful than a totally natural approach because through the use of a low dose of medication we are able to retrieve a good number of eggs.

Alongside both these procedures, we recommend a holistic approach which we believe is really able to make a difference to your success. Through nutrition and lifestyle assessments and some complementary therapies we have been able to improve the egg quality of our patient in the past.

Suitability for natural and mild IVF is not for everyone and all decisions on which protocol is the right one are taken on an individual basis.

If you wish to book an appointment with Dr Simone Rofena to discuss your IVF options, call us on 0808 196 4060 or email us at clinics@zitawest.com

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


5 Tips For Coping With The Two Week Wait

The two-week wait is the worst time for any woman who’s just gone through the IVF process.

The last few months have been complete with blood tests, scans, daily visits to the clinic, and much, much, more. And then, suddenly, you’ve had your transfer and you’re on your own. Waiting and hoping for a positive pregnancy test.

What do you do?

It’s really difficult, and something that every woman going through IVF will experience. Here are my five key tips for coping with the two week wait.

As always, here’s your cheat sheet.


Rest: It’s common sense to me that when you’ve been through so much to go home and just put your feet up. Lie on the bed, and do whatever you can to rest. Obviously, if you have to go back to work, that’s something you have to do. But remember, the whole process of IVF and the anticipation of what’s going to happen is a lot to manage, so it makes sense to put your feet up and relax.

Gentle Exercise: The second tip is gentle exercise, like walking. No bootcamps, no aerobics, nothing too strenuous. Take it very easy!

Say no to coffee and alcohol: You should be doing this anyway, but cut out coffee and alcohol. Instead, drink plenty of water, at least 2 litres a day.

Deal with anxiety: It’s easy to question and doubt if you may or may not be pregnant, especially in the first couple of weeks. Try setting aside 20 minutes a day for relaxation, which can help calm your nerves. We supply you with downloads that are really helpful to listen to during the two-week wait.

Stop doubting yourself: So many women I see are convinced it’s not working and then give up all of the above! Even if you think it’s not working, don’t stop any of the above! Carry on exactly as you’re supposed to under the guidance of your clinic and only make decisions based on what they say to you.

Generally, many of you will have gone back to work during the two week wait and you need to plan ahead. I really recommend you try and plan your diary ahead of time to make sure it’s not going to be a stressful week, with loads of travel and meetings. If you can, try and take it easier than you normally would.

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


5 Tips For Surviving The Festive Season When You’re Trying To Conceive

With the annual Christmas festivities just around the corner, this week on my blog I want to talk about coping with Christmas when you’re trying, but struggling to conceive.

Many couples dread this time of year and even dealing with family and friends can be tough particularly if they have children around. Here are my 5 top suggestions to gracefully survive this festive season when you’re having difficulties conceiving

1.Be prepared – In the coming weeks, you may have to deal with unwanted questions from family members, or have to cope with insensitive comments. To avoid an uncomfortable situation, rehearse a few lines you can say if someone enquires about this sensitive topic. Take control of the situation, be friendly and then change the subject.

2.Eat well – Although the Christmas and New Year period is the time of year to indulge, you must remember that nutrition plays such an important role when it comes to fertility. You should eat a whole range of foods such as green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts, good fats, yoghurt and beta carotene rich foods such as tomatoes, carrots and red peppers. Of course it’s ok to indulge a little, but it’s really important to also consume nutritious, nutrient-dense food prior to getting pregnant, because you need to be creating healthy eggs and healthy sperm.

3. Reduce alcohol – The fact of the matter is that research shows us that on average, the more alcohol you drink, the longer it will take you to get pregnant. For women alcohol may contribute to irregular periods, irregular ovulation and luteal phase defects, reducing chances of conception and for men, alcohol can affect sperm morphology and motility, and cause free-radical damage to the DNA sperm carries. Although it’s hard this time of year, I recommend you cut out or at least cut down on alcohol to boost your chances to conceive.

