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 our visiting clinics in Dublin and Cork or via Video Conferencing from the comfort of your own home.

Connect with us

Call us on 0207 224 0017 or email us at clinics@zitawest.com

 

7 tips for boosting fertility

I’m asked every day what are my main tips and advice for boosting fertility. So this week, I’ve decided to sum them up in 7 bitesized points!

Alongside making all lifestyle tweaks and changes, it’s also important to remember that on average it takes 8 months to conceive. Be kind to yourself and give yourself time.

  1. Eat well – Nutrition plays such an important role when it comes to fertility. It’s really important to consume nutritious, nutrient-dense food prior to getting pregnant, because what you need to do is to be able to build healthy eggs and healthy sperm. 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.
  2. Get fit – Doing some form of exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Whether it’s walking, running or something totally different, exercise releases the endorphins needed to maintain a positive state of mind during your fertility journey. However, men do not over-exercise… too much exercise – especially cycling – can divert testosterone away from your testicles and your sperm count will drop.
  3. 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.
  4. Cut out cigarettes – If you’re trying to get pregnant smoking is a big no-no. Smoking is hugely detrimental to fertility – to eggs and to sperm – not to mention the future health of the unborn child.
  5. 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 and the less likely you are to be successful. 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.I recommend you cut out or at least cut down on alcohol to boost your chances of successful fertility.
  6. Stress less – Trying for a baby, especially when you’ve been trying for a while can be a stressful time – that’s why it is important to actively take steps to reduce stress in your life and find the stress-management techniques that work for you such as; yoga, meditation, swimming, running or just taking a long bath. I recommend acupuncture to my patients as it can help with help with blood flow to the uterus and the ovaries, and beta-endorphin release, which means a greater sense of relaxation and wellbeing.
  7. Take supplements – I always advise couples, especially those with busy lives, to consider a multi-vitamin and mineral that contains folic acid, zinc and selenium. Many women we see are depleted in vitamin D to, so make sure you take that as a supplement as well. It’s also important to build omega 3 into the body prior to getting pregnant.

5 Tips For Getting Pregnant At 40

There’s no avoiding it – getting pregnant at 40 is different from getting pregnant in your 20s and 30s as you have to have a different approach and you need to be more strategic about the steps you take.

At the clinic we see many women who are 40 and over who do go on to get pregnant and have a baby. So how do you increase your chances of success? In this week’s episode of The Fertility Show,  I’m sharing my 5 tips for getting pregnant at 40.

And as always, here is my cheat sheet with all the information that you need:

Tip 1: Measure your egg reserves

The higher your egg reserves, the better the chances are for you to conceive. The Zita West Fertility Home Test Kit has been specially developed to help you get a better understanding of your reproductive status and potential, including your likely responsiveness to IVF, providing you with a unique opportunity to consider the most important aspects of your health, medical history and lifestyle which can impact on your chances of conceiving successfully. Doing this gives you more of an informed choice and helps you plan in terms of what your next steps are.

Tip 2:  Have more sex

A lot of women that I see aged 40 and over just aren’t having enough sex. For some, they’ve been in a relationship for a long time, or for others they’re stressed and just really, really busy with their jobs and travelling, etc. But the thing is, your 6 day fertile window is just the same if you’re 40, as it is when you’re 30 so take advantage of that. You need to be having sex at least three times a week. 

Tip 3: Try acupuncture

Acupuncture can help with blood flow to the ovaries which means more oxygen, more nutrients and more help developing the follicles. It may also help with stress and beta-endorphin release, which means a greater sense of relaxation and wellbeing! It really can give you that bit of extra support that you need, and be that one thing that you have control over to help improve the process.

Tip 4: Learn to manage your stress

So many of the women that I see at 40 have got responsible jobs and a lot of stress that comes with that. They’re working long hours and they’re incredibly tired and, on top of that, trying for a baby as well sends them into a bit of panic. It’s essential that you learn to manage your stress before even trying to get pregnant.  Find the stress-management techniques that work for you and ensure that you add them into your daily routine. This may be yoga, meditation, swimming, running or just taking a long bath – try different things out and select whichever works best.

Tip 5: Be strategic in your approach

Getting pregnant at 40 is very different from getting pregnant in your 20s or 30s, so I really advise my patients to be strategic and have to plan. So many couples see getting pregnant as a challenge. But they focus so much on getting to the finish line, they forget to enjoy the journey! Of course, getting pregnant requires time, effort commitment. And more often than not, there will be obstacles along the way. But you’d be surprised how planning ahead can ease your mindset and make the process just that little bit easier.

Connect with us

Call us on 0207 224 0017 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.

 

What to eat during each trimester of pregnancy

This week I want to go through each phase of pregnancy and the foods and supplements that you should take during each trimester.

