Professor Arri Coomarasamy, University of Birmingham
Professor Arri Coomarasamy is the Director of the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research.
Professor Coomarasamy leads a research group at the forefront of early pregnancy care, reproductive medicine and global women’s health. His portfolio includes numerous national and international multicentre randomised controlled trials, including the PROMISE trial (the role of progesterone in women with unexplained recurrent miscarriages), the TABLET Trial (levothyroxine therapy for women with thyroid antibodies), the PRISM Trial (progesterone therapy for women with early pregnancy bleeding), the RESPONSE Trial (G-CSF treatment for recurrent miscarriage), the AIMS trial (the effects of prophylactic antibiotics before miscarriage surgery in low-income countries) and the WHO CHAMPION trial (the role of carbetocin to prevent postpartum haemorrhage). He has published over 140 medical articles in high impact journals such as NEJM and the Lancet, as well as five medical textbooks.
Professor Coomarasamy serves or has in the past served on several international and national committees, including the BJOG editorial board, the RCOG Wellbeing of Women Research Panel, various WHO committees, the Early Pregnancy Clinical Studies Group, the Reproductive Medicine Clinical Studies Group, and the GLOW organising committee. He is the founding trustee of Ammalife, a UK-registered charity with a global mission of reducing maternal deaths in low-income countries.
Dr Manjeet Shehmar, University of Birmingham
Dr Manjeet Shehmar is a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Clinical Director for Gynaecology at Birmingham Women's Hospital. She was previously the Clinical Lead for the Early Pregnancy Unit and is a member of the Executive Committee of the UK Association of Early Pregnancy Units (AEPU). She is clinically active as part of the early pregnancy team and runs specialist scanning clinics dedicated to early pregnancy and acute gynaecology. During her time at Birmingham Women's Hospital, she has led the growth of the Early Pregnancy Unit to now be one of the largest in the country, with specialist consultant and nursing input. She is an advanced trainer for early pregnancy problems for both medical and nursing staff and has a higher degree in medical education. She has experience in research into medical education and patient experience in gynaecology, with over 20 original articles published in leading journals and five chapters in academic books. She has been recognised nationally for her innovative service developments in early pregnancy by being a finalist and highly commended in two Health Service Journal Awards.
Professor Phillip Bennett, Imperial College, London
Professor Phillip Bennett is Director of the Institute for Reproductive and Developmental Biology, at Imperial College, one of the largest women’s health research facilities in Europe. He is also Imperial NHS Research Director for Women's and Children's Health, and Clinical Academic Training Lead in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He has an international reputation for research into complications of pregnancy and a track record over thirty years of working to improve the health of pregnant women and their babies through basic science and translational research and applying those findings to clinical practice. He has applied both laboratory and clinical research techniques to a range of areas in obstetrics including miscarriage, prenatal diagnosis, fetal growth restriction and preterm birth. He has supervised the postgraduate research of thirty two doctoral students, and has worked extensively with industry to undertake basic science and early phase clinical studies of new drugs to prevent or treat complications of pregnancy. He holds patents on methods for the prediction and prevention of preterm birth. He has served on Scientific Committees for a range of UK charities and international pharmaceutical companies and on editorial committees for American, British, European and Italian Journals of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He is currently a Council Member of the Society for Reproductive Investigation.
Professor Lesley Regan, Imperial College, London
Professor Regan is the Director of the Recurrent Miscarriage Service at St Mary’s, a multidisciplinary team that she has developed to provide comprehensive investigations and treatment for couples with a history of recurrent early and late miscarriages. This service is acclaimed internationally, receiving some 800 new referrals per year and continuing to provide antenatal care for many thousands more couples during their subsequent high risk pregnancies.
As the elected President of the RCOG since 2016, Professor Regan plays a leading role in the national and international advancement of women’s health interests. She is also the President of the UK Association of Early Pregnancy Units, and chairs the FIGO Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights Committee. She is advisor to the NICE interventions committee and a professional member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and Research Licence Committee. She is a Trustee of Wellbeing of Women (WOW), the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD), the Genesis Trust and CHARM - the charity for Research into Miscarriage. Professor Regan has also published two successful books on miscarriage and pregnancy for the lay public and presented a series of 6 BBC Horizon documentaries.
