Men’s Health

  • 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Tweed, M. J., & Roland, J. M. (1998). Haemochromatosis as an endocrine cause of subfertility. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 316(7135), 915–916.

  • 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