STOPPIT-2: can the Arabin pessary prevent premature birth in twin pregnancies?

Professor Jane Norman, Professor Sarah Cunningham-Burley

Tommy’s Edinburgh centre is taking part in a national trial to see if a simple device can lower the risks of premature birth for twins.

Tommy’s Edinburgh research centre is taking part in the STOPPIT-2 trial: a national study looking at whether the Arabin pessary can stop premature birth in women pregnant with twins.

Women with a twin pregnancy are at a higher risk of going into early labour. The Arabin pessary is a small, cone-shaped device that is inserted through the vagina and surrounds the cervix, giving it support. This helps to keep the baby in the womb.

A large randomised trial has suggested that the pessary can reduce premature birth in women pregnant with one baby. Recently, a Dutch study has indicated that it may also work for twin pregnancies.

The STOPPIT-2 trial aims to find out for sure whether the Arabin pessary can help prevent premature birth of twins. Women with a twin pregnancy whose cervix is shorter than 35mm will be chosen at random to either receive the pessary, or standard treatment. The length of the cervix is important: if it gets too short, the risk of premature birth increases.

We plan to recruit over 2000 women to the screening phase (cervical length scanning) and randomise 500 women in the treatment phase of the study.

As of September 2017, 56 sites (mainly in the UK, but with some from Europe) are participating in the study. Over 1000 women have consented to cervical length scanning, and 265 have been randomised to the Arabin pessary or no treatment. We plan to seek funding to extend the study for one year, to reach our planned recruitment target.

The pessary is cheap and easy to use, and if effective will have major health benefits across the world. 

I am interested in taking part in this trial

Thanks for your interest in our research

Tommy's funds research across the UK investigating the reasons for pregnancy complications and loss. Maternal and fetal research is underfunded and we need your support to continue. There are many small and large ways you can support us, find out more here.


This study takes place in a Tommy's centre and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research's Health Technology Assessment programme

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  • By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Dec 2017 - 09:31

    Hi there.... good luck with everything and you know where we are if you need anything from us! Take care!
    Sophie,Tommy's Midwife

  • By Kelly Furlong (not verified) on 13 Dec 2017 - 16:31

    I have had this fitted today with a measurement of 22mm. As I am only 15+6 I don’t qualify for the trial but am keen for any info that is available on the results.

    We have a long way to go so would really like to find out how others have got in with this

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