Masterclass for Naturopaths – IVF Support Beyond the Basics

Did you know that up to 75% of Australian patients undergoing IVF seek the support of a CAM practitioner? And that naturopathy is one of the most sought-after modalities? (Rayner, et al., 2011).

With IVF becoming increasingly common place, accounting for nearly 5% of all births in Australia & NZ, the naturopath in general practice is now more likely than ever to come across complex fertility patients in their day-to-day work. However, there is little information available for these practitioners in regard to what is safe, effective & appropriate for this highly medicalised patient group.

Fertile Ground Health Group has been specialising in IVF support in Melbourne for the past 18 years. In this role we have developed a trusted collaborative relationship with medical specialists in the fields of reproductive & obstetric medicine, and a deep understanding of assisted reproductive treatments and approaches to naturopathic management of the IVF patient.

Do you feel confident that you really know what you can do when someone presents with a complex fertility history?

Are you up to date with the latest evidence based research regarding naturopathic interventions for this patient group?

Do you know what to look for in your patients test results to give you the clues for effective treatment?

What are the red flags you need to identify before you prescribe supplements & herbal medicine to IVF patients and are you confident that you know what is safe to prescribe during an IVF cycle?

Are you communicating confidently and effectively with IVF specialists?

If you would like to brush up on your skills or deepen your knowledge, you are invited to join Fertile Ground Health Group naturopath Rhiannon Hardingham for this exclusive online masterclass for fertility naturopaths. In this four-part series Rhiannon shares her extensive clinical knowledge around IVF support, as well as the most up-to-date research supporting naturopathic interventions for this complex patient group.

Rhiannon has been at the core of the naturopathic team at FGHG for the past 9 years. Her success with fertility outcomes is testament to her diligence and keen sense of curiosity to find answers for her patients, even in the most complex and seemingly hopeless of cases, earning her the respect of many IVF specialists in Melbourne. In 2019 Rhiannon will be the first naturopath to present at the annual Fertility Society of Australia conference on the subject of naturopathic support for IVF.

Recognising the isolation in private practice that many naturopaths face, Rhiannon is keen to help you build strong relationships with other naturopaths interested in developing their fertility & IVF support practice, and also offers ongoing individual & group mentoring.

About the course:

This course is uniquely offered to practicing naturopaths with a special interest in reproductive medicine. It is expected that participants will have a working knowledge of standard preconception interventions and are already working with fertility patients in clinical practice. 

Participants will receive detailed clinical assessment and treatment tools to assist in day-to-day practice, as well as up-to-date resources regarding evidence-based support for IVF patients.

On completion practitioners will be better positioned to make sense of medical fertility protocols, manage complex fertility patients, as well as confidently communicate with medical specialists regarding evidence-based interventions for improved IVF outcomes.

Participants will earn 6 CPE points.

Weeks 1 & 2: Specific Preconception Preparation for the IVF Patient- Beyond the Basics.

This highly medicalised patient group have complex preconception requirements, and appropriate identification and preparation can significantly influence assisted reproductive outcomes. We will discuss clinically relevant and evidence based testing recommendations & assessments specific for IVF, as well as the complexities of nutritional & hormonal preparation.

Week 3: Naturopathic Support for ART & IVF

A thorough introduction and outline of up-to-date assisted reproductive statistics and protocols. What we’re commonly seeing now regarding standards and variations of the IVF cycle, along with clinical and evidence-based information regarding naturopathic support for each stage.

Week 4: IVF- Complex Cases

Complications in the IVF process and how to support your patient. We will consider appropriate intervention to increase the chance of success for those with for whom the odds are stacked against. Including poor responders, ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome, older couples, poor embryo quality and repeat IVF failure.



Tuesday 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th August 2019

Time: 1:00pm–2.30pm AEST (OR meetings recorded for your convenience)

Cost: $495

Platform: Interactive live Zoom meetings online, with the ability to review sessions if you are unable to attend at the time.

To book:  Call 9419 9988 or email or book and pay for your course in our online shop. Book here

Here’s what past participants have had to say:

“Rhiannon is a gold-mine of knowledge. If anyone is interested in pursuing this as a practice focus I would highly recommend this workshop, and leveraging Rhiannon’s first-hand experience!”

“Rhiannon is a wonderful teacher and mentor. She has a way of explaining things that is easy to understand, interesting and engaging”

“Thank you for offering this amazing program”


L9999600Rhiannon Hardingham, FGHG Naturopath

Rhiannon has been focused on treating men’s and women’s reproductive health, infertility and naturopathic IVF support for the past 9 years at Fertile Ground Health Group. Her frequent communication with IVF specialists, CAM colleagues, industry education and the thousands of patients she has successfully treated over these years have given her a unique and well informed perspective.

