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Have you had any dealings with Zita West?

(13 Posts)
vcs27 Fri 12-Aug-11 15:10:45

DH and I have been ttc no 1 for a few months and as I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 17 (although I have none of the usual symptoms and am not overweight etc) I thought I might make an appointment at her clinic as it is always good to be prepared. Has anyone been to her clinic?

BagofHolly Fri 12-Aug-11 15:31:12

I think her theories are unproven, unregulated, unscientific claptrap, that she's found a niche and she is a marketing genius and charlatan in equal measure. I have read, studied, and repeatedly queried how her therapies work and have yet to see a SINGLE piece of robust compelling data. My heart sinks every time I hear of couples going to her clinic and essentially ignoring all data to the contrary. If fertility was affected to any great degree by vitamins and supplements then there would be clinical data to support it. But there isn't.

vcs27 Fri 12-Aug-11 16:20:45

Ah... so does she just prescribe vitamins etc? thank you for your thoughts BagofHolly

havealittlefaithbaby Fri 12-Aug-11 17:05:41

I believe the vitamins she 'prescribes' are meant to be special, they come in pretty glass jars apparently...I've never really investigated but while some people think she's awesome I have a feeling she cashes in on vulnerable people who will try anything to have a baby.

Gardenpixie Fri 12-Aug-11 17:26:24

Hi OP, I have PCOS and am 3 1/2 years down the TTC line on my second round of IVF, so as you might imagine, I've looked into quite a lot of therapies, vitamins etc etc grin I don't have any of the normal symptoms either (in fact I had to get a private diagnosis as the NHS GPs just said I couldnt have it as I wasn't heavy enough hmm )

I have not been to the Zita West clinic but I do know that her advice on PCOS is similar to that found in hundreds of some other books I have read on the subject. Low GI diet, plenty of exercise, and regular relaxation can all help rebalance the hormones that are out of kilter with PCOS; i know this has been true for me and I now have regular 28 - 30 day cycles with ov happening around CD14 - CD16. (Unfortunately DH has some issues too which is why we are going for IVF)

I know of many women who have found the sort of therapies ZW clinics offer really helpful but I don't think you need a ZW therapist for these to work. The key seems to be to find something that relaxes you and gives you a break from worrying about TTC but that can be anything from a massage, accupuncture, a pedicure, a nice walk, or an early night.

I also agree with the other posters that the ZW vitamins are a lot more expensive than a multi vit and mins from Boots.

One thing I'd say is that it is possible to spend an awful lot of money on things to help with TTC and i am pretty dubious of people targeting women when they are quite vulnerable with TTC concerns. However, she does say that you should avoid housework while on the 2WW after IVF so I'm definitely buying into that advice grin

Have you tried anything else to help with PCOS? Do you know if you ov regularly or do you have any other specific concerns with it?

vcs27 Fri 12-Aug-11 22:07:37

really interesting responses....I think I do ov regularly as af is usually every 32 days (although last month I was 6 days late which hasn't happened for about 6 years since I have been regular). I have a really healthy diet, I exercise regularly blah blah blah... I just have this PCOS diagnosis from when I was 17 in the back of mind(I'm now 30) and am quite conscious of it. I really hope you conceive this time round GardenPixie!

beginnings Fri 12-Aug-11 23:02:18

I started on the ttc journey 2 years ago. After just over a year, during which we had a miscarriage, we started investigations. I went to the Zita West clinic to get advice on complementary therapies that could help us alongside ivf for which we were quite quickly referred. There's such a huge amount of information out there that I found it a good way of collating advice at a very stressful time. I saw the nutritionist and the doctor who screens for infections such as ureaplasma that the NHS doesn't screen for yet but for which there is growing evidence that it has a negative effect on assisted conception. I've a bit of a tendency towards anxiety so had a couple of sessions of hypnotherapy which I found very helpful. The nutritionist did recommend the Zita west vitamins but she recommended other stuff too and we are pretty sure that the supplements she suggested for DH were helpful and they weren't their brand.

I found their services useful as I could get all of that under one roof (at a price!!) but would agree that it's not the be all. There are things they don't suggest - but it does give a lot of food for thought which I liked.

havealittlefaithbaby Fri 12-Aug-11 23:35:20

Op did you know you can have pco without having pcos? Pcos is by definition a syndrome, a syndrome is a collection of symptoms. It's quite possible that at 17 you had polcystic ovaries diagnosed but healthy weight and regular periods suggest you're not too symptomatic.
Being late could be due to late ovulation or even a chemical pregnancy, did you test when you were late?

blacktreaclecat Sat 13-Aug-11 08:18:21

George Nudukwe (sp?) from Care is joining forces with her to set up a new ivf clinic. Will be interesting to see how they do. I looked at the price list, bit more expensive than Care but I guess it is London. Every cycle includes a consultation with someone about vitamins, acupuncture etc.
I tried her vits once- v expensive and I kept forgetting to take the lunchtime one so now take his & hers pregnacare conception 342 in Boots!