In an ideal world, if you’re eating a very balanced diet you should be absolutely fine. But so often in pregnancy, women are very depleted of key nutrients, especially in the first trimester, and they need a supplement to build up their diets.

I have a range of pregnancy products that cover each trimester of pregnancy so here is what I recommend for you during each trimester.

All of our products are available in our shop.

First Trimester – Vital Essence One is our supplement to aid the first trimester. In this phase of pregnancy you’re laying down the foundations of all of your baby’s organs, and there are key nutrients that are needed during this time. One very important nutrient is folate, and we have folate, not folic acid, in all of our products.

Folate’s really important for nerve development, but also for neural tube defect, so many women are encouraged to take folic acid or folate before pregnancy and during pregnancy. Folate is rich in foods such as; broccoli, parsley, cabbage and spinach. I also can’t stress the importance of Omega 3 in this phase because so many women are low in Omega 3 before they get pregnant, so building up your stores in pregnancy will ensure you’ve got plenty of Omega 3 in your system for your developing baby’s brain. Our supplement Vital DHA is great to top-up your Omega 3.

Second Trimester – What you need to focus on during this phase is looking at bone development. So, calcium, which is rich in yoghurt and seeds, vitamin D from oily fish, magnesium which is rich in green leafy vegetables and nuts and seeds. To aid the second trimester we recommend Vital Essence Two.

Third Trimester – In this phase your baby is rapidly developing. Your baby’s brain, between 28 and 40 weeks goes through a growth period of rapid development, and it needs fats, so it’s great to eat oily fish and salmon, which is rich in Omega 3, but you’re not getting enough through diet alone, so you do need to supplement. Our supplement to support the third trimester is Vital Essence 3 along with Vital DHA.

Fourth Trimester – The postnatal period is what I call the fourth trimester. You’ve had your baby, you’ve got through your labour, but now your body really needs some key nutrients. What you eat and drink at this stage determines the content of your milk, if you’re breastfeeding, so you need good nutritious foods for the baby to be able to absorb.

Vital DHA or Omega 3 is really important after birth as your baby needs Omega 3 for his own brain development. It’s also rich in oily fish, but it’s very hard to get that amount from your diet, so taking a supplement is key. Also, there have been some studies that show, if your levels of Omega 3 are good postpartum, you’re likely to get less postpartum depression.

All of our products are available in our shop.

 

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 our visiting clinics in Dublin and Cork or via Skype from the comfort of your own home.

Connect with us

Call us on 0207 224 0017 or email us at clinics@zitawest.com

How to get pregnant faster, naturally

It’s always hard when you are trying month after month for a baby, and it isn’t happening.

In fact, it takes on average eight to twelve months to conceive and the good news is for most people, there is more an impatience to conceive than an inability to conceive.

Still, it’s important to look at the whole range of factors that might be affecting things across every aspect of your life. At the clinic, our aim is always to help you get pregnant naturally but, even if you are going down the assisted route, we want you to know that you are looking at every issue,  ticking every box, and looking outside the box too.

The programme that I have devised to help couples conceive naturally always works alongside Western medicine (where needed) while incorporating complementary therapies and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Looking at the whole picture enables me to come up with an appropriate plan. The main message I try to get across is keep it simple and get focus.

So many couples are running down too many routes with no focus. Although we look at a range of areas and treatments, from lifestyle factors, relationship factors, nutrition, acupuncture, hypnotherapy and counselling, we do so in an organised and calm fashion. I know how important it is for couples and women to have a proper plan.

Now, for the first time, I’m going to be sharing my natural conception programme, busting myths and laying out your next steps for getting pregnant faster in a live webinar.

It takes place on Monday 27th of March at 7.30 pm, and it’s called Get Pregnant Faster.

At the live event, I’ll be sharing how you can create your OWN holistic plan for fertility to help you conceive faster, naturally. From what to eat to your lifestyle, we’ll be busting fertility myths and covering what you need to know to make conception happen, quickly.

All our live webinars are extremely popular, so click here to reserve your seat now.

 

Come and see me at the Fertility Show in Manchester

The Fertility Show, the UK’s leading event for fertility expertise comes to Manchester on March 25th and 26th. And I’ll be there on the 25th March, giving a talk called ‘How To Get Pregnant’ at 10.30am.

Whether you are just thinking about starting a family or have been trying for a while, The Fertility Show in Manchester is going to be packed full of advice, information and support to help you on your journey. You’ll have access to both seminars and exhibitors to explore all the best options for you and getting your questions answered. The Fertility Show is for everyone from those finding it difficult to conceive to adoption and fostering, from finding out how fertile you are to the alternatives available.

I’ll be talking about holistic approaches to fertility and IVF, all the things you can do right now to increase your chances of conception and how vital it is to prepare for pregnancy BEFORE you start trying to conceive.

Tickets are priced £10 in advance, or £13 on the door.

Get your ticket here: Book tickets