Professor Tom Bourne, Imperial College, London
Professor Tom Bourne is Adjunct Professor and research team leader at Imperial College London and Consultant Gynaecologist at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital London. He is visiting Professor and consultant at KU Leuven in Belgium. He has a specialist interest in the management of early pregnancy complications and the use of ultrasound in the assessment of gynaecological disorders. His research has changed national guidelines for the care of women with miscarriage as well as other gynaecological disorders both in the UK and internationally. He has published widely on all aspects of the diagnosis and management of most early pregnancy complications. His work has attracted significant media interest both in the UK and internationally.
He has edited six books, published over 300 papers in international journals and been invited to speak and chair at numerous international meetings on subjects relating to early pregnancy and the use of ultrasound and diagnostics in gynaecology. He has an h-index of 62 with Google scholar. He is on the scientific committee and was recently elected as treasurer on the executive committee of the International Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG) having been on the board for 8 years. He is a medical advisor and trustee of the UK patient group, the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust. He was elected President of the UK Association of Early Pregnancy Units (AEPU) in 2014. He was specialist advisor to NICE for their guideline on pain and bleeding in early pregnancy. He is on the steering committee of the International Ovarian Tumor Analysis (IOTA) and International Endometrial Tumor Analysis (IETA) studies, both being large multiple centre trials. He was a member of the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound (SRU) consensus panel in the USA to develop safe guidelines for diagnosing miscarriage in 2012, leading to a key consensus paper in the New England Journal of Medicine. He sat on the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) consensus panel to produce guidelines for diagnosing ovarian pathology in 2014. In 2015 he became one of the few UK clinicians to be elected honorary fellow of the AIUM. He is currently on the American College of Radiology panel to refine diagnostic approaches to ovarian pathology. He sits on the scientific committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. His current principal research interests relate to ultrasound, biomarkers and translational research in early pregnancy as well as the classification of ovarian tumours.
Professor Siobhan Quenby, University of Warwick
Professor Siobhan Quenby is a Professor of Obstetrics and Honorary Consultant at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire and the University of Warwick. She is Director of the locally funded Biomedical Research Unit in Reproductive Health. She is clinically active as part of the obstetric team and runs specialist clinics dedicated to the management and research of recurrent pregnancy loss prevention. She has over twenty years of experience in research into implantation and recurrent miscarriage, and has published over 125 original articles and 22 chapters for academic books. Siobhan is co-ordinator of the ESHRE Special Interest Group in Early Pregnancy, a member of the executive committee of the Association of Early Pregnancy Units, chair of the RCOG early pregnancy clinical study group and a member of the MHRA Expert advisory panel member for women’s health. Siobhan’s research is funded by Tommy’s, NIHR, UHCW and other medical charities. Her work has received considerable media interest, including from national newspapers, BBC radio and TV, ITV and Channel 4 news. She is also a media spokesperson for the RCOG.
Professor Jan Brosens, University of Warwick
Professor Jan Brosens' research centres on the role of steroid hormone signalling in the human endometrium, especially in the context of prevalent reproductive disorders, such as infertility, endometriosis and endometrial cancer. His major translational interest is focused on improving the management of miscarriage, the most common complication of pregnancy. He obtained a PhD from the University of London in 1999, working on the mechanisms underpinning the preparation of the lining of the womb (endometrium) for pregnancy, a process called decidualization. He was awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinical Scientist Fellowship in 1998, then joined Imperial College London as Chair of Reproductive Sciences in 2004 and became Chair of Reproductive Medicine in 2008. In May 2011 he was appointed as Chair of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Warwick. Professor Brosens is also the Deputy Head of the Division of Biomedical Sciences at Warwick Medical School.
Today, we are thrilled to announce that we are opening the UK's first national centre dedicated to miscarriage research!
1 in 4 women experience a miscarriage in their lifetime. This is a quarter of all mothers-to-be, a quarter of all families affected by loss. Tommy’s believes that the current situation can and must change – so in 2016, we opened the UK’s first national centre dedicated to miscarriage research.