When it comes to assisting IVF and infertility patients Rhiannon has seen it all, from the most complex cases to the very simple fixes that someone may have overlooked. Through her Mentoring program for naturopaths Rhiannon’s diligence and passion for the work is something that she now shares with practitioners interested in developing their career in this area of specialisation.

Meet the special in your IVF Specialist – Dr. Manuela Toledo

Our practitioners at Fertile Ground Health Group communicate regularly with many medical specialists for the shared care of patients and to ensure that the best outcomes are achieved. This collaborative approach has enabled us to get to know some fabulous specialists and we thought you might like to meet the “special” in your Specialist too!

Often these doctors work tirelessly and are fiercely committed to their practice. The subject of our first interview in this series, Dr. Manuela Toledo from Melbourne IVF is no exception!  Read on as Manuela let’s us in on her views about her work and area of speciality.

Meet the special in your Specialist – Dr. Manuela Toledo, Melbourne IVF.
What is your best advice for someone trying to conceive?
Optimize your lifestyle choices at least 3 months prior to conception. Of course this means no smoking and minimal alcohol and caffeine. Exercise moderately for 30mins 2-3 times a week and eat a diet rich in folic acid and antioxidants i.e. fresh organic fruit and vegetables. In addition a multivitamin with folic acid and good hydration.

Oh, did I say no smoking?

What do you love about your work as a fertility specialist?

There are so many aspects to being a fertility specialist and it merges psychology, medicine and surgery. I enjoy the multidisciplinary approach to fertility management and have a special interest in second opinions and patients with complex fertility problems. Never a dull moment!

Why did you choose fertility for your specialist profession from all of the medical options available to you?

I started off training as a resident in general and plastic surgery but felt myself drawn to the fascinating science of reproductive medicine. I would have also liked to be an embryologist (a scientist who works in the IVF laboratory) but enjoy patient contact too much.

What part of your work sometimes brings you to tears? 

I don’t cry easily (except maybe watching a sad movie on a long haul plane flight when I am jet lagged) but it is very emotional when a successful patient comes back with her newborn and extended family who are all very grateful. It makes one realise that the impact of infertility is far reaching.

What are the biggest challenges about being a fertility specialist that your patients don’t see?

Unfortunately Victoria is the most heavily regulated jurisdiction in the world with regard to fertility treatment and there is a lot of paperwork that goes on in the background. Victoria is the only state in Australia (and the world) that requires police checks prior to fertility treatment and I resent that my patients are forced to have these discriminatory checks when the naturally fertile population doesn’t.

According to the bureau of statistics, the average person has 10 jobs in their lifetime. What did you do before becoming a fertility specialist? Do you ever see yourself doing anything different?

I have worked in medicine and fertility for so long now that I cannot see myself doing anything else. Reproductive medicine is a very fast moving field and staying up to date is imperative. I have however also served on the Board of Melbourne IVF which has helped me understand how running the very complex management side of an IVF unit works. My main work is at Melbourne IVF but I also intermittently work as a consultant at TasIVF in Hobart and Launceston which I really enjoy. So in a way I feel that I do have several different jobs.

Do you recommend your patients see an acupuncturist or naturopath while they are doing fertility treatment? Why?

Many of my patients are already seeing a naturopath and/or acupuncturist and have already optimised their lifestyle. This is often very beneficial for their fertility treatment and they seem to cope much better both physically and psychologically, so from my point of view I am very supportive of a multidisciplinary approach.

What is your all-time best success story that you can share?

There are so many success stories but I always remember those that have had unsuccessful and sometimes quite complex treatments in Europe, the UK and USA often even with donor eggs and then finally come home to be successful here with their own egg in a natural IVF cycle – that is very special for me and confirms that sometimes less is more.

How can people contact you if they would like more information?

You can call my office directly on 03 9415 1815


For more information about Dr. Manuela Toledo or to enquire go to the Melbourne IVF website

Dr Manuela Toledo, MBBS. FRANZCOG, MMed. CREI qualified (Certification in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility) with a holistic approach and a special interest in complex infertility.

Manuela Toledo graduated in medicine from The University of Melbourne and started specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology in 1997.

Manuela trained at both The Mercy Hospital for Women and The Women’s Hospital in Melbourne and became a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 2004. During this time Manuela also completed a Masters of Reproduction and Genetics at the University of Sydney.

Manuela spent three years as the Melbourne IVF Fellow completing specialist training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, obtaining the CREI specialisation in 2008. She joined Melbourne IVF as a consultant in 2006 and served as a member of the Melbourne IVF Board from 2006-2013. Manuela holds a VMO position at The Women’s Hospital.

Manuela is interested in all aspects of infertility and has a special interest in providing second opinions for complex infertility, fertility preservation and complementary medicines.