Research into miscarriage

Miscarriage affects 200,000 couples every year in the UK, with 85% of miscarriages happening in the first 12 weeks. Often parents receive no answers to their questions. We want to change that.

In April 2016 Tommy's 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.

  • 85 percent of miscarriages happen in the first 12 weeks, and are known as early miscarriages.

  • Parents often receive no answers when it happens.

  • Current health guidelines mean they need to endure three consecutive early miscarriages before there is any investigation. We want to challenge this.

The best chance of changing the situation is through research, and that’s why we have opened Europe's largest research centre dedicated to preventing miscarriage and improving care. 

The Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage Research is a partnership of three universities: the University of Birmingham, the University of Warwick, and Imperial College London. The three sites will run specialist clinics enabling 24,000 women per year to access treatment and support and participate in Tommy’s research studies.

The centre will seek to understand why miscarriage happens, if it is likely to happen again, how to prevent it, and how to provide appropriate aftercare.

“My second pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 12 weeks. We waited a week before they could operate to remove the baby and during that week I hoped for a miracle but no, of course, there was no miracle, just a pair of broken-hearted parents.” 

Lisa, Tommy’s supporter 

Currently, the NHS only refers women for investigation after they’ve endured three miscarriages*, leaving parents to suffer the physical and emotional trauma repeatedly before they become eligible for help. Experiencing a single miscarriage is traumatic... going through three is gruelling. Many women who suffer miscarriage experience symptoms of depression.

We strongly believe that the chromosome problems and the other underlying causes for miscarriage could be preventable. That’s thousands of lives that could be saved.

“I had five further miscarriages over the next three years. I can’t believe I put myself through the heartache and pain so many times. Although we saw specialists we still don’t really know why they happened. There were ‘possible’ reasons and ‘possible’ solutions that made every pregnancy terrifying.” 

Kate, Tommy’s supporter

We’ll raise the profile of early miscarriage research, and encourage other organisations to invest. To help make it a priority for the government, the team will highlight the economic cost for the NHS. They’ll also grow and lead a network of specialists, and work closely with other Tommy’s centres and researchers across the UK and internationally.

'As a doctor, I wish I could give my patients the answers they are looking for. The thing is, we have the expertise, the technology, the drive - we just need the funding. Tommy's proposed new centre is the most promising chance yet of making breakthroughs in early miscarriage.'

Professor Phillip Bennett, Director of the Institute for Reproductive and Developmental Biology at Imperial College London


How to get a referral to the Tommy's National Miscarriage Centre

Referral information for the Tommy’s National Miscarriage Research Centre clinics

Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research has recurrent miscarriage clinics in three different sites in the UK:

  • Birmingham Women’s Hospital
  • University Hospital Coventry
  • St Mary’s Hospital London

All of the clinics will accept patients who have had 3 miscarriages and an appropriate General Practitioner (GP) referral from anywhere within the UK (there is more specific information on criteria for each clinic below). This will provide you (and your partner) with the opportunity to be part of research towards finding the cause of repeated miscarriages. 

The clinics are centres of excellence and work hand in hand with the research centres by offering women the opportunity to have new tests and take part in new trials.

Tommy’s strong view is that all women should get referral after 2 miscarriages and our clinicians and centre directors are working towards this goal. However, until it is made normal NHS funded practice, we are unable to offer it as standard across the clinics. Currently only the clinic in Coventry has an arrangement that allows women with 2 miscarriages to be referred and then only from the local area (see more below).

If you have had 3 miscarriages and wish to be referred to a Tommy’s clinic, you do not have to live within the area of any of the clinics; a GP referral can be made to whichever centre is convenient to you. 

Your referral can be made on the basis that the Tommy’s centre offers tests and treatments not offered by your local hospital. This can be the reason for your request for out-of-area referral.

Choice is enshrined in the NHS charter.

There is not a specific referral form that needs to be used; your GP can use their own.

NHS funded tests available by clinic






lupus anticoagulant test  to test for anti-phospholipid antibodies (sticky blood conditions)  Y  Y  Y
anti-cardiolipin antibody test to test for anti-phospholipid antibodies (sticky blood conditions)   Y  Y  Y
thrombophilia screen  to test for congenital sticky blood conditions      Y
thromboelastogram analysis  to test for global bleeding tendencies    Y  
detailed pelvic ultrasound scanning  to look for abnormalities in the womb or ovaries  Y    
rubella test  to ensure immunity to German measles or rubella  Y    
TSH, T3 and T4 tests  to identify any problems with the thyroid gland  Y*    
vitamin D test  to identify vitamin D deficiency  Y*    
coeliac disease screen - TTG antibody test to investigate autoimmune serology, whereby healthy cells inside the body may be attacked by abnormal cells      Y  Y
HbA1C test to investigate for diabetes   Y*    Y
 fetal karyotyping to identify any structural or genetic problems of the foetus   Y*  Y*  Y*
parental karyotyping performed if the above test reveals any genetic issues, to identify any genetic abnormalities in either partner    Y*  Y*  Y*

