Lesley O'Connor

  • My Top 3 Fertility Tips For Getting Pregnant

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath

    My Top 3 Fertility Tips

    Here are my top 3 fertility tips for getting pregnant and staying pregnant. 

    Top Fertility Tip number 1

    Purchase a good quality prenatal supplement that contains methylated folate and not folic acid. Having enough folate during preconception and pregnancy can help improve your fertility, improve egg quality which can protect against recurrent miscarriage, and reduce the occurrence of preeclampsia and neural tube defects.

    There are two sources of folate that are the best during preconception and pregnancy:

    1. 1. Food sources
    2. 2. Methyl-folate (preactivated folate)

    What’s not a good form?

    Folic Acid is a cheap form of folate that is found in most prenatal supplements such as Elevit, Blackmores, and Natalis. If you use any of these prenatal then they contain folic acid. If you want to read more about this then read my blog on: Is Elevit a good prenatal?

    Looking for a good quality prenatan? Try Naturobest’s Prenatal for Women. Looking for a men’s prenatal? Try Naturobest’s Prenatal for Men.

    Top Fertility Tip number 2

    Check your micronutrient stores at least 3 months before you start trying to conceive. This include micronutrients that are important for your fertility, hormone health, plus also the way your body functions i.e. thyroid health. 

    These includes the following important vitamins and minerals:

    • – Iodine
    • – Vitamin D
    • – B12
    • – Folate
    • – Zinc
    • – Copper
    • – Selenium
    • – Iron

    Some of these nutrients aren’t regularly checked by your GP in the preconception phase, this is why it’s important to work with a Fertility Naturopath!

    Top Fertility Tip number 3

    My last top fertility tip is to start tracking your basal body temperature (BBT). Tracking your BBT provides such you SO much valuable information like:

    • – Length of your two phases menstrual phases
    • – Confirms that you ovulate
    • – Indication of your progesterone status
    • – Thyroid function, as an under-function thyroid can contribute to infertility
    • – It can also be used to detect pregnancy too

    You can either use Tempdrop or a ovulation thermeter! Here are the pros and cons of each

    Tempdrop: Costs more at $199 USD, needs to be ordered online but much easier to use long-term as it measures your basal tempreture throughout the night 

    Ovulation thermometer: Much more economial at $20 from most local chemists, to get a accurate tempreature there are more steps involved than the tempdrop, such as needing to get up at the same time every day and waiting 5-10 minutes to get an accurate reading!

    I always suggest starting to tracking your cervical mucus and BBT together. Cervucal mucus indicates you’re coming up to ovulation, and a sustained increase in BBT can help you confirm ovulation. I suggest doing this for 3 cycles so we can see patterns for your individual health and fertility!

    If you found this blog helpful then let me know in the comments below! If you need more help with your fertility then book in for a consultation today.

    Need help choosing the best Naturopath prenatal Supplement for PCOS?

    Download my 20 page guide that gives the 3 key ingredients that I look for in a prenatal for those with PCOS! I also give you step by-step instructions to ensure you know how much folate your prenatal contains.

    Download today!

    How to Choose the Best Prenatal for PCOS
    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog
  • Top Tips for Using Flax Seeds to Improve PCOS Symptoms

    Flax Seeds for PCOS

    Struggling with your PCOS symptoms? Irregular menstrual cycle, weight gain, low energy, and unwanted hair growth? Well, here are my top tips for using flax seeds to improve your PCOS symptoms.

    Why flax seeds you ask? Well, they’re one of the leading functional foods for hormone health! They’ve been shown to help people with PCOS, and are helpful for those with PMS and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) due to low progesterone, and those experiencing infertility.

    Flax seeds can help your PCOS symptoms by:

    • •Help weight management
    • •Reducing fasting insulin
    • •Reducing androgens such as testosterone
    • •Reducing C-reactive protein, marker of inflammation
    • •Increasing progesterone which helps to support moods and pregnancy

    This is because flax seeds are a combination of:

    1. •Short chain omega 3’s – Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
    2. •High quality protein
    3. •Phytoestrogens
    4. •Dietary fibre


    Here’s what you need to do:

    1. 1. Buy whole flax or linseeds from the supermarket
    2. 2. Using a Vitamix or nutribullet to slowly grind one to two cups of whole flax seeds into a meal
    3. 3. Take it slow as don’t you want to heat up the oils in the flax seeds as they can go rancid quickly. You may need to shake the contain every 30 seconds to redistribute the meal to grind evenly
    4. 4. Once you’ve made a flax meal transfer to a glass container and store in the freezer
    5. 5. Consume 30g (2-3 heaping tablespoons) each day to improve your hormone health

    How to incorporate flax seeds into your diet:

    • •Top yogurt and fruit with 2-3 tablespoons of ground flax seeds
    • •Make these Healthy Flax Seed Peanut Butter Energy Bars or these Super Seedy Granola Bars
    • •Incorporate ground flax seeds into salad dressings 
    • •Mix one tablespoon ground flax and one tablespoon nutritional yeast and add as a topper to salads, pasta, and omelettes.
    • •Mix one to two tablespoon of ground flax through soups just before eating

    Common questions:

    • Do I need to toast the flax seeds prior to grinding? No, I don’t recommend heating flax seeds due to the omega 3 content.