4. Have more sex –  The truth is many couples do not have sex frequently enough, and when you’re trying to conceive, sex is obviously key. Although sex tends to become more stressful than enjoyable for many couples who are trying to conceive, it is absolutely essential that you are having sex at least three times weekly during your fertile period because sperm can live up to a week inside you so regular sex helps you ensure a constant flow of sperm for ovulation.

5. Make a plan – Begin to make an action plan around having a baby for the new year. This can help you take back control over things you feel you have no control over.  Is your body baby ready? Are you having enough sex? Do you need to make a step to discuss IVF options? I have seen how despair is easier to feel than hope but have also seen so often hope return once women and couples begin to take back control through planning.

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

The most important thing is understanding the delays to fertility and looking back with no regrets

One of the most common questions I get asked is: ‘How long I have got before it will be too late for me to ever have a child of my own.’

Different couples have different challenges when it comes to thinking about planning to have a baby, and questions like this one are difficult to answer, as fertility isn’t black and white: there are so many shades of grey.  

Having said this, planning as much of your fertility journey as you can is something I recommend highly. And as we end the year, I want to talk about the importance of having no regrets.

One of the most painful set of circumstances I see at the clinic is when women sit in front of me thinking of what they should have done differently. Normally – and I say this from having helped thousands of couples – they wish they had started trying sooner or had sought help sooner. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard couples say that to me.

In helping women with their fertility, I spend a lot of time trying make them aware of the possible delays in the process and the consequences of delay, and how they need to be strategic in their decisions. The reason? To ensure that they don’t feel this regret.

Quite often, women will come and see me at the age of 35 and say that they’re going to wait a year or two before they start trying. I always encourage them to start as soon as they can, because you can see at 35 how you can get to 37 or 38 before you’ve even had a baby.

So instead it’s about making a rational decision about how many children you want, but also understanding the delays and the pitfalls that can happen along the way. Although there are a lot of tests now that can help you gage your fertility, the hard thing about it is there are so many shades of grey and no guarantees.

Women are great at managing so many aspects of their lives, but often not when it comes to managing fertility.

Then they feel under huge pressure – after a couple of months of not conceiving, it’s easy become obsessed about measurements, timings and gadgets, especially around ovulation.  It can affect relationships badly: I see men on a daily basis with nothing wrong with them other than they can’t perform because they feel under pressure to do so.  

The good news is couples increasingly want to do all they can to help themselves. They want to feel proactive, even against a backdrop of having to manage uncertainty.

At the end of the day, I think it’s about looking ahead and thinking how many children you want and then factoring in all the delays in fertility and making a plan accordingly.


We’re the number 1 clinic in London

This week at the Zita West clinic, we are having a major celebration.

We are delighted to announce that following an external validation of our IVF success rates, we have the highest clinical pregnancy rates in London for IVF and ICSI cycles (per fresh embryo transferred, own eggs, under 35 years – July 2015 – June 2016).

We put this down to our unique holistic approach and we excel in three main areas: –
  • Firstly, our holistic approach to IVF.  When you use our programme (which can be used individually or as a package) you are making sure that you are preparing in every way  – nutritionally, emotionally, psychologically and integrating it with the best of medical science. Our clients like this approach as IVF is very medicalised and the fact that we take time to look at all the other aspects of their nutrition and lifestyle that can impact on their chances of success gives them confidence that they have ‘ticked all the boxes’
  • The second thing we excel in is helping and understanding why IVF fails. Our Medical Director, Dr George Ndukwe (world specialist in IVF failure and failed implantation) and his colleague Dr Simone Rofena consults with many women in this group and they specialize in creating individualised treatment plans.
  • Finally, the third thing we excel in is the exceptional nursing team who clients really value, not only for their medical attention but also for their kindness, support and hand holding they give and this is reflected in the lovely emails we regularly receive from our clients.

We asked our team what makes us different and they summed it up perfectly below!