BagofHolly Sat 13-Aug-11 09:05:11

That's very interesting. She is indeed a marketing genius. I'm really disappointed that George Nduwke is associating with her. What a shame.

IslandIsla Sat 13-Aug-11 09:14:20

I was also diagnosed with PCOS when young - 21. It always was at the back of my mind we would have difficulty TTC but we have conceived naturally twice now. No 1 (when I was 28) was very quick (luck I think, as the cycle prior to conception was 50days!), second time (at 31) around it took 7 months. So PCOS, especially if you have regular cycles does not mean you can't conceive naturally. If its only been a few months I wouldn't worry yet. if you want to investigate PCOS I would go with a book first, like the books by Collette Harris.

As for vitamins, I was advised by a homeopath not to get my vits at Boots or similar! (also based on information on vitamin sources from 'Getting Pregnant Faster' by Marilyn Glanville). The homeopath said cheaper vitamins may contain all the vitamins, but are more difficult for your body to absorb. So I do buy more expensive vitamins (not any ZW brand or anything though!) at an independent health food shop. No idea whether it makes a big difference, but it makes me feel better!

Italiangreyhound Sun 14-Aug-11 02:33:50

I met Zita West and heard her speak a few years ago - at the fertility show in London. She talked a lot of sense about things like not temping. Also things like having sex alternate days, and when the guy wants to have sex his swimmers are probably at their strongest etc.

I also visited the Marilyn Gelnville clinic and read her book. We did buy some vits and used them but now we just buy some vits (zinc I think) for dh from the chemist and I just take folic acid.

I am not sure how much vits make a difference. I think a good diet can help but at the end of the day there might be medical things that would help. I would agree with whoever said that there are dangers in that there is the chance to spend lots of money on stuff so do get as much info and help for free from the Internet and library (if you are lucky enough to have one - e.g. borrow a book!).

My friend has PCOS and is slim and healthy and eats a very good diet. She has just had her second child but did have a few miscarriages in between. I'm not sure it is just about being slim, exactly, it might also be about a healthy diet. I used to think there was healthy and there was unhealthy but it might be that some foods are better for some people etc, so might be worth looking into it.

Have you asked for a medical opinion about things to do/avoid etc? have you had a Google around and found out info?

I found this page and it looks interesting but I have no idea if it is all correct.


says "Women with PCOS are known to have higher levels of certain auto-immune diseases too such as thyroid auto-immune disease which can negatively affect fertility and increase miscarriage risks. Thoroughly checking this - and other common coexisting conditions associated with PCOS - can greatly speed conception. Auto-immune factors could one of the bigger road-blocks on your journey to conception that need to be removed, even though your diagnosis is PCOS."

I have NO IDEA if this is corrcect but I know that my thyroid is playing up or rather playing down and I am now on tablets to get my TSH (hormone) lower. It runs in the family, my sis and mum also take tablets but when I was trying to conceieve when i was younger it was not checked (as far as I know). I pushed for checks and this was brought up so it is good to check out anything things that are a problem or MIGHT be and you MIGHT find that your GP (if you are in the UK) can get this checked (blood test) for free for you.

Please take all my 'Advice' with a big pinch of salt as we are all different and I don't have PCOS but I do have two lovely friends with PCOS and they have both had babies, two each. I think most of the conceptions were natural although I know one of them tried Clomed (fertility drug) after one of her children was born and she was trying for number 2.

So please take heart and I hope it will all work out.

Good luck with conceiving, all the very best.

FlipFantasia Sun 14-Aug-11 09:23:49

I've never been to her clinic, haven't even looked into it but assumes it costs a fair bit!

But I did read one of her books quite early on in my ttc days (am now pregnant, naturally, with no 2 when number one was conceived via IVF/ICSI) and found it quite nice. Some good tips and also lots of advice about what to do if things don't work (which was great for us, as we did have to go down the IVF route for our first). I personally think her vitamins look like a con (but if you're happy, and can afford, to shell out for them and they make you feel like "you're doing something" then that's not so bad). But, overall, I like what seems to be her philosophy that you are likely to get pregnant naturally (sometimes easy to forget when the likes of the Daily Mail are constantly going on about women leaving it too late to have families etc) and that obstacles can be overcome.

Another good book is Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Weschler - I found it fascinating and think it should be required reading for all girls/women, not just those hoping to conceive!

Whereas I really dislike Marilyn Glenville, who has built her entire business on women's health "issues". I read her book on fertility and found it poorly written and her evidence is often confusing and contradictory. Bit of a charlatan in my book!

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