    • Why store them in the freezer? Because the omega 3 content once ground, can go rancid very quickly. This means that when exposed to air the delicate omega 3 content can spoil quickly and isn’t helpful to your hormone health.

    • What does flax meal taste like? Flax meal had a nutty taste and therefore it’s a great attention to both sweet and savoury foods!

    If you’re experiencing PCOS, PMS, PMDD, or infertility then add flax seeds on your shopping list and see how many ways you can add them to your diet this coming week!

    If you need help with your PCOS symptoms, my new The Well Woman Package is perfect for you! We meet 3 times to help you get your cycle last, have more energy, and lose weight. You can read more about it here.

    Need help choosing the best Naturopath prenatal Supplement for PCOS?

    Download my 20 page guide that gives the 3 key ingredients that I look for in a prenatal for those with PCOS! I also give you step by-step instructions to ensure you know how much folate your prenatal contains.

    Download today!

    How to Choose the Best Prenatal for PCOS
    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog
  • How To Ask Your Doctor for Hormone Tests

    Fertility Blood Test

    Let’s talk about how to ask your doctor for hormone tests

    You want your doctor to help you with your cycle, but you’re not sure how to ask your doctor for hormone tests? A lot of women have trouble communicating with their doctor because they’re not sure what to ask! Sometimes you go in with expectations that they’re going to check your hormones, yet you can leave feeling rather deflated that you’ve only been offered the pill or even gaslighted out of the medical office.

    Effective communication is key. So I’m going to share with you my top tips on how to ask your doctor for hormone blood tests. First I want to address that I can never promise that your doctor will actually run all the required tests. But these tips will give you a better chance!

    My Top 5 Tips for asking your doctors for hormone tests:

    🌸 Leading up to your appointment I suggest you make a list of all your concerns and symptoms like your irregular cycle and symptoms such as breakthrough bleeding.

    🌸 Write down any past medical history that your doctor will need to take into account

    🌸 Ask your close relatives about any conditions that run in the family and make a note*

    🌸 Educate yourself, as best as you can, about your condition (if known), so you can advocate for yourself

    🌸 Don’t let your doctor gaslight you, and seek a second opinion if you feel like you’re being discounted

    Here are some examples of what you can say:

    Irregular cycle: I’ve been missing my period for the last 4 months which isn’t normal for me. Can you run a blood test for my hormones including lutenizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), oestrogen, calculated free testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and prolactin. 

    How to advocate for yourself with an irregular cycle: I’m not wanting to go on the pill as I know that doesn’t help to fix my cycle, and it’s not a true period like I want. Can you please test my hormones so I know the cause of my irregular cycle.

    PCOS: I have several symptoms of PCOS such as acne, irregular cycles, thinning hair, and unwanted hair growth for the past 12 months. I’d like to get my hormones and identify what’s causing my PCOS. Can you test my hormones including: lutenizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), oestrogen, calculated free testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin, prolactin, and fasting insulin. I know that testosterone and insulin are normally the biggest contributing factors to PCOS symptoms, and I want to check my levels.

    How to advocate for yourself with PCOS: I’d like to find the cause of my PCOS symptoms and I know that PCOS cannot be diagnosed from an ovary ultrasound alone. Will you test my hormones for me?

    *Family history can include certain conditions like Hashimoto’s, high cholesterol, coeliac disease, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hormone conditions like PCOS, endometriosis, missing cycle, and infertility.

    Sharing this information with your doctor means they have more justification to run associated tests according to Medicare’s rules.

    Fertility Blood Test

    Things you need to know about Medicare

    – Doctors are accountable for every single test they order through Medicare. If they order too many tests they need to do into ‘pathology rehab’. Medicare will often send doctors letters saying they are ordering too many tests.

    – Certain tests are highly unlikely to be covered under Medicare. As an example of this is getting a full thyroid panel, including TSH, T4, T4, rT3, and thyroid antibodies. All of these run together are very important for identifying thyroid dysfunction. As a fertility naturopath it’s important to understand if the thyroid is a cause or contributing factor of various signs and symptoms. These include heavy and irregular cycles, endometriosis, PCOS, infertility, miscarriage, weight gain or weight loss, hair loss, and low energy.

