• Case Study: Is It Really Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?

    Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

    Is it really Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?

    Last week, I hosted a complex hormone workshop for some students that I mentor. We discussed a complex ‘Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)’ case study where no one could find the rot cause of the client’s symptoms (irregular cycles, acne, and weight gain). Things weren’t adding up.

    That is, until I helped the students to break down

    • The tests we had from her doctor
    • Tests we needed to complete the picture
    • Standard vs optimal blood results
    • How to interpret blood test results correctly

    From this it was clear that the cause of irregular cycles, acne, weight gain was not caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). But rather, high prolactin.

    This is just one example, I frequently have women in my clinic who tell me they’ve been diagnosed with PCOS, but when we really unpack the case 50% of the time they leave knowing they don’t have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and know exactly what is driving their hormone imbalances!

    Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

    Why is this happening?

    From this, it’s becoming clear that PCOS is becoming a ‘catch all’ for complex hormonal conditions when really doctors such be saying – “I’m not really sure” or “we need to investigate this further”. But instead it’s easier to give a PCOS label and move on!

    So why is this happening?

    • Medicare constrains limit what tests doctors can run without being questioned
    • Short consultation times doesn’t allow for proper analysis or education
    • Inadequate education at a tertiary level means some doctor don’t understand complex hormone conditions
    • Different diagnostic criteria that isn’t very clear and can make other similar conditions seem like PCOS

    This is why a Fertility Naturopath is your hormones best friend! I know exactly what tests to run, I have more time to analyse pathology, and I have a better understanding of the complexities of how hormones affect each other! This means I can offer a lot of education to help you understand your body and get to the root cause of your symptoms: have less acne, regular cycles, and loose weight.

    If you’re feeling like you’re not getting answers from your Doctor, if you’re feeling like you don’t understand why certain things are happening and want to re-establish a regular cycle then reach out today!

    If you want to share your story, comment below!

    Lesley O'Connor Naturopath Blog

  • Top 4 Fertility Benefits of Inositol for PCOS 

    Fertility Benefits of Inositol for PCOS

    Top 4 Fertility Benefits of Inositol for PCOS

    Wondering what the top 4 fertility benefits of inositol for PCOS are? Here I talk about the 4 key benefits and how they can help you improve your fertility, getting pregnant, and staying pregnant with PCOS.

    What is inositol?

    Inositol is found naturally in foods, but it most commonly used as a supplement by women with PCOS.  It is also referred to as vitamin B8, although it is not actually a vitamin. Inositol is a type of ‘sugar’ that influences the way the body uses insulin and hormones released from thyroid and adrenal glands. It is also an antioxidant that can help improve egg quality which is important when you are trying to get pregnant.

    Inositol metabolism has been found to be impaired in women with PCOS. This means that taking an inositol supplement can improve metabolic and hormonal markers of PCOS. Studies confirm inositol’s positive affects on the menstrual cycle because it helps to decreases levels of insulin and androgens (free testosterone), and significantly improves the rate of ovulation, egg quality, and pregnancy!

    So what are the top 4 fertility benefits of inositol for PCOS?

    Inositol helps to establish a regular and predictable cycle

    I have prescribed inositol to many of my PCOS clients who are trying to conceive and to establish a regular and predicable cycle. I’ve seen it work quickly, taking a 60+ day cycle to less than 35 days long! This is because inositol helps to address the two common causes of PCOS. That is insulin resistance and high free testosterone levels. Inositol helps improve both insulin sensitivity and reduce free testosterone levels, and regulate your menstrual cycle!

    Inositol helps to promote ovulation

    Women with PCOS commonly don’t ovulate. You need to ovulate (and have good quality eggs) to get pregnant. One study showed that over 60% of women with PCOS started ovulating again and 37% became pregnant after using 4 grams of inositol each day over 3 months. This happens because inositol helps balance hormones and improves ovarian activity!

    In addition to this, women with PCOS commonly use medications, such as clomid, to induce ovulation. Around 25% of percentage of women don’t response well to clomid and therefore don’t ovulate. This can be really difficult mentally. Using inositol along with ovulation inductions medication increases successful ovulation & pregnancy rates!

    Inositol helps to improve egg quality

    PCOS can negatively impact your egg quality. This is because there tends to be more inflammation within the ovaries where the eggs mature. This compromises the quality of the developing eggs. This can affect hormones like progesterone which is required to sustain a pregnancy, and also mean that the DNA stored within the egg isn’t able to keep replicating which can result in a chemical pregnancy.