*if indicated

Referral details by clinic



  • 3 or more early miscarriages
  • one or more late miscarriage(s)
  • women do not need to be from the local area

Contact details for referrals

The Tommy’s Miscarriage Clinic @ Birmingham

c/o Miss Haleema Sadia, Medical Secretaries

Birmingham Womens NHS Foundation Trust

Mindelsohn Way



B15 2TG

0121 623 6834



  • 3 or more early miscarriages
  • one or more late miscarriage(s)
  • women referred should be <42 years old
  • women do not need to be from the local area

Contact details for referrals

Professor Lesley Regan

Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology

St Mary's Hospital

Recurrent Miscarriage Office

Ground Floor, Mint Wing

South Wharf Road


W2 1NY



  • 2 or more miscarriages if local to Coventry
  • 3 or more early miscarriages if from outside this area
  • one or more late miscarriage(s)

Contact details for referrals

Professor Quenby

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

Clifford Bridge Road



Tel: 02476967528

Fax: 02476967584

More details on how to take part in our clinical trials here.

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Current research trials looking for participants

Can you help us find answers to prevent miscarriages?

The team at the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research is asking women and couples with experience of miscarriages to consider taking part in one of our active clinical trials. We are trying to understand the reasons for miscarriages, and to improve treatment for repeated miscarriages and threatened miscarriages. We believe research is the key to identify and develop solutions.

SiM trial                                 

We are investigating whether scratching the lining of the womb could prevent miscarriage among women aged 18 to 42 years and with two or more previous miscarriages.

Please telephone 0247 6964 983 to speak to our clinical secretary about your interest in this research.

Alife2 trial

We are investigating whether anti-coagulant (blood thinning) treatment could reduce the risk of miscarriage in women aged 18 to 42 years, with two or more previous miscarriages and with inherited thrombophilia. Thrombophilia is when your blood has a tendency to clot more than normal.

Please telephone 0247 6964 983 to speak to the clinic secretary about your interest in this research.

PRISM trial

We are investigating whether progesterone could prevent miscarriage in women with early pregnancy bleeding, a known sign of threatened miscarriage. To be eligible for the study participants must: be aged 16 to 39 years; have an ongoing pregnancy; and have experienced recent early pregnancy bleeding within the last four days during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Please telephone 0121 414 9011 to speak to the PRISM trial co-ordinator about your interest in this research.

Cell free fetal DNA study

This project investigates whether analysis of cell free fetal DNA could help us to ascertain genetic reasons for early miscarriages. Women with a diagnosis of recurrent miscarriage, threatened miscarriage, missed miscarriage or incomplete miscarriage will be eligible to participate in the study.

Recruitment is not yet under way but preparations are proceeding well so please telephone 0121 623 6837 to speak to the team about your interest in this research.

Sperm DNA fragmentation study

This project investigates whether miscarriage could be caused by sperm DNA damage in the male partner of couples having investigations for recurrent miscarriage.

Recruitment is not yet under way but preparations are proceeding well so please telephone 0121 623 6837 to speak to the team about your interest in this research.

Immune phenotyping study

We are investigating whether adaptations of the maternal immune system could be implicated in recurrent miscarriage.

Recruitment is not yet under way but preparations are proceeding well so please telephone 0121 623 6837 to speak to the team about your interest in this research.

If you would like to take part in our active studies:

As you can see from the information above, some of our studies are designed to suit women and couples with particular medical conditions. If you would like to participate in any of our studies then our trained clinicians will assess your eligibility to take part and discuss the next steps with you. It may be necessary for you to be referred by your GP.

Please also be aware that each participant in a clinical trial will be allocated to receive either the test or treatment that is being studied, or another test or treatment (usually standard care). Neither you nor your doctor or nurse will be able to choose your allocation, or even know the allocation until the end of the study. A computer will make the allocations randomly, like tossing a coin.

Other ongoing studies

The following studies are not recruiting new participants, but still caring for those patients already participating, and we look forward to trial results very soon.

TABLET trial

The TABLET trial seeks to evaluate the effects of thyroxine to prevent miscarriage in women with thyroid antibodies but normal thyroid function. In January 2016 the study completed recruitment and randomisation of more than 900 women after screening almost 10,000 participants from across the UK.


The RESPONSE trial tests a new medication, called NT100, in women with unexplained repeated miscarriages. The study is designed to find out if the medication could improve the chances of maintaining a successful pregnancy, and whether it brings any side effects.

Help fund our research

You can also get involved by raising money to support our research work. Donate now.

Visit our section of information and advice on miscarriage

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Read more about our new miscarriage research centre

Individual miscarriage research projects

Why our research is needed