Did you know that improving your overall health and wellbeing can help improve fertility in both men and women – meaning your IVF success rate could also improve with a few simple changes?

We all know that January is a key time for a new approach to life, whether that’s looking for a new job, starting a new hobby or taking on a healthier lifestyle.

So, whether you’ve just started researching IVF or you start your IVF cycle shortly, it’s never too early or late to start living a healthier lifestyle when it comes to the benefits it can bring to your fertility.

For 2020, we’ve come up with some tips on how to improve your overall health and wellbeing, helping to better your chances of a successful IVF cycle:

 

Diet

Reviewing your diet in January is normal this time of year, which is good news because not only are certain healthy foods proven to benefit your fertility but with the start of the year comes a wealth of healthier food options in shops.

Introducing food into your diet, such as fresh fruit & vegetables, whole grains and good fats like olive oil, fish and nuts is the best choice when trying to conceive and also to carry on with once you’re pregnant.  

Whilst food is a great way to get a more nutritious diet, doctors also recommend trying to include more vitamin D and folic acid into your diet, which can be done simply through over the counter, easy to find, supplements.

 

Sleep

Sleep is always important, but especially when you are trying to improve your fertility. It has been proven that the less sleep you get, the more it can affect your fertility. 

Establishing a good sleep routine, which includes a set bedtime and wake up time and averaging around seven-eight hours sleep is extremely important and reduces stress on the body. 

Plus, it’s good to establish a good pattern for when you are carrying and can stock up on sleep before the little one arrives.

 

Moderate Exercise

Whilst vigorous exercise may cause more harm than good, regular moderate exercise and spending less time sitting down is known to assist with fertility.

In the new year why not look at taking a brisk walk, jogging or joining a gym class. Exercising has proven benefits not only for fertility but for your mental health, which during a possible stressful or anxious time you could benefit from – we all could.

 

Stress

Taking the first step, or any step, on your IVF journey can be stressful for even the most relaxed of us, especially for those that may be going through their second or third cycle.

It’s only natural to be worried about the time ahead, which is why we recommend putting time aside for YOU when you can. Whether that is a pamper day, an hour a day reading, long walks with your loved ones (or furry friends) and meditation, eliminating stress out of your life can significantly increase fertility.

We offer complementary therapies to our patients, including nutritional therapy, acupuncture and reflexology. We want to do our bit to help alleviate stress from you during this process, so why not do it for yourself too? 

 

Weight and BMI

Ensuring you are within a healthy BMI is imperative when going through the IVF process. If you are largely over or underweight then that can cause hormonal imbalances, which in turn cause problems with ovulation and decreased fertility.

Weight is not just an issue for women, obesity in men can also cause lower fertility, meaning chances through IVF are much lower if both of you are not of a healthy weight or BMI.

By taking the steps above, such as looking into your diet, exercising etc can improve your BMI and as a result, your fertility and chances of a successful IVF cycle.

 

Take the steps you can in 2020 to improve your fertility and increase your chances of getting a step closer to parenthood.

Why not speak to one of our specialists or make an appointment to get the advice you need to start your journey to becoming a parent.

This weeks ‘Patients For Patients’ event was a great success, with 30 attendees, four families of previous patients and three beautiful bundles of joy bringing a bit of cuteness to our informal evening.

This ‘Patients For Patients’ evening was an opportunity for attendees to relax, ask questions both to previous patients and Professor Luciano Nardo and also gain some information on IVF and other treatments offered by our specialists.

Here’s a rundown of how the evening went:

With the murmurs of three tiny ones in the room, laboratory director Karen Schnauffer opened the event, introducing the clinic, discussing the IVF process, state of the art facilities and the services offered to both men and women at Reproductive Health Group, whilst answering questions that some of the attendees had.

 

Our previous patients were then asked if they were happy to discuss their experiences of treatment with us. Lee and Naomi, with their beautiful seven week old Nina, discussed their journey with Reproductive Health Group, going into detail about the cutting edge tests they were given which were not offered on the NHS. 

Lee spoke about their journey, commenting “Sometimes it’s better knowing the problem even if it’s scary, then you can approach it and put a plan in place. The consultations here were so relaxed and worked around our free time. We didn’t have to wait long for anything, the team at Reproductive Health Group and Dr Luciano took out the frustration during an emotional process. A process, that without, we wouldn’t have our Nina.”