    It’s a fine line between knowing that your doctor can’t run every test (in accordance with Medicare rules) and not getting gaslighted (like your doctor says there’s no point in testing your hormones). 

    Hopefully these tips have helped so you can communicate more effectively with your doctor!

    Need more help?

    If you need help with your blood tests once you get your results, I suggest booking in for a Naturopathic Appointment where I can help you get your cycle back.

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog
  • How a IVF Naturopath in Brisbane can help your IVF success

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath

    Wondering how a IVF Naturopath in Brisbane can help your IVF success? We’re so lucky to have IVF, and the average IVF live birth rate per single initiated cycle is still only 30%. Let’s face it, IVF is expensive. I find people are wanting to do everything possible to improve their chances of going home with a baby. That’s where an IVF Naturopath in Brisbane can come in very handy!

    From being in clinical practice, I have been the benefits of using both naturopathic medicine along side IVF can have. In come cases we can achieve better egg numbers at harvest, higher fertilisation rates, more day 5 blastocysts, and higher clinical pregnancy rates.

    This highlights the importance of Naturopathic Medicine during IVF. Earlier this week I was asked how I help people as an IVF Naturopath. I thought it was such a great question! There are several ways I help couples and individuals doing IVF. Mostly it depends on your fertility and individual health. Today I’m going to cover a few ways of how I help those with endometriosis doing IVF as it’s very common. This is definitely not an exhaustive list, as we know that endometriosis and the female reproductive system is very complex!

    There are 5 key points in which a IVF Naturopath can help:

    1. 1. Preconception care

    Endometriosis affects egg quality so this enhancing this is top priority in the 3 months leading up to egg collection. Here we focus on nutrition, lifestyle, and specific supplements based on your individual pathology results. Preconception care also focuses on as supporting you body to function optimally heading into a IVF cycle. This is so it can deal with the IVF medications and improve pregnancy outcomes.

    This looks like investigating and optimising hormones including insulin, oestrogen detoxification, thyroid function, and micronutrients such as zinc, selenium, B12 and folate.

    1. 2. Help maintain quality of eggs during STIMs cycle

    During this stage of IVF It’s important to focus on increasing follicular fluid concentrations of antioxidants & nutrients known to influence egg quality. One of the biggest challenges with IVF is creating good quality embryos. This relates back to egg and sperm quality. Here we create an individual plan with dietary, lifestyle and supplementation protocol for this 10ish days.

    1. 3. Oestrogen detoxification support

    IVF stimulation cycle medications exacerbate endometriosis. Your levels of oestrogen can rise to be 40 x the amount we’d normally see in the first part of your cycle. In-between egg pick up and a fresh transfer we want to quickly support oestrogen detoxification to help implantation of an embryo. If there are higher levels of oestrogen, even with adequate levels of progesterone, it can inhibit the embryo from implanting in the uterus lining. We want to balance the hormone levels to encourage the embryo to stick.

    1. 4. Improve endometrial receptivity and progesterone production

    After an embryo transfer, we want to encourage the embryo to implant in the uterus for the pregnancy to continue. Here we focus on anti-spasmodic herbs, blood building, and anti-clotting herbs, and immune modulating herbs. Poor blood flow, clotting, dysbiosis, and high natural killer cells at the uterine lining can impact an embryo implanting. During the 2 week wait, after an embryo has been transferred, we also want to focus on increasing production of your own progesterone. Low progesterone can contribute to unsuccess implantation and early miscarriage. Encouraging the production of your own progesterone is important as oral or pessary progesterone may not be enough.

    1. 5. Improve pregnancy outcomes with a IVF Naturopath in Brisbane

    If an IVF round is successful there is important areas to support to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications. These revolve around supporting correct placenta development, which is impacted by inflammation, oxidisation, uterine dysbiosis that can affect implantation as discussed above. What you may not know is that when an embryo doesn’t implant far enough into the uterine lining it can compromise the growth of the placenta. This can restrict blood flow to your baby and contribute to pre-eclampsia later in pregnancy.

    It’s important to remember that IVF cannot over-come certain barriers to getting pregnant. These include compromised egg and sperm DNA fragmentation, thyroid dysfunction, poor metabolic health, or nutrient deficiencies. While it’s amazing that we have such advanced reproductive technology preconception care is still so important and also improves outcomes.

    If you’re looking for a IVF Naturopath in Brisbane (or via Telehealth) to help you with your IVF success get in touch today or book an appointment now. My highly recommended Enhance your Fertility Package is best for those going through IVF. You get the most support which is vital to IVF success.

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog
  • 4 Causes of Infertility You Can Investigate From a Fertility Naturopath

    Common Causes of Infertility

    What are some causes of infertility that you can investigate? If you’ve experienced infertility, you know the struggle. You have probably had the thought ‘how the hell does any one get pregnant?’. You know that it seems like the hardest thing in the world. And you’re right, getting pregnant is complex. It’s a wonder that all the factors align for people to get pregnant at all.

