Women's use of herbal and alternative medicines for preconception care

Charaf, Safa, Wardle, Jonathan L., Sibbritt, David W., Lal, Sara and Callaway, Leonie K. (2015) Women's use of herbal and alternative medicines for preconception care. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 55 3: 222-226. doi:10.1111/ajo.12324

Author Charaf, Safa
Wardle, Jonathan L.
Sibbritt, David W.
Lal, Sara
Callaway, Leonie K.
Title Women's use of herbal and alternative medicines for preconception care
Journal name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1479-828X
Publication date 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ajo.12324
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 55
Issue 3
Start page 222
End page 226
Total pages 5
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), particularly herbal and alternative medicine supplements, for preconception care and fertility management is becoming increasingly common.

Aims: To determine the factors associated with the use of CAMs by women for preconception care.

Materials and Methods: 412 women who had visited an antenatal ‘first visit’ clinic situated at a Brisbane obstetric hospital or had visited a private ultrasound clinic in the same city for the purposes of a routinely indicated ultrasound scan in the first trimester were recruited into the study. Data were collected via a cross-sectional questionnaire.

Results: Complementary and alternative medicines (not including multivitamins) were used during preconception by 8.3% of women attending for obstetric care. Approximately half (55.8%) of women taking herbal and alternative medicines ceased these medications on discovery of their pregnancy, though fewer (17.4%) ceased taking multivitamin supplements. Baseline characteristics (age, education and income) are not significantly different between CAM users and those who did not take CAMs preconception. The results of statistical analyses showed that only visiting a practitioner to check for health (OR = 2.00; 95% CI: 1.33, 3.00) and trying to lose weight prior to pregnancy (OR = 1.53; 95% CI: 1.00, 2.36) were the key predictors for women using CAM during preconception.

Conclusions: Women do consume CAMs to enhance preconception care to a certain extent, though CAM users remain in the minority. CAM users also tend to cease use once pregnant.
Keyword Complementary and alternative medicine
Herbal medicine
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2016 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 4 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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