Our Clinic is fortunate to have world renowned Dr George Ndukwe as it’s Medical Director. He is one of the most experienced fertility experts in Europe and is a world leader in the investigation and treatment of recurrent IVF failure. Here, we find out a little more about the man and his passion for helping couples realise their dream of having a baby.
So George, how long have you been doing this for?
When I became a research fellow at the Royal Free Hospital in Reproductive Medicine in 1984 I certainly didn’t know I would be doing this in 2015! I’ll let you do the calculation…
What makes IVF a success?
IVF is most successful if patients are treated as individuals. When one sees patients, one needs to evaluate them and find out what it is that this particular couple needs and I don’t just mean the age of the patient. It is the individualised care and monitoring that is extremely important as well as the great care and skill needed during embryo transfer.
Have you seen a difference in the success of IVF by incorporating an holistic approach?
The biggest thing I’ve learnt in the past four years, being with the Zita West Clinic is how important the holistic approach is. It’s not just a matter of the sperm, the egg and the embryo; you need to prepare a couple in both mind and body, before undergoing IVF. I have found that nutrition is of particular importance, which is why we offer a free nutritional consultation for all couples because we believe this optimises IVF success.
What changes do you see for IVF in the future?
We have achieved so much in all aspects of IVF over the years, but where we need to make progress is in optimising the implantation of embryos. To do this it’s vital to identify embryos that are most likely to implant successfully. You also need to make sure there is nothing in the uterus that might be stopping implantation. These are the two areas of research that we are focusing on and hope to make improvements to in the future.
Why does IVF fail for some women?
We know that for a successful pregnancy one needs a chromosomally normal and competent embryo, otherwise nature will not allow the pregnancy to carry on. Pregnancy is the only situation where something completely foreign is allowed to stay in the body without being rejected. If something goes wrong with this immune mechanism, successful implantation could be hindered. That is why at the Zita West Clinic, we carry out tests to ensure that the woman has no immunological problems that could otherwise prevent a successful embryo implantation.
Why do you think Zita and yourself are dubbed the ‘miracle baby makers’?
It is not a term I am very comfortable with, but when someone has had 12 failed IVF cycles or 10 miscarriages and you help them achieve a successful pregnancy, I forgive them for thinking it’s a miracle. All it is however is hard work, attention to detail and making sure the most appropriate approach is taken to meet the individual needs of the couple.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Treating a couple who thought they were at the end of the road. For me, the ultimate thrill is when I hold that baby in my arms and see the smile on their faces. Or, for those who live far away, seeing the pictures that they send – which by the way, I always put on my wall – that is when I feel it is all about these precious moments.
Find out more about our Unique Approach to IVF