    Today I wanted to talk about 4  causes of infertility in the hope they can help you in your journey. Here are a few 4  causes of infertility that you can investigate if you’re having trouble conceiving.

    4 Causes of Infertility

    1. Sperm and egg quality

    Biology 101 is that sperm needs to meet your egg for pregnancy to occur. Sperm concentration, motility, morphology, and DNA fragmentation can contribute to infertility. Reduced egg quality can affect embryo development, meaning it may lack the energy to divide and develop after fertilisation. Investigating both sperm and egg quality is an important first step. You can look at ordering a DNA fragmentation test for men. Currently there is no way to test egg quality per se. In clinical practice I will look at your FSH, oestrogen, and AMH to get an insightful into your egg quality. This leads us onto the next thing to investigate.

    2. Hormone balance and metabolic health

    There are several hormones that influence a person’s ability to get pregnant. This includes oestrogen and progesterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), androgens, insulin, cortisol, and thyroid hormones. When there is miscommunication between a few of these hormones it can impact your fertility. You can learn more about female hormones here. Investigating the communication between these hormones is so important to rule this out as a contributing factor. If you need help with your hormone test results book in for my pathology analysis service.

    Hormone balance as a cause of infertility

    Causes of Infertility

    3. Vaginal microbiome

    Hello endometriosis 👋🏼 This is a big topic and an emerging area of research. Endometriosis is a cause of infertility, or rather sub-fertility. If you have endometriosis, which is driven from an imbalance in the gut microbiota (also called dysbiosis). Then it’s likely you’ll also have dysbiosis in the vagina, uterine lining, and even in the fluid that surrounds your eggs. This can disrupt how your eggs develop, ovulation, and implantation. All of which are all foundational for getting pregnant. I will often order a vaginal microbiome swap for my fertility clients from nutripath which gives us great insight into healthy vaginal bacteria and others that can be impacting your fertility.

    4. Genetic abnormalities such as hemochromatosis

    The 4th cause of infertility are genetic abnormalities such as hemochromatosis, which  can impact both male and female fertility. There is a lot of literature on the effects hemochromatosis has on male fertility, but not so much on female. The fact is that it affects females just as much as males and is often overlooked as a contributing factor to female infertility.

    I’ll take a look at your iron studies and can pick up on hemochromatosis by looking at the transferrin saturation. Unfortunately this is often over looked in women who have a regular menstrual bleed because your iron stores of ferritin don’t indicate abnormally high iron stores. Which is a key identifying factor for hemochromatosis. 

    Hemochromatsis is more common than you think and can cause iron overload in the pelvis, which is not great for egg quality or your hormones. Luckily there are a number of things we can do to help reduce the impact of hemochromatosis on your fertility.

    Whether you’re trying to conceive naturally or through IVF these factors are still relevant and can impact your success. Your best option is to work with someone who will take time to investigate these contributing factors.

    If you’re ready to investigate your infertility then book in for my enhance your fertility package today.

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog


    Dcunha, R., Hussein, R. S., Ananda, H., Kumari, S., Adiga, S. K., Kannan, N., Zhao, Y., & Kalthur, G. (2022). Current Insights and Latest Updates in Sperm Motility and Associated Applications in Assisted Reproduction. Reproductive sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), 29(1), 7–25. https://doi.org/10.1007/s43032-020-00408-y

    Wang, C., Wen, Y. X., & Mai, Q. Y. (2022). Impact of metabolic disorders on endometrial receptivity in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Experimental and therapeutic medicine, 23(3), 221. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2022.11145

    Marquardt, R. M., Kim, T. H., Shin, J. H., & Jeong, J. W. (2019). Progesterone and Estrogen Signaling in the Endometrium: What Goes Wrong in Endometriosis?. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(15), 3822. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20153822

    Mazzilli, R., Medenica, S., Di Tommaso, A. M., Fabozzi, G., Zamponi, V., Cimadomo, D., Rienzi, L., Ubaldi, F. M., Watanabe, M., Faggiano, A., La Vignera, S., & Defeudis, G. (2023). The role of thyroid function in female and male infertility: a narrative review. Journal of endocrinological investigation, 46(1), 15–26. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40618-022-01883-7

    Salliss, M. E., Farland, L. V., Mahnert, N. D., & Herbst-Kralovetz, M. M. (2021). The role of gut and genital microbiota and the estrobolome in endometriosis, infertility and chronic pelvic pain. Human reproduction update, 28(1), 92–131. https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmab035

    Tweed, M. J., & Roland, J. M. (1998). Haemochromatosis as an endocrine cause of subfertility. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 316(7135), 915–916. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7135.915

  • Top 3 Nutrients for Male Infertility and Sperm Health

    Nutrients for male infertility

    What are the top 3 Nutrients for male infertility and sperm health? Have you ever considered the role of nutrients for male infertility and sperm health? The fact is that male factor infertility contributes to around 50% of all infertility cases. We’ve seen a 50% declined in sperm count from 1973 to 2011! 