    Inositol is specific for ovarian response & egg quality in women with PCOS. Moreover, inositol supplementation is also useful for women undergoing assisted reproductive technologies, by improving egg and embryo quality. 

    Inositol Reduces miscarriage rate in women with abnormal glycemic control (ie insulin resistance)

    Around 70% if women with PCOS have insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that the amount of glucose and insulin in the blood can be higher than normal. This is a big contributing factor to miscarriages. One study found that supplementing with inositol reduced miscarriages by 27% in women with PCOS who were using assisted reproductive technologies such as ovulation induction, IVF with or without sperm injection (ICSI).

    Know to know more about the inositol?

    • – Inositol is more effective than metformin in normal weight women
    • – It can be used as an alternative treatment to metformin with ovulation induction
    • – Typically a dose is between 4 to 12 grams per day.
    • Inositol is safe to consume, but if you take too high dose then it can cause some digestive upset (this is how you know you need to reduce your dose).

    Over all inositol has several fertility benefits for women with PCOS. It helps to address almost every key element of how PCOS can inhibit a women’s fertility. If you’re interested to see if inositol works for you, check out Naturobest’s Cycle and Skin support from my online store.

    If you’re ready to improve your fertility then book in for an appointment today! Not ready for that yet? That’s okay! You can read more about how a Fertility Naturopath can help you get pregnant and purchase my Optimal Hormone Pathology Cheat Sheet so you can learn more about your hormone imbalances.

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog
  • Busting PCOS Myths with Naturopath Lesley O’Connor 

    Fertility Naturopath

    Busting PCOS Myths with Naturopath Lesley O’Connor 

    Today I’m busting 3 PCOS myths. There is a lot of misinformation about PCOS out there that can be so tramatising to so many women! Here are 3 common PCOS myths I frequently hear that are actually not true! It’s harmful that these incorrect stories keep getting peddled around and can impact the mental health of women with PCOS. If you’re feeling confused about PCOS when keep reading and I hope you learn 3 facts about PCOS!

    Busting PCOS Myth 1

    Busting PCOS Myth 1: We don’t know what causes PCOS

    PCOS Fact 1: Research shows that guth health play a significant role in the underlying factors that drive PCOS

    Gut Health plays a central and essential role in regulating metabolism (blood sugar and insulin), nutritional status, hormone balance, appetite, and inflammation. Multiple studies have shown that women with PCOS have significantly lower microbial diversity, an altered composition of microbes and intestinal permeability. 

    Research now also shows that dysbiosis and intestinal permeability play a significant role in the underlying factors that drive PCOS (insulin resistance, high androgen levels, and chronic inflammation).

    In clinical practice, most of the women I help with PCOS have under functioning digestive systems. This can look like burping, bloating, irregular bowel habits, constipation, and stomach pain. Luckily there is plently we can do help improve your gut health.

    Busting PCOS Myth 2

    PCOS Myth 2: There is no treatment for PCOS

    PCOS Fact 2: Nutrition, lifestyle, and herbal medicine can put PCOS into remission. 

    For every underlying factor of PCOS natural medicine has a tool that can help!

    Some of the most common tools are:

    • – Herbal Medicine
    • – Lifestyle medicine such as stress reduction, and physical activity
    • – Nutritional Medicine including nutrition interventions and supplementations such as inositol

    Here are a few examples:


    • – Can improve both insulin sensitivity and free testosterone levels, improves ovarian activity and regulates menstrual cycles
    • – In women with PCOS who weren’t ovulating, over 60% of women started ovulating again and 37% became pregnant after using 4 grams of myo-inositol each day over 3 months.
    • – Myo-inositol increased pregnancy in infertile women using ovulation induction (such as clomid and letrazole)


    • – Has less side affects than metformin with a similar outcome 
    • – 1.5 grams daily taken over 6 months, significantly improved women having a regular cycle and inducing ovulation when compared with placebo.
    • – 1.5 grams of cinnamon showed improved antioxidant status and cholesterol profile which are benefical for women with PCOS
    Busting PCOS Myths

    Busting PCOS Myth 3

    PCOS Myth 3: You won’t be able to get pregnant with PCOS

    PCOS Fact 3: The path to pregnancy with PCOS can look a little different 

    I hear frequently from women with PCOS that they’ve been told they won’t be able to get pregnant, which is honestly heart breaking to hear. It’s also completely incorrect! Rather, we should acknowledge that the path to pregnancy with PCOS can look a little different that the ‘norm’. 

    Getting pregnant with PCOS is covered in my soon-to-be-released program: The PCOS Preconception Protocol! If you’re someone who needs help and wants to conveieve naturally then this is the program for you! 

