Professor Cindy Margaret Farquhar



I am the Postgraduate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. My research interests include clinical trials within subfertility and menstrual disorders, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines and quality improvement. I have lead the Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group since it's inception in 1996.

I trained in medicine at the University of Auckland and completed her speciality training in obstetrics and gynaecology in the United Kingdom. I was appointed as a part time senior lecturer in 1989 at the University of Auckland. I have also held a consultant appointment in obstetrics and gynaecology at National Women’s Hospital since that time. In 2000, I was a Harkness Fellow for the Commonwealth Fund and spent one year at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Maryland, USA.  My clinical interests are polycystic ovarian syndrome, pelvic pain, endometriosis, unexplained infertility and the management of abnormal uterine bleeding.  I have been involved in leading many clinical trials in gynaecology and subfertility.  I have also led guideline development groups on heavy menstrual bleeding, uterine fibroids and the management of women with breech presentation and vaginal birth after caesarean section, diabetes in pregnancy as well as assisting with training in guideline development workshops.  She has over 220 peer reviewed publications and twenty technical reports. I am the past Chair of the board of the NZ Guidelines Group ( and the past Chair of the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee ( ). I am currently the co-chair of the Cochrane Steering Group. I am also the lead methodologist for the WHO Fertility Guidelines in 2018-2019. 

Research | Current

Current Research Interests

Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group.  I am the Coordinating Editor of this Cochrane Group. This group was established in 1995 in Auckland and is one of 53 review groups of the Cochrane Collaboration  The aim is to produce systematic reviews of menstrual disorders and subfertility on the Cochrane Library (impact factor of 5.9 in 2014) Funding is from the New Zealand Ministry of Health as well as external funding from grant organizations. The scope of the group includes reviews of subfertility and menstrual disorders including premenstrual syndrome, menorrhagia, menopause, cycling disorders and pelvic pain. Currently we are working with nearly 800 authors in over 40 countries. We have an editorial board of 26 editors based in 9 different countries and the editorial base (3 staff) is at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Cochrane New Zealand I am the co-director of Cochane New Zealand with Dr Mark Jeffery from Canterbury DHB and the NZ Cochrane Fellow Dr Vanessa Jordan.  Cochrane NZ provides training and support for NZers who wish to write a Cochrane review or use a Cochrane review.


Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee

I was the inaugural chairperson from 2005 to 2013 and have been involved in establishing the processes for national data collection across 21 District Health Boards for all perinatal and maternal deaths. Several working groups report to the PMMRC and include the Maternal Mortality Working Group, the Neonatal Encephalopathy Working Group and the Australasian Maternity Outcomes Surveillance Survey (AMOSS) Working Group who we are working jointly with to collect morbidity data. Annual reports and national and local workshops are prepared every year. . Although I am no longer the chair we hold the contract with the Health Safety and Quality Commission for the National Coordination Services for the PMMRC which includes the data collection and employ 3 staff working on the data collection and production of annual reports. A number of projects are ongoing.

Clinical Studies in Gynaecology and Fertility

  • Randomised controlled trial of endometrial injury in women with infertility with polycystic ovarian syndrome and women with unexplained infertility  (Ongoing)




Postgraduate Diploma in Obstetrics and Medical Gynaecology

Masters paper in Systematic reviews

Areas of expertise

Clinical epidemiology, clinical trial design, systematic reviews, guideline development and implementation, quality improvement, fertility treatments, gynaecology.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Trollope, H., Leung, J. P. Y., Wise, M., Farquhar, C., & Sadler, L. (2018). An evaluation of the objective quality and perceived usefulness of maternity clinical practice guidelines at a tertiary maternity unit. The Australian & New Zealand journal of obstetrics & gynaecology, 58 (6), 660-666. 10.1111/ajo.12789
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Lynn Sadler
  • Li, Z., Wang, A. Y., Bowman, M., Hammarberg, K., Farquhar, C., Johnson, L., ... Sullivan, E. A. (2018). ICSI does not increase the cumulative live birth rate in non-male factor infertility. Human Reproduction (Oxford, England), 33 (7), 1322-1330. 10.1093/humrep/dey118
  • Goodman, L., Cree, L., Jones, G., Legge, M., Shelling, A., & Farquhar, C. (2018). The futility of fertility research? Barriers to embryo research in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131 (1477), 63-70. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Lynsey Cree, Andrew Shelling
  • Armstrong, S., Bhide, P., Jordan, V., Pacey, A., & Farquhar, C. (2018). Time-lapse systems for embryo incubation and assessment in assisted reproduction. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 510.1002/14651858.CD011320.pub3
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Vanessa Jordan
  • Leeners, B., Damaso, F., Ochsenbein-Kölble N, & Farquhar, C. (2018). The effect of pregnancy on endometriosis-facts or fiction?. Human reproduction update, 24 (3), 290-299. 10.1093/humupd/dmy004
  • Bryant-Smith, A. C., Lethaby, A., Farquhar, C., & Hickey, M. (2018). Antifibrinolytics for heavy menstrual bleeding. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 410.1002/14651858.CD000249.pub2
  • Armstrong, S., Bhide, P., Jordan, V., Pacey, A., & Farquhar, C. (2018). Time-lapse systems for ART. Reproductive biomedicine online, 36 (3), 288-289. 10.1016/j.rbmo.2017.12.012
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Vanessa Jordan
  • Farquhar, C. M., Liu, E., Armstrong, S., Arroll, N., Lensen, S., & Brown, J. (2018). Intrauterine insemination with ovarian stimulation versus expectant management for unexplained infertility (TUI): A pragmatic, open-label, randomised, controlled, two-centre trial. The Lancet, 391 (10119), 441-450. 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32406-6


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 12, Room 12051
New Zealand

Web links