Naturopathy for pregnancy

In Australia, one in six couples will have difficulty conceiving a baby. Diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) is a risk factor for pregnancy. The incidence of DOR within women seeking help for fertility ranges from 6% in those aged 20-24 up to 64% in those aged 40-44. While medically assisted reproduction is considered the first-line treatment, the high cost is a barrier and the success rate is significantly lower for women with DOR.

Researchers at NICM Health Research Institute are looking for women aged 18 to 40 with diminished ovarian reserve, trying to conceive, to join a clinical trial. This is a preliminary study which will provide information on whether it is possible to conduct a larger clinical trial to find out if naturopathy can improve their chances of becoming pregnant.

Who can join?

  • Women aged between 18 and 40 years living in Australia, who:
    • Have been diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR).
    • Are trying to achieve pregnancy.
    • Have internet access via mobile phone, tablet or computer.

What’s involved?

The recruitment and administration of this trial is all done online and via phone to comply with all social distancing guidelines due to COVID-19. No face-to-face contact is required with any member of the research team.

Participants will:

  • Read the participant information sheet and provide consent.
  • Take two blood tests at a local pathology clinic to check liver and kidney function.
  • After an initial assessment and consent, you will:
    • Complete the baseline measures (online questionnaires).
    • Be randomly allocated to one of two groups; intervention or control for 16-weeks.
    • In the intervention group – you will:
      • Attend 3-4 naturopathic consultations about 4-5-weeks apart.
      • Take nutritional supplements and herbal medicines each day.
      • Test for pregnancy each menstrual cycle.
    • In the control group – you will:
      • Take nutritional supplements (two capsules) each day.
      • Test for pregnancy each menstrual cycle.
  • End of intervention
    • Complete outcome questionnaires online.
  • Post study follow up
    • You will be followed up with a short phone call to check if you have fallen pregnant 3-months after the trial, and if you achieved pregnancy in the trial, 1-month after your estimated date of delivery to check on progress.

What are the benefits for participating?

  • You will receive nutritional supplements to support pregnancy for 16-weeks.
  • You will receive pregnancy test strips to check for pregnancy.
  • Once you have completed your end of intervention questionnaires, you will be reimbursed for your time by way of a $50 gift voucher.
  • You may experience benefits from naturopathic care for achieving pregnancy.
  • You will be helping to advance medical research, which could assist in the understanding of effective treatments for women with DOR in the future.

Interest in participating in this study?

For more details about this study, please read the following information before deciding whether to participate.

To check you eligibility to participate in this study, please complete the online screening survey below:

For more information, please contact:

Alison Maunder

NICM Health Research Institute, Study Chief Investigator - PhD Candidate


m. 0417 800 355

Human Research Ethics Committee Approval: This Project has been approved by Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval Number: H14745 Feb 2022). This study is supported by NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University and The Jacka Foundation of Natural Therapies. Ms Maunder's position as a PhD candidate is supported by a scholarship from The Jacka Foundation of Natural Therapies.

Study Coordinating Principal Investigator: Dr Carolyn Ee, NICM Health Research Institute