Following this Natalie Silverman of the Fertility Podcast and Freedom Fertility Specialist Claire Caldow spoke,  discussing the outlets and coping strategies that they offer whilst also discussing their own fertility struggles and IVF journeys. Both talks were insightful and brought to light that others who have been through this journey are willing to talk about it and help you at any point along the way.

Luciano then offered a Q&A session, answering questions previously sent into him and others brought up during the evening’s talk. At this point, Louise and Adriano, who had their daughter Indiana just 19 days ago, spoke up about their experience with RHG.

Louise commented “I must say thank you to Luciano, Karen and all the team. We had such a massive level of care here. Everything was done timely, unlike we’d found with the NHS and all the team were so friendly. We’re so lucky to have come to RHG and now have Indiana.”

Following that, Ben and Hannah, who had with them their four-week-old baby boy Theodore, discussed their IVF journey with us.

Hannah spoke saying “We were recommended Reproductive Health Group by someone I worked with. We’d been trying for two and a half years with no luck, so we contacted Luciano and the team. Luciano was great and we were in to see him straight away, no waiting time, which was a lot quicker than we’d had before. 

“We could straight away tell Luciano really cared. He ran some tests on us both and quickly found out what was stopping us from being successful. We started getting treatment and medication for it, the team were always on hand about any questions I had, whatever time in the day or evening it was. We had our first cycle of IVF and it worked! We’ve now got our boy Theodore and we’re so happy with him. The only thing is, we wish we could’ve given birth here – it would’ve been a lot more relaxing than with the NHS, but at the end of the day we got Theodore.”

 

After those inspiring stories, Luciano thanked not only the attendees and previous patients but the amazing team at RHG including the hardworking members of the team behind running these events.

 

Tuesday was a great event and everyone at RHG enjoyed meeting not only the attendees but also the babies brought into this world with the help of our whole team. 

We’re so thankful to be able to run events like this, so if you’re interested in attending our next event or would like to speak to a member of our team, get in touch today!

RHG’s Professor Nardo cleared of all charges following two-day trial

On Friday 20th December 2019, Professor Luciano Nardo, founder and Clinical Director of the Reproductive Health Group, was cleared of all charges relating to three assaults, which were alleged to have taken place earlier this year.

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/top-doctor-cleared-three-counts-17454153

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7824655/Gynaecologist-43-cleared-hitting-16-year-old-girl.html

Accused of assault

Professor Nardo went on trial at Tameside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 17th December, accused of assaulting and threatening Mr Stuart Davies, his father Mr Dennis Davies and an unnamed 16-year-old in Wilmslow on Sunday 20th January this year.

Professor Nardo denied all three counts of assault.

The night of the alleged attacks, the renowned gynaecologist, who has helped thousands of couples in the country create the families they’ve always dreamt of, received physical harm from the accusers, who maliciously attempted to reverse the truth in order to cause him significant damage.

‘Grotesquely exaggerating’

During the two-day trial, Michael Hayton QC, defending, said there were several discrepancies between Stuart Davies’ evidence in court and the statement he gave to the police on the night of the alleged attack.

Mr Hayton went on to accuse Davies of ‘grotesquely exaggerating the incident because you really do not like this guy (Professor Nardo). What you are doing is exaggerating and embellishing as you go along. You were the violent one that night.’

Indeed, it was Professor Nardo who sustained physical injuries on the evening in question.

British justice prevailed

Of the verdict, a spokesperson for the Reproductive Health Group commented:

“Professor Nardo was left devastated by the accusations and threats levelled against him. Anyone who knows him in a personal or professional capacity understands him to be a compassionate, caring and honest man. The alleged victims were rightly exposed as having deceived the police during initial investigations and wilfully lied in court; the British justice system triumphed. Honesty and transparency were on Professor Nardo’s side. Both he and his family have been deeply impacted by the stress and repercussions of the fabricated accusations. It is frightening how easily deception, manipulation and falsehoods can affect lives. It is also unbelievably sad how a teenager can be dragged into such a situation by controlling adults. Professor Nardo is now wishing to move on from the events of 2019 and return to his life-changing work.”

A compassionate and very professional man

The Reproductive Health Group prides itself on being at the cutting edge of patient-focused services and treatments, and consistently strives to be one of the best of its kind in the UK.

On a daily basis, the clinic receives testimonials from patients praising Professor Nardo’s clinical work and highly empathetic approach to gynaecology and fertility – the impact he has in changing lives and creating new ones is immeasurable.