    In this program we conduct a proper assessment of the driving factors of your PCOS so you can start ovulating sooner! We also cover how to improve your gut health, have more energy, and less acne all in a safe and supportive space.

    If you’re ready to feel confident in your body’s ability to have a baby then join the waitlist today!

    Thanks for reading this blog! If learnt something new from this blog then let me know in the comments below!

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog
  • Do I Really Need a Prenatal Supplement?

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath

    Do I really need a prenatal supplement?

    This is a question I get asked quite frequently! You’ve decided you want to start trying for a baby, naturally the next questions is, do I really need a prenatal supplement?

    As a Fertility Naturopath, I believe that first and foremost the nutrients we obtain from food are foundational for our fertility. So you might be thinking, do I really need a prenatal vitamin? I like to think of a prenatal supplements as an ‘insurance policy’, in addition to the food we eat.

    The Research on Prenatal Supplements

    Studies on taking multiple micronutrients are still scarce. Research suggests that supplementation before getting pregnant can help restore micronutrient status to recommended levels. Research has shown that prenatal supplements have a beneficial effect on fertility in healthy and infertile women. This includes a shorter time to pregnancy and an increased chance of becoming pregnant.

    Why do I Need a Prenatal Supplements?

    Most prenatal supplements contain a whole range of nutrients in small amounts. A big portion of the table contains the more well known nutrients like folate (best form is methylfolate), and vitamin B12. Both of these vitamins are critical in preconception and the very early weeks of pregnancy. 

    Prenatal supplements also contain other important nutrients like iodine, which many Australian women are deficient in. Iodine is important for thyroid function and getting pregnant. For the first two trimesters of pregnancy you make the thyroid hormones for both yourself and your baby! So it’s important that you consume nutrients such as iodine, to improve your fertility and reduce the chance of miscarriage.

    Not All Prenatal Supplements Are Created Equally 

    Some companies use very cheap forms of these nutrients that aren’t well absorbed or used by the body. The best example of this is Elevit! While it’s a common prenatal for some health care professional and even influencers to recommend, I can think of at least 3 different brands that are of better quality.

    Looking for a good quality prenatal? Try Naturobest’s Prenatal for Women instead, or looking for a men’s prenatal? Try Naturobest’s Prenatal for Men.

    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.

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog
  • September is PCOS Awareness Month

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath

    It’s PCOS Awareness month!

    PCOS Awareness Month aims to improve the lives of women affected by PCOS and to help them to overcome their symptoms. It’s vital to increase awareness of, and education the general public, women, and healthcare professionals, about PCOS.

    PCOS is a leading cause of infertility in women

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a genetic, metabolic and reproductive condition that most commonly presents as a hormonal disorder in women. It’s one of the leading causes of female infertility and is also a precursor to other conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and endometrial cancer.

    What are the symptoms of PCOS?

    • – Missing or no period
    • – Irregular period, that’s more than 35 days between bleeds
    • – Acne, mainly around the chin and jaw line
    • – Thinning hair on the head
    • – Unwanted hair growth on the face, chest, back
    • – Fatigue and Mood Swings
    • – Trouble getting pregnant
    • – Easily gaining weight
    • – Skin tags
    • – Darkening of the skin
    • – Anxiety and Depression are also very common

    Who can help you with your PCOS?

    A General Practitioner (GP) with an awareness and understanding of PCOS is a great starting point. Also an Endocrinologist or Reproductive Endocrinologist is one of the best specialists to see. Naturopaths are also a great health professional to have in your support team, especially if you’re wanting to get to the root cause of your PCOS and get pregnant naturally

    A recent literature review found that herbal medicines are a cost-effective, efficacious, and a highly esteemed source of management and treatment for PCOS than conventional medicines.

    Did you know that Naturopathy has been found to be one of the best ways to help manage PCOS? There is so much that Naturopath Medicine has to offer women with PCOS. That’s because we look at your health as a whole picture. I always want to treat the root cause of your PCOS and that’s going to look a little different for each person.

    PCOS can greatly impact your life in so many ways. Fertility, mood, energy, and confidence! That’s why it’s important to work with someone who understands PCOS. Sometimes Doctors and even some Specialists aren’t up to date with the latest research on PCOS. So make sure you choose your support team careful with those who you feel validated and seen by!

    If you have enjoyed learning about PCOS, please comment below and give me a follow on my Instagram where I share more education and tips on managing your PCOS!

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog
  • My Top 3 Fertility Tips

    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.

    Lesley O'Connor Fertility Naturopath Blog