Acupuncture: Frequently Asked Questions

Best success rates in London for women under 35!

We are delighted to share that the Zita West Clinic’s latest validated results (Jan-Dec 2018) show a Clinical Pregnancy Rate (CPR) of 46% for women under the age of 35 per fresh embryo transferred*, using their own eggs, which is the highest in London.

We believe that our unique approach sets us aside from other fertility clinics as we believe that fertility is a whole body event and many factors contribute to getting pregnant. at the Zita West Clinic we assess all of the factors that can impact on success and believe that every couple is different – you cannot have a one-size fits all approach with fertility.

The IVF programme we have developed is highly individualised.  We start with getting to know you, your lifestyle, your nutrition and even your mindset so we can develop the right plan of action for you.

We excel in three 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 consults with our clients and comes up with an individualised treatment plan.
  • 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 see so many women that have unsuccessful IVF cycles with other clinics who become pregnant with us using this unique approach.

If you’d like to find out more, you can register for our next online open evening or call 0808 196 4060 to speak to our team.

*In line with HFEA guidelines, our results are based on Clinical Pregnancy Rates (CPR) per Embryo Transferred. For comparison purposes, it is important to note that a clinic’s CPR per Embryo Transferred is likely to be significantly lower than CPR’s per Embryo Transfer which many clinics still use for their published data

A warm welcome to Dr Vivienne!

We are delighted to welcome the amazing Dr Vivienne Hall to our IVF team, working alongside Dr George Ndukwe and Dr Simone Rofena.

Dr Hall trained in medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London and specialises in pre-implantation genetics and the management of low and critically low ovarian reserve. She joined the team as she believes the holistic approach and personalised care plans at the clinic give the best possible chance of success.

Here we learn a little more about Dr Hall and her plans at the Zita West Clinic.

ZW:We are really thrilled to welcome you to the team, what was it that most appealed to you about joining the Zita West Clinic?

VH:Well, let me start by saying that I am also thrilled to have joined the Zita West Clinic. I think the thing that excites me most is the I am going to be able to get to know the patients well and give them individualised care that is specifically tailored to them. I’m also really excited by your whole approach to nutrition and the holistic aspects of fertility.

ZW:  How did you start in the IVF world?

VH: I started way back in 1989. I was doing general obstetrics and gynaecology in a busy district general hospital and the infertility part, which was very basic at the time, always fascinated me because it involved a little bit of surgery, a little bit of genetics, a little bit of immunology and a little bit of general medicine. I always thought, what a fascinating subject this is. And each couple who comes along is always so interesting and there’s always something you can do to help them. So I always find that each couple, every new consultation is something fascinating and I can really get involved in helping them and the family.

ZW: Yes, you do form deep bonds when you help people regardless of the outcome.

VH: Yes, I would hate to be in a position where I didn’t look forward to going to work every day, and I do! It’s a privilege to look after these patients and hopefully be successful for most of them.

ZW: What do you think makes IVF successful?

VH: Attention to detail is absolutely key. The patients’ own wellbeing – nutritional and emotional – is also very important. Obviously, added to that, an excellent laboratory that again has a real focus on attention to detail.

ZW: One of the things here is that nutrition and lifestyle is part of our IVF package because it’s really important to us that women prepare nutritionally. Women know everything about fertility and diets, but they don’t really know a lot about nutrition. One of the questions that is always asked is ‘Is there anything I can do to improve the quality of my eggs?’. I know a woman is born with all the eggs she is ever going to possess, but there is a lot you can do around the lifestyle and the environment the eggs are growing in. It’s interesting as well because, the questionnaire we have here, looking at digestion and the gut, I think, is a huge factor in fertility and it’s interesting that the whole gut area is one of your interests.

VH: Yes, it all came about when the Human Genome Project was done. What came out of it was the ability to analyse huge quantities of bacterial DNA in the gut and it seems that the bacteria you have in your gut can impact on all sorts of aspects of your health – immune processors and inflammation and all the things that can have a significant effect on natural fertility. So, we know the presence of the wrong amounts of bacteria can have an effect on things such as obstetrics and miscarriage, pre-term labour and post-caesarean. I think, what will become more important is actually seeing what’s going on in The Human Microbiome and The Vaginal Microbiome and to see if that has an effect on IVF and pregnancy success, as well as the reduction of miscarriages. So, I’m hugely interested in educating patients about their own gut flora and how they can improve it quite simply by using probiotics and that sort of thing and analysing when we think there is a serious problem with the microbiome. That might lead us to correlate things we know are important here in Natural Killer Cells in immune system problems with a simple realignment of the gut microbiome.

ZW: Are there any new things you’d like to work on while you’re here?

VH: I’ve always been very interested in the genetic aspects of IVF in patients for whom it’s appropriate and that continues to go from strength to strength. I’m very excited to be working with Dr George and Dr Simone to do some more about immunology. Despite the fact that it’s quite controversial, there’s a lot going on there that we need to clarify and take forward. The nutritional aspects and the support aspects too are things I’m very interested in – the patient actually being ready to do IVF and taking time to get the patient prepared properly for something which is probably very important, not to mention expensive, and potentially quite devastating when it doesn’t work.

 ZW: For a lot of women they have a pet thing, I want this sort of IVF or that sort of IVF. What do you say to those couples?