    The concept of male preconception care, with the aim of improving sperm quality, has only recently started to gain traction at a public health level. Prior to this infertility was always a women’s problem, which is most definitely not the case.

    I encourage all my infertility clients to get their sperm tested and I use optimal sperm parameters to interpret the results. When using the standard ranges included on sperm analysis results, male factor infertility is frequently missed.

    Recently, I had a male client who sent me his sperm analysis results. He told me that his doctor hasn’t found any issues and that his sperm were all normal. When I assessed the sperm analysis, I found he had poor sperm motility and morphology, which is a contributing factor to male factor infertility.

    So how can we improve sperm quality? Well, I’m glad you asked! Let’s cover the top 3 nutrients for male infertility. That means they help to improve sperm quality and quantity, to help with male factor infertility. Let’s talk about zinc, vitamin D, and the omega 3, DHA. 

    If you’re currently going through or considering IVF read about how I can help you here.

    Nutrients for Male Infertility

    Zinc for male infertility

    Zinc is an important nutrient for male infertility. Poor Zinc status is an important risk factor for the low quality of sperm and unexplained male infertility.

    It can contribute to:

    • • Low testosterone
    • • Low sperm count
    • • High levels of abnormal sperm


    Vitamin D

    Research has concluded that Vitamin D is likely essential for sperm production and function, as vitamin D receptors have been found in the sperm & testis. This means that vitamin D has a role in spermatogenesis, i.e., the creation of sperm.

    It’s important to note that BOTH low (<50 nmol/L) & high (>125 nmol/L) levels have been associated with poor semen parameters. As always, I recommend testing your vitamin D levels prior to supplementation with a therapeutic dose of vitamin D, so you know if you have low or high vitamin D that could be contributing to low sperm count.



    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid found in cold-water, fatty fish, such as salmon or vegan sources from algae. It’s a vitally important nutrient for male infertility, particularly poor morphology. Research shows that abnormal sperm have reduced concentrations of Omega 3s. This is significant because 20% of the head of a sperm is made of DHA and it’s needed to mature sperm.

    A meta-analysis found that that supplementing infertile men with omega-3 fatty acids resulted in a significant improvement in sperm motility and concentration of DHA in seminal plasma.

    Supplementing with a quality mens’ prenatal can be a great place to start to improve sperm health and increase fertility! Want to know about a quality women’s prenatal and why I don’t like Elevit? If you need any help interpreting a semen analysis then book in for a fertility consultation today.


    Need help choosing the best Naturopath prenatal Supplement for PCOS?

    Download my 20 page guide that gives the 3 key ingredients that I look for in a prenatal for those with PCOS! I also give you step by-step instructions to ensure you know how much folate your prenatal contains.

    Download today!

    How to Choose the Best Prenatal for PCOS
    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog
  • Is Elevit A Good Prenatal? Find The Answer Here..

    How to get pregnant

    Is Elevit A good Prenatal?...

    Is Elevit a good prenatal? The other week I shared my unpopular opinion about one of the top recommended prenatal supplements, and boy were people divided! Some couldn’t agree more, yet others thought I was crazy for saying such a thing! I also got lots of questions about which prenatal I recommend as a Fertility Naturopath

    What this signifies to me is that there is a need for more education about the quality and importance of particular ingredients in prenatal supplements. Not sure you even need a prenatal vitamin? Read my blog about that here.

    So, here’s my unpopular opinion to the question, is Elevit a good prenatal?

    The top 3 reasons why I don’t recommend the prenatal Elevit:

    1. 1. Quality of ingredients
    2. 2. Counting fillers/binders as active ingredients
    3. 3. Missing beneficial nutrients for preconception and pregnancy

    1. Quality of Ingredients:


    Elevit is formulated with folic acid. Folic acid is important for a healthy pregnancy and to reduce the risk of developing neural tube defects. The problem I see most frequently in clinical practice is that some people cannot metabolise folic acid to the more active formed used by the body methyl-folate. This means that some women aren’t able to convert the folic acid used in Elevit (and other prenatal brands such as Blackmores, and Natalis).

