FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FAQs FROM COUPLES

WHAT WILL BE DISCUSSED IN OUR FIRST CONSULT?

Your first consult after the preconception education seminar (or one on one session if you have opted for this) will involve a deep-dive into each partner’s familial history and body functions, past and current health concerns and a review of symptothermal chart tracking, relevant reports and medical records to ascertain current fertility status.

Elizabeth will also use this time to note any additional preconception tests required along with a supplement and herbal regime. This will be recorded in this starter pack.

WHY DO BOTH OF US NEED TO ATTEND OUR CONSULTS?

Our preconception program is about working together to become more aware of your body and health so that we can improve your fertility and pregnancy outcome which can include identifying underlying issues that are contributing to sub-optimal reproductive health and infertility.

As explained in the seminar, both men and women can have a number of underlying factors that are contributing to their fertility issues as a couple. Once these issues are uncovered, Elizabeth will discuss how often she will need to see either partner as sometimes it may only be necessary to come as a couple every second visit, or a series of single consults may be recommended.

WHAT DO WE BRING TO OUR FIRST CONSULT?

Please bring relevant reports and results as they relate to both of you. This could include:

  • Ultrasound reports
  • Sperm analysis
  • Gynaecological surgery history
  • List of medications and supplements you are currently taking
  • Blood test results from the last 12-18 months
  • Latest pap smear results

Also bring your first symptothermal chart that you are using to track your first cycle since starting the program.

WHAT ARE THE CLINIC OFFICE HOURS?

Elizabeth consults Wednesdays 9am to 4pm, Thursday 9am to 5pm and every second Saturday. Our office is also open on Tuesday from 9.00am to 3pm for general enquiries.

WHY IN THE SHORT-TERM DO WE NEED TO USE CONTRACEPTION IF WE ARE TRYING TO FALL PREGNANT?

As explained in the seminar, it takes approximately 90-120 days for an ova (or egg) to be produced from DNA development to ovulation and approximately 72 days for sperm to be developed.

In the first phase of the program – the preconception phase – your body going through repair to increase egg quality (or sperm quality) in the months ahead. However, as we also address hormonal imbalances, your fertility may increase before we have improved the quality of the sperm and egg.

Falling pregnant during the first 3 months of the program can increase chances of miscarriage and foetal defects as the more vulnerable and lower quality egg and sperm form an embryo.

Additionally, for women undertaking the program, the first 3 months includes a regimen of herbs and supplements that are not safe to take during pregnancy.

If you do intend on trying to fall pregnant in the first 3 months, which is not recommended, Elizabeth must be informed so that she can ensure there are no herbal remedies being used that are not safe in pregnancy.

For these reasons contraception in the form of condoms or abstinence 1 week either side of the fertile period of the cycle is recommended* in this preconception phase of the program until healthy ova and sperm are available for the development of a healthy embryo.

*If cycles are irregular then condoms will need to be used

HOW LONG DO WE NEED TO BE ON THE PROGRAM BEFORE WE START TRYING TO CONCEIVE?

This will vary depending on your health, but as a guide we advise a minimum of 3 months on the preconception phase of the program before trying to conceive in phase 2.

HOW DO WE RE-ORDER SUPPLEMENTS AND HERBS THAT WE’VE BEEN PRESCRIBED BETWEEN CONSULTS?

Keeping track of your herb and supplement supplies is important to ensure you sustain therapeutic dosages of these prescriptions. If you run out of supplies between consults, you can order these via email, phone or SMS.

Once your order has been prepared we will send you an SMS and a suggested time for pick-up. You can also request postal delivery, which will incur a postage fee (this varies with order weight and size). When ordering supplies, please let our receptionist know whether you would like to pick-up your order or have it sent to you.

Please note:

    • All postal orders must be paid for before they are mailed out.
    • Pick-up orders can be pre-paid or paid for on collection.
    • For guaranteed next day delivery (via express post), postal orders must be received by 12pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays only.
    • Orders received after 3pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays may be processed the following working day.

WHAT DO WE DO IF WE HAVE A QUESTION BETWEEN CONSULTS?

For urgent questions relating to your health and therapy, please contact Elizabeth directly via email: Elizabeth@lifeontheinside.com.au

All other general enquiries, orders and appointment arrangements please contact our receptionists via phone, email or SMS.

FAQs FROM WOMEN

HOW DO I USE THE SYMPTOTHERMAL CHART?

As discussed in the seminar, the symptothermal chart is used to track your temperature on waking and symptoms relating to ovulation and menstruation.

1. TAKING TEMPERATURE

You must use an oral thermometer to check your temperature to ensure accuracy. You must take your temperature as soon as you wake before you get out of bed each morning as standing and walking around will raise your temperature and will confuse tracking.

2. RECORDING SYMPTOMS

The chart will indicate where symptoms can be noted.  Symptoms to record may include:

  • Mucousal changes to vaginal discharge (texture, colour, amount)
  • Changes in mood
  • Breast tenderness
  • Libido

WHAT COUNTS AS ‘DAY 1’ OF MY CYCLE?