On the group’s website, patients Kate and Jon call Professor Nardo “a hero”, whilst Hannah and Gregor state: “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your help, empathy and compassion throughout, we will never forget it. The treatment we received was amazing and the result, nine months later, is the best thing we could ever have imagined. You really have made our dreams come true.”

For further comment or an interview with Professor Nardo, please contact Annette Eckersley, Communication Manager at the Reproductive Health Group at aeckersley@reproductivehealthgroup.co.uk

December might be the month of last minute Christmas shopping and decorating the tree, but it’s also a month to forward plan for the new year, which is exactly why we held our first December patient to patient event.

This year, unlike the previous five years, our relaxed and informative patient to patient event took place the evening of Wednesday, December 11th at our head office at Daresbury Park and proved to be a success for all who attended.

   

The event offered the perfect opportunity for people to meet with previous patients of Reproductive Health Group. It gave attendees the chance to ask their burning questions that only people who have gone through the IVF process and experience with us could answer.

With seven previous patients and 25 attendees, the event had a relaxed atmosphere, full with chatter and advice being offered, which is exactly what we wanted to achieve! 

The event also provided the opportunity for attendees to meet with our renowned Clinical Director, Luciano Nardo. With over 20 years of experience in the fertility world, he was able to answer questions attendees had and offer them a tour of our on site world class facilities.

The event also gave attendees and staff the chance to meet a few of the beautiful babies born with Reproductive Health Groups helping hand.

Attendee Rachel Harrison commented: “It has been great to get information from the staff, but also find out about the different experiences of people who had been in the position we are now.

“It has been so chilled and relaxed with no added pressure that we’re going to go away and discuss things and come back in the new year, ready!”

 

If you weren’t able to attend our patient to patient event this time, we will be holding more in the new year.

Keep your eyes peeled for information on our up and coming events, or if you’d prefer, why not contact one of our team members for more information.

Egg Freezing FAQs

The likelihood is that you already know what egg freezing is, however, it can be quite overwhelming researching and making the decision to go ahead with the process. 

We’ve had hundreds of patients walk through our doors with many questions and rightly so! This is a big decision but the possible end outcome is the same for each and every one.  

Here at Reproductive Health Group HQ, we’ve put our heads together following patient feedback and answered the most frequently asked questions on egg freezing to help you with your decision process. Have a look:

 

Why should I freeze my eggs?

Egg freezing allows you to preserve your eggs at a time when your fertility is at a higher level. Although you may not be interested in starting your journey to motherhood now, that doesn’t mean you can’t start to plan. 

With age being a major factor in fertility, doing this earlier gives you more options in the future if you decide to start your journey to parenthood.  

 

What can I expect when freezing my eggs?

The method used can be broken down into five simple separate steps found on our egg freezing page found here: 

http://bit.ly/2Rgu0dp

 

Is the egg freezing procedure painful?

The procedure of removing your eggs is not painful and is carried out under intravenous sedation. 

However, the hormone injection that takes place 9-12 days into the process can hurt, but this depends on how sensitive you are to injections. 

 

How many eggs are frozen?

This number can be dependent on several factors, and one of the most important is age.

If you are 34 years or younger you’re likely to be able to freeze between 10-20 eggs. If you are older then we’ll work with you to aim for the optimum amount of eggs possible to help you on your journey to parenthood.

 

How much will freezing my eggs cost?

Egg Freezing costs £3,200, this includes counselling, monitoring scans, medications, egg collection, egg freezing and the first follow up consultation.

Egg storage is priced separately. For each year this will cost £300 where your eggs will be stored in our state of the art lab until you are ready to use them.

 

How long can my eggs be stored for?

Your eggs can currently be stored for 10 years, but if you are ready to start your journey to motherhood earlier then the eggs are ready when you are.

 

What happens when I want to use my eggs?

When you’re ready, we will work with you to put together a treatment plan unique to you.

 

Within our onsite embryology lab, your eggs are thawed out for fertilisation and with the sperm of either your partner or a donor, your eggs will then be fertilised to create embryos.

The embryos will then be transferred to your uterus and will hopefully implant. We’ll monitor you following this and advise you to take a pregnancy test. 

Although we’ve answered quite a few questions, we know you may have more questions unique to your personal situation. Why not contact our specialists on 01925 202 180 or fill in our contact form to speak to a specialist and start your egg freezing journey with Reproductive Health Group.

How did you begin your career in IVF?

After training in Italy, London and Manchester I was appointed as a consultant in the IVF Unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester, where I was responsible for all aspects of reproductive medicine and surgery as part of a team of IVF specialists. I worked there full time until 2011 when I left to set up the practice which became RHG.