    Not having enough Methyl-folate can result in:

    • – Infertility
    • – Poor egg quality
    • – Recurrent miscarriages
    • – Preeclampsia
    • – Increased risk of neural tube defects
    • – Unsuccessful IVF rounds

    Vitamin B12

    In addition to this, Elevit is also formulated with a form of B12 called cyanocobalamin. This is a synthetic form of B12 that occurs only in trace amounts in human tissues. This form of B12 takes many steps for the body to utilise the B12 and depending on your genetics, this may not be done well meaning you can have less active B12 which is important for fertility.

    Research has found that women undergoing IVF who were supplemented with methyl-folate and vitamin B12, had higher rates of pregnancy and live birth when compared to those supplemented with only folic acid. The study doesn’t state what type of vitamin B12 was used. But it’s definitely a step in the right direction to bring more understanding of how methylated folate can be beneficial in cases of infertility.

    Is Elevit a Good Prenatal?

    2. Counting binders as active ingredients

    When looking at the ingredients list of Elevit, I noticed that in addition to using a poorly absorbed form of magnesium (magnesium oxide), magnesium stearate was also being counted towards the total magnesium content. 

    Magnesium stearate is common capsule filler that you find in a lot of supplements. It’s used to prevent the individual ingredients in a capsule from sticking to each other.

    The issue is it has no biological affect within the body. So you think you’re consuming magnesium but really it doesn’t have any positive affects in the body. Essentially you’re paying to consume a cheap filler that is not a good quality form of magnesium.

    3. Missing beneficial nutrients for preconception and pregnancy

    Elevit is missing one important nutrient that is vital for pregnancy, It doesn’t contain choline. Choline is involved with all stages of early reproduction, from basic fertility and egg health, to specifically supporting fertilization and implantation. It is also important for babies’ tissue and brain development.

    A recent research article from 2019 acknowledges the importance of choline in pregnancy and notes that most women (in the US) aren’t meeting the recommended dietary intake of choline, 450 mg per day. While I’ll give it to Elevit, they do sell a seperate choline supplement, I do think it’s a good idea to have a small amount include in the prenatal vitamin itself.

    My Most recommend Prenatal in Clinical Practice

    So here I’ve touched on 3 keys points to answer the question, is Elevit a good prenatal? There are a few other things to consider, but let’s leave those for another day! Instead, let’s talk about my most recommend good quality prenatal vitamin. 

    The prenatal that I recommend the most is Naturobests Women’s Prenatal.  This is because it contains good quality forms of methyl-folate, B12, and magnesium. It also contains choline, Co-Q 10 and other vital antioxidants which are important for improving egg quality and reducing the risk of pregnancy loss. More importantly you don’t need to be working with a Naturopath or Nutritionist to buy it. I love it so much that I decided to add it to my online store!

    I hope you learnt something from this article and hope you can now answer the question is Elevit a good quality prenatal all by yourself!

    If you’re thinking of working with me to improve your hormones and fertility, then you can book in for a complimentary 10 minute consultation and ask me all your questions about working together. 

    Need help choosing the best Naturopath prenatal Supplement for PCOS?

    Download my 20 page guide that gives the 3 key ingredients that I look for in a prenatal for those with PCOS! I also give you step by-step instructions to ensure you know how much folate your prenatal contains.

    Download today!

    How to Choose the Best Prenatal for PCOS

    P.S. If you’re already pregnant and want a better prenatal vitamin, then try Naturobest’s Prenatal Trimester One with Ginger or Naturobest’s Prenatal Trimester 2 & 3 Plus Breastfeeding. 

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog
  • What’s The Number One Forgotten Fertility Nutrient?

    Curious to know the number one forgotten fertility nutrient? Well it’s Iodine! Did you guess it right? Iodine isn’t often talked about so let’s get to know this important nutrient more. Iodine is actually a mineral that is important for your overall health. It helps to regulate the thyroid gland and maintain normal functioning of your pituitary gland, which produces hormones. What you might not know is that it’s essential for fertility and female hormone health. Research shows that Iodine insufficiency has been found to increase the risk of infertility by 46%

    What does this fertility nutrient do?

    Iodine is needed to make the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones assist with the creation of proteins and enzyme activity, as well as regulating normal metabolism. Thyroid function is increased during pregnancy as thyroid hormones produced by the mother and the baby, as the pregnancy progresses. A healthy functioning thyroid during pregnancy is essential for growth and development of the baby and to regulate the development of the brain and nervous system. 

    Additional to its essential role in thyroid hormone production, iodine directly acts on the ovaries. The ovaries have the second greatest capacity for iodine uptake outside the thyroid. Iodine is also an important fertility nutrient because it’s crucial for follicular growth, which occurs in the first half of your menstrual cycle before you ovulate.