Day 1 is counted as the first day of bleeding (not the first day of spotting). If it begins after 9pm call the following day “Day 1”

Please note that mid-cycle spotting that does not progress to full bleed and menstruation is not counted as Day 1. Just make a note that this occurred on your symptothermal chart.

WHAT WILL BE MY GP AND GYNAECOLOGISTS INVOLVEMENT?

Elizabeth works closely with GPs and specialists as necessary for your holistic treatment. GPs will be referred to for most tests required as well as for referrals for specialist appointments. If you are also working with complimentary therapists or personal trainers please let Elizabeth know.

WHAT DO I DO IF I FORGET TO TAKE PRESCRIBED SUPPLEMENTS OR HERBS?

It is important to stick to your herb and supplement timetable, however we realise that nothing is full-proof and from time-to-time you may forget or be unable to take a dose of your prescriptions.

If you forget to take your first dose of herbal remedies including cleansing, pre ovulation and post ovulation formulas during the day, you can take a double (instead of single) dosage of these herbs in the evening. This does not include Chaste Tree and Tribulus formulas which can only be taken in the morning. If you forget to take this in the morning, ensure you take it the following morning (same dosage as prescribed).

Whilst supplements vary in prescribed daily doses, it is generally ok to miss a dose of supplements and continue taking as normal.

WHAT DO I DO IF I GET A POSITIVE RESULT ON A PREGNANCY TEST…

…IF I’VE BEEN ON THE PROGRAM FOR LESS THAN 3 MONTHS?

  1. Notify Elizabeth of the result via email and include a list of all current herbs and supplements
  2. Cease taking herbal formulas labelled “CLEANSING” and “TRIBULUS” as well as herbal supplement “LIVOCLEAR” immediately
  3. Cease taking supplements until Elizabeth advises which are safe in pregnancy (via email)
  4. Continue taking CHASTE TREE or VERDANT VITEX in the morning as normally prescribed until advised otherwise (Elizabeth may advise to increase this dose)
  5. Go to your GP to confirm the pregnancy via a blood test and to check your:
    1. Beta HCG levels
    2. Progesterone levels
    3. Any other tests advised by Elizabeth (via email response)
  6. Book in the next available first natal visit with our receptionist. If an appointment is not available within 7 days, ask to be placed on the waiting list. Our staff are trained to prioritise these appointments and ensure you are able to see Elizabeth within this advised time frame.

Note: You may also need to stop taking some of the supplements you have been prescribed that are not safe in pregnancy. Elizabeth will advise you of which supplements you can and can’t take in response to your email. In the meantime cease taking supplements until you receive Elizabeth’s response.

…IF WE’VE BEEN ADVISED TO START TRYING TO CONCEIVE?

As Elizabeth will explain to you before you actively start trying to conceive, your herbal regime will change from “CLEANSING” to “PRE OVULATION” (PRE OV) AND “POST OVULATION (POST OV).

If you have a positive pregnancy test you will need to:

  1. Continue taking POST OV unless otherwise advised (DO NOT TAKE PRE OV)
  2. Continue taking any other prescribed protocols in the “post ovulation” phase (progesterone cream, progesterone pessaries)
  3. Notify Elizabeth of the result via email
  4. Go to your GP for a blood test to check your:
    1. Beta HCG
    2. Progesterone
    3. Any other tests advised by Elizabeth (at your last consult or via email)
  5. Book in the next available first natal visit with our receptionist. If an appointment is not available within 7 days, ask to be placed on the waiting list. Our staff are trained to prioritise these appointments and ensure you are able to see Elizabeth within this advised time frame.

FAQs FROM MEN

DO I NEED TO BE ON THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH DIET?

As explained in the Preconception Education Seminar or initial one-on-one session, diet and lifestyle factors effect both women and men’s fertility. To optimise your chance of conceiving a healthy child it is important that you adopt the reproductive health diet in the preconception phase of the program, prior to successful conception.

CAN ISSUES WITH MY SPERM AND SPERM DNA FRAGMENTATION BE RESOLVED TO IMPROVE MY FERTILITY?

Despite claims by some healthcare professionals who say that these issues can’t be resolved, there is not only a body of evidence that these issues can be addressed, it is also something we regularly see first-hand in our clinic. 

WHAT EXERCISES AND ACTIVITIES ARE OK FOR ME TO DO WHEN WE ARE TRYING TO FALL PREGNANT?

Whilst most exercise and activities are ok to undertake before trying to conceive, once have completed the first phase of the preconception program and are trying to fall pregnant you must avoid or reduce some activities to reduce the chance of damaging your sperm, this includes activities:

  • spin classes and cycling
  • running
  • bikram yoga
  • steam rooms
  • saunas
  • wearing tight pants (eg. Skins)

Elizabeth will also speak to you about this before you and your partner begin trying to conceive. If it will be difficult to avoid some of these activities please advise Elizabeth during your discussion.