Miscarriage is by far the biggest cause of pregnancy loss in the UK, and it’s also the least understood. Tommy's has opened the UK's first national research centre dedicated to early miscarriage.
1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. 1 in 100 women have 3 or more miscarriages in a row. Research into this area of pregnancy loss has been underfunded for years.
Individual miscarriage research projects
By Lindsay (not verified) on 25 Feb 2017 - 07:30
I have a long story. I am ok though, because I have a 4 year old daughter, a fab husband, and I am a very strong character.
I want to share my story for others to gain strength from, or in case I can be of help to anyone at the research centres. However I do live overseas so acknowledge not ideal, although I am British through and through.
So at 37 I feel pregnant but lost at 11 weeks. Miscarried February 2011. Complete miscarriage.
Pregnant again and miscarried at 9 weeks July 2011. Partial miscarriage but with some drugs, got through full miscarriage.
Slightly longer gap and pregnant again in the November a new misscarried again, nearly to the day since the first one in February 2012. Wouldn't stop bleeding heavily in this one so had my first D&C, although I know a more modern name now.
So far no genetic testing done, just been told bad luck. Age etc. We have had our bloods checked, my thyroid, husbands sperm etc but nothing can be found.
Pregnant again and gave birth (albeit emergency c section) in February 2013 to our daughter. Delighted, thrilled. Appreciate how lucky we are as I know some people don't get this. I appreciate this.
Waited a year before tying for next one. Not conceiving as quickly now, but I am 41 by now. In the March 2015 I have a chemical pregnancy. In August 2015 another pregnancy but turns out to be ectopic and I have part of one of my Fallopian tubes removed.
Now consider ivf - age and tube issue. Have one ivf in October 2014 but no pregnancy. Have second ivf in December which works. Very excited and think we have done it, scan at 12 weeks is good. But scan after I started to bleed at 15 weeks show no heartbeat so have another D&C in the March 2016.
Next ivf in June 2016 didn't work. A 4th ivf in September 2016 did work but NITP shows downs, and after confirmation in a CVS we decide not to proceed and terminate. (Please no judging, this is our choice, for our reasons). After this we have genetic testing and there is nothing.
So now in February 2017 and doing 5th ivf but will do genetic testing if we have embryos.
We really want another child, a sibling. I have doctors who worry about my mental strength but we are strong and can keep going. I know others who cannot. I sometimes wonder if I push myself too much and should accept one child, but I have eggs still and feel I have to try until I don't.
My message is to try, to keep going if you can. I feel I can't give up yet. I know the time will come when maybe I do have to give up. I know how very lucky we are to have one child. My heart is with those who want and can't. I salute these ladies and their partners.
So if any medical people. Red me for anything, just shout me.
And for any people trying, take hope from my story.
Best to all.
By Midwife @Tommys on 27 Feb 2017 - 10:05
Hi Lindsay, thank you for sharing your story! :)
By Anna Wire (not verified) on 29 Jan 2017 - 10:26
Hi I am 39 now but have had three misscarriages all at about the same time 6-8 wks, I then went on to have my daughter who should have been a twin. My daughter is 3 and I have just had another miscarriage before christmas again at 6-8 wks. I have had tests done in the past and was just wondering why it seems to always happen at about same time never found any answers, realise it is probably my age and bad luck but so wanted answers why it happens at same time. really want a second child. thanks
By Midwife @Tommys on 30 Jan 2017 - 09:45
Hi Anna. I am ever so sorry to hear of your pregnancy losses.Sadly, miscarriage is an awful event that is largely unexplained. We at Tommy's believe that this should not be the "normal" and so we have opened three miscarriage centre's across the Uk.
Please contact us by telephone 0800 0147800 or email - [email protected]'s.org to speak to one of us on the midwifery team where we can give you advice on how you can referred to one of our Tommy's miscarriage centre's. It sounds as if you would certainly meet the inclusion criteria. Our clinics offer further in depth testing post miscarriage and pre- conception.
Have a look on our website about our miscarriage centre's and please contact us if this is something that you feel would be of interest to you!
Look after yourself!