    Fertility Nutrient Iodine

    You can get iodine from food sources like seafood, seaweed and iodised salt. The Australian recommended dietary intake (RDI) of iodine is 150 micrograms per day for adults and 220 micrograms per day for pregnant women. In fact, research has shown that women who suffer from infertility may benefit from supplementing their diet with iodine. It’s been found that supplementing with iodine >150mcg per day during the preconception period was associated with a reduced time to conception. If you’re further along in your fertility journey here are 4 causes of infertility to investigate.

    Here are some tips on how to increase your dietary iodine intake:

    • -Seaweed (like nori) is a great source of iodine! You can wrap it around sushi rolls, or use it as a garnish on stir-fries or salads.
    • -If you don’t like nori, try eating fish such as cod and tuna, shrimp, and other seafood. Seafood are generally rich in iodine. Make sure to limit tinned tuna to 2 cans a week.
    • -If you don’t like either of those options, dairy products (such as milk, yogurt, and cheese) and eggs, which are also good sources of iodine.

    Now you can see why iodine is an important fertility nutrient. It’s so important for your thyroid and hormone health. It’s often forgotten about and I always recommend testing your individual iodine levels. This is because supplementing with too much iodine can have negative impacts on your thyroid health. 

    If you want to know more about how I can help you with your hormone health and fertility then book in for a complementary 10 minute consultation to find out today!

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog
  • Your Guide on How to Increase Progesterone Naturally

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath

    Your Guide on How to Increase Progesterone Naturally

    As a woman, you know the importance of progesterone. It’s often called the “pregnancy hormone” because it’s required for optimal fertility and helps to maintain a healthy pregnancy. What you may not know is that low levels of progesterone can also cause symptoms like irregular and heavy periods, PMS, PMDD, androgen excess, and migraines. Luckily, there are some simple ways to increase your progesterone naturally.

    What is progesterone?

    Progesterone is a hormone that prepares the uterus for pregnancy, allowing an embryo to implant after it’s been fertilised. Progesterone is produced after ovulation, that is once the egg has been released from the ovary. This is then known as the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. About 36 hours after ovulation progesterone will increase basal body temperature. If you are not pregnant, progesterone levels will drop 12-14 days after ovulation and cause your bleed to begin. 

    Progesterone really helps to regulate the menstrual cycle. That’s why women with PCOS have an irregular cycle, because they do not ovulate regularly. Progesterone also has other important functions, it helps support healthy bones, muscles, and heart and brain function. 

    What are symptoms of low progesterone levels?

    If you don’t ovulate regularly or have low progesterone, it can cause:

    • – Irregular periods or no period at all
    • – Spotting before your period
    • – Infertility
    • – Miscarriage
    • – PMS
    • – PMDD
    • – Depression
    • – Anxiety
    • – Brain fog (a lack of mental clarity)
    • – Weight gain
    • – Carbohydrate cravings
    • – Breast tenderness

    Looking for other causes of infertility? Check out my 4 causes of infertility article. 

    Increase Progesterone Naturally

    What is an optimal level of progesterone?

    If you want to know how do I increase my progesterone levels? First we need to know what an optimal level of progesterone is. The optimal amount of progesterone varies from person to person but in clinical practice I look at ranges above >4 nmol/L to confirm that you have ovulated that cycle. With regards to fertility, I’m looking for a minimum of 30 nmol/L of progesterone to be able to support a pregnancy. If you have low levels then there are things you can do to increase them naturally. Click here to read more about hormone test results.

    How do I increase my progesterone naturally?

    If you have low progesterone levels and want to increase them naturally, there are a few things you can do.

    First off, Vitex, otherwise known as Chaste Tree Berry, is one of my go-to herbs when increasing progesterone, BUT it is not for everyone. Once I have tested my clients hormones I will know if vitex is the right herb for them. This is because in addition to increasing progesterone, vitex can also increase oestrogen. This is an issue if you already have high oestrogen. 

    Second: Flax seeds are an amazing dietary strategy that that help increase your progesterone levels. Flax seeds contain lignans, lignans have been associated with improvement in increased progesterone and luteal phase length. Aim to consume 30 grams a day of freshly ground flax seeds for best results. 

    Thirdly: Implement stress management techniques weekly. This can include techniques like exercise, journalling, breath works, meditation, gardening, crocheting, or anything that relaxes your nervous system and centres your thoughts. This is because stress negatively impacts your progesterone levels in several ways. Through increasing cortisol and prolactin, and decreased lutenizing hormone.

    Lastly: Add some omega 3’s to your diet! Long chain omega 3’s (EPA and DHA) from either fish or algae supplementation can have beneficial affects on your hormones and progesterone levels. Research shows that omega 3’s decrease the risk of not ovulating and are also associated with higher concentrations of progesterone. Many people don’t eat enough fish, if this is something that doesn’t appeal to you, then I suggest taking a good quality supplement.

    Now you know how to increase your progesterone naturally!

