Professor Luciano Nardo, The Reproductive Health Group
- Credit: Archant
Professor Luciano Nardo, consultant gynaecologist, founded the Reproductive Health Group to offer gynaecological, fertility and maternity services to women from across the country.
The Reproductive Health Group does exactly what its name says it does. Led by founder Professor Luciano Nardo, the clinic offers every service any woman or couple could need that relates to reproductive health. And that doesn’t mean simply fertility treatments, but the care of a woman’s gynaecological health from the moment she starts menstruating to the years of her menopause.
Professor Nardo earned his medical degree in his home country of Italy before coming to the UK to undertake his specialist training in gynaecology and fertility. He has brought with him the European attitude to female health, which is more proactive and, shall we say, ‘healthy’ than our own.
‘I wanted to create a clinic which is not simply seen as an IVF clinic,’ he says. ‘I don’t believe that all infertility problems have their solution in IVF. This is not a common view in the UK, but in Europe, and in other countries, infertility is not seen in isolation, but as a single element – a symptom – in a bigger picture. For me, fertility is part of gynaecology, not a standalone speciality. The clinical judgement I make when seeing a couple struggling with inability to conceive is based on understanding the problem first and then deciding on the most appropriate treatment option, rather than assuming that IVF is the only solution.
‘Here, we believe that doing all the investigations actually shortens the time to pregnancy as we can identify what is limiting fertility. A patient may not require IVF, or IVF may not be a reasonable solution. We take a patient centred approach, not a service centred approach. If my service only offers one solution – IVF – then we won’t be able to give every patient what she needs.
‘There is a difference between being pregnant and giving birth. Miscarriage and infertility are two sides of the same coin. If infertility is not the problem, or IVF is not the solution, then what is? If a woman cannot carry a child for whatever medical reason, then we can look at surrogacy.’
Professor Nardo takes a refreshingly holistic approach to conception, ensuring that not only has he helped his patients make the right medical decisions and that the ‘science bit’ is completely understood, but that his patient’s wellness, of mind and body, is fully considered too, which might include support from linked professionals in nutrition, acupuncture, reflexology...and he has some marvellous stories of conception and birth to share as a result.
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The Clinic’s wrap-around offering extends to personal maternity care.
‘I am aware that women conceiving through assisted conception, or who have medical issues that might cause concern during a pregnancy, or who are having a child at a later age, want or need to be supported by more personal and careful maternity care.
‘Personalised ante-natal care gives reassurance and peace-of-mind to both our own fertility patients and to couples who come here already pregnant. The NHS has a certain number of check-points women can access, and we offer a much increased level of personal care and support throughout the pregnancy.’
There’s an expression that describes the life of a woman: “Maiden, Mother, Crone.” These have been identified since the days of the Ancient Greeks and while vastly simplified, hold true. It is Professor Nardo’s ethos that a woman should be aware of what changes her body will undergo through this cycle, over the years, and so be proactive in her care of herself, not simply wait till something ‘isn’t right’ before seeing her GP.
‘Women should see a consultant gynaecologist annually from the moment they start menstruating,’ he says. ‘Gynaecology should be seen as a part of living. Changes happen at different stages of life, hence why it is important to educate women to see gynaecology not as a specialty you need when you have a symptom or a problem but as an ongoing part of your wellness. Prevention rather than cure!’
He’s right; when I think of gynaecology, first I flinch, then I think of treatment for a problem, not prevention or catching it before it becomes a problem. It’s a very British mindset, I think, but the presence in Cheshire of a one-stop clinic where they can educate and address any and all issues – from period pain to the desire to conceive and deliver a child - is rather reassuring.
01925 202 180 reproductivehealthgroup.co.uk