 VH: I know a lot of couples come along with preconceived ideas, either because they’ve had treatment elsewhere or they’ve read around a lot, which is highly commendable. But I think you have to use your experience and skill to do what you can and do what they want if you can, but be strong enough to say, I really don’t think that is what you should be doing, I’d recommend this instead. So, I very much take on board what they’d like to do, but possibly modify it to something that is most likely to give them success first time round.

 To book a consultation with Dr Vivienne Hall contact the reception team on 0808 196 4060

Tips for early pregnancy

With the lovely news from Harry and Meghan, we thought we’d share with you some tips for getting through the first few months. Early pregnancy, especially the first time around, is a very exciting time but it is also easy for anxiety to creep in and many women can feel overwhelmed. The first few weeks of pregnancy can be exhausting on so many levels; emotionally, physically and mentally. No matter who you are you, Duchess or not, your emotions at this time will be the same and this is something I see on a daily basis. If you have never been pregnant before it’s a steep learning curve, and as a midwife there are many common questions I am asked in early pregnancy:

How do I know I’m still pregnant?
This can be a really emotional time, not just because of the hormones but all of the worries about whether it will be ok with the pregnancy, especially if you are older. Before you start showing in these early days it can be so hard to actually ‘feel’ pregnant. One day you experience nausea, the next day you don’t, and new hormones are kicking in that you have never experienced before making you emotionally fragile. The exhaustion you’ll feel in your first 12 weeks, especially having to work and adapt to the pregnancy without telling anybody can really take its toll. Even if Meghan doesn’t suffer as much as her sister-in-law, nausea affects 70% of women which can sap energy further.

I’m not eating as well as I should…
Eating a good diet can be hard in the beginning as you are getting used to what your body needs with when and what to eat. Sometimes it is not always the healthiest of choices with many women craving carbs where they have tried to avoid these foods before. Plus with nausea kicking in it can mean eating what you are able to to get through the first few weeks which is fine. This is why it’s so important to build up a good store of nutrients before you get pregnant.

I feel worried all of the time, can stress affect my baby?
While Meghan is no different biologically to any other pregnant woman, she does have the added pressure of getting through engagements and having the world watching her. Constant stress on a daily basis may affect your baby, so learning to manage stress in early pregnancy is key.

Tips for getting through first trimester

  • Look at what’s going on in your life and what you can cut back on. If you work long hours, try to cut down here, and limit yourself to lots of commitments that can exhaust you.
  • Make sure you have early nights where possible to build your reserves and get you through the next day.
  • Accept that this this will only be for a couple of months and you’ll soon be feeling much better, give in to it where you can.
  • Don’t have any alcohol or coffee in the first trimester.
  • Eat little and often to keep your blood sugar balanced. In early pregnancy you need to tune in to what your body requires. Nausea and tiredness can be a vicious cycle: you feel sick so you don’t want to eat, but if you don’t eat then your blood sugar drops and nausea sets in. When it gets to this point it is hard to quell, so have snacks at hand throughout the day and I also encourage women to have something to eat just before bed to balance the blood sugar through the night. It’s a long time from dinner until breakfast which is why many women wake in the morning with nausea.
  • You need carbohydrates for energy and the developing baby, but for so many women I see they have been used to cutting carbs out and are nervous about how they crave them in pregnancy.
  • Deal with your stress early on. Chronic stress can be detrimental so make sure you manage this. The best way is to practice visualisation or meditation for 20 per day, but if your issues are greater then make sure you seek help through counselling.
  • Take a multivitamin and mineral continuing folate, as well as omega 3. Many women worry in early pregnancy that they are not eating as well as they should, so top your nutrients up with supplements.
  • Nurture yourself. In my experience this is the one time that women really feel they can pamper and nurture themselves. Rest whenever you feel you need to, get as much sleep as you can, and look after yourself from within.
  • Don’t listen to any labour horror stories – concentrate on the positive and if anyone starts to tell you their story, ask if it’s positive, and if not, then continue that conversation post birth!
IVF Open Evening

Nutrition consultations via Skype



See Zita for a consultation at CARE Fertility…

Natural Fertility Consultations with Zita West at CARE Birmingham

Natural Fertility consultations with Zita are particularly useful for couples who are trying naturally and who are finding it difficult to get pregnant. Especially if you feel you’ve lost direction, don’t have a plan of action or may be in need of further investigation or advice.

Zita will look at a whole range of factors that might be affecting your fertility across every aspect of you and your partner’s life from the medical basics and tests that can be done, through to diet and nutrition and mind/body emotional and psychological factors. In our experience, all of these elements can impact on your chances and how quickly things might happen.

Zita’s uniquely holistic approach ticks all the boxes and aims to give you an informed and proactive plan of action within a sensible timeframe.

Couples are sent a detailed questionnaire on their fertility history to complete and return before the consultation.

Sessions cost £145 (for 45 minutes) and can be booked with the CARE Birmingham team on 0121.455.9334. Live video consultations with Zita are available too. 

Holistic Review for IVF Success with Zita West at CARE Birmingham

Lots of couples who are preparing for IVF choose to have an all-round holistic Review with Zita on how to improve their chances of IVF success prior to the start of their treatment. Zita will look at all aspects of you and your partner’s physical, mental and emotional health as well as your medical and fertility history to date to help you plot the best way forward. Zita is available for personal consultations at CARE Fertility Birmingham once a month. You can also book in for a video consultation with her at other times too.

Sessions cost £145 (for 45 minutes) and can be booked with the CARE Birmingham team on 0121.455.9334. Live video consultations with Zita are available too.