The EPOS study: following women throughout pregnancy to understand miscarriage

Tom Bourne, Phillip Bennett, David MacIntyre, Maya Al-Memar, Christoph Lees, Harsha Shah and external collaborators

Tommy’s are supporting research on over 1,100 women to help us understand why miscarriage happens. Within EPOS, two more studies are looking at how to tell early on if there are problems with a baby’s heart that could put it at risk, and the best ways to manage women with ectopic pregnancies.

Tommy’s are supporting research following more than 1,100 women from 5 weeks of pregnancy through to delivery. Called EPOS (the Early Pregnancy Observational Study), this will help us to understand why women miscarry, and see if we can find ways of telling when a woman is at risk.

Doctors will take samples of blood, urine, and swabs from the vagina to look for substances or bacteria that could help us understand why miscarriage happens. They will also carry out an ultrasound scan of the baby, and collect information about the women’s clinical history and demographics. Women will have follow-up visits every week in the first trimester, and one check-up in the second and third trimesters.

Early results show that there are significant chemical differences in the urine of women who miscarry, compared to women who have a normal pregnancy. We are now focusing on finding the specific chemicals involved.

This project and those below will help us to understand why miscarriage happens, to find problems earlier in pregnancy, and to work towards treatments to prevent miscarriage. 

Other studies that are linked to EPOS include:


Thanks for your interest in our research

Tommy's funds research across the UK investigating the reasons for pregnancy complications and loss. We can keep you updated on our research news.  If you're interested in being kept updated about our research and news from Tommy's, click here.

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