What are your main day to day responsibilities at RHG?

As Clinical Director of our clinic in Daresbury I have overall responsibility for our patients fertility journeys – from their initial consultation and diagnosis, deciding on the most appropriate course of treatment, devising their IVF treatment protocols in conjunction with my colleagues in our embryology and nursing teams, seeing the patients in my clinic and performing egg collections and embryo transfers. As an experienced reproductive surgeon I also carry out surgical procedures during my theatre sessions, including laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery, which can be done as day cases in our on-site theatre here at the Centre for Reproductive Health.

What aspect of your role is the most rewarding?

The feedback that we regularly get from our patients is the most rewarding aspect by far. When we receive cards and letters with comments such as ‘I can finally say I’m a mum, it’s the best feeling in the world’, ‘Thank you for helping us achieve our dream’, these comments are not just aimed at me but at our whole team who have worked together to help our patients get to this point. Being a part of that team is very rewarding.

What has been your proudest moment at RHG?

The opening of the Centre for Reproductive Health, as the first integrated fertility hospital in the UK, was a very proud time for all of us here at RHG. The birth nine months later of our first baby born after IVF treatment ‘all under one roof’ at the Centre was also a very special moment.

Greater Lancashire Hospital

We are delighted to announce that we have teamed up with renowned private healthcare providers Greater Lancashire Hospital to launch a new, exciting IVF service locally.

This new collaboration is now at the forefront of women’s health, IVF and fertility care in the North West.

Here at RHG we are known for our highest standards of treatment and levels of compassionate care, and we are delighted to team up with the Greater Lancashire Hospital who have handpicked a team of consultants with the highest quality and experience in the field of women’s health to lead the new service.

Norann RozarioNorann Rozario

Norann has over 30 years experience as a nurse over a wide variety of disciplines. Norann has this to say about the new service “I’m very much looking forward to this new collaboration as women’s health has always been a field that I am especially interested in. I’m also looking forward to working alongside Mr Abdo, who is not only an expert in his field but also an approachable and caring physician”.


Khalil AbdoKhalil Abdo

Mr Abdo is a world renowned and respected Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist who has amassed a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge in his 30 year career working in women’s health. Colleagues and patients alike are quick to praise Khalil for his understanding and sympathetic approach.

Together our renowned, caring teams means this service will be one of the first in Lancashire to offer integrated women’s health and fertility services locally, with a focus on providing the best possible experience for all patients.

Would you like to find out more about this exciting new IVF Service? Please contact our team here or call us on 01925 202 180.

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Meet the Team - Danielle Featherstone

Danielle joined RHG in November 2016 with over 13 years experience in finance and credit control along with a variety of finance skills and qualifications. Away from work she enjoys socialising with friends, travelling and going to the cinema.

Danielle, what are your main day to day responsibilities at RHG?

I meet with patients on a face to face basis, dealing with enquiries and providing breakdowns of costings for treatment. I also raise invoices, ensure accounts are up to date, and look after credit control for the company.

What aspect of your role is the most rewarding?

I enjoy the face to face contact with our patients and making sure that they are happy with the information and the costings given. With our fertility patients, seeing them again when they come back into the clinic after finding out that they are pregnant is very nice.

What do you think makes RHG different from other clinics?

Our staff  and the one to one, personalised care that our patients get from our team. We get to know them and in some cases build friendships with them. Professor Nardo’s expertise is also a big part of what makes our clinic different from others.

Meet the Team – Karen Thomas, Registered Nurse

Karen joined RHG in October 2018 after with many years of experience of nursing in gynaecology and sexual health settings and most recently working as a practice nurse. Outside of work she enjoys listening to music, going to concerts, spending time with her family and walking with her dog.

Karen, what are your main day to day responsibilities at RHG?

On a day to day basis, my duties can involve spending time both in theatre and on the ward, chaperoning our ultrasound clinics, medication teaches for our fertility patients, completing consent forms and dealing with enquiries from our patients.

What aspect of your role is the most rewarding?

I enjoy the opportunities for patient contact most of all. Seeing our fertility patients from the start of their journey through to the end result is also extremely rewarding.

What do you think makes RHG different from other clinics?

We have a real emphasis on the multidisciplinary team here, with everyone working together for the same aim. As well as all the different members of our own team, we also work alongside all our different Patient Support Partners to help support our patients further still.

Read more on our Patient Support Partners here.