    Progesterone also plays an important role in regulating menstrual cycles, fertility, and pregnancy. If you have low progesterone levels then this can cause symptoms such as PMS, PMDD, infertility, and  miscarriage. If you’re looking for help with how to understand your hormone levels then book in for a 1:1 consultation so you can start improving your hormone health today. 

    Need help choosing the best Naturopath prenatal Supplement for PCOS?

    Download my 20 page guide that gives the 3 key ingredients that I look for in a prenatal for those with PCOS! I also give you step by-step instructions to ensure you know how much folate your prenatal contains.

    Download today!

    How to Choose the Best Prenatal for PCOS
    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog
  • The Top 5 Pillars of Hormone Health

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath

    What are the Top 5 Pillars of Hormone Health?

    With the increasing number of hormone imbalances such as PCOS, hypothalamic Amenorrhea, Premature Ovarian insufficiency, and PMS and PMDD, It’s important to understand what influences your hormone health. Today, I’m going to tell you about 5 pillars of hormone health, which will ultimately give you to tools to be able to change your hormone health in a positive way. 


    The first pillar of hormone health is nutrition. It’s important to eat a balanced diet and make sure you’re getting enough fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy fats and protein. Aim for whole foods rather than processed foods, which are often high in added sugar or artificial ingredients that can adversely affect your hormones.

    I frequently see women with hormone imbalances who don’t get enough fibre in their diets, and fibre is important for oestrogen detoxification! If you aren’t eating enough fibre (25 grams per day), this could cause an imbalance with oestrogen because it is not being detoxified correctly. Rather, it is being reabsorbed from the intestines and goes back into the body’s oestrogen pool. This can lead to symptoms like bloating, carbohydrate cravings, breast tenderness and more serious things like endometriosis if left untreated over time.


    Sleep is a critical pillar of hormone health. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can have a negative impact on your hormones. Women with low quality sleep have lower rates of fertility than those getting adequate rest. This is because not getting enough sleep disrupts ovulation from occurring. 

    When you don’t get enough sleep long-term this can start to impact different hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone, lutenizing hormone (FSH), follicle stimulating hormone (LH) and prolactin. When all of these hormones are out of balance symptoms such as an irregular cycle, heavy or light bleeding, spotting, mood changes, PMS, and infertility can occur. 

    I suggest you aim for 7-9 hours of sleep as many nights as possible and to have a sleep hygiene routine. If you’re looking to read more about how a Fertility Naturopath can help you get pregnant then click here.

    Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

    Stress Management

    Stress is the third pillar from the 5 pillars of hormone health. We know stress is a normal part of life, but chronic stress can lead to hormonal imbalances. Stressors include things like work related difficulties, financial stress, and it can also include the way we think and feel about ourself too.

    When you’re feeling stressed out, your body releases cortisol. While cortisol is an important hormone for helping us adapt to stressful situations, too much can create problems with your hormones. This is because stress can disrupt the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis that controls the regulations of oestrogen and progesterone. When these hormones are out of balance it can impact our fertility.

    It can also impact our sleep, food choices, energy, and how we show up for ourselves. You can start to see how these 5 pillars of hormone relate to and affect to each other.

    Positive self talk

    You might not necessarily identify Positive self talk as an important pillar of hormone health. Yet the way we talk to ourselves can impact our hormone health, and our hormones can impact the way we feel about ourselves.

    If you’re constantly telling yourself that “you’ll never be able to do that” or “you’re not good enough” or “I can’t believe you failed again” then your mind will follow those thoughts and actions by default. This can then impact the way you feel about yourself which can alter our stress hormones, food choices, energy, and confidence. These are all critical elements you need to create positive change in your life when creating new habits that support our hormones. 

    If this sounds familiar, don’t worry! You can change it by practicing positive self talk on a daily basis until it becomes habituated in the same way negative thinking has become over time (it may take longer than a week). 

    Environmental health

    Environmental health is another important pillar of the 5 pillars of hormone health. The environment around us plays a huge role in how well our bodies function. The air we breathe, the water and food we consume, and even our homes all affect how well our hormonal systems work. If you come into contact with lots of plastic and man-made chemicals (like pesticides and fragrances), this will have an impact on your hormones as well as your fertility. It’s important to be aware of what types of things are going into our environment so that we can make informed decisions about what products we use at home (for example: cleaning products).

    I was recently interviewed on a podcast about endocrine disrupting chemicals. You can listen to it here.

    Being aware of the 5 pillars of hormone health will help you maintain your hormones and fertility

    Nutrition, sleep, stress management, positive self talk and environmental health all influence your hormones. I hope you’ve found this article helpful in understanding the importance of hormone health and some tips on how you can help improve your hormones and fertility. If you are looking for more information on optimal hormones, you can check out my optimal hormone guide here.

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog